SZOKE WINS SUPERBIKE THRILLER CALABOGIE, Ont. (May 24) -- Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke edged Saskatoon racer Brett McCormick for the win in a dramatic season opener for the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Calabogie Motorsports Park on...
SZOKE WINS SUPERBIKE THRILLER
CALABOGIE, Ont. (May 24) -- Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke edged Saskatoon racer Brett McCormick for the win in a dramatic season opener for the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Calabogie Motorsports Park on Sunday.
Riding his Canadian Kawasaki Motors / Kawasaki ZX-10R the three-time defending national champion snatched the lead from McCormick on the final lap and held off the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Motorsports / Suzuki GSX-R1000 by just 0.133 seconds for his second straight Calabogie Superbike win.
"What a great, fun race that was," said Szoke, who became the career leader in national Superbike victories with 27. "We passed each other a whole bunch of times on that last lap. I had to ride hard but I guess all my conditioning paid off."
McCormick had started from pole and the 17-year-old led 14 laps. But he was never more than a couple of seconds clear of Szoke, who started to close back up in the second half of the race.
"It's disappointing to lead the whole race and then lose it on the last lap," the runner-up finisher said. "I was managing the lead a little bit but the bike felt good."
In an equally exciting duel Kevin Lacombe of Granby, Que. took third on the Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF / Yamaha YZF-R1 with a last corner pass of the Suzuki Dealers Acceleration Racing / Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Cochrane, Alta.'s Clint McBain.
Lacombe snagged the lead off the start of the 16-lap race around Calabogie's 5.05km (3.05-mile) road course but by lap two McCormick was in front and Szoke had moved into second place by lap three.
McCormick set the fastest lap of the race on his third tour, a time of two minutes, 1.399 seconds, as he opened up a slight lead but Szoke started closing back up as the laps wound down.
The two were nose-to-tail to start the final lap. Szoke tried a pass down the backstraight but McCormick was able to nip back by. Szoke regained the lead however and then stayed in front the rest of the way, despite McCormick being able to get alongside on a few occasions.
"He rode a strong race and I tried to keep him honest," said Szoke, who leaves Calabogie with a five-point lead over McCormick in the Parts Canada Superbike point standings, 53-48. "I just tried to keep a consistent pace. I might have taken things a bit too easy at the start."
Lacombe was in tire trouble from the early part of the race and slipped into the clutches of McBain by half distance. The Albertan got ahead on lap 12 but Lacombe was able to regain the final podium spot after the two traded positions on the final lap.
"I took a big guess on which rear tire to use and it was not the right guess," Lacombe admitted. "I knew I was having problems and I backed off. But on the final lap I wanted to try everything to get him."
Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont. was fifth on his GoLo Racing / Suzuki GSX-R750 after he passed both Alex Welsh and Steve Crevier on the final lap. Welsh took sixth aboard the Canadian Kawasaki Motors / Kawasaki ZX-10R and Crevier had to settle for seventh on the Deeley Racing Powered By Buell / Buell 1125R after running fifth for most of the race.
After started from the front row on his Nelson Racing / Yamaha YZF- R1 local hope Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont. could only manage an eighth place finish.
Karl Daigle of Granby, Que. placed ninth on the A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R and Mississauga, Ont.'s Matt McBride (Riders Choice / Suzuki GSX-R1000) held off the Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF / Yamaha YZF-R6 of top rookie Royce McLean of Coaldale, Alta. for the last spot in the top 10.
In other action at Calabogie Motorsports Park, Szoke opened his defense of the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike title with a convincing win on his factory Kawasaki ZX-6R. Despite incurring a five-second penalty for jumping the start Szoke was still able to open enough distance to beat McCormick's Suzuki GSX-R600 by 3.326 secs. on corrected time.
"I figured out right away that I had to get a big lead," Szoke said. "I just put my head down and pushed hard. But it was a comfortable pace for me and I didn't have any moments."
McCormick took second from the Yamaha YZF-R6 of Lacombe on the final lap as the pair had a race-long duel.
Welsh was fourth on his Kawasaki ZX-6R and Nelson got his Yamaha in front of the Buell 1125R of Crevier on the final lap for fifth.
Cochrane, Alta.'s Cody Matechuk won on his debut in the Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike class. The Suzuki Dealers Acceleration Racing / Suzuki GSX-R600 rider took the lead three laps from the end of the 10-lap race and managed to open up a 5.661-sec. advantage by the finish.
Belleville, Ont.'s Efram Ellenbogen was second on the BnE Racing / Yamaha YZF-R6 after the rider who took second on the road, Sebastien Tremblay was docked five seconds for a jump start. Tremblay was classified third on the A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Brantford, Ont.'s Rob Busby led all the way to win the Suzuki SV650 National Cup race. Jody Greening of Burlington, Ont. was second and St- Dominique, Que.'s Philippe Masse took third.
Steven Nickerson of Hamilton, Ont. won a last lap shootout to take the Honda CBR125R Challenge season opener at Calabogie. Bodhi Edie of Warman, Sask. placed second and Ste-Julie, Que.'s Karl Robitaille was third.
Richmond, Ont.'s Vicki Schouten won the Pro Honda Oils Women's Cup event on a Kawasaki ZX-6R.
The Parts Canada Superbike Championship continues at Circuit ICAR near Montreal June 12-14.
This weekend's races will be shown on TSN and TSN HD premiering Tuesday, June 16 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and repeated Saturday, June 20 at 4:00 a.m. Eastern. The event will also be televised on RDS. Check local listings for dates and times.