Sizzling Szoke on Superbike pole at Castrol Raceway
Sizzling Szoke on Superbike pole at Castrol Raceway
PHOTO: Nine-time champion Jordan Szoke claimed pole position for this weekend's third and fourth rounds of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Castrol Raceway with a blistering lap during qualifying on Friday. Photo by Colin Fraser / CSBK
EDMONTON, Alta. (July 10, 2015) – Jordan Szoke scorched to pole position in qualifying for this weekend’s third and fourth rounds of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship, presented by Parts Canada, at Castrol Raceway on Friday.
With temperatures approaching 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) at the Edmonton venue, the nine-time national champion took his BMW Motorrad / Mopar Express Lane BMW S1000RR around the 2.7km (1.69-mile) 14-turn track in one minute, 17.714 seconds during the Magneti Marelli SuperPole showdown for an average speed of 125.074km/h (78.287 mph).
The Brantford, Ont. racer’s time shattered the previous track record of 1:19.60 set by Edmonton rider Justin Knapik in 2014.
“I was surprised I was that quick,” said Szoke after claiming his second SuperPole award in a row. “I almost blew the chicane at the end of the lap. I was trying something a little different and I went in too hot and had to grab the brakes and got onto the kerb. But the rest of the lap was beautiful.”
Defending Mopar Canadian Superbike Champion Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. turned the second fastest time of 1:18.150 on his Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR.
Kenny Riedmann of Belfountain, Ont. was third fastest at 1:19.041 on his GE Capital / Sturgess Cycle Kawasaki ZX-10R and Beaconsfield, Que. rider Michael Leon completes the front row for this weekend’s two races after turning a lap at 1:19.320 aboard the Royal Distributing / Multi-Tact BMW S1000RR.
Although Christie had been quickest in the 25-minute prequalifying session that whittled the Superbike field down to the top 10 for SuperPole, Szoke was never headed during the shootout. He was first out on the track and his first flying lap was a 1:18.901. He followed that up with a 1:18.313 before returning to the pits.
“I thought the 18.3 was OK and I hadn’t been pushing, but I thought I’d go out and give it one more shot,” Szoke explained.
“Yesterday we finally got the electronics set up so that we could read the data, which we haven’t been able to do all year. That’s allowed us to make some very precise changes for today, and we made a change in the rear suspension during the break [before SuperPole].”
The fastest time also gave Szoke four points toward the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship and allowed him to extend his lead in the Pro Superbike standings to 21 points over Christie, 115-94, heading into this weekend’s pair of races. Christie earned three points for qualifying second. A race win is worth 50 points.
Christie waited until the waning moments of the Magneti Marelli SuperPole session before heading out on the track and turned his best lap on only his second flying lap.
“I find it easier when I have an idea of what to shoot for and I like to turn in a series of consistent laps,” said Christie of his qualifying strategy. “I did miss out on a flier near the end, but I had no troubles and I was comfortable.”
Christie was on his second bike after a high speed testing crash on Thursday heavily damaged his other Honda CBR1000RR. Christie was unhurt in the incident.
Riedmann enjoyed his best qualifying effort of the season on the Kawasaki, after injuring his shoulder in a fall at Calabogie MotorSports Park during the season opener in the middle of June.
“I feel like I’m finally where I should be,” said Riedmann, who turned his quick lap early in the SuperPole session. “The shoulder feels better; it hurts but it’s not slowing me down. I did limit my laps in that qualifying session. I made a couple of small mistakes on my qualifying lap but I’m pretty happy.”
Leon credited a tow from Szoke with helping him nail down his third straight front row qualifying position of the season.
“I got lucky. I came out with Jordan and just tried following him,” admitted Leon, who led the previous round at Autodrome St-Eustache before falling in the wet conditions. “We dropped a lot of time today. We made a lot of changes yesterday, the bike was really pushing the front out of the corners. It’s great now. We just have a little chatter with the front now we’re going quicker.”
Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont. turned the fifth quickest time of 1:19.771 on his Parts Canada / Suzuki Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000. He will be joined on the second row for this weekend’s races by Ross Millson of Hamilton, Ont., who recorded a 1:19.998 on the Motovan Suzuki GSX-R1000, and Calgary’s Mike Zottmann, who managed a 1:20.147 aboard the Bow Cycle / Vortex Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Defending Edmonton Motorcycle Roadracing Association champion Knapik will lead off the third row of the grid with his Echo Cycle / Dunlop-backed Kawasaki ZX-10R. The top 10 qualifiers are rounded out by Sebastien Tremblay of Mirabel, Que. on the Laval Moto / MotoNation Kawasaki ZX-10R, who comes into the weekend third in the Pro Superbike standings with 76, and Edmonton rider Ian Wall aboard the Argyll Motorsport / Dunlop Suzuki GSX-R1000.
In other action at Castrol Raceway, Christie extended his lead in the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike standings to 24 points by claiming his third straight pole position of the season with a lap at 1:19.999 on his Accelerated Technologies / Blue Streak Racing Honda CBR600RR.
Defending class champion Riedmann set the second fastest time of 1:20.996 aboard the GE Capital / Riedmann Racing Triumph 675R and rookie Pro Tomas Casas of Peterborough, Ont. qualified a career-high third with a time of 1:22.506 on the Parts Canada / Bow Cycle Yamaha YZF-R6.
Ste-Marthe, Que.’s Louie Raffa, winner of the previous round at Autodrome St-Eustache, completes the front row for this weekend’s races after turning a qualifying lap of 1:22.579 riding the Centre Hamel Honda CBR600RR and remains second in the class point standings with 82 points to the 106 of Christie. Riedmann is third with 79 points.
Samuel Trepannier of St-Isidore-de-Laprairie, Que. claimed pole position for this weekend’s Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike races on his BMW S1000RR with a time of 1:22.456. Class points leader Stephane Chimot of St-Lin Laurentides, Que. was second aboard his Honda CBR1000RR and Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.’s Justin Delaney set the third best time on another BMW..
Alex Coelho padded his lead in the Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike class with the fastest qualifying time of 1:23.257 on his Black Sheep Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R. The Brossard, Que. racer now has 113 points to the 73 of London, Ont.’s Philip Leckie, who qualified second on Friday aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Chimot claimed pole position for the EMRA Senior Open races at Castrol Raceway with a lap of 1:23.389 while Allan Gannon of Edmonton qualified on pole for the EMRA Novice Open class with a time of 1:27.170 on his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Action at Castrol Raceway continues on Saturday with feature races for all four national classes, plus the two EMRA regional categories.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race video coverage of both of this weekend’s Mopar Pro Superbike races, as well as Sunday’s Hindle Pro Sport Bike round.
For additional information please contact:
Inside Track Communications
Tel. (613) 968-0166