Jordan Szoke took another giant step toward an unprecedented eighth Canadian superbike title with a strong win in the fourth of six races in the 2012 Mopar Canadian Superbike season.
In very sketchy conditions at Quebec’s Ste-Jovite Circuit Mont-Tremblant track – damp enough to start on wets but drying throughout – Szoke followed early leaders Matt McBride and Kevin Lacombe from the flag, but made a move early and by lap four was in the lead, which he held throughout the rest of the 12-lap contest.
“The bike was phenomenal and the set-up felt very comfortable,” Szoke said. “I’m pretty impressed with how well the tires held up as the track dried. I could really hammer out a fast lap if I needed to.”
The win gave the Brantford, Ontario rider a 66-point lead in the series, with another 100 points up for grabs at the season-ending double-header at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport) August 24-26.
McBride held on for second, while Jodi Christie, riding his Honda CBR1000RR superbike for the first time this season, took an excellent third after gambling with a slick rear. Slow in the initial wet conditions, Christie made up gobs of time as the track dried, setting the race’s fastest lap and taking the third podium spot from Kevin Lacombe on the last corner of the last lap.
“When we did our warm-up I could see a few small sections of the track were dry and I could tell it would be mostly dry by the end of the race,” said Christie of his gamble.
His third broke a BMW stranglehold, as riders on the German bikes grabbed eight of the top 10 spots. Christie’s Honda and Alex Welsh’s Suzuki (dropped to seventh from fifth after a five-second penalty for cutting the chicane) were the only other makes in the top 10, and in fact, 10 of the 14 finishers were on BMW S1000RR machines.
The second place finish moved Christie up to second in the series chase, one point ahead of Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ontario, who could only manage ninth at Ste-Jovite. Nelson is the only other winner in the superbike class this year, having taking the first race of the year at Shannonville.
Christie also stretched his lead in the K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike title with his third win of the season in that class. He ended up ahead of Raphael Archambault by 2.6 seconds, while Kenny Riedmann took his Triumph 675 to third place.
Steve Crevier continued his domination of the Deeley Harley-Davidson class with a narrow win over Darren James, the two making two passes in the last corner of the race. Michael Taylor, the other top gun in the class, missed the race, hurting from a morning crash in practice.
In Amateur action, Tim Robinson claimed his first victory of the year in the Superbike class, while series leader Trevor Daley copped second. Alex Coelho of Longueuil, Que. rode his Black Sheep Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R to the victory in a wet Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike race. Despite two crashes Philippe Masse of St-Hyacinthe, Que. salvaged a seventh-place finish and extended his lead in the standings.
Tomas Casas took his second straight win in the Honda CBR250R National Race Series on Sunday, but 2011 national CBR125 champ Stacey Nesbitt took over the points lead with a second place, just 0.28 seconds behind Casas.
CMG’s own Costa Mouzouris of Montreal took his sixth win of the year in the CBR250R Media Challenge to stretch his lead in that division, keeping a CMG sweep of the wins intact for the season. Who’d ever thought they’d be reading that? Ass’t Editor’s note: Costa now has 323 points; If Alex Crookes wins both of the races on the last round and Costa gets a DNF, Crookes can tie Costa in points, but throw in Editor ‘Arris’s two wins at Shubenacadie, and CMG has clinched the title this year!
Standings after four of six races
1.Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 207 points
2. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 141
3. Andrew Nelson, Kars, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 140
4. Kevin Lacombe, Granby, Que., BMW S1000RR, 137
5. Matthew McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 112
6. Bodhi Edie, Warman, Sask., BMW S1000RR, 108
7. Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 100
8. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., BMW S1000RR, 86
9. Samuel Proulx, Magog, Que., BMW S1000RR, 82
10. Frank Trombino, Woodbridge, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, 60
Next event, August 24-26, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport), Bowmanville, Ont.