SHANNONVILLE, Ont. – Jordan Szoke picked up his 41st career national Superbike victory in spectacular fashion at the opening round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Sunday.
The Brantford, Ont. rider took the lead on lap 10 of the 22-lap race and held off determined challenges from Jodi Christie and Alex Welsh the rest of the way. Szoke’s Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR finished 0.474 secs. ahead of Christie’s Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR, with Welsh just 0.607 secs. behind aboard the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Szoke completed the 53.9km (32.34-mile) race in 24 minutes, 0.649 seconds for an average speed of 134.689 km/h (80.813 mph).
“When I got past Jodi I thought I would be able to get away but those two guys [Christie and Welsh] stuck with me,” said the defending Mopar Canadian Superbike champion after his fourth career victory at Shannonville. “I was surprised about that. It should be an awesome fight for the championship all year.”
Szoke had claimed the Magneti Marelli SuperPole in qualifying on Saturday but Christie surged into the lead at the start of the race, followed by Welsh, Frank Trombino and Szoke. Szoke moved up to third by the end of the opening lap and the top three pulled away from the rest of the pack.
Szoke took second place from Welsh at the end of the backstraight on lap five and finally got past Christie in turn two on lap 10. Welsh and Christie traded second spot on lap 19 and it looked like Christie would make a move for the win in the final laps, but he was unable to mount a challenge.
“It was a great race and I enjoyed the pace,” said the Keene, Ont. racer, who is still looking for his first national Superbike victory. “There were a couple of places where I was really strong under braking but I made a couple of mistakes that allowed Alex to get by, and I had to work hard those last few laps.”
Welsh said he had a bike capable of winning.
“For a lot of the race I hung back and tried to conserve stuff, saved my energy and tires,” the Uxbridge, Ont. racer said. “I think the bike was good enough to win and I think I should have taken charge of the situation. You can’t afford to lose points to Jordan like we did today. We had a shot to win.”
Szoke leads the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship with 56 points to the 45 of Christie and Welsh’s 39 after one of six races.
Despite being at a power disadvantage to the 1000cc Superbikes, Trombino scored an impressive fourth on the 600cc Trombino Racing / Draft Picks Sports Grill / Acme Slate Suzuki GSX-R600. For the first half of the race the Kleinburg, Ont. racer was under pressure from Matt McBride’s Riders Choice BMW S1000RR, but with 10 laps to go the Mississauga, Ont. rider faded back to a lonely fifth place finish.
Last year’s Pro Rookie of the Year Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. ran sixth all the way on his MotoNation BMW S1000RR. Seventh place went to Montreal’s Marie-Josee Boucher on the Chaine Performance BMW S1000RR, and an excellent performance was turned in by Kristopher Garvie of Caledon, Ont., who moved up from 14th on the grid to finish eighth on his Honda Canada-supported Honda CBR600RR.
Franklyn Dominguez of St-Lazare, Que. on the Seamont Brokerage Honda CBR1000RR and the Bain Machine Racing / Hindle / Flynn Fitness BMW S1000RR of Guelph, Ont.’s Matt Cooper completed the top 10.
After qualifying a promising sixth on the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Honda CBR1000RR, rookie Pro Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont. crashed at the end of the backstraight on lap two. He was not injured.
In other action at the West City Honda-backed weekend at Shannonville, Christie won the opening round of the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Championship after a good battle with pole qualifier Trombino. Trombino led the first 13 laps of the 18-lap race on his Suzuki GSX-R600 before Christie moved ahead and pulled clear to a 4.798-sec. victory on his Honda CBR600RR.
Trombino settled for second as he struggled with a clogged fuel filter, and Calgary’s John Ross MacRae completed the podium, 27.031 secs. back on his Ruthless Racing Triumph 675 Daytona after a good battle with the Honda CBR600RR of Garvie.
Steve Crevier grabbed the lead on the opening lap and led from there to win the Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup race on his MotoSport Plus / Dominion Lending entry. After claiming the LUMINOX Pole Award in qualifying on Saturday, the Maple Ridge, B.C. racer was never seriously threatened in the 16-lap race and finished 3.291 secs. ahead of Toronto’s Michael Taylor on the Mackie Harley-Davidson-backed bike.
Ruthless Racing’s Darren James of North Vancouver placed third.
Steve Hoffarth of Orangeville, Ont. won the season opener for the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike division. Riding the Inside Motorcycles BMW S1000RR, Hoffarth finished 6.012 secs. ahead of the AdrenalineX BMW S1000RR of Toronto’s Riley Dawe, while Steve Hamer of Gravenhurst, Ont. took third aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6.
Earlier in the day, Dawe rode his Yamaha YZF-R6 to an 8.618-sec. victory over Hamer in the Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike race. Schomberg, Ont.’s Marco Sousa placed third aboard a Suzuki GSX-R600.
Tomas Casas of Peterborough completed a sweep of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series doubleheader at Shannonville with his second straight lights to flag victory on Sunday. The rider of the Peterborough Cycle Salvage-backed entry finished 16.121 secs. ahead of Oakville, Ont.’s Cameron Walker, while Jordan Bauer of Breslau, Ont. rounded out the podium.
The Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship continues at Autodrome St-Eustache in St-Eustache, Que. July 5-7. For tickets call (450) 472-6222 or (514) 591-4388, or visit www.autodrome.ca.
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.
Mopar Pro Superbike Race Results
1.Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 22
2. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 22
3. Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 22
4. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, 22
5. Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 22
6. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., BMW S1000RR, 22
7. Marie-Josee Boucher, Montreal, Que., BMW S1000RR, 22
8. Kristopher Garvie, Caledon, Ont., Honda CBR600RR, 22
9. Franklyn Dominguez, St-Lazare, Que., Honda CBR1000RR, 22
10. Matt Cooper, Guelph, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 21
11. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 21
12. Martin Ricard, Montreal, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 21
13. Austin Shaw-O’Leary, Falmouth, N.S., Yamaha YZF-R6, 21
14. Chris Murray-Audain, Scarborough, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 21
Did Not Finish
Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 1
Did Not Start
John Ross MacRae, Calgary, Alta., Triumph 675, 0
Time of Race: 24:00.649 (134.689km/h)
Margin of Victory: 0.474 secs.
Fastest Lap: 1:04.921 by Jordan Szoke on lap 2
Lap Leaders: Jodi Christie 1-9, Jordan Szoke 10-22
Mopar Pro Superbike Point Standings
1.Jordan Szoke, 56
2. Jodi Christie, 45
3. Alex Welsh, 39
4. Frank Trombino, 32
5. Matt McBride, 30
6. Sebastien Tremblay, 27
7. Marie-Josee Boucher, 25
8. Kristopher Garvie, 23
9. Franklyn Dominguez, 21
10. Matt Cooper, 19
11. Louie Raffa, 17
12. Martin Ricard, 15
13. Austin Shaw-O’Leary, 13
14. Chris Murray-Audain, 12
–From Frontline CSBK Inc.