Szoke claims first race


Szoke defeats former teammate

Jordan Szoke picked up the 2009 season where he left off in 2008, with wins in both the Parts Canada Superbike and Pro Sport Bike (600) races on his Kawasakis at Calabogie Motorsports Park near Ottawa this past weekend. "What a great, fun race that was!" said Szoke after the Superbike round, who became the Canadian career leader in national Superbike victories with 27. "We passed each other a whole bunch of times on that last lap. He rode a strong race and I tried to keep him honest."

"He" was Szoke’s former team-mate, 17-year-old pole-sitter Brett McCormick on a Blackfoot Suzuki. Szoke beat him to the line with a last-lap pass to take the win by 0.133 seconds in Superbike, but had an easier run in the Pro Sport Bike race, where he won, again over McCormick, by 3.3 seconds, after counting a penalty for a called jump start.

Kevin Lacombe, on the Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF Yamahas, grabbed a third in both contests.

After the Superbike race, McCormick sighed, "It’s disappointing to lead the whole race and then lose it on the last lap. I was managing the lead a little bit but the bike felt good."

Lacombe managed third in the Superbike race with a daring last-lap pass on Cochrane, Alberta’s Clint McBain. "I took a big guess on which rear tire to use and it was not the right guess," Lacombe admitted. "I knew I was having problems and I backed off. But on the final lap I wanted to try everything to get him."

In the hot Armour Bodies Amateur 600 contest, McBain’s stepson Cody Matechuk won his debut 600 race, taking the lead on the seventh of 10 laps and opening up a healthy lead of more than five seconds in the last three go-arounds. Second went to Efram Ellenbogen on the BnE Racing / Yamaha YZF-R6 (who’s on fire this season, with two wins and two seconds in the regional RACE series), when Sebastien Tremblay suffered a five-second penalty for a jump start. Tremblay got third, and Ellenbogen’s team-mate Bill Shields captured fourth, also looking good for the ’09 season after his dual wins at the RACE regionals a week ago.


Schouten scores best yet

A notable fifth was Joey McRae, who suffered serious leg and pelvis injuries in a monstrous accident at this race last year, and sixth was also notable in that Vicki Schouten of Ottawa picked up her best national series score yet. Schouten’s riding has taken a big step up this season, and if she keeps up her early season form she’s a good bet to join Marie-Josée Boucher and Genevieve Lesieur representing the distaff side in Pro competition for 2010.

Also impressive in that race was Natalie-Catherine Provost, who finished 12th riding with a painful back injury for which her doctors prescribed "complete bed rest." Presumably she was taking it easy on her first track outing this year …

The SV650 race went to Brantford, Ontario’s Rob Busby, who proved that ability beats horsepower, as his bike was by far the lowest on the dyno after the race. The CBR125 Challenge event went to Steve Nickerson of Hamilton, Ontario, coming in ahead of Bodhi Edie of Warman, Saskatchewan and another new series entry, Karl Robitaille of Ste-Julie, Quebec.

The director of RACE, Chris Chapelle, joined in the CBR125 fun, as did SPEED TV commentator Greg White and Belleville-area photographer Don Empey. They finished in that order, well out of sight of the fast kids who, not incidentally, all weigh about half what the old guys do. There’s only so much you can do with 12.5 hp, after all.

Still, lap times of around 2 minutes 48 seconds look pretty impressive around Calabogie’s 5.05 km circuit, considering that some of the Superbikes were only managing 2 minutes 12 seconds!

Top 10 Superbike Finishers

1. Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ontario, Canadian Kawasaki ZX-10R; 2. Brett McCormick, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Blackfoot Suzuki GSX-R1000; 3. Kevin Lacombe, Granby, Quebec, Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF / Yamaha YZF-R1; 4. Clint McBain, Cochrane, Alberta, Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000; 5. Frank Trombino, Woodbridge, Ontario, GoLo Racing Suzuki GSX-R750;
6. Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canadian Kawasaki ZX-10R; 7. Steve Crevier, Pitt Meadows, B.C., Deeley H-D Buell 1125R; 8. Andrew Nelson, Kars, Ontario, Nelson Racing Yamaha YZF-R1; 9. Karl Daigle, Roxton Pond, Quebec, Perusse Kawasaki ZX-6R; 10. Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ontario, Riders Choice Suzuki GSX-R1000.

The Parts Canada Superbike Championship continues at Circuit ICAR near Montreal June 12-14.


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