SZOKE WINS TO CLINCH TITLE
SHUBENACADIE, N.S. (August 7) - Jordan Szoke clinched his fifth straight Parts Canada Superbike Championship and seventh career national title in style with a victory in the penultimate round of the series at Atlantic Motorsport Park on Saturday.
Starting from pole position on the Waznie Racing / BMC Ciclo Werks / DeWildt Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR1000RR Szoke led all 20 laps of the red- flag shortened race around the 2.56km (1.6-mile) AMP circuit, finishing 2.817 seconds ahead of Andrew Nelson on the Orion Motorsports / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR.
Szoke completed the distance in 22 minutes, 54.474 seconds for an average speed of 134.102 km/h (83.814 mph).
The win was Szoke's sixth of the season and he can complete an unprecedented perfect year with a victory in Sunday's season finale.
Szoke's closest challenger for the championship coming into the weekend, Francis Martin of Sherbrooke, Que. was involved in the crash that brought out the red flag and was classified 13th in the results.
Szoke now has 324 points in the standings to the 207 of Martin.
"It's been a dream come true this season with the success I've had," said the 31-year-old Szoke, from Brantford, Ont. "We've got one more race tomorrow and I want to win that one bad. The pressure's off now and we're going to do everything we can."
For the first half of the race Szoke led a four-rider battle for the first place that included Martin's radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR, Nelson and Frank Trombino on the ProStar Motorsports / Sturgess Cycle Honda CBR1000RR.
By lap 11, however, the championship leader was able to open a margin and despite a charge from Trombino stayed in front for his record- extending 35th career national Superbike win.
"I had a good start and I wanted to try to win," explained Szoke, who turned the race's fastest lap of 1:08.176 on lap five. "But I didn't want to fall and lose the championship. I slowed down mid race and Frank was able to catch up, and I had to wick it up again."
After running as far back as fourth Nelson took over second spot on lap 18 to claim his best career national Superbike finish.
"I had the worst start I think I've ever had," admitted the 25-year- old Nelson, who closed to within five points of Martin for second in the Parts Canada Superbike standings heading into Sunday's season finale. "I should have tried to pass Francis a few laps earlier. I had a few opportunities in turn three."
Trombino was running third on lap 21 but struggling with a throttle issue that forced him to slow suddenly on the back straight, and he was hit by Martin. The resulting accident caused the race to be red flagged two laps before the scheduled completion.
Both riders were transported to hospital in Halifax with leg injuries.
The incident moved Martin's team-mate Michael Ferreira up to third place in the final results on his radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada S1000RR.
"It's unfortunate the way I got here but that's part of racing," said the Mississauga, Ont. rider after his first career Superbike podium result. "It was a long race, very physical. We had a bit of a tire issue in the later part of the race so I really put my head down the last couple of laps."
Ferreira was almost caught in the closing laps by Alex Welsh on the Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team Kawasaki ZX-6R and Jodi Christie's Jodi Christie Racing / Durham Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR600RR. After running second off the start Uxbridge, Ont.'s Welsh finished fourth while Christie, from Keene, Ont. took fifth.
Top rookie Cody Matechuk of Cochrane, Alta. completed the top six finishers on his Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R600.
In other action at AMP, Szoke also wrapped up the Pro Sport Bike title, although he lost his shot at a perfect season when he crashed while trying to take the lead on the final lap.
Instead victory went to Welsh, who led all 18 laps on his Kawasaki ZX- 6R. Jean-Francois Cyr of Ste-Adele, Que. took second on the CyRacing Suzuki GSX-R600, 16.296 secs. behind, with Matechuk third on his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Szoke restarted to cross the line fourth and clinch the title with 302 points to the 233 of Christie, who crashed earlier in the race and finished 11th on his Honda CBR600RR.
Brantford, Ont.'s Rob Busby secured the K&N Filters' Sport Twins title on Saturday with his fifth win of the season on his Buell XB12R. Busby crossed the line 2.938 secs. ahead of the Suzuki SV650 of Mississauga, Ont.'s Brent Strong while his closest title challenger, Olivier Spilborghs of White Rock, B.C., settled for third on a Buell XB9R.
After clinching the Amateur Sport Bike title on Friday Raphael Archambault saw his bid for a perfect season end with a crash in Saturday's race. Instead victory went to Jeremie Hade Precourt of Granby, Que. on the JHP Racing / Picotte Performance Suzuki GSX-R600.
Charlie Legere of Kinsac, N.S. took second on the Walter Chappell Well Drilling Honda CBR600RR and Hamilton, Ont.'s Steven Nickerson placed third riding the STN Racing / DeWildt Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR600RR.
Will Hornblower of Sarnia, Ont. claimed his first victory in the Honda CBR125R Challenge, finishing 3.590 secs. ahead of Calgary's Cody Conrad in Saturday's race. Austin Shaw-O'Leary completed the podium after a dramatic run through the grass when he lost control of his bike exiting the final corner.
Laval, Que.'s Loic Viscasillas finished fifth to stay in the hunt for the series title heading into Sunday's last round. He is 38 points behind Ryan Appenrodt of Quesnel, B.C., who placed 14th on Saturday after a crash.
This weekend's action at Atlantic Motorsport Park concludes with another set of feature races in all five national classes on Sunday. Practice begins at 9:00 a.m. with the first race set to go at 12:45 p.m.
Sunday tickets are $30. For more info go to www.atlanticroadracing.com.
-source: cdn superbike