Riding his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Mopar Express Lane BMW S1000RR the championship leader from Brantford, Ont. turned a lap at one minute, 8.825 seconds (133.905 km/h) around the 2.56km (1.6-mile) 11-turn track on his final lap of the day to top Christie’s Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR by just 0.128 secs.
“We put 20 laps on that tire, so that’s a good sign,” said the 35-year-old Szoke, who is looking for a record-equalling seventh national Superbike win at AMP. “We’re close to last year’s time but there’s a little more work to get there. The track is still green, there’s not a lot of rubber down yet.”
Szoke comes into the weekend with a 22-point lead in the Superbike standings over Keene, Ont.’s Christie, 112-90, after winning the opening two races of the season at Shannonville Motorsport Park and Autodrome St-Eustache. However, the 22-year-old Christie won this event last year for his first career Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship national victory.
“It’s only Friday so we’re not overly worried about times,” said Christie. “Today’s really about me getting comfortable. Today we’ve been making some little changes and in the afternoon session we made the bike feel more comfortable over the bumps.”
A win in Sunday’s 22-lap feature is worth 50 points toward the Pro Superbike title, while there are also points on the line in Saturday’s Magneti Marelli SuperPole qualifying session, with pole position worth four points.
Kenny Reidmann of Belfountain, Ont. was third fastest with a time of 1:11.109 aboard the Reidmann Racing / Castrol Triumph 675.
Will Hornblower of Sarnia, Ont. was fourth fastest in practice on Friday with a time of 1:11.361 aboard the Hornblower Racing / Blue Streak Yamaha YZF-R6 and Longueuil, Que.’s Sebastien Tremblay completed the top five with a 1:11.914 riding the MotoNation / Laval Moto / CrossFitLaval.com Kawasaki ZX-10R.
In other action at AMP, defending class champion Christie edged current points leader Reidmann for the fastest time in Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike practice. Christie turned a lap at 1:10.872 on his Honda CBR600RR while Belfountain, Ont.’s Reidmann managed a time of 1:11.184 riding the Triumph 675.
Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont. was third fastest at 1:11.812 aboard the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Chop Shop Honda CBR600RR while Upper Coverdale, N.B.’s Caleb Noiles set the fifth best time of 1:12.590 riding the C&C Racing / Capstan Hauling / Toys For Big Boys Honda CBR600RR.
Stacey Nesbitt of St-Lazare, Que. had the quickest time in Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike practice with a 1:14.124 on her OCM Motor Sports / FTR / Honda Canada Honda CBR600RR. Class leader Pedro Sousa of Mississauga, Ont. had the seventh best time overall of the day riding his Honda CBR1000RR.
Nesbitt also set the pace in Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike practice with a time of 1:14.495, just ahead of her teammate and class points leader Tomas Casas from Peterborough, Ont., who turned a 1:14.996 on his OCM / Peterborough Cycle Salvage Yamaha YZF-R6.
Points leader Eric Quintin of Notre Dame de l’Ile Perrot, Que. narrowly recorded the fastest time in practice for the Honda CBR250R Race Series with a time of 1:22.438. Falmouth, N.S.’s Jacob Shaw-O’Leary was close behind at 1:22.548.
Action at Atlantic Motorsport Park 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 CBR250R series. Feature races in all five national classes will run Sunday.
For ticket information call the track at (902) 758-2237 or the Atlantic Roadracing League at (902) 499-3610. Fans can also visit www.atlanticmotorsportpark.com or www.atlanticroadracing.com for more details.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race video coverage of Saturday’s 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