SHANNONVILLE, Ont. (June 23, 2012) – Seven-time Canadian Superbike champion Jordan Szoke got the early jump on his bid for an eighth title by claiming pole position for the opening round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Saturday.
The Brantford, Ont. rider took his Waznie Racing / Parts Canada / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR around the 2.45km (1.53-mile) Shannonville ‘Pro’ track in one minute, 4.749 seconds to earn the prime starting spot for Sunday’s 22-lap race and four points toward the title chase.
Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont. qualified second with a time of 1:05.116 on his Nelson Racing / Endras Motorrad / mcn.tv BMW S1000RR and St-Cesaire, Que.’s Kevin Lacombe was third fastest on the Team Couturier Racing BMW S1000RR with a 1:05.119.
Matt McBride of Mississauga, Ont. completes the front row for Sunday’s race after recording a time of 1:05.244 on the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR. Just under half a second covered the front row qualifiers after a very competitive session.
“I felt really comfortable and I think I could have gone quicker,” said Szoke, who won five straight national Superbike crowns between 2006 and 2010 and placed second in last year’s series. “We’re really concentrating on consistency and getting a nice feel with the bike over a lot of laps. We’ll make some minor changes for tomorrow but I’m really happy with the time.”
Szoke did suffer a fall in turn three with about two and a half minutes left in the session but was uninjured.
“That surprised me,” Szoke admitted. “I wasn’t going crazy but it was slippery through there and I just lost the front tire.”
Like Szoke, Nelson turned in his best lap early in the final 15-minute qualifying shootout and his time was his best of the weekend.
“I’m happy I’m second,” said Nelson, who is still looking for his first Canadian Superbike win. “We made a lot of changes from yesterday and it feels good; I think we’ve found the right balance. I think I can do consistent 5.1s in the race tomorrow. We’ll make some small tweaks, but nothing much.”
Lacombe jumped up the order right at the end of the qualifying session, moving up to third on his final lap.
“We tried some new stuff, mostly working on the clutch and the traction control, and we put on a new tire for the last 15 minutes,” said Lacombe, who has been out of racing for two years. “I’m having a hard time getting used to things. Riding the bike and pushing it to the limit are two different things.”
McBride had been fastest in all three practice sessions leading up to qualifying but was unable to duplicate that performance in the final session.
Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. qualified fifth fastest and was top non-BMW runner with a time of 1:05.342 on his Jodi Christie Racing / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR600RR. He will be joined on the second row by Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont., who recorded a best lap of 1:06.057 on his 725 Sports / Acme Slate Suzuki GSX-R600, and the AW7R / Kenwood Eelectronics Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Alex Welsh. Welsh was bothered by electrical troubles throughout practice and qualifying on Saturday.
The top 10 for Sunday’s race is rounded out by the Edie Racing / Blue Streak Racing / Fast Company BMW S1000RR of Warman, Sask.’s Bodhi Edie, Francois Dumas of St-Raymond, Que. on the Team Dumas Superbike / boulangeriedumas.ca BMW S1000RR, and Parry Sound, Ont.’s Aubrey Bailey on the ProStar Motorsports Honda CBR600RR.
In other action at Shannonville, Christie qualified fastest for the K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike race with a time of 1:05.605 on his Honda CBR600RR. The defending class champion led throughout the session, and a quick lap near the end protected his pole position against a late assault from Trombino, who settled for second with a 1:05.777 aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600.
“We made a few small suspension adjustments after yesterday and I was confident going into qualifying,” Christie said. “I knew the bike was good and it felt good throughout the session.”
Raphael Archambault of Terrebonne, Que. was third fastest with a 1:06.170 on the Team Archambault Racing / Picotte Motorsports / G Suspension Suzuki GSX-R600.
Bailey qualified fourth fastest for Sunday’s 18-lap race with a time of 1:06.759 on his Honda CBR600RR and rookie Pro Amzy Nawaz of Thornton, Ont. had the fifth best qualifying time of 1:07.230 aboard the Velocity Sportsgear Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Defending class champion Steve Crevier qualified on pole for the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup at Shannonville, with a time of 1:10.402 on his MotoSport Plus entry. For his efforts the Maple Ridge, B.C. racer earned the Tactical Products Canada Pole Award, which includes a Swiss made Luminox watch, Luminox Sports Bag, Luminox t-shirt and Luminox Cap.
The Ruthless Racing duo of Darren James and John Ross MacRae qualified second and third, respectively. James, from North Vancouver, recorded a lap at 1:11.345 and Calgary’s MacRae managed a time of 1:11.718.
Tim Robinson of Gatineau, Que. grabbed pole position for the Bazzaz Amateur Superbike class with a time of 1:08.148 on the Robinson Racing / Gym-Max BMW S1000RR while St-Jerome, Que.’s Jean-Francois Aubin was top qualifier in the Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike class, recording a 1:08.938 on his Suzuki GSX-R600.
In the first racing action of the 2012 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship season, Pickering, Ont.’s Ryan Roche edged Tomas Casas of Peterborough, Ont. by just 0.050 secs. to win the opening round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series. Roche passed Casas just a few corners from the finish and then withstood a challenge on the run to the checkered flag for the victory.
Last year’s Honda CBR125R Challenge champ Stacey Nesbitt of St-Lazare, Que. completed the podium.
Montreal rider Costa Mouzouris of Inside Motorcycles magazine finished fourth overall and won the Media Challenge.
Action at Shannonville concludes on Sunday with feature races in all six national classes. Practice begins at 8:30 a.m. with the first race, round two of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series, set to start at Noon.
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