Atlantic: Series qualifying summary

WILD RIDE PUTS McCORMICK ON POLE SHUBENACADIE, N.S. (August 8) -- Brett McCormick survived near-disaster to claim pole position for the sixth round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Atlantic Motorsport Park on Saturday. The ...


SHUBENACADIE, N.S. (August 8) -- Brett McCormick survived near-disaster to claim pole position for the sixth round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Atlantic Motorsport Park on Saturday.

The Saskatoon rider came within an inch of crashing his Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 during the Pirelli SuperPole qualifying session but not only stayed upright but was able to turn a lap at one minute, 6.928 seconds and capture his fourth Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award of the season.

McCormick averaged 137.700 km/h (82.62 mph) around the 2.56km (1.6- mile) 11-turn AMP circuit.

"I had a little mishap but I was still able to make it work," said the 17-year-old McCormick, who picked up $500 from Inside Motorcycles magazine and four points toward the Parts Canada Superbike Championship. "Maybe I'll buy the team dinner tonight. The guys have been working really hard and the bike was great."

McCormick gained a point on Superbike series leader Jordan Szoke. The Brantford, Ont. racer qualified second with a time of 1:06.975 on his Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R. Kevin Lacombe of Granby, Que. will start third in Sunday's race after turning a time of 1:08.056 on the Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF Yamaha YZF-R1.

Truro, N.S. racer Brian Blaauwendraat completes the front row of the Superbike grid after setting a time of 1:08.473 on the Pro Cycle / Atlantic Honda Dealers Honda CBR600RR.

McCormick had shattered the AMP track record in Pre-Qualifying with a time of 1:06.031, topping the previous mark of 1:07.425 set by Pascal Picotte in 2005.

But he nearly highsided coming out of turn three on his SuperPole lap and looked certain to crash before he managed to bring his motorcycle back under control.

"I guess I got on it a little too hard coming out of three," McCormick said. "Luckily I strung the rest of the lap together. I thought I was going down; I just got back on the throttle and crossed my fingers."

McCormick also claimed pole position for last year's Superbike round at AMP. Since then he has only been beaten to the top spot once, when Szoke qualified fastest for round three of this year's Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park.

McCormick heads into Sunday's 22-lap Superbike feature, the penultimate round of the 2009 season, trailing Szoke by 24 points in the Parts Canada Superbike standings, 254-230. A race win is worth 50 points with a two-point bonus available to the rider who leads the most laps.

Szoke earned three points for qualifying second and admitted he didn't want to push too hard and hurt his championship chances with a fall.

"I didn't want to risk everything for one more point," said the 30- year-old Szoke, who is trying to clinch his fourth straight Parts Canada Superbike title. "The bike is a lot better than what I showed. I'm pretty happy. It's a long race and we'll see what happens. I want to keep the pressure on Brett."

Lacombe's team made an adjustment to try and cure a sticking throttle just before the SuperPole session, which made his Yamaha difficult to handle.

"It was hard to ride and I lost about half a second easy," said Lacombe, a three-time Superbike race winner at AMP. "But I've got a front row start and I know I can get off the line well."

Blaauwendraat earned his best ever Parts Canada Superbike start despite a couple of mistakes on his SuperPole lap.

"I'm very surprised," he admitted. "I missed a shift coming onto the front straight at the start and then I ran a little wide in turn seven. I was not pleased when I came off the track."

Cochrane, Alta.'s Clint McBain qualified fifth aboard his Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 with a time of 1:08.534. Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont. was next up on the Nelson Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 at 1:08.809 and six-time Canadian Superbike champion Steve Crevier completes the second row of the grid with a time of 1:09.267 on the Deeley Racing Powered By Buell / Buell 1125R.

The top 10 of the starting grid is completed by Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. (Honda Powerhouse Dealers of Ontario / Roz-Gar Racing Honda CBR600RR), Coaldale, Alta.'s Royce McLean (Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF Yamaha YZF-R6) and Montreal racer Martin Grande (Suzuki Sport Collette Suzuki GSX- R600).

In a day of shattered records at AMP, McCormick also reset the track mark in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike class with a time of 1:06.905 (137.748 km/h) on his Suzuki GSX-R600. That topped the old mark of 1:07.472 set by Lacombe last year.

Szoke was also under the previous record in second on his Kawasaki ZX-6R with a time of 1:07.292 and Lacombe placed third at 1:07.776 riding a Yamaha YZF-R6.

McCormick's pole position was worth four points and trimmed Szoke's lead in the Pro Sport Bike standings by a single point to 26. Szoke now has 258 points to McCormick's 232 heading into Sunday's 18-lap race.

Cochrane, Alta.'s Cody Matechuk extended his lead in the Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike point standings to 34 points by qualifying fastest for Sunday's race with a new record time of 1:09.406 on the Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R600.

His closest rival in the championship, Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. set the fourth fastest time of 1:10.983 on his A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R.

Jeremie Hade Precourt of Granby, Que. claimed his second straight pole position in the Suzuki SV650 National Cup with a time of 1:13.143. Points leader Rafael Archambault of St-Colomban, Que. is third.

Warman, Sask.'s Bodhi Edie gained two points on series leader Steven Nickerson by qualifying on pole for the Honda CBR125R Challenge race. Edie turned a lap at 1:28.240, also under the previous class record. Nickerson will start third on Sunday.

Sunday's program at Atlantic Motorsport Park opens with practice at 9:00 a.m. The first race is set to go at 12:45 p.m.

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Series CSBK
Drivers Jordan Szoke , Andrew Nelson , Clint McBain , Kevin Lacombe , Steve Crevier , Brett McCormick