One big name was missing from yesterday’s CSBK results: Jodi Christie was nowhere to be seen on the timesheets. That’s because Christie isn’t racing this CSBK season.
The young star has consistently been one of the fastest riders in Canadian Superbike action in the past few years, winning the 2014 Pro Superbike championship, and also taking the Pro Sport Bike titles 2011-2013. Christie also won the 2008 Amateur Sport Bike title and was 2009 Rookie of the Year. In 2015, he was runner-up in Pro Sport Bike and third in Pro Superbike.
Despite that string of impressive results, Christie isn’t riding this year. A Honda official says that decision was Christie’s, and that they would support him if he chose to go back to the track. We’ve heard from a CSBK insider that Honda indeed offered him a sponsorship package, but not the same deal he had in the past, which probably ended in the results we’re seeing.
Hopefully, Christie’s absence is not a sign Honda is stepping back from roadracing. Honda still appears on CSBK’s official sponsor list, but there were no Honda litre bikes in Sunday’s Pro Superbike event (a couple CBR600RRs were listed as DNS), and only two 600s in the Pro Sport Bike event (Louis Raffa earned a fourth on his CBR600RR). Honda’s money has been a key part of the growth in Canadian roadracing in recent years, thanks to the CBR125 and CBR250 series, in particular.
The good news is, despite Christie’s absence, there are several other experienced competitors back on the CSBK track this summer. Michael Taylor’s back, Kevin Lacombe’s back, and Ben Young has started racing CSBK. Christie or no Christie, the field is the strongest it’s been in years.
The word on the street is that Christie’s going to be flat track racing this summer (with Honda sponsorship), which isn’t a bad way to spend your downtime …