SZOKE LEADS FIRST DAY SHANNONVILLE, ON Two-time national champion Jordan Szoke was the pacesetter as the Parts Canada Superbike Championship opened its 2006 season at Shannonville Motorsport Park Friday. The Brantford, ON racer was fastest in...
SZOKE LEADS FIRST DAY
SHANNONVILLE, ON Two-time national champion Jordan Szoke was the pacesetter as the Parts Canada Superbike Championship opened its 2006 season at Shannonville Motorsport Park Friday.
The Brantford, ON racer was fastest in both practice sessions aboard his Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R, ending the day with a top lap of one minute, 44.906 seconds around the 4.0km (2.5-mile) Shannonville 'Long Track.'
"I know we've got a good set-up. This bike just seems to suit me," said Szoke, after his first outing for the Kawasaki squad since taking his first Canadian Superbike title with the team in 1998. "Tomorrow I think I can go a half a second or more quicker."
The Superbike competitors will battle for the $500 Vicious-I Optics Pole Position Award in qualifying Saturday afternoon, with the 14-lap opening round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship set to go at 3:00 p.m. Sunday.
Defending series champion Francis Martin of Rock Forest, QC was second quickest with a time of 1:45.630 riding his Team Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 and his teammate, Calgary's Clint McBain, placed third at 1:45.785 despite suffering a highside in the morning practice session that left him with a very sore foot.
"Things are pretty good and we're going forward," Martin said. "We have a few little changes planned for tomorrow. I'm pretty sure we can go faster."
Szoke's Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory teammate Tom Kipp of Chardon, OH had the fourth fastest time on Friday of 1:46.286. Fifth in practice was Kevin Lacombe of Granby, QC, who managed a best time of 1:46.358 aboard his Picotte Performance / Yamaha / Toyota Yamaha YZF-R1.
Lacombe's teammate Pascal Picotte, the series champion in 2003 and 2004, managed the 11th best time of the day at 1:48.827 on his Yamaha YZF-R1. The St-Cecile Milton, QC rider is recovering from injuries suffered in a crash in Barber, AL last month and put in only seven laps during the afternoon's 40-minute practice session.
Picotte has four broken vertebrae, a broken toe and banged up knees.
"My knees are really bad and I'm having a hard time moving around on the bike," said Picotte, who was a close runner-up to Martin in last year's Parts Canada Superbike title chase. "We've been playing a lot with the seat and foot peg position. I'm just here to score as many points as I can."
In other action at Shannonville, teenager Brett McCormick of Saskatoon led the way in practice for the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Championship with a time of 1:51.945 aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Orangeville, ON's Derek Vammus paced the Canadian Thunder competitors with a top lap of 1:52.692 on his Ducati PS 1000 LE in the afternoon session.
Practice sessions were also held for the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike and Suzuki SV650 National Cup competitors.