The Keene, Ont. rider turned a lap at 45.973 seconds around the 1.93km (1.2-mile) 10-turn road course for an average speed of 138.603km/h (83.162 mph) on his Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR.
Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship points leader Jordan Szoke of Brantford, Ont. was second quickest with a time of 46.244 aboard the Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Mopar Express Lane BMW S1000RR and Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley turned the third best lap of 46.670 in his first national appearance on the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Chop Shop Honda CBR1000RR.
“We were making changes throughout the session, tuning a lot of little things,” said Christie, who turned his fastest lap on his penultimate tour of the 40-minute afternoon practice period. “Bump compliance has been the main thing, getting the back end driving and also when we’re hard on the brakes.”
Difficult weather conditions Friday morning meant the afternoon session was the first chance for the Superbike competitors to get down to business at Autodrome St-Eustache. They will have one more practice session Saturday morning before Magneti Marelli SuperPole qualifying in the afternoon, which will set the starting grid for Sunday’s feature race.
“It’s a short lap here so we were able to turn a good amount of laps and work on things,” Christie said of the lost morning track time. “But there was some sense of urgency to get up to speed.”
Christie qualified fastest for last year’s Mopar Canadian SuperbIke Championship round at St-Eustache and finished second to Szoke in the race. Szoke is trying to win for the third straight year at the Quebec track and a record fourth time in his career.
Szoke comes into the weekend 11 points clear of Christie in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings, 56-45, following his victory in the season opener at Shannonville Motorsport Park last month. There are four points available to the fastest qualifier on Saturday with a race win worth 50 points. There is also a two-point bonus for the rider who leads the most race laps.
Kleinburg, Ont.’s Frank Trombino was fourth fastest in practice on Friday with a time of 47.429 on his Trombino Racing / Royal Plumbing Aprilia RSV4. Kenny Reidmann of Belfountain, Ont. completed the top five with a lap at 47.593 riding the Reidmann Racing / Castrol Triumph 675.
Longueuil, Que. rider Sebastien Tremblay set the sixth best time of 48.248 riding the MotoNation / Laval Moto / CrossfitLaval.com Kawasaki ZX-10R.
In other action at St-Eustache, points leader Reidmann was quickest in practice for the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike class on his Triumph 675 with a time of 48.048.
The Belfountain, Ont. racer was followed by the Honda CBR600RR of Daley, who recorded a lap at 48.163. Defending champion Christie was third quickest with a time of 48.198 aboard his Honda CBR600RR.
Montreal-Nord’s Sylvan Lepine led practice in the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike class with a time of 49.082 on his Kawasaki ZX-10R while Alexandre Guay of Levis, Que. was fastest in practice for the Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike competitors with a time of 50.399 on his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Oakville, Ont.’s Cameron Walker led the way in the Honda CBR250R National Race Series practice with a fastest lap of 59.176.
Action at Autodrome St-Eustache continues Saturday with qualifying for all five national classes, including the Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Pro Superbike division. Saturday’s action also includes the opening race for the Honda CBR250R series. Feature races in all five national classes will run Sunday.
For ticket information call (450) 472-6222 or (514) 591-4388, or visit www.autodrome.ca.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race coverage of Saturday’s opening round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series, as well as Sunday’s Hindle Pro Sport Bike and Mopar Pro Superbike feature events.
--From Professional Motorsports Productions