The 2008 Parts Canada Superbike Series ended with some superb racing, although there were no great surprises in the final championship tallies. As expected, Jordan Szoke and his Kawasaki ZX-10R locked up his third consecutive Parts Canada Superbike championship, taking a well-judged sixth position to gather enough points to easily guarantee the title.
"It was a boring race for me and not the way I want to do it," said Szoke, who now has five Canadian Superbike titles. "But we got the championship and that was the most important thing."
Second in the series went to Cochrane, Alb., resident Clint McBain, who carded a fourth in this final event after a spectacular crash in qualifying forced his crew to build him a new motorcycle overnight.
Meanwhile, Szoke’s teenage team-mate Brett McCormick overcame a season of bad luck and injury, plus got all his Internet distance learning high school homework done in time, to claim his first career Pro win in a superb contest with Fast Company Yamaha rider Kevin Lacombe. Lacombe, riding with a wrist broken at the Shubenacadie round only three weeks earlier, put in a gritty performance; he and McCormick each led half of the 20-lap race, both passes occurring in late-braking moves at the tight hairpin.
McCormick’s margin of victory was a mere 0.113 seconds.
"It was an unbelievable race," said McCormick, who started from pole position and led off the start. "To get my first win in a battle like that is really something. Hopefully I can do more of this next year."
Lacombe finishes the season third in the Superbike standings with 250 points.
Although he had to run for conservative points in the Superbike race, Szoke rode the way he likes and tasted victory in the Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike race despite having locked up the championship at the previous race in Shubenacadie. He took the lead from the Yamaha of Lacombe on lap 6 of 18 and held off his teammate McCormick by 0.211 seconds. McCormick grabbed second from Lacombe on the final lap.
Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ont., finished seventh in the Pro 600 Sport Bike race on his Z1 Cycletech Triumph 675 and captured the HJC Pro Rookie of the Year Award.
It nearly came to tears for pre-season Armour Bodies Amateur 600 Sport Bike class favourite Jodi Christie (15 years of age), who led the entire race, then fell two laps from the end. He managed to restart and took the title by only two points over Calgary’s Patrick Marques. I went over to him after the race, and started out, "Jodi!" He looked embarrassed and waved me off, saying, "Dad’s already talked to me!"
Valter Bartolini, all the way from Bologna, Italy, clinched the Canadian Thunder title with a win on Sunday aboard his NCR-Ducati 848. His team-mate Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont., the only rider who could beat him to the title, finished second just 0.120 seconds behind, with New Smyrna Beach, Fla.’s Dave Estok third on a Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada / Ruthless Racing Buell 1125R.
Cody Matechuk of Cochrane, Alta., survived a jump start penalty to win the Suzuki SV650 National Cup race at Shannonville and clinch the series title over Burlington, Ont.’s John Jarvie, who finished third in the race behind Rob Busby of Brantford, Ont.
It was a good weekend but running a Pro race for 4 laps to declare a winner? Maybe for a sportsman heat race.