Szoke leading championship hunt


Szoke smoke in the air

Canadian Kawasaki ace Jordan Szoke is looking like a pretty safe bet for another double Canadian championship.

He may have lost the battle to Clint McBain and his Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the second Parts Canada Superbike race at Atlantic Motorsports Park at Shubenacadie, NS, last weekend, but he’s firmly in control for his third consecutive (and fifth overall) Suberbike title. The Brantford, Ont., rider carded a win in Saturday’s race and a third on Sunday to create a 287 to 245 point lead over McBain for the final round at Shannonville on the Labour Day weekend.

With 56 points available at each race, that 42-point differential means that McBain must win and Szoke basically score nothing at the final event, so it’s an uphill struggle for McBain. Still, the Cochrane, AB rider said, "I’m getting closer. All I can do at Shannonville is what I did today."

Szoke’s Saturday win tied him with the ageless and talented Steve Crevier for 26 career national wins in Canada, and on Sunday after finishing third behind McBain and his 16-year-old Kawasaki team-mate Brett McCormick (who took his first-ever pole position this weekend) he said, "I was out there running for the championship. I just didn’t want to do anything stupid. I never actually planned to be on the podium today."

McCormick’s pole and finishes were noteworthy not only because of his age, but also his physical condition; he was riding pretty battered after a crash early in the weekend aggravated rib injuries he’d suffered at the previous round at Mosport.

Szoke’s mood was also lightened as he locked up his third consecutive Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike title with a third-place finish in Sunday’s race on his Kawasaki ZX-6R. Calgary’s Chris Peris claimed the win on his Blackfoot Suzuki GSX-R600 after Saturday’s race winner Andrew Nelson (Nelson Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) crashed out of the lead on lap 12 of the 18-lap contest. McCormick took second in that one, as well.


Martin, Peris, and Crevier battle

Peris got a fourth in the Sunday superbike final, after fighting with team-mate Francis Martin and Steve Crevier on the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada / Ruthless Racing Buell 1125R, but Crevier and Martin crashed out in the Carousel just three laps from the end.

An impressive Superbike seventh was carded by Granby, QC rider Kevin Lacombe, riding through the pain of a broken wrist (suffered on Saturday morning) on the Team Toyota Yamaha / Fast Company Racing Yamaha YZF-R1. That result let Lacombe hold onto third in the championship with 205 points.

Andrew Nelson rebounded from his 600 crash to win Sunday’s Canadian Thunder race on his NCR-Ducati 848 and keep the championship alive heading to the final round at Shannonville. The Kars, Ont. rider finished 5.472 seconds ahead of Italian team-mate Valter Bartolini, with Erick Beausejour of Val D’Or, Que. third on a KTM Canada Super Duke R 990.

Jim Proulx of Ottawa wrapped up the Canadian Sport Twins title after a second place finish in the race on his Buell XB12R behind B.C.’s Olivier Spilborghs on a Buell XB9R.

Jodi Christie, 15 years old and looking about 12, won his third Armour Bodies Amateur 600 Sport Bike race of the year on his Yamaha YZF-R6 but a second-place finish by Calgary’s Patrick Marques on his Suzuki GSX-R600 kept the title race alive. Christie takes a 43-point lead over Marques, 250-207, heading to the Shannonville finale.

Cody Matechuk of Cochrane, Alta. (McBain’s stepson – it’s all in the family) closed to within two points of the lead in the Suzuki SV650 National Cup with his second win of the weekend. The 15-year-old finished a massive 14.282 seconds ahead of series leader John Jarvie of Burlington, Ont., so Jarvie heads to Shannonville with a mere two-point lead over Matechuk.

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