SZOKE ON POLE
MONT-TREMBLANT, QC -- Brantford, ON's Jordan Szoke will start from pole position for Sunday's Parts Canada Superbike Championship event at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant after qualifying was cancelled on Saturday afternoon.
With no qualifying times to set the starting line-up, Parts Canada Superbike series point standings will be used, putting Szoke in top spot on his Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R. The two-time national champion won the opening round of the season at Shannonville Motorsport Park on May 21 and leads the standings with 54 points.
Persistent rain made track conditions uncertain for qualifying with the surface never settling into a completely dry or wet state. Series organizers Professional Motorsport Productions, in conjunction with technical partner Pirelli, made the decision to cancel the scheduled 40- minute session.
"I respect the safety decision side of it," Szoke said. "The series organizers are trying to put on a good show for Sunday."
Picotte Performance / Yamaha Canada / Toyota Yamaha rider Kevin Lacombe of Granby, QC will line-up second on Sunday. Defending Parts Canada Superbike champion Francis Martin of Rock Forest, QC will start third on the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Szoke's teammate Tom Kipp of Chardon, OH will complete the front row on his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Kipp was fastest in Saturday morning's damp practice session with a time of one minute, 51.250 seconds around the 4.27km circuit, for an average speed of 138.0 km/h.
On a dry track on Friday Szoke set the pace with a time of 1:40.135 (153.3 km/h).
"The bike is set up and we're ready to go," said Szoke, who won the most recent Superbike national at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in August, 2004. "This type of track seems to suit me."
Injured two-time Parts Canada Superbike champ Pascal Picotte of St- Cecil Milton, QC will start fifth on his Picotte Performance / Yamaha Canada / Toyota Yamaha YZF-R1.
"I'm happy about the [qualifying] decision," Picotte said. "I appreciate PMP taking into consideration our safety."
The conditions also forced the cancellation of scheduled qualifying for the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike series. Class points leader Szoke will also start from pole for that event on Sunday on his Kawasaki ZX-6RR. Joining him on the front row will be Calgary's Clint McBain on his Team Suzuki / Blackfoot Suzuki GSX-R600, Lacombe on a Yamaha YZF-R6 and Kipp's Kawasaki ZX-6RR.
Qualifying sessions were held for the three other national classes at Le Circuit. For the second race in a row, Hamilton's Ross Millson claimed pole position for the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike class. The Suzuki rider put in a time of 1:55.966 to top 14-year-old Brett McCormick of Saskatoon on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Mark Carmichael of Langley, BC will start third on a Suzuki GSX-R600.
Buell rider Darren James of North Vancouver edged teammate McCormick for pole position for Sunday's Canadian Thunder feature, and Michel Roberge of St-Germain, QC grabbed pole position for the Suzuki SV650 National Cup feature.
Practice Sunday begins at 9:00 a.m. with the first race scheduled for a 12:40 p.m. start.