Wild win at CTMP gives Szoke second straight Mopar CSBK title
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (August 20, 2016) – Jordan Szoke clinched the 2016 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship and kept his bid for a perfect season intact with a dramatic victory in the penultimate round of the season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday.
In a thrilling duel to the line the 37-year-old from Lynden, Ont. edged Italian Claudio Corti and Belfountain, Ont.’s Kenny Riedmann after the three had traded position throughout the 20-lap race around CTMP’s daunting 3.9km (2.459-mile) 10-turn layout.
The rider of the Mopar Express Lane / Motovan / BMW Motorrad BMW S1000RR finished just 0.046 secs. ahead of Corti’s HSBK / Canadian Aprilia Dealer Group / Pure Genius Beverages Aprilia RSv4 with Riedmann third, only 0.050 secs. back riding the Sturgess Cycle / Liqui Moly / Joe Rocket Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
Szoke completed the opening race of the doubleheader weekend in 26 minutes, 41.018 seconds for an average speed of 175.388km/h (105.233 mph). The Pro Superbike competitors will run another 20-lap event to wrap up the 2016 season on Sunday.
“Out of all of my race wins I honestly think this one means the most,” said Szoke after scoring his 13th straight Mopar CSBK win and the 58th of his storied career. “It was exciting all the way and there was so much going on. People ask me why I keep winning all the races, but I can tell you it’s not easy out there. I was just able to get these guys at the line.”
There was little to choose between the three leaders as they negotiated the final left-right, turn 9-10 complex for the last time. While Corti and Riedmann scrabbled for traction on the outside of the track, Szoke was able to squeeze through on the inside in the run to the line.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” added Szoke, who has now won an all-time leading 13 Canadian Superbike races at CTMP. “I’m sure the fans will be in for another good one.”
Szoke’s sixth win of the season gives him 322 points in the Mopar CSBK standings, while Riedmann lies second 65 points behind with 257. With a maximum of 52 points available in Sunday’s season finale Szoke is assured of his record-extending 11th Canadian number one plate.
“I said if it didn’t feel right out there I wasn’t going to mix it up for the lead – the championship was more important than the perfect season,” added Szoke shortly before receiving the Canada Cup from Jim Kiritsis, Senior Manager, Service and Parts for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “But once we got going I just got into that zone and I just couldn’t let it go.”
Making his first appearance in Canada with the U.S.-based HSBK Aprilia team, Corti made a dazzling start from his position in the middle of the second row to lead the field into turn 1 and stayed in front for the first two laps. He credited his experience in World Championship competition, including MotoGP and World Superbike, for his strong getaway.
“It’s really important in the World Championship,” explained the 29-year-old resident of Como, Italy. “I’ve always been one of the fastest guys on the start and with the new technology it’s so easy. I was pretty surprised. I went and all the other guys were just standing there.”
The MotoAmerica regular admitted to a mistake in turn 5 on the final lap that cost him some drive onto the long Mario Andretti backstraight.
“These guys are pretty fast and they made me sweat the whole race,” Corti added. “I can’t wait to race again tomorrow.”
Riedmann led the most laps, nine in total, and held the point from laps 10 to 15. The 24-year-old had finished second to Szoke in the previous five races this season.
“I’m pretty bummed to wind up in third, I thought I had the win, but I had so much fun out there,” said Riedmann, who is still looking for his first career Mopar CSBK victory. “It was a crazy race. I knew what to expect from Jordan but it was interesting to run with Claudio and see his riding style. He brought a whole new dimension into the race.
“I think we’ll change the gearing for tomorrow. We need a bit more jam out of [turn] 5B.”
Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year points leader Ben Young of Collingwood, Ont. was part of the lead battle for the first eight laps of the race but suffered a highside in turn 2 on lap 9 and recorded his first non-finish of the season. The rider of the Tim Horton’s / Scot-Build Developments / BMW Motorrad BMW S1000RR was unhurt in the fall.
Fellow front row starter Matt McBride of Mississauga, Ont. was also an early challenger but retired the Riders Choice / Dainese BMW S1000RR after only two laps with mechanical issues, while after qualifying fifth Scarborough, Ont.’s Chris Murray-Audain suffered a fall on lap 6 with his One Stop Dealer Services / Hindle Exhaust / Endras BMW S1000RR. He was also unhurt. Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley finished fourth riding the OneSpeed Yamaha YZF-R1 after spending most of the race battling with the Royal Distributing Race Team / BMW Motorrad / Pro 6 BMW S1000RR of Michael Leon. Daley broke clear of Leon five laps from the end as the Beaconsfield, Que. rider developed front end problems with his bike and settled for a secure fifth.
Leon is now only 10 points back of Young in the battle for third place in the Mopar CSBK standings heading into Sunday’s race, with 178 points to Young’s 188. Daley is just a further eight points behind with 170.
Warman, Sask.’s Bodhi Edie outdueled Sebastien Tremblay of Mirabel, Que. for sixth place. Making his first race start since the season opener on the Trip-Dub Racing / Z1 Cycletech / Birkett Freight Solutions Yamaha YZF-R1, the former CTMP Superbike race winner passed Tremblay for good on lap 19. Tremblay settled for seventh spot aboard his MotoNation / Laval Moto Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
In another good battle North Vancouver’s Darren James hauled in Samuel Trepanier over the closing laps to snatch eighth on the last lap with the Ruthless Racing Yamaha YZF-R1. St-Isidore de Laprairie, Que.’s Trepanier was the top rookie finisher in ninth aboard his Blysk Racing / Elle Skin BMW S1000RR. Ripley, Ont.’s Mitch Card made an impressive charge from 19th on the opening lap to snatch 10th two laps from home on his Maclyn Dust Control / Shoei / DP Brakes Yamaha YZF-R1.
In other action at CTMP, Riedmann clinched his third straight Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike title despite seeing his perfect season come to an end.
In his first appearance of the year Card took the lead on lap 7 of the 10-lap race and edged clear to win his first career Pro national on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Riedmann finished second aboard his Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1.253 secs. behind while Peterborough, Ont.’s Tomas Casas completed the podium on his Peterborough Cycle Salvage / Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R6 thanks to a last corner pass of the 402bike.com / Blue Streak Racing Yamaha of Sarnia, Ont.’s Will Hornblower.
“I was pushing hard to get the win but Mitch rode really well,” admitted the 23-year-old Riedmann, who was flanked by 19-year-old Card and 18-year-old Casas on the podium. “For the first time I felt like the old guy out there. Maybe it’s time for me to move on!”
Mississauga, Ont.’s Doug Lawrence won his second Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike race of the season on his Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja while Montreal’s Jean-Marc Bilger edged closer to clinching the class title thanks to a third-place finish aboard his BMW S1000RR.
Bilger goes into Sunday’s season finale with a 47-point edge over Falmouth, N.S.’s Jacob Shaw-O’Leary, who finished second on Saturday on his Honda CBR600RR. Shaw-O’Leary kept the race for the Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike title going into Sunday with his third straight victory of the year, bringing him to within 38 points of class leader Chris Brent of Ottawa, who finished second on a Honda CBR600RR.
Oakville, Ont.’s Jared Walker won the first Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec National Series race of the weekend while runner-up finisher Brandon Pemberton of Windsor, N.S. opened up a five-point lead in the class standings over Eric Quintin of Ile Perrot, Que., who placed third.
Competition at CTMP concludes on Sunday with feature races in all five national classes. Practice begins at 9:00 am with the first race, for the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Championship, set to burst into action at 1:00 pm.
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