TIGHT TITLE FIGHT COMES TO QUEBEC MIRABEL, Que. (June 10) -- What is shaping up to be one of the most exciting battles for the Canadian Superbike title in the sport's history makes its second stop of the 2009 season at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel,...
TIGHT TITLE FIGHT COMES TO QUEBEC
MIRABEL, Que. (June 10) -- What is shaping up to be one of the most exciting battles for the Canadian Superbike title in the sport's history makes its second stop of the 2009 season at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que. this weekend.
This is the first visit of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship to the airport facility where Canada's best motorcycle road racers will tackle the 2.8km (1.74-mile) 14-turn circuit. This weekend's event is presented by Moto Journal magazine.
Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke (Canadian Kawasaki Motors / Kawasaki ZX-10R) opened his bid for a fourth straight Parts Canada Superbike title in impressive style with a victory at Calabogie Motorsports Park on May 24. The win was his 27th career triumph, giving him the most national Superbike wins of all-time.
The 30-year-old had to work hard for the win, however, as only a dramatic last lap pass of Brett McCormick (Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Motorsports / Suzuki GSX-R1000) sealed the victory.
The 17-year-old McCormick was sensational in his debut with the Suzuki factory team at Calabogie. The Saskatoon rider claimed his third straight Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award in Pirelli SuperPole qualifying and led the most laps in the race before succumbing to Szoke.
But it is unlikely to be just a two-horse race at Circuit ICAR this weekend. Granby, Que.'s Kevin Lacombe (Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF / Yamaha YZF-R1) and his team have made impressive progress with the new Yamaha YZF- R1 and Lacombe finished a solid third at Calabogie.
A couple of Suzuki privateers also opened the 2009 season in good form. Clint McBain of Cochrane, Alta. (Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing / Suzuki GSX-R1000) was fourth at Calabogie and is coming off a runner-up finish in last year's Parts Canada Superbike Championship.
Kleinburg, Ont.'s Frank Trombino (GoLo Racing / Suzuki GSX-R1000) placed fifth in the season opener on his return to national racing after being injured last year.
Another rider to watch this weekend is Maple Ridge, B.C.'s Steve Crevier (Deeley Racing Powered By Buell / Buell 1125R), who has won six Canadian Superbike titles in his career.
The deep field of contenders also includes Szoke's team-mate Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ont. and the second factory Yamaha entry of 14-year-old Royce McLean of Coaldale, Alta., who was the top finishing rookie at Calabogie in May.
Also Yamaha-mounted will be Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont. (Nelson Racing / Yamaha YZF-R1 while Mississauga, Ont.'s Matt McBride (Riders Choice / Suzuki GSX-R1000) will be hoping to build on a 10th place finish in the season opener.
This weekend's action at Circuit ICAR also includes the second round of the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike national support division.
Szoke is also the three-time defending champion in that class and is coming off a dominant win at the Calabogie Motorsports Park opener on the brand new Kawasaki ZX-6R. His team-mate Welsh finished fourth at Calabogie, while big things are also expected of Granby, Que.'s Karl Daigle (A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R).
McCormick was second in the opening race on his Suzuki GSX-R600. McBride will also run a Suzuki in the Sport Bike class.
The Yamaha ranks are led by Lacombe, who was third at Calabogie, along with his team-mates McLean and Becker, Minn.'s Tony Kasper. Nelson will also ride a Yamaha YZF-R6.
Last year's Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike champ Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. (Honda Powerhouse Dealers of Ontario / ProStar Motorsports Honda CBR600RR) leads the Honda ranks in the Pro Sport Bike division. He is joined by Truro, N.S.'s Brian Blaauwendraat (Pro Cycle / Atlantic Honda Dealers Honda CBR600RR) and Marie-Josee Boucher of Montreal (Excel Moto / Honda CBR600RR).
Crevier is joined on the Buell team by Darren James of North Vancouver and New Smyrna Beach, Fla. racer Dave Estok.
The Pro Sport Bike class also features two-time Canadian Superbike champ Francis Martin of Sherbrooke, Que. (BMW Motorrad Canada / BMW HP2) and his team-mate Michael Ferreira from Mississauga, Ont.
Cody Matechuk of Cochrane, Alta. (Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing / Suzuki GSX-R600) comes to Circuit ICAR with the lead in the Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike category. Next up in points are Efram Ellenbogen of Belleville, Ont. (BnE Racing / Yamaha YZF-R6) and Longueuil, Que.'s Sebastien Tremblay (A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R).
This weekend's action also includes rounds for the Suzuki SV650 National Cup and Honda CBR125R Challenge. Rob Busby of Brantford, Ont. leads the Suzuki series while Steven Nickerson of Hamilton, Ont. is on top in the CBR125R class following a dramatic win at Calabogie.
The Pro Honda Oils Women's Cup will hold its third round as well.
Practice for this weekend's event begins on Friday with qualifying, including the Pirelli SuperPole for the Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award in the Parts Canada Superbike class set for Saturday. Races in all national classes will go Sunday.
For ticket information call (514) 955-4227 or go to www.circuiticar.com.
Circuit ICAR Fast Facts
--Circuit ICAR is the seventh Quebec venue to host a round of the Canadian Superbike series since the national Championship was launched in 1979. The tour previously visited Sanair in St-Pie, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Circuit St-Eustache, Alma, Circuit St-Felicien and Circuit Mont- Tremblant.
--Jordan Szoke is the only racer to have won Quebec Superbike nationals at three separate venues. He has three victories each at St-Felicien and Mont- Tremblant, and a single win at St-Eustache.
--Brett McCormick won his third straight Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award during Pirelli SuperPole qualifying for the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at the opening round of the 2009 season at Calabogie Motorsports Park in May.
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Saturday June 13
10:45 a.m. -- 11:25 a.m. -- Parts Canada Superbike Pre-Qualifying to lock in top 10 for Pirelli SuperPole
1:30 p.m. -- 2:00 p.m. -- Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike Qualifying
2:10 p.m. -- 2:30 p.m. -- Honda CBR125R Challenge Qualifying
2:40 p.m. -- 3:20 p.m. -- Parts Canada Superbike Championship Pirelli SuperPole Qualifying for the Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award
3:30 p.m. -- 4:20 p.m. -- Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying
4:30 p.m. -- 4:50 p.m. -- Suzuki SV650 Cup Qualifying
4:55 p.m. -- 5:15 p.m. -- Pro Honda Oils Women's Cup Qualifying
Sunday June 14
11:45 a.m. -- Pro Honda Oils Women's Cup Race (12 laps)
1:00 p.m. -- Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike Race (14 laps)
Honda CBR125R Challenge Race (10 laps)
Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike Race (14 laps)
2:50 p.m. -- Parts Canada Superbike Championship Race (16 laps)
Suzuki SV650 Cup Race (12 laps)