MONT-TREMBLANT, QC - Pascal Picotte comes to the penultimate round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship leading the series standings. But the St-Cecile de Milton, QC racer is keeping things in perspective. Heading into this weekend's Coors...
MONT-TREMBLANT, QC - Pascal Picotte comes to the penultimate round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship leading the series standings. But the St-Cecile de Milton, QC racer is keeping things in perspective.
Heading into this weekend's Coors Light Tremblant Superbike at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant the Picotte Racing Yamaha rider leads Steve Crevier in the standings 231-223 after scoring his second victory of the year last weekend at Atlantic Motorsport Park.
Francis Martin is just another three points back with 220.
But no lead is safe in this season's spectacular title battle, which has seen five different riders share the six race wins and four different racers take a turn at the top of the table.
"I've got to win this weekend," said Picotte. "The points difference between finishing first and second is so huge. It's going to be tough."
A race win is worth 50 points while second place scores 42. A rider also earns two points for leading the most laps and points are awarded to the top four qualifiers, with the fastest getting four.
Crevier won the Parts Canada season opener at Shannonville Motorsport Park for Diablo Performance Suzuki and led the standings through round 2 at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park. That race was won by Toronto's Michael Taylor on an Orion Motorsport Honda.
Joliette, QC's Jean-Francois Cyr claimed his first career national Superbike win at Autodrome St-Eustache in round 3 and the CyRacing/Michelin Yamaha rider took over first place in points.
But Picotte gained the lead when he triumphed in the first race of a doubleheader weekend at Mosport International Raceway. Just a day later, Martin scored his first win of the year for Coors Light Racing/Blackfoot Suzuki and became the fourth different rider to lead the standings.
Picotte was quickest in testing at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant Thursday with a time of 1:41.964 around the 2.65-mile track. Canadian Kawasaki Motors rider Tom Kipp of Chardon, OH was second fastest at 1:42.152 and Rock Forest, QC's Martin was third on a 1:43.183.
Martin owned the unofficial top trap speed on the backstraight at 238 km/h. Edmonton's Brian Nielsen was second at 236 km/h on his Suzuki and Picotte and Kipp were next, both on 234 km/h.
This weekend's racing at Mont-Tremblant will also feature the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike and International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike national support classes.
Picotte will be aiming to wrap up the Pro 600 Sport Bike title. He comes into the event leading Brooklin Cycle Yamaha's Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, ON in the standings 250-172.
Keremeos, BC's Jeremy Leduc has a narrow 11-point lead over fellow Yamaha rider Derek Bowker in Amateur 600 Sport Bike. Leduc has 162 points while Nepean, ON's Bowker sits on 151.
Qualifying for all three national classes will take place Saturday afternoon with feature races set to go on Sunday.
This weekend's event will be televised on TSN on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 11:00 a.m. Action from AMP will also be shown later this year on Quebec's RDS and across Canada on the Outdoor Life Network.
For more series information, visit www.cdnsuperbike.com
Parts Canada Superbike Fast Facts
...Despite a successful international racing career Pascal Picotte has never won a Canadian national title. Steve Crevier, meanwhile, is bidding for his record-extending seventh Canadian Superbike crown and Francis Martin is after his second national championship.
...The Parts Canada Superbike Championship has a chance at history this weekend. The national tour has never had six different riders score a race win in a single season. Five different riders have already won in 2003 with two rounds still remaining on the schedule.
...Should Pascal Picotte claim both the Parts Canada Superbike and Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike titles this year he will match a feat last accomplished by Steve Crevier in 2001. In 1997 Don Munroe claimed three Canadian national Pro crowns (Superbike, 600 Sport Bike and Open Sport Bike).
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Saturday Aug. 16
1:30 p.m.-1:55 p.m. - Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike Qualifying
3:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m. - Parts Canada Superbike Qualifying
4:25 p.m.-5:00 p.m. - International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Qualifying
Sunday Aug. 17
12:20 p.m.-1:05 p.m. - Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike Race - 12 laps
1:15 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Race - 12 laps
3:10 p.m.-4:00 p.m. - Parts Canada Superbike Championship Race - 15 laps