EPIC TITLE BATTLE REACHES MIDPOINT BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (July 15) -- A compelling, see-saw battle for the 2009 Parts Canada Superbike Championship reaches its midway point at Mosport International Raceway this weekend. Seventeen-year-old Brett ...
EPIC TITLE BATTLE REACHES MIDPOINT
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (July 15) -- A compelling, see-saw battle for the 2009 Parts Canada Superbike Championship reaches its midway point at Mosport International Raceway this weekend.
Seventeen-year-old Brett McCormick comes into the key doubleheader with an 11-point lead, 157-146, over five-time national champion Jordan Szoke after three of seven races. After Szoke won the opening round of the series on his Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R, McCormick picked up the next two wins aboard the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000.
With full points races on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend's action on the 3.9km (2.459-mile) Mosport circuit could prove critical in deciding the outcome of this year's title chase.
There has been very little to choose between the two protagonists. Szoke won the opener at Calabogie Motorsports Park in May after a dramatic last lap battle with McCormick. The victory was Szoke's 27th career national Superbike triumph, making the 30-year-old from Brantford, Ont. the winningest rider of all time.
McCormick replied with a narrow win over Szoke in round two at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que. Then the Saskatoon ace made it two wins in a row with a stunning pass of Szoke on the final lap at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park.
While McCormick has been victorious in the two most recent races, Szoke always excels at Mosport and has won five times at the track, including once last year.
Other racers will undoubtedly try to break up the McCormick/Szoke monopoly in the pair of Superbike feature races this weekend. Ottawa racer Andrew Nelson is enjoying his finest season yet on the Nelson Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 and the 26-year-old sits third in points with 96 coming into this weekend.
Not far behind, however, is Cochrane, Alta.'s Clint McBain with 90 points. The 36-year-old has won twice at Mosport in the past two years and has finished in the top five in each of this season's three races on his Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Fifth in points is 43-year-old six-time champion Steve Crevier of Maple Ridge, B.C., who is having a stellar year on the Deeley Racing Powered By Buell / Buell 1125R.
Tied for sixth in the standings are Szoke's Canadian Kawasaki Motors team-mate Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ont. and Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF Yamaha YZF-R1 rider Kevin Lacombe of Granby, Que., who finished third in last year's title chase.
Also in the top 10 are HJC Pro Rookie of the Year contenders Royce McLean (Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF Yamaha YZF-R6) of Coaldale, Alta. and Keene, Ont.'s Jodi Christie (Honda Powerhouse Honda Dealers of Ontario / Roz- Gar Racing Honda CBR600RR), along with the A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX- 6R of Granby, Que.'s Karl Daigle.
Not to be discounted are GoLo Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont., who has two Mosport victories to his credit, and former two-time Canadian Superbike champ Michael Taylor of Toronto, who will make his 2009 debut on a Parkway Honda Powerhouse / ProStar Motorsports Honda CBR1000RR.
The roles in the McCormick/Szoke battle are reversed in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike Championship, the national tour's premier support division, where Kawasaki's Szoke comes to Mosport with a nine-point lead over McCormick, 155-146 after narrowly beating the Suzuki rider at Race City.
Yamaha's Lacombe leads a tight battle for third with 99 points after three events, just one ahead of Welsh on the Kawasaki, with Yamaha racer Nelson (95), Crevier on the Buell (84) and Lacombe's Yamaha team-mate McLean (82) all close behind.
Honda stalwart Christie is a distant eighth in the standings, while the top 10 is rounded out by New Smyrna Beach, Fla.'s Dave Estok on the Deeley Racing Powered By Buell / Buell 1125R and two-time Canadian Superbike Champion Francis Martin of Sherbrooke, Que. on the BMW Motorrad Canada BMW HP2.
This weekend's action will also feature a single race for the Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike Championship, where Cochrane, Alta.'s Cody Matechuk (Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R600) enjoys a solid 155-134 lead over Longueuil, Que.'s Sebastien Tremblay (A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R).
The 15-year-old Matechuk has won twice while Tremblay, 21, picked up the victory on home turf at Circuit ICAR.
Efram Ellenbogen of Belleville, Ont. is third in the Amateur Sport Bike standings riding his BnE Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
Raphael Archambault of St-Colomban, Que. holds a narrow 119-112 advantage over Brantford, Ont.'s Rob Busby heading into this weekend's pair of races for the Suzuki SV650 National Cup, and Bodhi Edie of Warman, Sask. is eight points clear of Hamilton, Ont.'s Steven Nickerson, 201-193 with a pair of Honda CBR125R Challenge races on tap.
Practice for this weekend's event begins on Thursday with qualifying, including the Pirelli SuperPole for the Inside Motorcycles Pole Position Award in the Parts Canada Superbike class set for Friday. Races in all national classes will go Saturday and Sunday, except in the Amateur Sport Bike division, where qualifying will be held Saturday for Sunday's race.
A three-day SuperTicket is $60 at the Gate and each ticket includes parking, paddock admission, and entrance to Saturday Night Stock Car racing at Mosport Speedway. For more information call the Mosport Hotline at 1-800- 866-1072 (Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET) or visit online at www.mosport.com.