Shannonville: Season opener preview

'All Stars' Ready To Battle TORONTO, ON An all-star line-up of Canadian motorcycle racing talent is ready to face off at the opening round of the 2004 Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park this weekend. The ...

'All Stars' Ready To Battle

TORONTO, ON An all-star line-up of Canadian motorcycle racing talent is ready to face off at the opening round of the 2004 Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park this weekend.

The starting grid for Sunday afternoon's feature race will highlight no fewer than five former national Superbike champions, including the winners of the last six titles. Additionally, the entry list boasts nine racers who have won at least one Canadian Superbike feature race.

The man showing off the number one plate on his bike will be Granby, QC's Pascal Picotte, who claimed his first Canadian Superbike title in 2003. He defends his crown with the latest version of the Yamaha YZF-R1 run by his Picotte Racing Yamaha team.

Among those leading the chase of Picotte will be Maple Ridge, BC veteran Steve Crevier, the most successful rider in Canadian Superbike history with six championships and 21 race wins. Second in last year's series, Crevier is back with the Diablo Performance Suzuki squad on a GSX-R1000.

Another title contender from 2003, Francis Martin has rejoined the Canadian Kawasaki Motors squad to race its brand new ZX-10R. After three years with Suzuki, the Rock Forest, QC native is back with the team for which he won the Canadian crown in 1999.

Two-time national champion Jordan Szoke returns to Canadian action with the new Honda Canada / Fast Company team, riding the CBR1000RR. The Brantford, ON native was champion in 1998 and 2002, but spent last year competing on the U.S.-based AMA Superbike tour.

Last of the former champions in the field is 1994 and '96 titlist Michael Taylor, who will race a Ducati 999R for the Z1 Cycletech team. This is the first time Ducati has had a major presence in the Canadian series since 1995.

Joining this stellar line-up at Shannonville will be former race winners Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, ON and Granby, QC racer Kevin Lacombe, both on Yamahas prepared by Brooklin Cycle; Laval, QC's Jean-Francois Cyr on the CyRacing / Michelin Honda CBR1000RR; and Crevier's Diablo Suzuki teammate Jeff Williams from Harrowsmith, ON.

Also sure to contend will be Coors Light Racing / Blackfoot Suzuki pilots Clint McBain of Calgary and his new Australian teammate Craig Connell; Szoke's Honda Canada / Fast Company partner Andrew Nelson of Kars, ON; and young Kawasaki factory rider Matt McBride from Mississauga, ON.

This weekend's racing will also include the opening rounds of the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike Championship and the International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Amateur 600 Sport Bike Championship. Picotte is the defending Pro 600 Sport Bike champion while a host of young up-and-coming riders will attempt to emulate Keremeos, BC's Jeremy Leduc, winner of last year's Amateur 600 crown.

Qualifying for all three national classes will take place Saturday afternoon with feature races on Sunday.

This weekend's event will be televised on TSN this summer and later this year on the Outdoor Life Network and Quebec's RDS.

-www.cdnsuperbike.com

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Series CSBK
Drivers Jordan Szoke , Pascal Picotte , Andrew Nelson , Craig Connell , Clint McBain , Jeff Williams , Francis Martin , Steve Crevier , Frank Trombino
Teams Williams