SHANNONVILLE, ON - A close battle for the Toyota Canada Superbike Championship grew even tighter during qualifying for the final round, the Honda/Dunlop Challenge, at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Saturday.
Defending series champion Don Munroe of Bedford, NS, edged fellow Kawasaki rider Michael Taylor for the victory in the red flag shortened four-lap qualifying heat race and picked up his third Star Choice Pole Position Award of the season. Championship leader Jordan Szoke finished third on another Kawasaki.
Munroe earned 10 points for the win, and closed to within 28 points of Szoke in the standings, while Taylor, from Don Mills, ON, received six points and enters Sunday's feature race 13 points behind Brantford, ON's Szoke, who earned four points for his heat race result.
Fifty points are available to the winner of Sunday's 14-lap feature race.
"We did what we had to do," said Munroe, who will retire from competition following Sunday's race. "I still have to rely on the other two guys to have misfortune, but I'm very happy with how fast we are."
St-Jerome, QC's Benoit Pilon took the lead at the start of the qualifier on his Yamaha, but was passed by Munroe before the end of the lap. Taylor, recovering from a poor start, moved into second on lap 2, and he and Munroe traded the lead over the next two laps before the red flag came out for a crash involving Dan Kruger.
Kitchener, ON's Neil Jenkins finished fourth in the heat on his Suzuki while Pilon settled for fifth.
In other action at Shannonville, Munroe pulled 10 points clear of Owen Weichel in the battle for the Yoshimura 600 Sport Bike title with a third place finish in Saturday's qualifying race.
Weichel won the six-lap heat on his Hyd Mech Saws Suzuki, but was penalized four positions for jumping the start. That gave the race win to fellow
Suzuki rider Jenkins, with Frank Wilson second on a Honda and Munroe third on his Kawasaki.
Newly-crowned champion Michael Taylor won the six-lap qualifying heat for International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Open Sport Bike on his Kawasaki. North Hatley, QC's Francis Martin took second on a Honda and Lefroy, ON's Kevin Graham was third on the Canadian Tire/Coca-Cola/Star Choice Yamaha.
Finals for all three classes will be held Sunday. The first race leaves the line at 12:30 p.m.
Results of Saturday's qualifying heat for the final round of the Toyota
Canada Superbike Championship, the Honda/Dunlop Challenge, at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Saturday showing finishing position, rider name, hometown and type of motorcycle:
1. Don Munroe, Bedford, NS, Kawasaki ZX-7RR; 2. Michael Taylor, Don Mills, ON, Kawasaki ZX-9R; 3. Jordan Szoke, Brantford, ON, Kawasaki ZX-7RR; 4. Neil Jenkins, Kitchener, ON, Suzuki GSX-R750; 5. Benoit Pilon, St-Jerome, QC, Yamaha YZF R1; 6. Francis Martin, North Hatley, QC, Honda CBR900RR; 7. Kevin Graham, Lefroy, ON, Yamaha YZF R1; 8. Jeff Williams, Kingston, ON, Kawasaki ZX-7RR; 9. Clint McBain, Calgary, AB, Kawasaki ZX-7RR; 10. Philippe Cantin, St-Laurent, QC, Yamaha YZF R1; 11. Jean-Francois Cyr, Ste-Adele, QC, Yamaha YZF R1; 12. Jeffrey Sneyd, Mississauga, ON, Honda VTR1000; 13. Frank Wilson, Rockwood, ON, Honda CBR900RR; 14. Csaba Werner, North York, ON, Kawasaki ZX-9R; 15. John Sharrard, Blackstock, ON, Yamaha FZR1000; 16. David Church, Surrey, BC, Suzuki GSX-R600; 17. Michel Lavallee, St-Adolphe, QC, Suzuki GSX-R600; 18. Dave Marcella, Kitchener, ON, Suzuki GSX-R750; 19. Joseph Temperato, Downsview, ON, Suzuki GSX-R600; 20. Alex Howard, London, ON, Yamaha YZF R1; 21. Kevin Lacombe, Granby, QC, Suzuki GSX-R600; 22. Daniel Bergeron, St-Augustin, QC, Ducati 748; 23. Wayne Cornwell, Newark, NY, Honda CBR600F3; 24. Peter Lucchese, Mississauga, ON, Kawasaki ZX-6R