Things have been pretty quiet on the Canadian racing scene over the winter, with riders playing their sponsorship cards and entry plans close to their chest. For sure, in the Pro ranks we know that Jordan Szoke will be back, chasing an unprecedented 10th Canadian Superbike crown. The 35-year-old Brantford, Ont., resident shows no sign of slowing down despite his years and family (toddler son Wolf has already been introduced to riding by wife Amy, a former 600 racer herself).
Szoke will be on BMW power again this season, on an S1000RR sponsored by Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Parts Canada.
As far as we know, all the other riders who took victories in 2013 – Jodie Christie, Bodhi Edie, and Alex Welsh – plan to be back. For Christie, the season was his first on a superbike, and he might well have taken the title on his Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies-backed Honda CBR1000RR if not for crashing out one of the CTMP (formerly Mosport) rounds.
As for Edie, the Saskatchewan youngster didn’t have the funds for the full tour last year, but in his two appearances won at CTMP on his Edie Racing / Ffun Motorsports BMW S1000RR, and qualified on the front row at St-Jovite.
And Welsh took the fight in 2013 to the final race at CTMP on his AW7R / Kenwood / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000, after finishing on the podium in every event. It was his second National win, and he’ll be looking for more.
Other top Pros expected to return are “rookies” from 2013 – Caledon’s Kristopher Garvie, fourth in the final point standings, Trevor Daley, a fine fifth in the season finale on his Honda CBR1000RR, and East Coaster Austin Shaw-O’Leary, slowed in 2013 by a number of problems. He’ll be joined by another Nova Scotia alumnus, Caleb Noiles.
There are several first-year Pros stepping into the arena, so the Pro fields should not only be deeper but also more competitive in 2014. Tops among them may be second-generation racer Mitch Card, who grabbed both the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike and Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike crowns in 2013.
Marco Sousa actually tied Card on points in the Amateur Sport Bike standings but lost the title in a tiebreaker. Steve Hoffarth was Amateur Superbike runner-up, Riley Dawe at one time led both Amateur class standings, and Stephane Houle waswinner of the final two Amateur Superbike races of the season. All are expected to join the fray.
The Harley-Davidson XR1200 class is gone, and although no support class has been named to replace it, CSBK officials say an announcement can be expected soon. There’s also a chance of an additional round or two being added to the five-race series, so there’s lots of news still to come before the first race at Shannonville Motorsport Park in June.