TORONTO, Ont. (June 20, 2012) – The Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship will have a strange look when the 2012 season opens at Shannonville Motorsport Park this weekend. For the first time since 2006 Jordan Szoke will not be wearing the number one plate on his motorcycle.
After a record-breaking string of five straight national championships between 2006 and 2010, the Brantford, Ont. ace was beaten to the title by Brett McCormick last season. While McCormick has moved on to the World Superbike wars, Szoke will be looking to reclaim the top spot in Canadian motorcycle road racing this summer.
There will be some other unfamiliar pieces to Szoke’s 2012 title campaign. Following the withdrawal of the Canadian Kawasaki Motors team at the end of 2011, Szoke will be running his own squad this summer and riding a BMW S1000RR. McCormick rode the BMW to last year’s success, so the potential of the machine is clearly there, but Szoke and his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada team will have the challenge of working with unfamiliar equipment.
One of Szoke’s chief rivals will be a racer who has plenty of experience aboard the BMW. Kars, Ont.’s Andrew Nelson comes to Shannonville with two years aboard the S1000RR. Nelson finished second in the national Superbike championship in 2010 and third last season. Although the rider of the Endras BMW / mcn.tv / mcnsports.tv entry has yet to score his first career Canadian Superbike win, he has been knocking on the door recently and has enjoyed strong performances at Shannonville in the past.
Also BMW-mounted will be Kevin Lacombe, who makes his return to Canadian road racing after an almost two-year absence. The Granby, Que. ace will ride the ex-McCormick machine in the Couturier Racing team that showed well with Francis Martin last summer. Former BMW factory crew chief Patrice Goyette enhances an already formidable package.
Joining Lacombe in the Couturier Racing squad will be Magog, Que.’s Samuel Proulx, a contender for Rookie of the Year honours after an impressive Amateur season in 2011.
Another young lion aboard the BMW will be last year’s Pro Rookie of the Year in the national series, Warman, Sask.’s Bodhi Edie.
Leading the charge against the BMWs will be Alex Welsh. The Uxbridge, Ont. rider will run the same Suzuki GSX-R1000 he competed with last summer, when he finished sixth in the national point standings. Welsh gave a hint of his potential for the coming season when he won the RACE SuperSeries regional opener at Shannonville at the start of May.
This weekend’s racing also sees the opening rounds of the K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike, Bazzaz Amateur Superbike, Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike and Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup series. The event will also mark the debut of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series, which replaces the CBR125R Challenge.
Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. is the defending Pro Sport Bike champion and won the class at the RACE Super Series opener on his Honda CBR600RR. Other challengers should include two of 2011’s top Amateurs, Kristopher Garvie of Caledon, Ont. and Thornton, Ont.’s Amzy Nawaz.
Steve Crevier of Maple Ridge, B.C. defends his XR1200 Cup crown against the likes of former Superbike sparring partner Michael Taylor of Toronto and North Vancouver’s Darren James.
Ottawa’s Tim Robinson, Parry Sound, Ont.’s Aubrey Bailey and Falmouth, N.S. racer Austin Shaw-O’Leary will be among the names to watch in the Amateur classes. Robinson won the Amateur Superbike feature in the RACE SuperSeries opener, while Bailey swept all four Amateur races at last summer’s Shannonville national. Shaw-O’Leary has got off to a winning start in Atlantic Roadracing League regional action at home.
St-Lazare, Que.’s Stacey Nesbitt will attempt to follow-up her CBR125R national championship in 2011 with the CBR250R crown this summer.
Practice for this weekend’s event gets underway Friday with qualifying, including the battle for Pirelli SuperPole in the Mopar Pro Superbike division, 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.
Final 2011 Point Standings
Mopar Pro Superbike: 1. Brett McCormick (BMW) 328; 2. Jordan Szoke (Kawasaki) 318; 3. Andrew Nelson (BMW) 226; 4. Mike Ferreira (BMW) 216; 5. Jodi Christie (Honda) 195
K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike: 1. Jodi Christie (Honda) 327; 2. Alex Welsh (Suzuki) 316; 3. Frank Trombino (Suzuki) 234
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup: 1. Steve Crevier 347; 2. Cody Matechuk 256; 3. Darren James 237
Bazzaz Amateur Superbike: 1. Jody Greening (Honda) 263; 2. Kristopher Garvie (Kawasaki) 223; 3. Amzy Nawaz (Kawasaki) 186
Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike: 1. Kristopher Garvie (Kawasaki) 300; 2. Samuel Proulx (Suzuki) 264; 3. Amzy Nawaz (Kawasaki) 227
Honda CBR125R Challenge: 1. Stacey Nesbitt 421; 2. Austin Shaw-O’Leary 369; 3. Scott Lingelbach 324
Recent Shannonville Superbike National Wins
2011 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) BMW; Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) BMW
2009 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) Suzuki
2008 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) Kawasaki
2007 – Steve Crevier (Maple Ridge, B.C.) Yamaha
2006 – Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) Kawasaki; Kevin Lacombe (Granby, Que.) Yamaha
Shannonville Fast Facts
…Home cooking doesn’t necessarily seem to sit well with Superbike racers at Shannonville Motorsport Park. Of the 17 national events to be held at SMP in the past 10 years, only two have been won by Ontario riders. Frank Trombino of Woodbridge, Ont. was victorious in 2002 and Brantford, Ont.’s Jordan Szoke triumphed in 2006.
…Does Jordan Szoke have a Shannonville jinx? Incredibly, the winningest rider in Canadian national history has only scored three of his 37 triumphs at SMP. And only one of those victories came in a year in which he would go on to claim the Canadian national title. That was in 2006. The series did not visit the venue in 2010, the year Szoke pulled off his perfect season.
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Saturday, June 23
10:15 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Prequalifying
11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Qualifying
1:00 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. – K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike Qualifying
2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying
2:30 p.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Race (10 laps)
3:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Pirelli SuperPole Qualifying
3:50 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. – Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Qualifying
4:45 p.m. – 5:05 p.m. – Bazzaz Amateur Superbike Qualifying
Sunday, June 24
12:00 p.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Race (10 laps)
1:00 p.m. – K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike Race (18 laps)
Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Race (14 laps)
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Race (16 laps)
3:20 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Race (22 laps)
Bazzaz Amateur Superbike Race (14 laps)
Supporters of the 2012 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship are:
Chrysler Canada, BMW Motorrad Canada, Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada, Pirelli, Honda Canada, Suzuki Canada, Canadian Kawasaki, Yamaha Motor Canada, Dyno Jet, Bazzaz, Design Junkies, Inside Motorcycles, K&N Filters, Kicker®, MMIC, Medical Data Carrier Inc., Dua Motorsports and Tactical Products Canada.
For additional information please contact:
Alicia Brimo John Hopkins
Frontline CSBK Inc. Inside Track Communications