Shannonville: Season opener preview

TORONTO, ON As the 2005 Parts Canada Superbike Championship kicks off at Shannonville Motorsport Park this weekend Pascal Picotte will begin his quest to join rival Steve Crevier in elite company by winning his third straight national title. In...

TORONTO, ON As the 2005 Parts Canada Superbike Championship kicks off at Shannonville Motorsport Park this weekend Pascal Picotte will begin his quest to join rival Steve Crevier in elite company by winning his third straight national title.

In the 25-year history of the Canadian national Superbike series only Crevier has won the Canada Cup three years in a row. He claimed the 1991, '92 and '93 championships.

Picotte became only the third racer to earn back-to-back Canadian crowns when he won last year's title chase. Riding the Yamaha Motor Canada / Picotte Performance Yamaha YZF-R1 the 35-year-old from Granby, QC won five of the eight series races. He is now third on the all-time national Superbike win list with 13 victories.

Picotte comes to Shannonville's 'Pro' circuit this weekend with his two-time title winning team relatively intact. But he once again faces a tremendously deep field of challengers.

Crevier has won the past two season openers at Shannonville and the 39-year-old Maple Ridge, BC resident is aiming for a record-extending seventh Parts Canada Superbike crown this year. Crevier will ride a Honda CBR1000RR for the Montreal-based Diablo Performance team.

Also Honda-mounted will be Jordan Szoke of Brantford, ON. The two-time winner of the Canada Cup placed second behind Picotte in the final standings last year and is back with the Honda Canada-backed Fast Company squad of Scott Miller.

Picotte will also face a stern test from fellow Yamaha rider Frank Trombino. The Kleinburg, ON racer is running his own team this year and continues to be supported by Yamaha Motor Canada.

Suzuki has introduced a brand new GSX-R1000 Superbike for 2005 and the manufacturer has a strong stable of riders on the Superbike entry list. Popular Calgary veteran Clint McBain is back with the Blackfoot Suzuki squad after finishing fourth in points last year. Still searching for his first career national Superbike win, McBain was second in two races in 2004.

McBain's teammate will be Granby, QC rider Kevin Lacombe, who won a race and placed third in points last season riding for his family-run Yamaha team.

Former national champion Francis Martin returns to Suzuki after a year on the Kawasaki factory team. The Rock Forest, QC native will join Crevier in the Diablo Performance squad.

Canadian Kawasaki has lured Chardon, OH's Tom Kipp out of retirement to lead its assault on the Parts Canada Superbike series with the ZX-10R. Kipp won a race for the team in 2003.

Mississauga, ON's Matt McBride is back for his third season with the Kawasaki program.

This weekend's action at Shannonville sees the debut of two new national support classes. The Suzuki SV650 Cup and Thunder series will join the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike Championship and International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Championship on the national race card.

Picotte is chasing down a third straight Pro 600 Sport Bike title while last year's Amateur 600 championship fight came down to the final race before Dominic Lavoie of Levis, QC prevailed.

Qualifying for national classes will take place Saturday afternoon with feature races on Sunday.

<pre> Provisional Weekend Schedule

Saturday May 21 1:30 p.m.-1:55 p.m. Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike Qualifying 2:05 p.m. Thunder Qualifying Heat (8 laps) 2:20 p.m.-3:15 p.m. International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Qualifying 3:35 p.m.-4:20 p.m. Parts Canada Superbike Qualifying 4:30 p.m.-4:50 p.m. Suzuki SV650 Cup Qualifying

Sunday May 22 12:20 p.m. Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike Race 14 laps 1:30 p.m. Thunder Race 12 laps 2:05 p.m. International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Race 14 laps 3:15 p.m. Parts Canada Superbike Championship Race 16 laps 4:35 p.m. Suzuki SV650 Cup Race 12 laps

-www.cdnsuperbike.com

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About this article
Series CSBK
Drivers Jordan Szoke , Tom Kipp , Pascal Picotte , Clint McBain , Kevin Lacombe , Francis Martin , Steve Crevier , Frank Trombino