Points race narrowing


McCormick is on fire

After the penultimate race of the 2009 Parts Canada superbike series at Atlantic Motorsports Park north of Halifax, Jordan Szoke is hanging onto leads in the Superbike and Pro Sportbike (600) classes by the skin of his teeth.

Saskatoon native Brett McCormick took the pole and the wins in both classes with huge leads, while Szoke soldiered to second in both, stating, "I really think that Kawasaki gave me a great motorcycle but I had to ride a little smart and conservative today. I wish I could have gone a little harder for the win but this championship means so much to me. It’s all I think about."

No doubt true, but McCormick’s time spreads — nearly a second and a half over Szoke on a fast lap on Shubenacadie’s short course in both classes — were unbelievable. Unless the 17-year-old crashed, there was nobody going to stay with him this weekend.

The results left Szoke ahead of McCormick by only 14 points, with 50 points for a race win, four for pole position, and two for leading the most laps — and only one race left in the series, at Shannonville Motorsport Park on September 6.

Clint McBain of Cochrane, Alberta, finished third on the Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 (consolidating his third in the series standings) and Truro, N.S.’s Brian Blaauwendraat placed a career high fourth riding the Pro Cycle / Atlantic Honda Dealers Honda CBR600RR. McBain said, "I didn’t have it for Brett today but it seemed like I kept closing in on Jordan then making little mistakes. It’s nice to be back on the podium, especially out here."

The big time spreads slipped back through the field, the final results showing that there hadn’t really been a lot of close racing with several seconds between each finisher. Speaking of that, the rough and unforgiving Shubie course decimated the already-small field, with only 12 finishers out of 15 Superbike starters. Yamaha’s Kevin Lacombe, Honda’s Jodi Christie, and Buell’s Steve Crevier were among those who crashed in the race, fortunately unhurt.


AM600 star Cody Matechuk is out front for a championship

Others who’d fallen in various practice and race sessions weren’t so lucky, with 14-year-old Royce McLean, Szoke’s Kawasaki team-mate Alex Welsh, BMW’s Francis Martin, and Atlantic Racing League organizer Terry Steeves all in a Halifax hospital with various injuries, some quite severe (Martin and Steeves especially, both suffering vertebrae fractures).

The Pro 600 race had a similar attendance, with only 16 starters and 15 finishers. Like the Superbike race, the finishers were well spread out, with seven seconds between each of the top four finishers. McCormick’s huge victory over Szoke left him only 16 points behind heading into the final race, ensuring that the Shannonville final is going to be a knockdown battle for two national championships.

Jodi Christie of Keene, Ontario, took over the lead for the HJC Pro Rookie of the Year award with a seventh place, aided by Royce McLean’s crash.

Clint McBain’s stepson Cody Matechuk took his fourth win in five races to take a commanding lead in the Amateur 600 category. Although there’s still a mathematical chance for Sebastien Tremblay to overhaul him, with a 44-point deficit and no hint of crashes or other problems from Matechuk so far this year, it’s a long shot for the Longueil, Quebec, resident with just one race left.

St-Colomban, Quebec’s Raphael Archambault, a 14-year-old graduate of the 2008 Honda CBR125 series, scored his fourth straight Suzuki SV650 National Cup victory and heads to the season finale 42 points clear of his nearest rival in the championship, Brantford, Ontario’s Rob Busby.

The Honda CBR125R Challenge race saw a spectacular three-way scrap between Saskatchewan’s Bodhi Edie, Quebec’s Karl Robitaille and Ontario’s Steven Nickerson. Edie took the win with a bold double draft move on the back straight and held off Robitaille and Nickerson at the line, with the three covered by 0.168 seconds.

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