SHANNONVILLE, Ont. – Jordan Szoke got the early edge in the battle for the 2014 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship by claiming pole position for this weekend’s opening race at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Saturday.
The Brantford, Ont. racer took his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Mopar Express Lane BMW S1000RR around the 2.45km (1.53-mile) Shannonville ‘Pro’ Track in one minute, 4.087 seconds during the Magneti Marelli SuperPole session for an average speed of 138.749km/h (83.249 mph).
Jodi Christie was second quickest at 1:04.307 on the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR and Matt McBride turned the third fastest time of 1:04.506 aboard the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR.
Frank Trombino completes the front row for Sunday’s race on his Trombino Racing / Royal Plumbing Aprilia RSV4 after recording a lap at 1:05.100 in qualifying.
“I wasn’t sure about the time,” admitted Szoke, who earned four points toward the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship with his result. “I ended up with a really great drive into turn three but I was a little too deep for the corner. I really just rode the lap out after that and thought we would go over some changes and try again, but it turned out that was good enough.”
All competitors are having their first experience with the series spec Dunlop tires this weekend.
“The Dunlops are working awesome,” Szoke added. “The feel is a bit different so we’ve been working on that a bit more, but the transition has been quite smooth.”
Szoke is bidding for a 10th Canadian Superbike title and third in a row. He has won at Shannonville three times, including last year’s season opener.
Christie had been the quickest rider in the 30-minute qualifying session that set the top 10 for the Magneti Marelli SuperPole shootout with a 1:04.562, but although he lowered his time he was unable to match Szoke’s effort.
Christie had lost time on Friday with a quick-shifter issue but with that resolved, and with some front end changes, the Keene, Ont. was quickest in practice on Saturday morning.
“We were pretty happy with the set-up for qualifying so we didn’t make any changes during the session,” explained Christie, who earned three points toward the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship. “We’ve been continuously improving the set-up but with that you always find new problems. But today’s changes were beneficial and I think that showed in our lap times during practice.”
Christie took second to Szoke in last year’s season opener and finished third in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings.
McBride had struggled with an overheating issue during practice on Friday. Although that condition had improved on Saturday the Mississauga, Ont. rider found himself battling handling issues during qualifying.
“The bike is moving around a lot,” he admitted. “It’s not the smoothest thing out there. We’ve got to figure out this front end chatter issue. The engine’s better but still running a bit hot.”
Trombino survived a fall in the SuperPole Shootout but was able to recover to complete the session. The Kleinburg, Ont. rider said he was giving away horsepower to a number of bikes.
“I was pushing harder in the turns to try to make up for my straight line speed problems and I just tucked the front end,” said Trombino of his tumble.
Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont. will start fifth in Sunday’s race after turning a lap at 1:05.435 on his OneSpeedChopShop / Z1 Cycletech Suzuki GSX-R1000. He will be joined on the second row by the MotoNation / Laval Moto Kawasaki ZX-10R of Longueuil, Que.’s Sebastien Tremblay, who lapped at 1:06.907, and St-Lazare, Que.’s Franklyn Dominguez, who recorded a 1:07.171 on the OCM Racing / egopay.com Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The top 10 qualifiers were rounded out by Kristopher Garvie of Caledon, Ont. aboard the Honda Canada / Fast Company / Platinum Painting Honda CBR1000RR, top rookie qualifier Marco Sousa of Schomberg, Ont. on a BMW S1000RR, and the Hornblower Racing / Blue Streak Yamaha YZF-R6 ridden by Sarnia, Ont.’s Will Hornblower.
In other action at SMP, Belfountain, Ont.’s Kenny Reidmann grabbed pole position for Sunday’s opening round of the Hindle Pro Sport Bike Championship with a time of 1:05.953 on his Reidmann Racing / Pro 6 Cycle Triumph 675. Three-time defending class champion Christie was close behind, however, at 1:05.959 aboard his Honda CBR600RR.
Sarnia, Ont. racer Will Hornblower will start Sunday’s race third on the grid after setting a time of 1:07.335 on the Hornblower Racing / Blue Streak Yamaha YZF-R6 and Darren James of North Vancouver, B.C. completes the front row having turned a lap of 1:07.999 aboard his Ruthless Racing / Dragon Eyewear Yamaha YZF-R6.
Pedro Sousa of Mississauga, Ont. will start from pole for both Sunday’s Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike and Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike races. Sousa turned a fastest lap of 1:08.091 on his Honda CBR1000RR in Superbike qualifying after setting a time of 1:09.757 in Sport Bike on his Honda CBR600RR.
In the first race of the new national season, Jacob Shaw-O’Leary of Falmouth, N.S. made a spectacular pass of Cameron Walker on the final lap to win the opening round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series. The Pro Cycle-backed rider beat Oakville, Ont.’s Walker to the line by just 0.420 secs.
After being part of the lead battle early on Eric Quintin of Notre Dame de l’Ile Perrot, Que. settled for third.
Action at Shannonville concludes Sunday with feature races in all five national classes. Practice begins at 8:30 a.m. with the first race, for the Honda CBR250R competitors, getting the green light at 11:30 a.m.
For ticket information call 1-800-959-8955 or 613-969-1906, or go to www.shannonville.com.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race coverage of Saturday’s opening round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series, as well as Sunday’s Hindle Pro Sport Bike and Mopar Pro Superbike feature events.
Pro Superbike Qualifying Results
1.Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:04.087 (138.749km/h)
2. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:04.307
3. Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:04.506
4. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Aprilia RSV4, 1:05.100
5. Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:05.435
6. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 1:06.907
7. Franklyn Dominguez, St-Lazare, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 1:07.171
8. Kristopher Garvie, Caledon, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:07.458
9. Marco Sousa, Schomberg, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:08.661
10. Will Hornblower, Sarnia, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, No Time
11. Stephane Houle, Gatineau, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 1:07.857
12. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 1:08.002
13. Tim Robinson, Gatineau, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:08.844
14. Caleb Noiles, Upper Cloverdale, N.B., Honda CBR600RR, 1:09.192
15. Jeff O’Leary, Falmouth, N.S., Honda CBR600RR, 1:12.063
16. Michael Leon, Beaconsfield, Que. MV Agusta 675, No Time
17. Brent Strong, Mississauga, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, No Time
–From Professional Motorsports Productions