SZOKE EYES MORE MOSPORT MAGIC TORONTO, Ont. (July 16) -- Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke will continue his quest for Parts Canada Superbike Championship history as the series hosts its traditional midseason doubleheader at Mosport International...
SZOKE EYES MORE MOSPORT MAGIC
TORONTO, Ont. (July 16) -- Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke will continue his quest for Parts Canada Superbike Championship history as the series hosts its traditional midseason doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway this weekend.
The Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory rider is trying to become only the second rider in the almost 30-year history of the series to win three straight national titles, and capture his fifth Canadian championship.
But the 29-year-old also has more immediate goals on the horizon. His triumph in this year's season opener at Calabogie Motorsport Park gave him 24 career national victories, just two fewer than all-time leader Steve Crevier. A sweep at Mosport would bring Szoke into a tie with the six-time Canadian Superbike championship.
Szoke is also second on the all-time Mosport win list with four victories, just one behind Pascal Picotte, so he could become the most successful Superbike racer in the storied track's history this weekend as well.
Szoke enjoys the 3.9km (2.459-mile), 10-turn Mosport track, but was shut out of victory lane last year. He settled for a close second behind Cochrane, Alta.'s Clint McBain in the first race of the doubleheader, then struggled to a seventh-place finish in the wet second race. That round was won by Crevier, who went on to sweep the remaining races of the season as he took the title battle down to the final event.
Szoke comes to this weekend's third and fourth rounds of the seven- race series with a 14-point lead in the standings over Kevin Lacombe, 99-85. After victory in the season opener in Calabogie, the Kawasaki rider had to settle for second in the most recent event at Calgary's Race City Motorsports Park.
Lacombe is the only rider besides Szoke to have finished on the podium in both of the first two races. The 25-year-old rider of the Team Toyota Yamaha / Fast Company Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 placed second in Calabogie and third in Calgary.
Victory in Calgary went to local hero McBain on his Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000. After missing the first round due to a separated shoulder, McBain comes to Mosport riding a wave of momentum and is currently fourth in points with 55.
Just ahead of McBain in the standings is two-time Canadian Superbike champ Francis Martin of Sherbrooke, Que. The rider of the Team Suzuki / Backfoot / Picotte Performance Suzuki GSX-R1000 was fourth in Calabogie and sixth at Race City and has 59 championship points.
Martin's Suzuki teammates Matt McBride and Chris Peris should also go well at Mosport this weekend. Mississauga, Ont.'s McBride, 23, tends to shine at his home track while the 21-year-old Peris, from Calgary, ran at the front in the opening two races.
Another young rider worth watching will be Szoke's 16-year-old Kawasaki teammate Brett McCormick, the defending HJC Pro Rookie of the Year. The Saskatoon native qualified on the front row for each of the first two races of the year.
Maple Ridge, B.C.'s Crevier rides the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada / Ruthless Racing Buell 1125R this weekend. The evergreen 42-year-old showed the new bike's potential with a debut third place finish in Calabogie.
This weekend's action also features doubleheaders for the Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike, Canadian Thunder, Canadian Sport Twins and Suzuki SV650 National Cup.
Szoke leads the Pro 600 Sport Bike standings for Kawasaki after wins in the opening two races. The two-time defending class champion has a 31- point edge, 109-78 over teammate McCormick in second, while Yamaha's Lacombe sits third with 74 points.
NCR-Ducati's Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont. leads the Thunder class after winning at Race City, while Buell rider Jim Proulx from Ottawa has captured the first two Canadian Sport Twins rounds of the season.
John Jarvie of Burlington, Ont. leads Cochrane, Alta.'s Cody Matechuk by 13 points in the SV Cup title chase.
Sunday will see the third round of the Armour Bodies Amateur 600 Sport Bike Championship. Fifteen-year-old Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. leads the standings after a dominant victory in Calgary.
Rounding out the weekend's National action is the second round of the Honda CBR125R Challenge, which will be held on Mosport's "Rider Deveopment" circuit on Friday afternoon. Raphael Archambault of St-Colonban, Que. won the opener.
Qualifying for the Superbike, Pro 600 Sport Bike, Thunder and SV Cup classes, including the Pirelli SuperPole session for Superbike, will be held Friday with races set for Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
The Amateur 600 Sport Bike competitors will have their qualifying session Saturday with their lone race of the weekend Sunday afternoon.
Mosport Fast Facts
--Mosport International Raceway staged its first Canadian Superbike National in 1987, when Gary Goodfellow won on a Suzuki. The first ever Canadian Superbike race was also held at Mosport in 1978. American John Long won on a BMW.
--Last year was the first time a rider didn't sweep both races in the Mosport Superbike doubleheader since 2003. Pascal Picotte won twice in 2004 and 2005, and Jordan Szoke did it in 2006.
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Friday July 18
11:05 a.m.-11:45 a.m. -- Parts Canada Superbike Pre-qualifying (to lock in top 10 for Pirelli SuperPole session)
1:15 p.m.-1:40 p.m. -- Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike Qualifying (for the Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award)
1:50 p.m.-2:15 p.m. -- Canadian Thunder & Canadian Sport Twins Qualifying
3:00 p.m. -3:20 p.m. -- Honda CBR125R Challenge Qualifying (at Mosport "Rider Development" Track)
3:30 p.m.-4:05 p.m. -- Parts Canada Superbike Pirelli SuperPole Qualifying (for the Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award)
4:15 p.m.-4:35 p.m. -- Suzuki SV650 Cup Qualifying
5:30 p.m. -- Honda CBR125R Challenge Race -- 12 laps (at Mosport "Rider Development" Track)
Saturday July 19
1:00 p.m. -- Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike Race -- 14 laps
2:00 p.m. -- Canadian Thunder & Canadian Sport Twins Race -- 10 laps
3:10 p.m. -- Parts Canada Superbike Championship Race -- 20 laps
4:00 p.m. -4:50 p.m. -- Armour Bodies Amateur 600 Sport Bike Qualifying
5:10 p.m. -- Suzuki SV650 National Cup Race -- 10 laps
Sunday July 20
12:45 p.m. -- Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike Race -- 14 laps
1:40 p.m. -- Canadian Thunder & Canadian Sport Twins Race -- 10 laps
2:20 p.m. -- Armour Bodies Amateur 600 Sport Bike Race -- 12 laps
2:55 p.m. -- Parts Canada Superbike Championship Race -- 20 laps
3:45 p.m. -- Suzuki SV650 National Cup Race -- 10 laps