The 2015 Ontario motorcycle road racing season kicked off on the Pro circuit of Shannonville Motorsport Park May 17, and reigning Hindle Pro Sport Bike National Champion Kenny Riedmann of Belfountaine, ON had a great opener with two victories. The RACE organized event is typically a warm-up for the start of the MOPAR CSBK National tour at Calabogie June 12-14, and great weather ensured a strong competitor turn out.
The Pro Superbike feature started with Elie Daccache jumping into the lead aboard his Yamaha, as Riedmann worked through from fourth after a so-so start aboard the GE Capital-Sturgess Cycle supported Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja. Riedmann gradually pulled clear for his first Pro Superbike feature success, while Daccache got the best of a dice with the OCM Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R of third placed Franklyn Dominguez.
Jim Proulx netted fourth in the feature on his well-travelled Yamaha R1, followed by the brand new, still sorting, duelling BMWs of Sean Huffman in fifth and sixth finisher Michael Leon. Dunlop-Pro 6 supported Huffman and Royal Distributing sponsored Leon are expected to show well at the National opener at Calabogie Motorsport Park next month with their brand new S1000RR models.
In the Pro 6 sponsored Pro Sport Bike race, Riedmann worked through the pack to win aboard his Castrol-GE Capital sponsored Triumph Daytona 675, after again dueling with the Yamaha of early race leader Daccache. Second year Pro Will Hornblower was close for third aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6, while Louis Raffa ran up front before falling, while braking off the end of the back straight. Honda CBR600RR mounted Raffa remounted to earn sixth.
Rookie Pro Stacey Nesbitt opted not to compete on Sunday afternoon at Shannonville after straining her arm in the morning warm-up aboard the OCM Racing Honda CBR600RR. 17-year-old Nesbitt, just finished her school year, recently had a cast removed for a broken scaphoid bone in her right wrist. Fellow 2014 National Amateur star Tommy Casas was on hand to support his team-mate, but his OCM Yamaha was not yet ready for action.
Other notable Pro aces missing the first event included expected Superbike National front-runners Jordan Szoke and Jodi Christie. Nine time Superbike Champ Szoke is waiting for parts to complete his new BMW S1000RR, while reigning current overall National Pro Champ Christie is recovering from a dirt bike training accident. None the less, Honda supported Christie was on hand for a rare spectating engagement at the venue where he also holds the current overall Regional Pro title.
In Amateur action at SMP, the opening race of the season, Gravenhurst Plastics AM 600, featured a great dice for first between Chris Brent (Kawasaki ZX-6R) and Steve Hamer (Yamaha YZF-R6). Unfortunately, the leading duo tangled in the second to last turn, Allen’s Corner, on the final lap, both falling uninjured. Michael Hood (Kawasaki ZX-6R) thus earned the AM 600 victory, followed by Mike Raniowski (ex-Archambault Suzuki GSX-R600) and close-for-third placed Steve Cole (ex-McCormick Suzuki GSX-R600).
In Amateur Superbike, Derrick White won aboard a Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, gradually pulling away from the pack. There was a good battle for second, Chris Brent (Kawasaki ZX-6R) getting the spot from Chris Gray (ex-Daley Suzuki GSX-R1000). That Amateur Superbike was delayed on the first lap with an incident involving Hamer and Raniowski at the hairpin. The race was restarted without those potential winners.
The RACE-run Ontario-Quebec Super Series resumes July 3-5 at Shannonville.