SHANNONVILLE, Ont. – Jordan Szoke began his bid for a ninth national Superbike title in style on Saturday by claiming pole position for the opening round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park.
The Brantford, Ont. rider turned a lap at one minute, 4.472 seconds on his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR late in the Magneti Marelli SuperPole session to pick up four points toward the national title.
His average speed around the 2.45km (1.53-mile) Shannonville ‘Pro’ track was 136.804 km/h (82.082 mph).
“We made a couple of changes over the lunch break and they felt really good,” Szoke said. “The times were very consistent. We’ve got some updates from last year and the bike feels better. But we’ll keep plugging away at it for tomorrow.”
Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. recorded a time of 1:04.799 on his final qualifying lap aboard the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR to lock down the number two qualifying spot and three points toward the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship.
Christie’s effort pushed Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ont. down to third with a time of 1:04.889 on the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000, putting three different manufacturers in the first three spots on the starting grid.
Mississauga, Ont.’s Matt McBride completes the front row with a 1:04.974 on the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR.
Szoke was quickest after the 30-minute pre-qualifying session that set the top 10 for Magneti Marelli SuperPole and quickly moved to the top in the final 10-minute shootout. His last two laps were his best as he laid down a 1:04.660 before dropping that by almost another two-tenths of a second on his last lap.
“I’m surprised how fast the times were given the track conditions,” added Szoke, who won three races last year on his way to the number one plate. “There were still some wet spots from the rain yesterday and the conditions were cool.”
A couple of late changes to his Honda’s set-up helped Christie drop his times in the closing minutes of the SuperPole session.
“Tonight we’ll dig into a few things and try to get the bike working better through the chicane,” he said. “But I’m happy that we’ve got the pace with the rest of the guys.”
Welsh was disappointed with his bike’s performance.
“It was good to get down to the times we did but we need to make the bike a little easier to ride,” he explained. “There’s not a lot of traction. There’s a lot of room for improvement.”
McBride had been second after the 30-minute prequalifying session but was unable to make a major improvement in SuperPole.
“The bike’s pretty good and we didn’t get too many laps in,” he said. “We’ll make a couple of changes to the front end for the race.”
Sebastien Tremblay qualified fifth on the MotoNation BMW S1000RR. The Longueuil, Que. racer moved up in the last few minutes of SuperPole qualifying and finally set a 1:05.905.
He will be joined on the second row by rookie Pro Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont., who recorded a 1:06.082 on the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Honda CBR1000RR, and Kleinburg, Ont. veteran Frank Trombino, who turned a 1:06.303 with his Trombino Racing / Draft Picks Sports Bar / Acme Slate Suzuki GSX-R600.
The top 10 qualifiers are rounded out by Montreal’s Marie-Josee Boucher on the Chaine Performance BMW S1000RR, the Raffa Racing / Team Couturier Honda CBR600RR of Ste-Marthe, Que.’s Louie Raffa, and Guelph, Ont.’s Matt Cooper on the Bain Machine Racing / Hindle / Flynn Fitness BMW S1000RR.
In other action at Shannonville, Trombino earned pole position for Sunday’s Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike race with a time of 1:06.266 on his Suzuki GSX-R600. Last year’s series runner-up was lucky to get on track after crew chief James Collins diagnosed a fuel injection problem in morning practice.
Two-time defending class champion Christie qualified second with a best lap of 1:06.464 set late in the session on board the Honda CBR600RR.
Calgary’s John Ross MacRae will start third on Sunday after setting a time of 1:07.548 on the Ruthless Racing Triumph 675 Daytona.
Steve Crevier began his quest for a third straight Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup title with pole position for Sunday’s race. The Maple Ridge, B.C. rider turned a lap of 1:11.346 on his MotoSport Plus-backed entry.
The Ruthless Racing duo of MacRae and North Vancouver’s Darren James will start second and third on the grid after Toronto rider Michael Taylor suffered an engine failure on his Mackie Harley-Davidson-backed machine and couldn’t complete the mandatory post-qualifying dyno run.
Riley Dawe qualified fastest for both the opening round of the Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Championship and Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Championship races. The Toronto rider recorded a time of 1:09.755 on his Yamaha YZF-R6 in Amateur Sport Bike and followed up with a 1:09.254 in Amateur Superbike aboard his recently acquired BMW S1000RR.
In the opening race of the weekend, Tomas Casas led all the way to win the first round of the Honda CBR250R National Series. The Peterborough racer finished 12.030 secs. clear of McDougall, Ont.’s Jacob Austin, who held off Oakville, Ont. racer Cameron Walker for the runner-up spot.
Feature races in all six national classes will be held Sunday. Practice begins at 8:30 a.m. with the first race, round two of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series set to go at 11:30 a.m.
For ticket information call 1-800-959-8955 613-969-1906. Or go to www.shannonville.com.
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.
Superbike Qualifying Results
1.Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:04.472 (136.804km/h)
2. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:04.799
3. Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:04.889
4. Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:04.974
5. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:05.905
6. Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 1 :06.082
7. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:06.303
8. Marie-Josee Boucher, Montreal, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:06.771
9. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 1:07.454
10. Matt Cooper, Guelph, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:07.079
11. Franklyn Dominguez, St-Lazare, Que., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:07.930
12. Chris Murray-Audain, Scarborough, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:10.819
13. Austin Shaw-O’Leary, Falmouth, N.S., Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:11.270
14. Kristopher Garvie, Caledon, Ont., Honda CBR600RR, No Time
15. John Ross MacRae, Calgary, Alta., Triumph 675, No Time
16. Martin Ricard, Montreal, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, No Time
–From Frontline CSBK Inc.