In the first motorcycle race ever held at the new Calabogie Motorsports Park circuit, Canadian Kawasaki Motors ace Jordan Szoke picked up the 2008 Parts Canada Superbike season where he left off at the end of 2007 — and 2006 — with wins in both premier Superbike and Pro 600 Sport Bike races.
He had a comfortable 5+ second lead over Kevin Lacombe on the Team Toyota Yamaha/Fast Company Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 in Superbike, and squeaked out a 0.001-second win over his teenage team-mate Brett McCormick in the 600 class.
An impressive third in the Superbike race was veteran Steve Crevier in the first racing appearance of the new Buell 1125R, sponsored by Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada/Ruthless Racing, despite being down nearly 40 hp and up by more than 5 kg!
A notable addition to the field was Michael Barnes of Boca Raton, Florida. Barnes, a regular rider on the M4 Suzuki team in AMA competition, was subbing for Clint McBain, who suffered a separated collarbone a week earlier in RACE action at Shannonville. Barnes was a front-runner, but pulled in during the race with undisclosed engine problems.
Lacombe was close to Szoke until about half-distance, when he dropped back a bit: "I thought something had gone through my front fender," said Lacombe, who won Saturday’s Pirelli Superpole competition to claim pole position for the race. "I took a corner or two to make sure everything was OK and I lost contact with Jordan."
Crevier qualified eighth on the Buell and spent most of the race battling with the Team Suzuki/Blackfoot/Picotte Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Francis Martin. The pair initially ran seventh and eighth but moved up as trouble struck Barnes, then McCormick and Martin’s Blackfoot team-mates Chris Peris and Matt McBride all crashed.
"It’s quite amazing," said Crevier, a six-time Canadian Superbike champion. "We only got the bikes last Friday, and the crew has been slaving for a week solid. We even had to use a DOT rear tire because our rim was too narrow for the slick. It got a little mushy at the end but it felt OK."
Thunder, twins and the rest
In the revised Canadian Thunder class (now split into two groups,
basically the old class as Sport Twins and newer liquid-cooled bikes as
Thunder) the NCR Ducati 848s of Italian import Valter Bartolini and his
team-mate Andrew Nelson of Kars, ON took first and second, followed
home by Dave Estok of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, third on a Deeley
Harley-Davidson Canada/Ruthless Racing Buell 1125R.
In the Sport Twins class, Ottawa’s Jim Proulx took the win on his
Buell XB12R. He was followed by the Kawasaki 650R of Mississauga,
Ont.’s Laurent Feuiltault (who’s been opening eyes all season at
Shannonville’s Regional events with his remarkable speed on the 650R),
and Olivier Spilborghs of B.C. on a Buell XB9. Proulx, with a
seven-second margin of victory, earned the Tirox Winning Big Award for
having the largest margin of victory in any of the national classes.
Other class wins went to recent New Zealand immigrant John Jarvie in SV Cup, Raphael Archambault in the new Honda CBR125R Challenge (see separate article), Marie-Josee Boucher in the Pro Honda Oils Women’s Cup Challenge, and Martin Grande in Armour Bodies Amateur 600 Sport Bike.
Other special awards went to Alex Welsh, Top HJC Pro Rookie of the Weekend fifth in 600 Sport Bike on his Triumph 675 Daytona; Jodi Christie, Performance Under Gear Performance of the Race Award for a gritty run to second in AM 600 after a nasty crash in the first part of the red-flagged event; the Team Toyota Fast Company team, MBP/Brembo Tuner’s Award Winners; Andrew Nelson, Canadian Thunder – NCR Ducati award; and Olivier Spilborghs, the Canadian Thunder ST/Ruthless Racing award.
The next national round will be in Calgary’s Race City facility, June 26-29