KAWASAKI CLAIMS TEAM OF THE YEAR TORONTO, Ont. (September 11) -- For the second year in a row Canadian Kawasaki Motors has won the Inside Motorcycles Team of the Year award in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship. The honor comes after an...
KAWASAKI CLAIMS TEAM OF THE YEAR
TORONTO, Ont. (September 11) -- For the second year in a row Canadian Kawasaki Motors has won the Inside Motorcycles Team of the Year award in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship.
The honor comes after an impressive season from the squad in which Jordan Szoke of Brantford, Ont. picked up his fourth straight Parts Canada Superbike Championship and Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike title.
The 30-year-old is the first rider to win four Canadian Superbike crowns and the first to sweep both the Superbike and Pro Sport Bike titles in four straight years.
His Superbike success came aboard the venerable Kawasaki Ninja ZX- 10R while he won Sport Bike in the first year for the latest incarnation of the Ninja ZX-6R.
Szoke was ably backed up this season by 21-year-old Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ont. In his first season with the factory squad, Welsh was seventh in Superbike points and fourth in the Pro Sport Bike rankings with podium finishes in four of the seven races.
"The Canadian Kawasaki Motors team had a near flawless season in this year's Parts Canada Superbike Championship," said Inside Motorcycles editor John Hopkins, who presented Kawasaki team manager Jeff Comello with the Team of the Year trophy at the final series round at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Sunday.
"What makes this season's performance particularly impressive is the way the team responded to the challenge from Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Racing. In a situation where a lot of squads may have wilted under the pressure, these guys dug deep and found another gear, which is the true mark of a champion."
Szoke won three of the seven races in the Superbike class and the Pro Sport Bike division and never placed lower than second in either category. In addition to his four Sport Bike podiums Welsh earned a season high third in the opening Superbike race of the Mosport International Raceway doubleheader.
"I'm genuinely surprised," Comello said. "We had some tough competition this year from Pascal's team and others which forced us to work harder than ever to achieve what we did. But our team never gave up and constantly ensured the bikes performed flawlessly day in and day out. In the end it's the details that can make all the difference."
The Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory team consists of Jean Bancroft, Brian Bevan, Jeff Comello, Mike Crompton, Mark Orchard, Jeremy Sharrard, Harald Surian, Sandy Szoke, Bob Szoke and Richard Winter.
Now in its 12th year of publication, Inside Motorcycles covers all forms of motorcycling with a Canadian focus. Inside Motorcycles is also a sponsor of the Pole Position Award in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship, which awards $500 to the fastest qualifier in Pirelli SuperPole qualifying at each series round. Visit www.insidemotorcycles.com for more information.