TORONTO, Ont. – Jordan Szoke begins his quest for a ninth national Superbike title when the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship opens its 2013 season at Shannonville Motorsport Park this weekend.
The 2012 Canada Cup winner is back on board the Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR that took him to three wins and the number one plate last year. The Brantford, Ont. ace made an excellent preseason impression by winning the first event in the RACE Super Series at Shannonville in mid-May.
But despite Szoke’s strong preseason status, there are at least two riders expected to give him a run for his money on Shannonville’s 2.45km (11-turn) ‘Pro’ track this weekend.
Alex Welsh ended last year with his first career national Superbike win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and finished fourth in the final Mopar Canadian Superbike point standings. The Uxbridge, Ont. racer is back with his AW7R Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 and again will receive support from Kenwood Electronics Canada and Parts Canada.
Big things are also expected of Keene, Ont.’s Jodi Christie. Although he only finished seventh in last year’s national Superbike standings the Superbike class was not Christie’s focus, as he concentrated on a repeat in the Pro Sport Bike division. Nevertheless, he scored two impressive podium finishes. Christie is now dedicated to the Superbike division and will ride a Honda CBR1000RR with increased support from Honda Canada and the continued backing of Accelerated Technologies.
There are a couple of interesting dark horses in the Pro Superbike class as well. Last year’s Amateur Superbike champ Trevor Daley makes the step up and should be a contender for the Sunoco / BCR Pro Rookie of the Year Award. Although scheduled to race a Suzuki GSX-R1000 with backing from One Stop Chop Shop, the Brampton, Ont. racer competed at May’s Shannonville RACE opener on a ProStar Motorsports-prepared Honda.
An intriguing entry will be longtime fan favourite Frank Trombino riding the Trombino Racing / G-Suspension Aprilia RSV4. The Kleinburg, Ont. racer has not competed regularly in the Superbike class lately but has four national feature wins to his credit. This will mark the debut for the Aprilia in Canadian National competition.
Christie will be trying to tread in the footprints of legends in this year’s Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike championship as he attempts to become the third racer to take the title three years in a row. Only Szoke and Don Munroe, each with five straight successes, have managed the feat previously.
Debuting the latest Honda CBR600RR, Christie should get a good fight from fellow Honda rider and former Amateur Sport Bike champ Kristopher Garvie of Caledon, Ont., Calgary’s John Ross McRae on a Triumph 675, and the Leon Racing / Royal Distributing MV Agusta F3 of Beaconsfield, Que. veteran Michael Leon.
Canadian racing legend Steve Crevier will also begin the fight for a third straight national title this weekend as he leads the Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup competitors into Shannonville. The Maple Ridge, B.C. veteran is again backed by MotoSport Plus. Leading challengers should include Toronto rider Michael Taylor on the Mackie Harley-Davidson-backed entry and Ruthless Racing’s Darren James from Vancouver.
Shannonville will also see the opening rounds for the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike and Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike classes. Austin Shaw-O’Leary of Falmouth, N.S. is preseason favourite in both divisions on his Dua Motorsports / GoLo Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 after an injury cut short his 2012 campaign.
National action at Shannonville is rounded out by a doubleheader for the Honda CBR250R National Race Series.
Practice for this weekend’s event, which is co-promoted with Belleville’s West City Powersports Honda, gets underway Friday. Qualifying, including the battle for Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Mopar Pro Superbike division, takes place on Saturday. The first of two Honda CBR250R National Race Series rounds goes Saturday afternoon, with feature races in all six national classes set for Sunday.
Video coverage of the Mopar Pro Superbike, Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup and Saturday’s Honda CBR250R National will be available on www.csbk.ca, as well as highlights from the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike race.
For ticket information call 1-800-959-8955 613-969-1906. Or go to www.shannonville.com.
–From Frontline CSBK