SZOKE GOES FOR MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
SHUBENACADIE, N.S. (August 4) - Seven is the magic number for Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke as the 2010 Parts Canada Superbike Championship wraps up at Atlantic Motorsport Park this weekend.
The 31-year-old rider is in position to lock up a record seventh Canadian Superbike crown at the 2.56km (1.6-mile) road course near Halifax.
And if he sweeps this weekend's pair of Parts Canada Superbike races on his Waznie Racing / BMC Ciclo Werks / DeWildt Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR1000RR he will complete a perfect seven-for-seven season, something never accomplished in the 30-year history of the premier class.
If he clinches the 2010 Parts Canada Superbike title it will be his fifth straight national crown, again a feat never before achieved in the series.
"The primary goal is to win the championship," said Szoke at a press conference at Pro Cycle in Dartmouth, N.S. on Wednesday. "That's what we're here to do. But it's not often you get to be in the position I'm in, with a chance to have a perfect season. I'm lucky enough to have a good points lead, so you never know."
Indeed, Szoke enjoys a 74-point edge (268-194) over his closest title rival, Sherbrooke, Que.'s Francis Martin heading into the doubleheader race weekend at AMP. With 50 points available for a race win, Szoke could secure the title on Saturday afternoon and be free to race for the victory on Sunday with no pressure on him.
However, Szoke's rivals have been closing the gap as the season has progressed. Martin has finished runner-up to Szoke in the past three Parts Canada Superbike Championship races on the radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR. The two-time Canadian Superbike champion is ready to give the bike its first national Superbike win in what has been a sensational debut season for the team.
Andrew Nelson has moved into third in points with 157 points and the Kars, Ont. rider is coming off a dominant performance at AMP in last weekend's Atlantic Roadracing League regional event on his Orion Motorsports / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR.
A couple of youngsters lie fourth and fifth in the standings and both have shown they can run with the leaders. Last year's HJC Pro Rookie of the Year Award winner Jodi Christie has 135 points on his Jodi Christie Racing / Durham Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR600RR. The 18-year-old from Keene, Ont. finished a very close second to Szoke in the opening round of the season at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que.
Just five points behind him in the standings is Cochrane, Alta.'s Cody Matechuk, who looks set to wrap up Pro Rookie of the Year honors at AMP this weekend. The 16-year-old's season has been highlighted by a third place finish at his home track of Race City Motorsport Park on the Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Martin's teammate Mike Ferreira has been a consistent top five runner this summer on his radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada entry and only a DNF at round four at Mosport prevents the Mississauga, Ont. rider from being higher in the standings.
Uxbridge, Ont.'s Alex Welsh is another young racer who should be in the thick of the action on his Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team entry. The former Pro Rookie of the Year is seventh in the standings with 106 points, six behind Ferreira.
Granby, Que.'s Kevin Lacombe missed the last race at Mosport but the rider of the Lacombe Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 is a three-time Superbike winner at AMP.
Szoke is also trying to wrap up his fifth straight title in the Pro Sport Bike class and complete a perfect season on his Honda CBR600RR. Should he clinch the championship Szoke would tie the record of Nova Scotia legend Don Munroe.
The fight should come from Christie, who trails Szoke by 53 points in the standings (266-213) and has finished second in four out of five races. He salvaged third in the most recent event at Mosport after he crashed while battling for the win.
Matechuk ranks third on points on his Suzuki with 151 and is just a point ahead of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.'s Dave Estok, who is due for a podium finish with the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada / Ruthless Racing Buell 1125R.
Fifth in the standings is Jean-Francois Cyr with 108 points on his CyRacing Suzuki GSX-R600. The Ste-Adele, Que. racer has two podium finishes to his credit.
This weekend's action also includes the final rounds of the Amateur Sport Bike, K&N Filters' Sport Twins and Honda CBR125R Challenge national classes.
Raphael Archambault of St-Colomban, Que. could complete a perfect season in the Amateur Sport Bike class with a pair of wins on his Archambault Racing / Centre Hamel Honda CBR600RR.
Brantford, Ont.'s Rob Busby enjoys a 67-point lead over fellow Buell rider Olivier Spilborghs of White Rock, B.C. in the Sport Twins division.
Quesnel, B.C.'s Ryan Appenrodt enjoys a 53-point advantage over Laval, Que. rider Loic Viscasillas in the Honda CBR125R Challenge standings.
Practice and qualifying for this weekend's races will take place Friday. Qualifying will include the Pirelli SuperPole for the Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award in the Parts Canada Superbike class. Races in all national classes will go Saturday and Sunday.
Weekend tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the gate. Tickets for Sunday only are $30. Camping is $20 per vehicle. For more info go to www.atlanticroadracing.com.