Szoke Solid at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, FL The Fast Company/Honda Canada squad enjoyed a solid start to its 2004 season at Daytona International Speedway Mar. 4. Brantford, ON's Jordan Szoke took his new Honda CBR1000RR to a 16th place finish...
Szoke Solid at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, FL The Fast Company/Honda Canada squad enjoyed a solid start to its 2004 season at Daytona International Speedway Mar. 4.
Brantford, ON's Jordan Szoke took his new Honda CBR1000RR to a 16th place finish in the ultra-competitive AMA Repsol Superstock race as he prepares to challenge for a third Parts Canada Superbike title this summer.
Despite having very little time to set-up the new Honda for the Daytona event, held on the Thursday of the celebrated Bike Week festivities Szoke steadily lowered his lap times over the two days of practice, qualifying and race action.
"We had two days on the bike in total and we're clearly going in the right direction," said Szoke, who teamed up with Fast Company to win his second Canadian crown in 2002. "This is a very fast bike and it has a very smooth power delivery."
Szoke qualified 19th for the Superstock race in Wednesday's single qualifying session with a time of 1:52.163 around the 3.56-mile circuit. That was almost a second faster than his best practice effort from earlier in the day.
"I messed up one corner and probably lost a second right there," he said of his qualifying effort. "We're moving forward but obviously you want to win. Yesterday we didn't have a shock or pipe and we're still running with a stock ignition box. But we really wanted to come here. Daytona gives you an idea of what wears on a bike. It's a tough event."
Szoke settled into 15th early in the 12-lap race and ended up in a drafting battle with Geoff May, Jacob Holden and former AMA factory rider Jason Pridmore. Unfortunately, trouble through the Chicane on the final lap spoiled Szoke's chances in the customary drafting battle to the finish line.
"I got screwed up by a backmarker at the Chicane and I ended up at the back of the group," he explained. "There's a lot of traffic early in the race when you're starting from the fifth row. I tried to be aggressive but there's really nothing you can do."
Szoke's fastest race lap was also his best of his two days on the track, a 1:51.507.
Szoke also qualified 13th for the Daytona 200 by Arai Superbike race with a time of 1:52.073 but elected not to start the grueling event.
Szoke's new teammate Andrew Nelson had a rough start to his 2004 campaign with the Fast Company/Honda Canada team. While riding his CBR1000RR in practice he suffered a seemingly harmless lowside in turn 1 of the Daytona track. But while Nelson slid safely to a stop his new motorcycle was launched into a series of rolls that damaged it beyond immediate repair, leaving him a spectator for the remainder of the program.
The Fast Company/Honda Canada team is sponsored by Dunlop, Arata, Hotbodies, Pro Fuels, Motul, Spiegler Brakes, Race Tech, Steen Hansens, Ohlins and Vesrah.