BMW’s much-vaunted S1000RR superbike is still struggling in the World Superbike theatre, but in Canada it’s kicking ass and taking names in the revamped Parts Canada CSBK series.
With returning rider Mike Ferreira and new hire Brett McCormick, the BMW Motorrad Canada team has a strong combination. Plus, the bike is catching on with privateers. With seven of Shannonville’s 13 finalists on the German machines, it’d be a marvel if they weren’t on top.
McCormick was on top of the world at the July 1 weekend double-header, rounds two and three of seven scheduled. Just as at the season opener at Quebec’s ICAR circuit at Mirabel airport, McCormick was in his own little world. In the three races held so far, he’s taken all three pole positions, set fastest lap in every race, led every lap, and taken all three wins.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
His closest competition is Jordan Szoke, seven-time Canadian superbike champion on the Competition Systems Kawasaki ZX-10R, but Szoke and team owner and organizer Mike Crompton are shaking their heads over what to try next. All weekend McCormick was a comfortable half-second or so faster than Szoke over a lap about one minute four seconds long, and in both races he checked out at a similar rate, looking so relaxed and comfortable it had to be demoralizing.
Behind those two in the series points are privateer Andrew Nelson (on a privateer BMW) and Mike Ferreira, McCormick’s partner on the BMW Canada team. Nelson thinks he should have Ferreira’s ride, Ferreira is convinced he should be chasing down his team-mate for second. The two had a terrific battle in the second of the weekend’s double-header, with Nelson finally prevailing after a brave pass two laps from the end.
The other rider who was pushing near the top in both races was another privateer, Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ontario. Welsh has 600cc and 1000cc machines to battle with, and was on form this weekend. He barely beat Keene, Ontario’s Jodi Christie for the 600cc win on Saturday, then had a mechanical problem that knocked him out of the race Sunday. In Superbike, he was at the front of the racing but suffered more mechanical issues that slowed him, once an electronic problem and once with a tire going off. Both bikes are new to him and have little testing; Welsh is definitely going to be a factor as his machines get dialed in.
Perhaps the most impressive rider of the weekend was teen Aubrey Bailey, out of Parry Sound, Ontario. The teenage Amateur rider took his Honda CBR600RR to four victories on the weekend, collecting both Sportbike and Superbike victories. His rides were eerily reminiscent of McCormick’s Pro Superbike victories, as he cleared off by a half-second or more per lap, looking comfortable and in control while doing it. Watch this kid closely.
The Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup races both went to six-time Canadian superbike champ Steve Crevier, tempted out of retirement to ride the big Sportster in this new spec class. In both races, he had to work hard to keep Cody Matechuk – yet another fast teenager, in this case hailing from Cochrane, Alberta – at bay, after Matechuk won the opening series race at the ICAR circuit. “This kid is making me work way too hard!”, Crevier complained with a grin.
The next race in the series is at another Quebec venue, Autodrome St-Eustache northwest of Montreal, July 10.