BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Kevin Lacombe took his first Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship win of the season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, but with a second place finish Jordan Szoke clinched an eighth national Superbike crown.
Lacombe, Szoke and Alex Welsh staged a thrilling battle for the win in the 20-lap race around the 3.9km (2.459-mile) circuit, with Lacombe taking the win on his Team Couturier Racing BMW S1000RR by just 0.118 secs. from the Waznie Racing / Parts Canada / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR of Szoke with Welsh just half a second behind on his AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The result gives Szoke 252 points in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings to the 193 of Lacombe with Sunday’s season finale still to run. But with a maximum of 52 points available in Sunday’s race the Brantford, Ont. racer is assured of the Canadian title.
“What an honour it is to win this trophy again,” said Szoke, as he was presented with the Canada Cup. “Sometimes I feel like I want it more than anybody. I’ve been so much more involved with everything this year, running my own team, that I think this one is extra special.”
Lacombe started from pole position and led most of the way in the 20-lap race. He only ceded the top spot to Szoke for two laps and Welsh for one. The St-Cesaire, Que. rider completed the race distance in 27 minutes, 36.716 seconds for an average speed of 169.492km/h (101.695 mph).
“I had nothing to lose,” said Lacombe after scoring his first national Superbike race win since 2006. “I had a great bike from qualifying and I knew we’d be right there for the race. It’s been a tough year but to end the season like this is a good feeling.”
The win moved Lacombe into a solid second in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings going into Sunday’s last round, 21 points ahead of Andrew Nelson, who finished fourth on Saturday.
Szoke was on Lacombe’s tail from the start and the two initially pulled clear of the rest of the field before Welsh was able to make his way up to the lead duo. The new champion acknowledged he was racing with the points battle in the back of his mind.
“I was being so careful,” Szoke acknowledged. “I thought I would let Kevin do some work early on and hope he pulled us away from the pack. But then when Alex got up there I didn’t want to get pushed too far back, so that forced me to ride hard the whole race.”
Welsh produced a tremendous effort after engine troubles left him eighth on the grid following qualifying on Friday. The Uxbridge, Ont. racer was up to third by lap four and quickly closed up on Lacombe and Szoke. He ended up with the fastest lap of the race, a 1:22.248 on lap three and his charge through the field earned him the KICKER Kick Ass Pass of the Race Award.
“It was hard work moving up from eighth and I didn’t have the best of starts,” Welsh said. “It took me a while to move up and then when I got with Jordan and Kevin I thought I would hang back and see where an opportunity might develop. I was trying to put something together for the last lap but it just didn’t happen. But I know now we have a bike that can win tomorrow.”
The battle for fourth was no less dramatic than the lead fight, and at the finish less than two seconds covered fourth through eighth positions. Nelson came out on top of the scrap aboard his Nelson Racing / Endras Motorrad / mcn.tv BMW S1000RR. After qualifying fifth on the grid the Kars, Ont. racer ran as far back as eighth in the early laps but worked his way up to grab fourth spot two laps from the end of the race.
Warman, Sask.’s Bodhi Edie was fifth on the Edie Racing / Blue Streak / Fast Company BMW S1000RR, equalling his best result of the season.
Right behind Edie was top rookie Pro Sebastien Tremblay on the MotoNation BMW S1000RR. The Longueuil, Que. rider followed up a career high fourth fastest qualifying time by running third for the first three laps of the race before settling for sixth at the flag.
Matt McBride of Mississauga, Ont. was seventh riding the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR and Keene, Ont.’s Jodi Christie took eighth aboard the Jodi Christie Racing / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR. Christie is now fourth in the Superbike standings, eight points behind Nelson heading into Sunday’s finale.
The top 10 was rounded out by Francois Dumas of St-Raymond, Que. on the Team Dumas Superbike / boulangeriedumas.com BMW S1000RR and the Irnie Racing / Amsoil BMW S1000RR ridden by Kelowna, B.C.’s Marcel Irnie.
1. Kevin Lacombe, St-Cesaire, Que., BMW S1000RR, 20
2. Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 20
3. Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 20
4. Andrew Nelson, Kars, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 20
5. Bodhi Edie, Warman, Sask., BMW S1000RR, 20
6. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., BMW S1000RR, 20
7. Matthew McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 20
8. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 20
9. Francois Dumas, St-Raymond, Que., BMW S1000RR, 20
10. Marcel Irnie, Kelowna, B.C., BMW S1000RR, 20
11. Martin Hamel, Drummondville, Que., BMW S1000RR, 20
12. Sylvain Dery, St-Colomban, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 20
13. Mike Bevan, Amherstburg, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 19
Did Not Finish
Scott Rupert, Gadshill, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 10
Did Not Start
Michael Leon, Beaconsfield, Que., Honda CBR600RR
Raphael Archambault, Terrebonne, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600
Time of Race: 27:36.716
Average Speed: 169.492km/h (101.695 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.118 secs.
Fastest Lap: 1:22.248 by Alex Welsh on lap 3
1. Jordan Szoke, 252
2. Kevin Lacombe, 193
3. Andrew Nelson, 172
4. Jodi Christie, 164
5. Matthew McBride, 139
6. Bodhi Edie, 137
6. Alex Welsh, 137
8. Sebastien Tremblay, 114
9. Samuel Proulx, 82
10. Francois Dumas, 81
11. Marcel Irnie, 72
12. Frank Trombino, 60
13. Sylvain Dery, 43
14. Franklyn Dominguez, 42
15. Martin Hamel, 32
16. Marie-Josee Boucher, 31
17. Ron Munroe, 21
18. James Collins, 13
18. Michael Bevan, 13
20. Aubrey Bailey, 10
21. Tony Stufko, 8
21. Michael Leon, 8
23. Louie Raffa, 6