TORONTO, Ont. – Jordan Szoke will try to add to his points lead in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at one of his favourite hunting grounds this weekend, as the six-race series reaches its halfway point at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, N.S.
The Brantford, Ont. ace has six career Superbike national wins on the rolling 2.56km (1.6-mile) 11-turn circuit and is one victory away from tying Steve Crevier for the all-time AMP wins mark. Additionally, Szoke has won three of the last four Superbike nationals at AMP and four of the last six.
In addition to putting him in exalted company at the top of the AMP win list, victory this weekend would keep Szoke well on track toward an unprecedented ninth Canadian Superbike number one plate. He has taken his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR to victory in the opening two rounds of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park and Autodrome St-Eustache, and comes into the weekend with a 20-point lead over Jodi Christie in the standings, 111-91. A race win is worth 50 points.
Christie has been more than a match for Szoke through the early part of the season, however, and will not let the BMW rider take his second straight national crown without a fight. The Keene, Ont. up-and-comer led at both SMP and St-Eustache and claimed his first career Superbike pole in round two aboard the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR. Christie also has a good track record at AMP, having finished a close second to Szoke in this round last summer.
Another likely winner is Uxbridge, Ont.’s Alex Welsh, who sits third in the standings with 78 points after a pair of third-place finishes this season on the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000. Welsh scored his first career Superbike win last summer and has been in the thick of the lead battle at the first two races this year.
Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont. sits fourth in points with 64 after an impressive fourth place finish at St-Eustache in the debut of the Royal Plumbing / FDS Racing Aprilia RSV4, but just seven behind him is Longueuil, Que.’s Sebastien Tremblay, last year’s top rookie Pro with the MotoNation BMW S1000RR.
Also keep an eye on 2013 Sunoco Pro Rookie of the Year Award contender Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont., who is coming off a solid sixth place finish at St-Eustache on the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Honda CBR1000RR.
This weekend also sees the third round of the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Championship, in which Christie enjoys a healthy 25-point lead, 109-84, over Calgary’s John Ross MacRae thanks to wins in the opening two rounds. Riding the Riedmann Racing / Castrol / Blackfoot Triumph 675 MacRae is just two points clear of Honda rider Trombino in the standings.
A wild card in this class will be local ace Austin Shaw-O’Leary of Falmouth, N.S. The rookie Pro is coming off a sweep of Pro victories in last weekend’s Atlantic Roadracing League regional event at AMP on the GoLo Racing / Dua Motorsports / Pro Cycle Yamaha YZF-R6.
Maple Ridge, B.C.’s Crevier will be chasing his third straight win in the Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup this weekend. The MotoSport Plus-backed rider enjoys a 33-point lead over Ruthless Racing’s Darren James in the standings, while Dartmouth, N.S.’s Blaise Fougere, supported by the Maritime Harley-Davidson Retailers, sits fourth in points.
Orangeville, Ont.’s Steve Hoffarth holds a slim five-point lead over fellow BMW S1000RR rider Riley Dawe of Toronto in the Magnetti Marelli Amateur Superbike standings, while Dawe (Yamaha YZF-R6) is 19 points clear of St-Eustache star Mitch Card (Honda CBR600RR) of Ripley, Ont. in the Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike class.
Runaway Honda CBR250R National Race Series points leader Tomas Casas of Peterborough, Ont. will try to get back to his winning ways after being beaten twice at St-Eustache by Japanese interloper Hikari Okubo.
Practice for this weekend’s event opens Friday. Qualifying, including the battle for Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Mopar Pro Superbike division, takes place on Saturday. The first of two Honda CBR250R National Race Series rounds goes Saturday, with feature races in all six national classes set for Sunday.
Video coverage of the Mopar Pro Superbike, Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup and Saturday’s Honda CBR250R National will be available on www.csbk.ca, as well as highlights from the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike race.
Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike: 1. Jodi Christie (Honda) 109; 2. John Ross MacRae (Triumph) 84; 3. Frank Trombino (Suzuki/Honda) 82
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup: 1. Steve Crevier 111; 2. Darren James 78; 3. Elie Daccache 65
Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike: 1. Steve Hoffarth (BMW) 94; 2. Riley Dawe (BMW) 89; 3. Mitch Card (Honda) 75
Recent AMP Superbike National Wins
2012 – Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) BMW
2011 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) BMW
2009 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) Suzuki
2008 – Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) Kawasaki; Clint McBain (Cochrane, Alta.) Suzuki
AMP Fast Facts
…The odds aren’t in favour of Jodi Christie scoring his first career national Superbike win this weekend. The sole rider to pull off the feat was Mark Kowalski back in 1996, and it was the Yamaha rider’s only career Superbike national triumph.
…A win for Jordan Szoke on Sunday would mean that, between them, he and Steve Crevier have won 14 Superbike nationals at AMP. All other riders combined have 16 victories, with local hero Don Munroe and Kevin Lacombe tied on three each.
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Saturday, July 27
9:30 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Qualifying
1:30 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. – Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Qualifying
2:00 p.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Race (12 laps)
2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. – Bazzaz/Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying
4:20 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. – Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Qualifying
5:00 p.m. – 5:20 p.m. – Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Qualifying
Sunday, July 28
1:00 p.m. – Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Race (18 laps)
Bazzaz/Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Race (14 laps)
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Race (16 laps)
Honda CBR250R National Race Series Race (12 laps)
3:20 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Race (22 laps)
Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Race (14 laps)