SZOKE COMPLETES PERFECT SEASON
SHUBENACADIE, N.S. (August 8) - Jordan Szoke made Canadian motorcycle racing history at Atlantic Motorsport Park on Sunday as he won the final round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship.
The victory gave the Brantford, Ont. rider a perfect season of seven race wins from seven starts. No other rider has ever accomplished the feat in the 30-year history of the national Superbike championship.
Szoke rode his Waznie Racing / BMC Ciclo Werks / DeWildt Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR1000RR to a 9.116-second victory over the Orion Motorsports / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR of Kars, Ont.'s Andrew Nelson.
Michael Ferreira of Mississauga, Ont. completed the podium on the radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR.
Szoke completed the 22 laps around the 2.54km (1.6-mile) circuit in 25 minutes, 7.925 seconds for an average speed of 134.458 km/h (84.036 mph).
On Saturday Szoke clinched his record seventh Canadian Superbike title and his fifth Parts Canada Superbike crown in a row.
"At the start of the year I thought we'd be able to put together a good challenge for the championship, but to do this is unbelievable," said Szoke after his 36th career Canadian Superbike win. "When you think back on the whole year, it's so easy to make just one mistake that could cost you a race. To do what I did is still shocking to me."
As he did on Saturday, Szoke led every lap from pole position, shaking off early pressure from Nelson.
"I got a bit of a gap early and then I slowed it down a little," Szoke said. "I tried to get enough of a lead that if something did happen I'd be able to bring it home. But Andrew was on me the whole race. These guys have kept me honest all season."
Nelson latched onto Szoke off the start but a mistake on lap five cost him time and he was never able to get close enough to challenge Szoke for the lead.
His second consecutive runner-up finish was enough to move up to second in the final Parts Canada Superbike Championship standings with 244 points, his best ever year-end ranking. Szoke completed the season with 376 points.
"I finally got a pretty good start," said the 25-year-old Nelson. "But I got into turn three a little hotter than I wanted to and lost some ground. I put in a few hard laps to try and catch back up but I think I overworked myself and my bike. But I can't complain about my weekend. Everybody's been finishing second to Jordan this season."
Ferreira came out on top of a wild three-rider battle to claim the final spot on the podium. For most of the race he was able to hold off the Jodi Christie Racing / Durham Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR600RR of Jodi Christie and Alex Welsh on the Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team Kawasaki ZX-6R.
But on lap 18 Welsh got around Christie and he and Ferreira traded third spot over the closing laps. Exiting the last turn on the final lap, Ferreira got under the Uxbridge, Ont. rider and won a drag race to the finish line, while Keene, Ont.'s Christie also managed to squeeze ahead of Welsh for fourth spot.
The three were covered by just 0.277 secs. at the line.
"It was a good battle all along," said Ferreira, who ended the season fifth in the Superbike standings. "When Alex got by me I knew I'd have to do it in the final corner, and I was worried he'd block it.
"When we got here on Thursday this was the last thing on my mind. I've never ridden a Superbike here before and I thought I'd be lucky to get into the top five."
Francis Martin of Sherbrooke, Que. took sixth on his radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR, despite riding with a sprained left ankle sustained in a crash in Saturday's Superbike race.
The two-time national champion placed third in the final standings, 10 points behind Nelson with 234. Christie finished fourth in the rankings with 197 points.
Kleinburg, Ont.'s Frank Trombino was left on the sidelines on Sunday. The ProStar Motorsports / Sturgess Cycle Honda rider suffered broken bones in his left hand and right foot following crashes on Saturday.
In other action at AMP, Szoke also won the Pro Sport Bike season finale on his Honda CBR600RR, finishing 4.396 secs. ahead of the Kawasaki ZX- 6R of Welsh. Christie completed the podium on another Honda.
Szoke had already clinched the title on Saturday and finished the season with six wins from seven events.
Amateur Sport Bike champion Raphael Archambault dominated the final round of the season on his Archambault Racing / Centre Hamel Honda CBR600RR. The St-Colomban, Que. racer finished 13.427 secs. clear of the Walter Chappell Well Drilling Honda CBR600RR ridden by Kinsac, N.S.'s Charlie Legere.
Bobby Baldwin of Frankville, N.S. completed the podium aboard the Babins Racing Suzuki GSX-R600.
Quesnel, B.C.'s Ryan Appenrodt wrapped up the Honda CBR125R Challenge at AMP with a sixth place finish in Sunday's race. The result left him with 398 points to the 357 of runner-up Loic Viscasillas from Laval, Que., who took seventh in Sunday's race.
Will Hornblower of Sarnia, Ont. took his second straight victory with Calgary riders Cody Conrad and Ian McWhirter second and third, respectively.
Newly-crowned K&N Filters' Sport Twins champion Rob Busby of Brantford, Ont. won the final round on his Buell XB12R. Mississauga, Ont.'s Brent Strong placed second and Blackstock, Ont. racer Stuart Pilkington was third, both on Suzuki SV650s.
Cochrane, Alta.'s Cody Matechuk, of the Acceleration Racing Suzuki team secured the HJC Pro Rookie of the Year award and Waznie Racing / BMC Ciclo Werks / DeWildt Honda Powerhouse took the Inside Motorcycles Team of the Year award.
This weekend's action from Atlantic Motorsport Park will air in three one-hour episodes on TSN HD and TSN. The first will premier on Sept. 21, the second will air on Sept. 28 and the third will be shown on Oct. 5.
All episodes are scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Please check local listings to confirm dates and times or visit the series website at www.cdnsuperbike.com.