TORONTO, Ont. – Jordan Szoke takes his quest for an unprecedented eighth national Superbike title to historic Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, N.S. this weekend for the third round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship.
The rolling 2.56km (1.6-mile), 11-turn circuit has been a happy hunting ground for Szoke, who has five Superbike wins at the track, including a sweep of the doubleheader there in 2010.
This weekend’s race will be the 29th Superbike national at AMP, which was built in 1974 and hosted its first Canadian Superbike event in 1987.
Brantford, Ont.’s Szoke comes into this weekend’s event, which marks the end of the first half of the 2012 season, on top of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings thanks to his victory two weeks ago at Autodrome St-Eustache on the Waznie Racing / Parts Canada / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR.
But despite his position at the top of the standings, Szoke is up against one of the most competitive fields in recent national Superbike competition, and races at AMP are typically close and competitive affairs. At the 2012 season opener at Shannonville Motorsport Park, Szoke could only manage a third place finish behind winner Andrew Nelson and Matt McBride, while at St-Eustache he had to withstand challenges from eventual runner-up Alex Welsh and Kevin Lacombe.
Nelson comes into this weekend second in points behind Szoke, who has 97 points to Nelson’s 86. The Kars, Ont. racer could only manage a fifth place finish at St-Eustache on the Nelson Racing / Endras Mottorad / mcn.tv BMW S1000RR but he gave Szoke a tough fight in both races in 2010 and has won a Pro Sport Bike national at AMP.
Welsh is third on 75 points and the Uxbridge, Ont. racer has set fastest lap in the opening two rounds on the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000. He took his first career Pro national win in the Sport Bike class at AMP in 2010.
Just four points behind Welsh in the standings in fourth place is Lacombe, who won Superbike nationals at AMP in 2005 and 2006. The St-Cesaire, Que. rider is back racing after a two-year layoff and placed third at St- Eustache on the Team Couturier Racing BMW S1000RR.
Fifth in points is Mississauga, Ont.’s McBride, who is coming off a disappointing seventh at St-Eustache on the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR after his great runner-up result at Shannonville.
Next up is Jodi Christie Racing / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR600RR rider Jodi Christie. The Keene, Ont. ace finished an impressive third at AMP in last year’s Superbike national and placed an excellent fourth at St-Eustache two weeks ago.
Christie will also be hoping to extend his lead in the K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike class this weekend. The defending class champ is coming off a convincing win at St-Eustache. Opening round winner Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont. comes into this race second in the standings on his Acme Slate / Big Style Customs Suzuki GSX-R600 while second year Pro Raphael Archambault of Terrebonne, Que. is third riding the Team Archambault Racing / Picotte Motorsports / G Suspension Suzuki GSX-R600.
Christie won the Pro Sport Bike race at AMP last summer on the way to his first career national Pro title.
Maple Ridge, B.C.’s Steve Crevier will be going for his third straight win, and second consecutive at AMP, in the Deeley Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup on his MotoSport Plus-backed entry.
Vancouver’s Darren James is second in the standings on the Ruthless Racing entry and Michael Taylor of Toronto has moved into third in points for the Mackie Harley-Davidson team.
Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley, riding the One Speed / Riders Choice Suzuki GSX-R1000, takes a narrow lead over St-Eustache winner Simon Hamel in the Bazzaz Amateur Sport Bike Championship standings into AMP.
Philippe Masse of St-Hyacinthe, Que. will aim to maintain his perfect record in Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike aboard the Racingphil.com / Pete’s Superbike Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Honda CBR250R National Race Series points leader Ryan Roche of Pickering, Ont. will try to get back on the winning track this weekend after being shut out in the St-Eustache doubleheader.
Practice for this weekend’s event gets underway Friday with qualifying taking place on Saturday. The first of two Honda CBR250R National Race Series rounds goes Saturday afternoon, with feature races in all six national classes set for Sunday.
For ticket information call the track at 902-488-0380 or the Atlantic Roadracing League at 902-758-2237.
Or go to atlanticroadracing.com or www.atlanticmotorsportpark.com.
2012 Point Standings Mopar Pro Superbike: 1. Jordan Szoke (BMW) 97; 2. Andrew Nelson (BMW) 86; 3. Alex Welsh (Suzuki) 75; 4. Kevin Lacombe (BMW) 71; 5. Matt McBride (BMW) 68
K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike: 1. Jodi Christie (Honda) 104; 2. Frank Trombino (Suzuki) 98; 3. Raphael Archambault (Suzuki) 73
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup: 1. Steve Crevier 112; 2. Darren James 84; 3. Michael Taylor 76
Bazzaz Amateur Superbike: 1. Trevor Daley (Suzuki) 93; 2. Simon Hamel (BMW) 90; 3. Philippe Masse (Kawasaki) 69
Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike: 1. Philippe Masse (Kawasaki) 107; 2. Jean-Francois Aubin (Suzuki) 84; 3. Will Hornblower (Yamaha) 73
Honda CBR250R National Race Series: 1. Ryan Roche 193; 2. Stacey Nesbitt 175; 3. Sean Smith 136
Recent Atlantic Motorsport Park Superbike National Wins
2011 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) BMW 2010 – Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) Honda; Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) Honda 2009 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) Suzuki 2008 – Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) Kawasaki; Clint McBain (Cochrane, Alta.) Suzuki 2007 – Steve Crevier (Maple Ridge, B.C.) Yamaha
Atlantic Motorsport Park Fast Facts
At the previous Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship round at Autodrome St-Eustache, Jordan Szoke tied a national record by winning on the fourth different brand of motorcycle in his career. The Brantford, Ont. ace has ridden Kawasakis, Hondas, Suzukis, and now BMWs into victory lane. The only other rider to achieve this feat is none other than Steve Crevier, who was victorious for Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki in his career.
Don’t look for this weekend’s Superbike result to give a clue to the outcome of the 2012 Mopar Canadian Championship season. In only three of the past eight years has the Superbike winner at Atlantic Motorsport Park gone on to win the Canadian crown, although it has been the case the past two seasons – Brett McCormick triumphed last year and Jordan Szoke swept the doubleheader in 2010.
Provisional Weekend Schedule