NATIONAL TOUR OPENS IN QUEBEC STIRLING, ON -- Jordan Szoke will open his defence of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship this weekend as the seven-race series begins at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The Brantford, ON rider is trying to become...
NATIONAL TOUR OPENS IN QUEBEC
STIRLING, ON -- Jordan Szoke will open his defence of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship this weekend as the seven-race series begins at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant.
The Brantford, ON rider is trying to become only the second rider to claim Canada's national motorcycle road racing crown on four occasions, having also won the title in 1998 and 2002. Steve Crevier is the only other racer to have won the national crown at least four times.
Szoke and his Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory team will arrive at the scenic 4.275km (2.65-mile) circuit riding a wave of confidence. The 28- year-old won five of last season's seven Parts Canada Superbike races on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, including the Mont-Tremblant event. He also won at the track in 2004.
"Everything's been going really good and I'm really happy," said Szoke following preseason testing in Jennings, Fla. last month. "I'm really stoked that we were fastest in testing, and we were working on a race set-up that's very, very consistent."
Szoke's bid for a third Mont-Tremblant Superbike victory will come against one of the toughest fields assembled on Canadian soil, which includes three other multiple champions.
After a year's absence Crevier will attempt to add to his record six Canadian Superbike crowns. The 41-year-old from Maple Ridge, BC makes his debut aboard the Team Toyota Yamaha / Fast Company Yamaha YZF-R1.
Also aboard Yamahas will be last year's Parts Canada Superbike series runner-up Kevin Lacombe of Granby, QC on the Team Toyota Yamaha / Brooklin Cycle R1, and rising star Andrew Nelson of Kars, ON on his Z1 Cycletech Yamaha entry.
Suzuki has a powerful 1-2 punch in the form of the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Performance squad. Pascal Picotte of Granby, QC, a Yamaha rider last year, and Francis Martin from Rock Forest, QC are both two- time Canadian champions, and will pilot Suzuki's new GSX-R1000.
Suzukis will also be in the hands of Clint McBain of Cochrane, AB and his Suzuki Acceleration Racing entry, and Mississauga, ON's Matt McBride on the Riders Choice GSX-R1000.
Also worth watching will be Szoke's rookie teammate on the Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory team, Brett McCormick of Saskatoon, and Val Senneville, QC's Erick Beausejour aboard the Centre Honda de Auto Frank et Michel Team Honda CBR1000RR.
Szoke will also be trying to defend his title in the Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike class with the new Kawasaki ZX-6RR. He will likely get a strong challenge from four-time class champion Crevier on the Yamaha YZF-R6, two-time champ Picotte with his Suzuki GSX-R600, and last year's runner-up Lacombe on another Yamaha. The class will also feature last year's Amateur 600 Sport Bike national champion Karl Daigle of Roxton Pond, QC on the Excel Moto Honda CBR600RR.
This weekend's action also features the opening rounds of the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike, Canadian Thunder and Suzuki SV650 National Cup divisions. Official practice for the Parts Canada Superbike Championship will be held Friday, with qualifying for the national classes on Saturday afternoon. Feature races will go Sunday.