Shannonville II: Season finale preview

TORONTO, ON - Fans might feel they are in a time warp at this weekend's final round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park. The battle for Canada's national motorcycle road racing title is shaping into a ...

TORONTO, ON - Fans might feel they are in a time warp at this weekend's final round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park.

The battle for Canada's national motorcycle road racing title is shaping into a two-horse race between veteran riders Pascal Picotte and Steve Crevier. Picotte, from St-Cecile de Milton, QC comes into the season finale with a 17-point lead over Maple Ridge, BC's Crevier, 277-260. A rider can score a maximum of 56 points at each Parts Canada Superbike round.

Almost exactly 10 years ago Picotte and Crevier were at the forefront of the Canadian racing scene and their battles became legendary. Crevier was in the midst of a three-year championship run from 1991 to 1993, riding for Kawasaki. In 1992 and '93 Picotte rode the Italian-built Ducati against the more traditional Japanese manufacturers. He won five races in that time but never captured a Canadian crown.

Now riding for his own Picotte Racing Yamaha team, Picotte is trying to win his first national Superbike title this weekend and give Yamaha its first crown since 1990, when Michel Mercier won his last of three championships and his teammate and protege was a young Picotte.

Crevier on the other hand is bidding for a record-extending seventh Canadian Superbike crown and the second straight for Suzuki. Crevier is in his first year with the Diablo Performance Suzuki team and trying to become the first racer in Canadian series history to win a title with four different manufacturers. His previous championships came with Yamaha (1989), Kawasaki (1991-93) and Honda (2000-01).

But Picotte and Crevier are not the only riders with a shot at the Parts Canada Superbike title this weekend. Francis Martin of Rock Forest, QC, the 1999 national champion is third in the standings with 245 points for the Coors Light Racing/Blackfoot Suzuki team.

Also mathematically in the race is Joliette, QC's Jean-Francois Cyr with 229 points for his CyRacing/Michelin Yamaha squad.

Six riders have scored wins in the seven Parts Canada Superbike rounds held so far and this weekend's event has plenty of other challengers for victory. Chardon, OH's Tom Kipp won the previous event at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant for Canadian Kawasaki Motors and moved up to fifth in points.

Also among the potential winners is Toronto's Michael Taylor, who won earlier this year in Calgary aboard his Orion Motorsport Honda.

Action this weekend also features the final rounds of the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike and International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike national support classes. Picotte has already clinched the 600 Sport Bike title while another Yamaha rider, Keremeos, BC's Jeremy Leduc holds a narrow lead in the Amateur 600 Sport Bike standings.

Qualifying for all three national classes will take place Saturday afternoon with feature races set to go on Sunday.

This weekend's event will be televised on TSN on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 1:00 p.m. and on the Outdoor Life Network on Sunday, Oct. 26, also at 1:00 p.m. Action from Shannonville will also be shown later this year on Quebec's RDS.

Shannonville Motorsport Park Fast Facts

...More national Superbike races have been staged at Shannonville Motorsport Park than any other Canadian venue. The facility near Belleville, ON is hosting its 36th race this weekend. It held its first in 1980, when Rueben McMurter won.

...This is the 13th year Shannonville has played host to more than one Superbike national round, but only twice has there been a 'Shannonville Sweep'. Michel Mercier won both SMP rounds in 1987 and Steve Crevier duplicated the feat in 1989. In each instance Mercier and Crevier went on to score Canadian titles. In 1992 and '93 Crevier won two of three Shannonville nationals. The rider who stopped him on each occasion was Pascal Picotte.

...In the 17 years Shannonville has hosted at least one national Superbike round, an SMP race winner has gone on to take the Canadian crown eight times. The last time it happened was 2001, when Crevier claimed the season opener. Before that it happened in 1997, when Don Munroe triumphed in the finale.

2003 Point Standings Parts Canada Superbike:

1. Pascal Picotte (Yamaha) 277;
2. Steve Crevier (Suzuki) 260;
3. Francis Martin (Suzuki) 245;
4. Jean-Francois Cyr (Yamaha) 229;
5. Tom Kipp (Kawasaki) 191

Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike:

1. Pascal Picotte (Yamaha) 296;
2. Clint McBain (Suzuki) 192;
3. Frank Trombino (Yamaha) 172

International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike:
1. Jeremy Leduc (Yamaha) 218;
2. Derek Bowker (Yamaha) 190;
3. Dan Henri (Yamaha) 169

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Series CSBK
Drivers Tom Kipp , Pascal Picotte , Francis Martin , Steve Crevier , Frank Trombino