TITLE BATTLE HEATS UP STIRLING, ON -- The heat is on for the Parts Canada Superbike Championship title contenders as the series reaches its penultimate round at Nova Scotia's Atlantic Motorsport Park this weekend. Defending series champion...
TITLE BATTLE HEATS UP STIRLING, ON -- The heat is on for the Parts Canada Superbike Championship title contenders as the series reaches its penultimate round at Nova Scotia's Atlantic Motorsport Park this weekend.
Defending series champion Jordan Szoke of Brantford, Ont. comes to AMP with a 48-point lead over Maple Ridge, BC's Steve Crevier, 236-188, after the pair split the wins at the most recent round at Mosport International Raceway last month. With 50 points available for a race win, Crevier must essentially finish ahead of Szoke in Sunday's 22-lap race to retain any hope of taking the title battle down to the wire at Shannonville Motorsport Park on the Labour Day Weekend.
Szoke won the first four races of the 2007 season on his Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R before a crash in the second race at Mosport opened the door for Crevier on the Team Toyota Yamaha / Fast Company Yamaha YZF-R1.
And while Szoke comes to the East Coast with a solid lead in the standings he hasn't always enjoyed a great deal of success at the tight and twisty 2.56km (1.6-mile) circuit. The 28-year-old has only two Superbike wins at AMP, the most recent in 2002, while Crevier is the all-time leader at the track with six victories, the last in 2005.
Szoke and Crevier are also battling for the lead on the all-time Canadian Superbike wins list. Currently they are tied at the top with 24 victories each.
Meanwhile, Granby, Que.'s Kevin Lacombe lurks as a potential title spoiler. The Team Toyota Yamaha / Brooklin Cycle Yamaha rider has won three of the last four Superbike races at AMP, including last year's. He enters the weekend third in the Superbike standings with 167 points.
Another threat for victory will be Cochrane, Alta.'s Clint McBain on the Suzuki Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000. Currently fourth in points with 163, McBain has been a threat for victory in three of this season's five races and has been a regular visitor to AMP regional action.
Fellow Suzuki riders Pascal Picotte and Francis Martin of the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Performance team should also be mixing it up at the front. Martin battled with Crevier at Mosport while Picotte scored a second, despite nursing injuries sustained in a fall in Calgary at the beginning of July.
Also worth watching will be Szoke's 15-year-old rookie teammate Brett McCormick. The Saskatoon racer scored his first career podium finish at Mosport and is fifth in points.
Szoke and Crevier will also be duking it out at the front of the Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike field. Szoke, the 2006 champion, leads the championship by 10 points over Crevier, 203-193.
Fans will also be treated to action in the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike, Thunder twins and Suzuki SV650 National Cup support classes this weekend, where the title battles all look likely to go down to the wire.
Suzuki rider Paul Glenn of Keene, Ont. leads Kawasaki's Israel Johnas of Oak Lake, Man. by 17 points in the Amateur 600 standings, 158-141. Michael Leon (Buell) of Beaconsfield, Que. is 14 points up on Toronto's Michael Taylor (BMW) in Thunder, and Martin Grande of Montreal leads Orangeville, Ont.'s Derek Vammus by 18 points in the Suzuki SV Cup rankings.
Practice for all five national classes opens Friday with qualifying set for Saturday afternoon. Races are set to go Sunday.