TORONTO, Ont. – Jordan Szoke will try to accomplish a feat this weekend that only two men have done before him. The defending Mopar Canadian Superbike Champion and current series points leader will try to score his second straight victory at Autodrome St-Eustache.
The tight and technical 1.93km (1.2-mile) 10-turn road course located just north of Montreal has been reluctant to serve up repeat winners in the 14 years it has hosted the national road race series. Six-time Canada Cup champion Steve Crevier won the first two races to be held at the venue, in 1991 and ’92, while two-time national champion Francis Martin scored victories in 1999 and 2000.
Szoke’s win in last year’s event was a key moment in his push toward a record-extending eighth Canadian Superbike title. His first victory of the campaign edged the Brantford, Ont. racer into a championship lead he would not relinquish the rest of the summer.
This time he comes into the weekend in a far more powerful position, having already claimed victory in the 2013 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship season opener at Shannonville Motorsport Park last month. The Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR rider has a perfect score of 56 points thanks to qualifying fastest at Shannonville, winning the race and leading the most laps.
However, Szoke’s point score belies the fact that he had a tough fight on his hands at the season opener. Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. finished second on the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR after leading the early part of the race.
A close third in round one was Uxbridge, Ont.’s Alex Welsh aboard the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000. Welsh finished a strong second to Szoke at St-Eustache last year.
Also worth watching after his impressive ride to fourth at Shannonville will be Frank Trombino. The Kleinburg, Ont. rider gave away a lot of horsepower in the first race of the season on his Trombino Racing / Draft Picks Sports Lounge / Acme Slate Suzuki GSX-R600, but the bike should be better suited to the St-Eustache circuit. There is also a chance Trombino may take the wraps off his Aprilia RSV4.
Fifth in the standings coming into this weekend is Mississauga, Ont.’s Matt McBride. McBride qualified on the front row at Shannonville on his Riders Choice BMW S1000RR.
Christie continues his quest for a third straight Hindle Pro Sport Bike title at Autodrome St-Eustache this weekend after taking his Honda CBR600RR to victory in the opening round last month. Christie faced a stern threat from the Suzuki GSX-R600 of Trombino at the season opener, however, and these two also fought hard for the win at St-Eustache a year ago, with the verdict going to Christie.
Calgary’s John Ross MacRae comes into this round third in the Pro Sport Bike standings with his Riedmann Racing / Triumph / Blackfoot Triumph 675.
Two-time defending Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup champion Crevier will go for his second straight win of the season. The Maple Ridge, B.C. racer was also victorious at St-Eustache last year with his MotoSport Plus-backed entry. Toronto’s Michael Taylor lies second in points for Mackie Harley-Davidson and Ruthless Racing’s Darren James of North Vancouver is third.
This weekend also sees the second round of the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Championship and Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Championship. BMW S1000RR rider Steve Hoffarth of Orangeville, Ont. leads the Amateur Superbike standings while Riley Dawe of Toronto tops Amateur Sport Bike on his Yamaha.
This weekend’s Amateur Sport Bike round will see the season debut of St-Lazare, Que.’s Stacey Nesbitt, the 2012 Honda CBR250R National Race Series champion, on her Statoni Racing Honda CBR600RR.
Peterborough, Ont.’s Tomas Casas will try to increase his lead in the Honda CBR250R category, although the entry will be swelled by visiting Japanese rider Hikari Okubo, the 2012 Asia Dream Cup champion.
Practice for this weekend’s event opens 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, 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 (450) 472-6222 or (514) 591-4388. Or go to www.autodrome.ca.
–From Frontline CSBK