MARTIN FASTEST AT AMP SHUBENACADIE, NS -- Defending Parts Canada Superbike champion Francis Martin led the way in practice Friday for this weekend's sixth round of the series at Atlantic Motorsport Park. The Rock Forest, QC rider took his Team...
MARTIN FASTEST AT AMP
SHUBENACADIE, NS -- Defending Parts Canada Superbike champion Francis Martin led the way in practice Friday for this weekend's sixth round of the series at Atlantic Motorsport Park.
The Rock Forest, QC rider took his Team Suzuki / Blackfoot Suzuki GSX-R1000 around the 2.56km track in one minute, 9.079 seconds. His time just edged the 1:09.080 of Chardon, OH's Tom Kipp on the Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The result was a big boost for Martin, who saw his hopes of repeating as national Superbike champion disappear when he retired from both races at the previous round of the series at Mosport International Raceway last month.
"I'm feeling a lot better," Martin said. "We just need to change a few little things but the Superbike is working pretty good. Tomorrow [in qualifying] is when it counts, but at least we're up to speed, we know we're right there."
Qualifying for the Vicious-I Pole Position Award will take place Saturday afternoon.
Granby, QC's Kevin Lacombe, a two-time Superbike winner at AMP, was third fastest with a 1:09.313 aboard the Team Toyota Yamaha / Picotte Performance Yamaha YZF-R1 and Parts Canada Superbike Championship points leader Jordan Szoke of Brantford, ON was fourth at 1:09.320 riding a Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Szoke comes into this weekend's penultimate round of the series poised to clinch his third career Canadian Superbike title. He has a 67- point lead over Lacombe, 267-200, with a maximum of 56 points available at each event.
Szoke is also trying to set a record for most Superbike wins in a single season. He hasn't been beaten through the first five races of 2006, tying the Canadian record for wins and consecutive wins.
"We're going to try and stop Jordan from winning everything," Martin said. "The team needs it, I need too. We've worked so hard this year and had a lot of bad luck."
Andrew Nelson of Kars, ON rounded out the top five with a 1:09.672 on his Z1 Cycletech Yamaha YZF-R1.
In other action at AMP, Kipp was quickest in practice for the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike class with a time of 1:09.467 on his factory Kawasaki ZX-6RR. Nelson was second at 1:09.835 aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6 and Bedford, NS's Todd Scott placed third with a time of 1:10.384 riding his Pro Cycle Suzuki GSX-R600.
Saskatoon's Brett McCormick led practice for Sunday's International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike race with a time of 1:11.969 on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Granby, QC's Karl Daigle was second with a 1:12.223 on his Honda CBR600RR and Ross Millson of Hamilton completed the top three with a 1:12.636 aboard a Suzuki GSX-R600.
North Vancouver's Darren James led the Thunder (twins) competitors with a time of 1:12.792 on his Buell XB-9R. Paul Glenn of Keene, ON paced the Suzuki SV650 National Cup competitors at 1:15.193.
Qualifying for all five national classes is slated for Saturday afternoon, with practice beginning at 9:00 a.m. Races are set to go Sunday.