HISTORY BECKONS AT RACE CITY STIRLING, ON -- When the starting lights turn green in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship race at Race City Motorsport Park Saturday afternoon, history will be made. And by the time the second race in the ...
HISTORY BECKONS AT RACE CITY
STIRLING, ON -- When the starting lights turn green in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship race at Race City Motorsport Park Saturday afternoon, history will be made. And by the time the second race in the doubleheader weekend is over on Sunday, another significant milestone may have been reached.
The opening Superbike race in the Canada Day Weekend spectacular will mark the 25th national feature class event to have been held at the 3.2km (2.0-mile) 11-turn road course. Only Shannonville Motorsport Park near Belleville, Ont. has hosted more national Superbike rounds in the 28-year history of the class, with 41.
Vancouver's Gary Goodfellow won the first Superbike national at Race City in 1987.
There is also a place in Canadian Superbike history on the line for Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory rider Jordan Szoke. If the 28-year-old Brantford, Ont. racer can sweep both Calgary races he will reach 23 career wins and tie Steve Crevier for the most victories in national Superbike competition.
The odds look good for Szoke, the defending Parts Canada Superbike champion. He has won more Superbike features at Race City than any other competitor, including his sixth triumph last year when he outduelled local ace Clint McBain in a thrilling battle. That victory was one of five he scored en route to his third Parts Canada Superbike Championship.
Szoke got his title defence off to a perfect start by winning this year's series opener at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, holding off the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Performance Suzuki GSX- R1000 of St-Cecile de Milton, Que.'s Pascal Picotte.
Szoke will face a tough challenge in his bid to match Crevier's win total this weekend, and Crevier himself may pose the biggest threat. The 41- year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C. overcame a poor starting position to finish fourth at Mont-Tremblant on his Team Toyota Yamaha / Fast Company Yamaha YZF- R1 and the six-time Superbike champion has two Race City wins to his credit.
Also Yamaha-mounted will be last year's Superbike series runner-up Kevin Lacombe of Granby, Que., who was third at Mont-Tremblant on the Team Toyota Yamaha / Brooklin Cycle R1.
The Suzuki threat will include Picotte's teammate Francis Martin of Rock Forest, Que. and Cochrane, Alta.'s McBain on the Suzuki Acceleration Racing entry. McBain swept both ends of the doubleheader at Race City in 2005.
Szoke is joined in the Canadian Kawasaki factory team by 15-year-old rookie Pro Brett McCormick of Saskatoon, who finished an impressive sixth in his debut in round 1.
Szoke will also be looking to sweep both races for the Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike Championship on his Kawasaki ZX-6RR. He is the defending champion in that class and won the season opener. He will likely face his stiffest challenges from Crevier and last year's Race City winner Lacombe on their Yamahas, the Suzuki duo of Picotte and Martin, and young McCormick.
The Race City weekend will also feature doubleheader action for the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike, Thunder twins and Suzuki SV650 National Cup classes.
Qualifying for all five national classes will be held Friday afternoon, with the Superbike and Pro 600 Sport Bike competitors going for the $500 Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award. Feature races will go Saturday and Sunday.