Christie aims to slow Szoke juggernaut
Christie aims to slow Szoke juggernaut
PHOTO: Last year Jodi Christie (c) beat Jordan Szoke (r) and Franklyn Dominguez (l) for the win at Atlantic Motorsport Park on his way to the Mopar Canadian Superbike title. This weekend Christie will try for his third straight victory at the Nova Scotia circuit while current points leader Szoke goes for a landmark 50th career Canadian Superbike triumph. Photo by Rob O'Brien/CSBK
TORONTO, Ont. (July 30, 2015) – Jodi Christie finds himself in a familiar position heading into this weekend’s fifth round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Atlantic Motorsport Park, sponsored by Pro Cycle and Honda Canada.
In each of the past two series visits to the tight and challenging 2.56km (1.6-mile) 10-turn road course the defending champion has found himself trailing Jordan Szoke in the point standings and needing a victory to get himself back into title contention. On both occasions he managed to swing the championship momentum with a win. In 2013 he was unable to prevent Szoke from winning a ninth Canada Cup, but last season Christie’s triumph played a key role in his run to his first Mopar CSBK title.
This weekend, however, Christie’s task is more daunting than in either 2013 or 2014. Szoke has been virtually unstoppable in his bid for an unprecedented 10th Canadian Superbike championship; the 36-year-old Brantford, Ont. ace has won all four races so far in the 2015 title chase, including a sweep of the most recent events at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway.
The Mopar Express Lane / BMW Motorrad BMW S1000RR rider comes to AMP with a 77-point lead over Christie, 219-142, with 50 points available for a race win.
Adding to Szoke’s motivation is his bid for a record-extending 50th career Canadian Superbike race win. His victories at Castrol Raceway pushed his all-time total to 49.
Christie has scored two of his three career national Superbike race wins at AMP, and the 22-year-old from Keene, Ont. will be looking to find that magic this weekend after a difficult outing in Edmonton, where a crash in the second race left the Accelerated Technologies / Honda Canada Honda CBR1000RR rider salvaging six points for a 17th-place finish. Christie had finished second to Szoke in the three previous races this season.
Complicating matters for Christie is a surging Kenny Riedmann, who comes to AMP third in championship points just two behind Christie, with 140, following third and second place finishes at the two Castrol Raceway events. After suffering a shoulder injury at the season opener at Calabogie MotorSports Park, the Belfountain, Ont. rider has found his form in his first year in the Superbike class, and will be a threat to score his first career Superbike win on the GE Capital / Sturgess Cycle Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. is also in the hunt for the runner-up spot in the standings, with 130 points. Tremblay finished third in the opening two races of the season and is enjoying his best year in the Superbike class aboard the MotoNation / Laval Moto Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Another rider finding his form after early season injury is Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley, who is fifth in points with 102. The rider of the OneSpeed / Parts Canada / Suzuki Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000 was runner-up in last year’s championship chase and finished a season-high third in the most recent event in Edmonton.
In other racing at AMP this weekend, defending Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike champion Riedmann will aim to continue to erode Christie’s class points lead. Thanks to victories in the two Edmonton races on his Triumph 675R, Riedmann is just two points behind Christie in the standings, with 183 points to the Honda CBR600RR rider’s 185.
Deep Cove, B.C.’s Darren James is third in Pro Sport Bike points with 128 on his Ruthless Racing / Trev Deeley Yamaha YZF-R6.
Other riders to watch in the Pro Sport Bike class include top rookies Tomas Casas of Peterborough, Ont. and St-Lazare, Que.’s Stacey Nesbitt. Casas notched a third in Edmonton on the Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R6 while Nesbitt sits fifth in points riding her Statoni Racing / OCM / Honda Canada Honda CBR600RR.
Kawasaki ZX-6R rider Alex Coelho of Brossard, Que. leads a tight battle in the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike class with 153 points but momentum coming into AMP lies with St-Isidore-de-Laprairie, Que.’s Samuel Trepannier, who won the two most recent rounds aboard his BMW S1000RR.
Coelho also leads the Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike class by a commanding 36 points over Philip Leckie. But the London, Ont. rider ended Coelho’s perfect 2015 win record in the class with victory in the most recent race in Edmonton aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Action at Atlantic Motorsport Park opens Friday with practice for all four national classes. Qualifying, including the Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Pro Superbike division, takes place on Saturday while feature races go Sunday.
Ticket information is available at www.procycleonline.com or by calling (902) 758-2237.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race video coverage of this weekend’s Mopar Pro Superbike race, as well as the Hindle Pro Sport Bike feature.
2015 Point Standings
Mopar Pro Superbike:
- Jordan Szoke (BMW) 219
- Jodi Christie (Honda) 142
- Kenny Riedmann (Kawasaki) 140
- Sebastien Tremblay (Kawasaki) 130
- Trevor Daley (Suzuki) 102
Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike:
- Jodi Christie (Honda) 185
- Kenny Reidmann (Triumph) 183
- Darren James (Yamaha) 128
Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike:
- Alex Coelho (Kawasaki) 153
- Stephane Chimot (Honda) 151
- Samuel Trepannier (BMW) 147
Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike:
- Alex Coelho (Kawasaki) 205
- Philip Leckie (Suzuki) 169
- Martin Cote (Honda) 111
Recent Atlantic Motorsport Park Superbike National Wins
- 2014 – Jodi Christie (Keene, Ont.) Honda
- 2013 – Jodi Christie (Keene, Ont.) Honda
- 2012 – Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) BMW
- 2011 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) BMW
- 2010 – Jordan Szoke / Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) Honda
Atlantic Motorsport Park Fast Facts
…Victory for Jordan Szoke at Atlantic Motorsport Park this weekend would give him not only 50 career Canadian Superbike wins, but also seven at AMP, tying him with Steve Crevier for the most at the venue. Szoke’s most recent triumph at the track came in 2012.
…Jodi Christie is trying to become the third racer to score wins at AMP in three straight years. Crevier was the first to do it when he strung together victories between 1990 and 1992 and Kevin Lacombe did it from 2004 to 2006. Lacombe’s victories weren’t consecutive, however, as his 2005 triumph came in a doubleheader weekend in which Crevier scored the other win.
…A win for Christie would also tie him for third on the all-time AMP national Superbike win list with three victories, matching the totals of Lacombe and local hero Don Munroe. Bedford, N.S.’s Munroe won at his home track in 1994, ’95 and ‘97.
…Experience counts at AMP, and the tight and twisty 2.56km (1.6-mile) venue is not known for serving up first time winners. Christie claimed his maiden Canadian Superbike win there in 2013 but one has to go back to Mark Kowalski in 1996 to find the last time a racer took his first career victory at AMP.
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Saturday, August 1
- 1:15 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. – Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Qualifying
- 1:45 p.m. – 2:05 p.m. – Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying
- 2:15 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Magneti Marelli SuperPole Qualifying
- 3:45 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. – Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Qualifying
Sunday, August 2
- 1:00 p.m. – Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Race (18 laps)
- Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike Race (14 laps)
- 3:00 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Race (22 laps)
- Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Race (14 laps)