SZOKE AND McCORMICK RENEW RIVALRY
MIRABEL, Que. (May 26) – In 2009 Jordan Szoke and Brett McCormick staged an epic battle for Canadian road racing supremacy. After a year apart, they will renew their rivalry at this weekend’s opening round of the Canadian Superbike Championship by Parts Canada at Circuit ICAR.
Szoke will begin his quest for an unprecedented eighth national Superbike title and sixth in a row while McCormick tries to capture the crown that narrowly eluded him two summers ago.
After enjoying a historic perfect season in 2010 aboard a Honda CBR1000RR, the 31-year-old Szoke returns to the Kawasaki fold this year and will ride for the factory-supported Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team aboard the brand new ZX-10R Ninja.
The Brantford, Ont. racer has won five of his seven national championships with Kawasaki.
Following a promising campaign in the United States last year, McCormick returns to Canadian competition with the radX / BMW Motorrad Canada squad on the BMW S1000RR. The 19-year-old from Saskatoon won four of the seven national rounds in the ’09 season in his efforts to dethrone Szoke.
Szoke and McCormick are no doubt the favorites for the Canadian Superbike title, but there are plenty of other contenders aiming to get into the mix as well.
“I think it’s important to remember that there are a lot of other fast guys out there,” said McCormick at a press conference on Wednesday promoting this weekend’s event. “I don’t know what it will be like going up against Jordan again, but we can’t ignore everybody else.”
Among those who could break into victory lane at Circuit ICAR will be Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont., who will be aboard the Nelson Racing / GymMax / Monette Sports BMW S1000RR. Nelson was runner-up in last year’s Canadian Superbike Championship by Parts Canada and placed second in the final two races of the year. Nelson also rode a BMW last season and is quite familiar with the German Superbike.
Also familiar with the BMW is McCormick’s radX / BMW Motorrad Canada teammate Michael Ferreira. The Missisauga, Ont. racer finished fifth in points last season as a Superbike rookie and ended the campaign strongly with a pair of podium finishes.
The fourth place finisher in last year’s series, Keene, Ont.’s Jodi Christie returns to ICAR with his Jodi Christie Racing Honda CBR600RR. The former Amateur National Champion was one of the stars at Circuit ICAR last year, finishing a close second to Szoke in the Superbike race.
Quebec hopes may be raised by the appearance of Sherbrooke’s Francis Martin. There is talk the two-time Canadian Superbike champ will ride this weekend aboard another BMW S1000RR after he tested at the venue last weekend. Martin was third in last year’s Superbike standings as a rider with the radX / BMW Motorrad Canada team.
This weekend’s action also includes the opening round of the Pro Sport Bike Championship. After claiming five straight class titles Szoke will not defend his crown in 2011, leaving the door open for a new name to snatch the title.
Last year’s championship runner-up Christie must start as a favorite on his Honda CBR600RR. He finished second to Szoke four times in the 2010 title chase, including the Circuit ICAR season opener.
The field will also include St-Colomban, Que.’s Raphael Archambault and Jeremie Hade Precourt of Granby, Que., both on Suzuki GSX-R600s, who finished first and second respectively in the Amateur Sport Bike National Championship in 2010, along with the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada / Ruthless Racing Buell 1125R of North Vancouver’s Darren James.
Action at Circuit ICAR will also feature races for four other national support divisions. The Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup makes its debut with a field that will include six-time Canadian Superbike Champion Steve Crevier of Maple Ridge, B.C. and last year’s Pro Rookie of the Year Cody Matechuk from Cochrane, Alta. Ruthless Racing’s James should also be among the frontrunners.
Steven Nickerson was also expected to be among the big names running in the class, but the Hamilton, Ont. racer suffered a crash in testing last weekend at Calabogie Motorsports Park and will miss the first round.
Amateur racers will duke it out in the K&N Performance Filters Amateur Superbike and Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike classes, and Saturday will see round one of the Honda CBR125R Challenge.
Practice for this weekend’s event begins on Friday with qualifying, including the Pirelli SuperPole for the Kawasaki S4-R Lubricants Pole Award in the Parts Canada Superbike class set for Saturday. Races in all national classes except the Honda CBR125R Challenge will go Sunday.
For ticket information call (514) 955-ICAR (4227) or go to http://www.circuiticar.com.
2010 Final Point Standings
Parts Canada Superbike: 1. Jordan Szoke (Honda) 376; 2. Andrew Nelson (BMW) 244; 3. Francis Martin (BMW) 234; 4. Jodi Christie (Honda) 197; 5. Mike Ferreira (BMW) 186
Pro Sport Bike: 1. Jordan Szoke (Honda) 352; 2. Jodi Christie (Honda) 270; 3. Cody Matechuk (Suzuki) 217
Amateur Sport Bike: 1. Raphael Archambault (Honda) 321; 2. Jeremie Hade Precourt (Suzuki) 213; 3. Steven Nickerson (Honda) 206
Honda CBR125R Challenge: 1. Ryan Appenrodt 400; 2. Loic Viscasillas 357; 3. Will Hornblower 334
All Time Superbike National Wins in Quebec
Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) 8; Steve Crevier (Maple Ridge, B.C.) 4; Don Munroe (Halifax, N.S.) 4; Michael Taylor (Toronto, Ont.) 4; Rueben McMurter (London, Ont.) 3; Michel Mercier (Thetford Mines, Que.) 3; Pascal Picotte (Granby, Que.) 2; Francis Martin (Sherbrooke, Que.) 2; Art Robbins (Scarborough, Ont.) 1; Miguel Duhamel (Repentigny, Que.) 1; Marco Ferland (Montreal, Que.) 1; Linnley Clarke (Barrie, Ont.) 1; Benoit Pilon (St-Jerome, Que.) 1; Jean-Francois Cyr (Ste-Adele, Que.) 1; Tom Kipp (Chardon, Ohio) 1; Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) 1
Circuit ICAR Fast Facts
…Jordan Szoke has a chance to start his 2011 season in record fashion this weekend. If he wins the Superbike feature it will mark the seventh time, and the sixth in a row that he has won the first race of the season. The next best opening round performer is Steve Crevier with four wins in the first race of a season.
…In the past 25 years of the Canadian Superbike Championship, the winner of the first round has gone on to claim the title 12 times. The last time it didn’t happen was in 2004, when Steve Crevier won the opening race but Pascal Picotte claimed the championship.
…The last racer other than Jordan Szoke or Brett McCormick to win a Canadian Superbike Championship event was Clint McBain, who took the second race in a doubleheader at Atlantic Motorsport Park in August, 2008. Since then Szoke has won 10 races and McCormick five.
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Saturday May 28
10:25 a.m. – 11:05 a.m. – Parts Canada Superbike Pre-Qualifying to lock in top 10 for Pirelli SuperPole
12:45 – 1:00 p.m. – Honda CBR125R Qualifying
2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Pro Sport Bike Qualifying
2:25 p.m. – Honda CBR125R Challenge Race (10 laps)
2:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. – Parts Canada Superbike Championship Pirelli SuperPole Qualifying for the Kawasaki S4-R Lubricants Pole Award
3:30 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. – Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying
4:20 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. – Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Qualifying
4:45 p.m. – 5:35 p.m. – K&N Performance Filters Amateur Superbike Qualifying
Sunday May 29
1:00 p.m. – Pro Sport Bike Race (14 laps)
Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Race (14 laps)
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Race (14 laps)
2:50 p.m. – Parts Canada Superbike Championship Race (20 laps)
K&N Performance Filters Amateur Superbike Race (14 laps)
For more series information, visit http://www.csbk.ca