KIPP NIPS SZOKE AT RACE CITY
CALGARY, AB -- Tom Kipp saved his best for last on the opening day of action at round 3 of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park.
The Chardon, OH native turned a lap of one minute, 16.699 seconds (151.1 km/h) around the 3.9km Race City road course on his final lap of practice to end the day with the fastest time.
Kipp's effort on the Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R was just enough to edge his teammate and Parts Canada Superbike points leader Jordan Szoke for the best time of the day. Szoke turned a 1:16.736 on the other factory Kawasaki early in the hour-long afternoon practice session.
Kevin Lacombe of Granby, QC was third with a best time of 1:16.864 aboard the Picotte Performance / Yamaha Canada / Toyota Yamaha YZF-R1 and Calgary's Clint McBain placed fourth at 1:17.108 riding the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot Suzuki GSX-R1000.
"We had some chatter in the high speed corners so we changed the dampening and that seemed to help," said Kipp. "We have a great race bike. It's set up well for a bunch of laps. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into tomorrow."
Qualifying for Sunday's 20-lap feature race will take place Saturday afternoon.
Szoke has won the first two races of the 2006 Parts Canada Superbike season and enjoys a solid 26-point lead over defending champion Francis Martin in the series standings.
"Everything went well," said Szoke, who only completed five laps in the afternoon session after setting his quick time. "We made some changes to the bike that might be for the better. I think we could get into the low 16s tomorrow. Saturday afternoon's the real ticket."
McBain delighted the hometown crowd last season by winning both Superbike races at Race City, his first career victories in the national series.
"We're getting there," he said after practice on Friday. "We're still working on the set-up a bit. We're working on a couple of key things in a couple of key spots. We're getting a lot closer now."
McBain's teammate Martin was fifth fastest for the day.
In other action at Race City, Szoke was fastest in practice for the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike competitors with a time of 1:18.424 on his Kawasaki ZX-6RR. Teammate Kipp was second at 1:18.677 and Lacombe set the third best time of 1:18.869 on his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Calgary rookie Guy Tomlinson placed eighth in Pro 600 Sport Bike with a 1:20.912 on his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Fourteen-year-old Saskatoon rider Brett McCormick dominated practice in the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike class with a time of 1:21.309 on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Granby rider Karl Daigle was his nearest challenger, more than two and a half seconds behind on his Honda CBR600RR at 1:23.819, and Toronto's Craig Atkinson placed third on another Yamaha.
McCormick was also fastest in Thunder practice on his Buell with a time of 1:23.795, just edging the Ducati ridden by Calgary's Chad Pasowisty.
Hamilton's Ross Millson led Suzuki SV650 National Cup on Friday with a time of 1:28.498.
Qualifying for all five national classes will take place Saturday, with feature races set to go Sunday.