Race City: Rounds two, three preview

CALGARY, AB The Parts Canada Superbike Championship begins a critical stretch of its 2005 title chase at Race City Motorsport Park this weekend. Even though the doubleheader races on Saturday and Sunday are only the second and third rounds of...

CALGARY, AB The Parts Canada Superbike Championship begins a critical stretch of its 2005 title chase at Race City Motorsport Park this weekend.

Even though the doubleheader races on Saturday and Sunday are only the second and third rounds of the eight-race series, success here could put a rider on track to the overall series title.

Last season Pascal Picotte won both ends of the doubleheader to start a four-race winning streak on the way to his second straight Parts Canada Superbike title. In 2002 Jordan Szoke did the same to kick off a record-tying five-race winning streak en route to his second championship.

Both riders should be at the forefront of this weekend's racing action at the 3.2km (2.0-mile) Calgary venue. Picotte will be aiming for a repeat of his 2004 success as he tries to get himself back in contention for a third straight Canadian national crown. The Granby, QC rider was injured in a practice fall at the season opener at Shannonville Motorsport Park in May and gutted out a brave eighth place finish on his Picotte Performance Yamaha YZF-R1.

Szoke finished third at Shannonville aboard the Fast Company Honda CBR1000RR. The Brantford, ON ace, also a two-time national champion has more Superbike wins at Race City than any other racer in the sport's history with five.

Of course, both riders will be chasing Rock Forest, QC's Francis Martin, who won the Shannonville opener in impressive fashion on his Snobgirls / Laval Moto Suzuki GSX-R1000 and leads the 2005 point standings. Martin scored his first career national Superbike win at Race City in 1999 on his way to that year's Canadian title.

A pair of Calgary natives should also feature in the lead battle at both of this weekend's Superbike rounds. Blackfoot Suzuki's Clint McBain finished fourth in last year's Parts Canada Superbike point standings, while Chris Peris makes his 2005 Canadian debut on the Topline Yamaha YZF-R1 after some impressive performances in the U.S. this season.

Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, ON is coming off a solid second place finish at this season's opening Canadian round on the Trombino Yamaha Racing Yamaha YZF-R1. Another contender will be six-time national champion Steve Crevier. The Maple Ridge, BC veteran placed fourth at Shannonville on the DXS Diablo Performance Honda CBR1000RR and is a two-time winner at Race City.

Another Granby rider, Kevin Lacombe should also be in the mix on the other Blackfoot Suzuki GSX-R1000. Lacombe placed third in last season's Superbike point standings.

The list of potential challengers also includes the Canadian Kawasaki duo of Tom Kipp, from Chardon, OH and Mississauga, ON rider Matt McBride on their Kawasaki ZX-10Rs.

This weekend's racing also features doubleheader action for the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike and Suzuki SV650 National Cup support classes, along with the second round of the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Championship.

Crevier edged McBain for the win in the opening round of the Pro 600 Sport Bike series at Shannonville. Picotte is the defending class champion, and Peris won one of last year's Calgary races for his first ever national victory.

Alain Lefebvre of Rouyn-Noranda, QC comes to Race City leading the SV650 Cup national standings after a dominant victory at Shannonville.

Whitby, ON's Craig Archer won a typically dramatic Amateur 600 Sport Bike season opener at Shannonville on his Honda CBR600RR. Yamaha racer James Collins of Woodstock, ON is second in points and Pascal Anctil from Laval, QC is third after completing the Shannonville podium on his Suzuki.

Qualifying for the Parts Canada Superbike, Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike and Suzuki SV650 National Cup series will take place Friday afternoon with feature races set for Saturday and Sunday.

The International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike competitors will qualify Saturday for their Sunday feature.

Action from this weekend will be shown later this summer in a one-hour show on TSN.

-www.cdnsuperbike.com

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Series CSBK
Drivers Jordan Szoke , Tom Kipp , Pascal Picotte , Chris Peris , Kevin Lacombe , Steve Crevier , Frank Trombino