BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Jordan Szoke regained some momentum in the battle for the 2013 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship and extended his points lead by claiming pole position for this weekend’s doubleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Friday.
Two weeks after being beaten for the first time this season by Jodi Christie at Atlantic Motorsport Park, the Brantford, Ont. racer responded by turning a lap at one minute, 21.533 seconds (174.717km/h) around the 3.9km, 10-turn track on his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR in Magneti Marelli SuperPole qualifying to earn four points toward the national Superbike title.
Uxbridge, Ont.’s Alex Welsh was second fastest with a time of 1:21.985 on the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Keene, Ont. racer Christie set the third best time of 1:22.147 riding the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR.
“The crew worked hard today and we made a bunch of changes to the bike,” said Szoke, who is chasing a record ninth Canadian Superbike crown. “But everything’s working good, and that 21.5 came a lot easier than some of my earlier laps.
“We have a new motor this weekend that doesn’t have quite the same jam down low but has more power up top, which is important here. We also tried a different engine map that used less of the electronics. The electronics can be great but you’ve got to get it right. Sometimes that stuff can get you in trouble.”
After putting up the second fastest time in the preliminary 20-minute Pro Superbike qualifying session, Szoke led throughout the 15-minute Magneti Marelli shootout, turning his best lap just a few minutes before the end. The pole position is Szoke’s third in four races this season.
Szoke has won more Superbike races than anyone else at CTMP, with 10 in his career. He has won eight of the last 14 nationals at the legendary track but was shut out of victory lane in last year’s doubleheader.
“I’d better get one this year,” said Szoke. “It was pretty disheartening not to get one last year.”
Szoke now has 163 points in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings to the 145 of Christie, who earned two points for qualifying third. Welsh picked up three points and sits third in the standings with 121 points heading into Saturday’s first of two Superbike features at CTMP. A race win is worth 50 points and there is a two-point bonus for the rider who leads the most laps, meaning there are 104 points up for grabs in this weekend’s pair of 20-lap races.
Welsh put in his best lap in the waning moments of the SuperPole session to wrest second spot from Christie. The Suzuki rider scored his first career Mopar Canadian Superbike race win at CTMP last year.
“I wanted to get another quick lap in but I was blocked in the last corner, although I don’t think I was going to take the pole with it,” admitted Welsh, who led the previous round at AMP before fading with electronics issues. “I’m definitely happy and I tend to drop time in the race. We put in a new spring during the first qualifying session and that definitely made a difference.”
Christie is coming off his debut national Superbike triumph after two second place finishes behind Szoke in the opening two races of the season at Shannonville Motorsport Park and Autodrome St-Eustache.
“I struggled with putting laps together,” he said. “I don’t know if it was the pressure of trying to go for pole, but I kept making mistakes and I really only had a couple of decent laps. But we have a good bike underneath us and I think we should be there at the finish. I don’t think anybody’s going to break away in the race. It’ll come down to the last lap.”
Mississauga, Ont.’s Matt McBride completes the front row for this weekend’s pair of races after turning a lap at 1:22.306 on the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR.
“I would have liked to be better and we need to sort out the rear end a bit,” McBride said. “But I think flat 22s will be the race pace and we’re right there.”
In his first national appearance of the season, Bodhi Edie of Warman, Sask. qualified fifth quickest with a time of 1:22.918 on the Ffun Motorsports / BMW Motorrad Canada / Blue Streak Racing BMW S1000RR. He will be joined on the second row by top Sunoco / BCR Rookie of the Year contender Kristopher Garvie of Caledon, Ont., who recorded a 1:23.852 on the Genics Inc. Kawasaki ZX-10R, and Scarborough, Ont.’s Chris Murray-Audain, who turned a time of 1:24.424 on his BMW S1000RR.
The top 10 starters for this weekend’s races are rounded out by Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. on the MotoNation BMW S1000RR, Guelph, Ont.’s Matt Cooper riding the Bain Machine Racing / Hindle BMW S1000RR, and the One Speed Suzuki GSX-R1000 ridden by Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley.
In other action at CTMP, Christie extended his lead in the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Championship by claiming his third straight pole position of the season. Christie took his Honda CBR600RR around the track in 1:25.092.
His closest title challenger, Calgary’s John Ross MacRae was second fastest at 1:25.322 aboard the Riedmann Racing / Castrol / Blackfoot Triumph 675 and Falmouth, N.S.’s Austin Shaw-O’Leary set the third fastest time of 1:26.335 riding the O’Leary Bros. / Pro Cycle / GoLo Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
Thornbury, Ont.’s Ben Young completes the front row for this weekend’s races after recording a time of 1:26.491 on his BYR / Tim Hortons (Sudbury) / Hindle Yamaha YZF-R6.
Toronto’s Michael Taylor took his third straight Tactical Products Canada LUMINOX Pole Award in the Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup with a time of 1:31.647 on the Mackie Harley-Davidson entry. Steve Crevier of Maple Ridge, B.C. qualified second fastest at 1:32.495 for the MotoSport Plus team and closed to within five points of class leader Darren James of North Vancouver, who will start fifth in this weekend’s races for the Ruthless Racing squad.
Steve Hoffarth earned his first pole position of the year in qualifying for the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike class at CTMP. The Orangeville, Ont. racer recorded a time of 1:25.928 on his Serpa BMW / Inside Motorcycles BMW S1000RR. Points leader Riley Dawe of Toronto set the fifth best time aboard the Riley Dawe Racing / Adrenaline X / Pete’s Superbike BMW S1000RR and failed to add to his points total.
Marco Sousa of Schomberg, Ont. closed to within 10 points of Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike class points leader Dawe by taking pole on Friday with a time of 1:27.574 on his Suzuki GSX-R600. Dawe qualified third at 1:28.042 riding his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Peterborough, Ont.’s Tomas Casas edged closer to wrapping up the Honda CBR250R National Race Series title at CTMP this weekend, as he took pole position by turning a lap at 1:51.222 on his Peterborough Cycle Salvage-backed entry.
Action at CTMP continues Saturday with feature races for all six national classes. Practice begins at 9:00 a.m. with the first race, for the Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup, set to launch at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-866-1072 or (905) 983-9141, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans can also visit the website at www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com.
Video coverage of both Mopar Pro Superbike races, Sunday’s Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup event and Saturday’s Honda CBR250R National will be available on www.csbk.ca, as well as highlights from the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike races.
Mopar Pro Superbike Qualifying Results
1. Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:21.533 (174.717km/h)
2. Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:21.985
3. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:22.284
4. Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:22.306
5. Bodhi Edie, Warman, Sask., BMW S1000RR, 1:22.918
6. Kristopher Garvie, Caledon, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 1:23.852
7. Chris Murray-Audain, Scarborough, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:24.424
8. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:24.646
9. Matt Cooper, Guelph, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:24.830
10. Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:25.317
11. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Aprilia RSV4 Factory, 1:24.947
12. Franklyn Dominguez, St-Lazare, Que., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:25.078
13. Scott Rupert, Gadshill, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:25.649
14. MJ Boucher, Montreal, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:25.790
15. Martin Ricard, Montreal, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 1:26.517
16. Austin Shaw-O’Leary, Falmouth, N.S., Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:26.559
17. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 1:27.080
18. Philippe Masse, St-Hyacinthe, Que., Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1:27.672
19. Will Hornblower, Sarnia, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, No Time
20. Tim Robinson, Gatineau, Que., BMW S1000RR, No Time
21. Michael Leon, Beaconsfield, Que., MV Agusta F3, No Time
–From Frontline CSBK Inc.