Canada Racing News
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Szoke Edges Nelson for Superbike Pole at AMP
SHUBENACADIE, N.S. -- Jordan Szoke had the final word in a battle with Andrew Nelson for pole position during qualifying for the third round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Atlantic Motorsport Park on Saturday.
The Brantford, Ont. racer turned a lap of one minute, 8.233 seconds (135.067km/h) with just two and half minutes remaining in the qualifying session to claim his third straight Pirelli SuperPole of the year aboard the Waznie Racing / Parts Canada / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR.
After also spending some time at the top of the leaderboard Nelson ended up settling for second with a time of 1:08.300 on the Nelson Racing / Endras Motorrad / mcn.tv BMW S1000RR.
“I actually didn’t think my lap was that great,” said Szoke, who has won five Superbike nationals at AMP. “I took it easy and sometimes around here that’s the way to do things and not tie the bike up.”
The four points for pole position also allowed Szoke to extend his lead in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings. The seven-time national champion now has 101 points to the 89 of Nelson ending into Sunday’s feature race.
“We have a few things to change but everything’s going really well,” Szoke added. “I still think we’re the most consistent by a long way.”
Szoke did experience some drama in the Prequalifying session that established the top 10 runners for the final Pirelli SuperPole shootout and he was only ninth fastest with a time of 1:09.253.
“I’m not sure exactly what the problem was, but we had an issue inside one of the forks,” Szoke explained. “My suspension expert Jon Cornwell turned into ‘Super Jon’ and rebuilt the fork in 10 minutes. It was awesome how he got that fixed.”
Szoke used an SC1 rear tire from series spec tire supplier Pirelli to set his SuperPole qualifying time.
“It wasn’t that hot out today but even in the really warm temperatures we seem to get better wear out of the SC1,” he said.
Nelson equalled his best qualifying result of the season by grabbing the second spot for Sunday’s race.
“I’m happy with the lap times,” said Nelson, who won the season opener of the 2012 season at Shannonville Motorsport Park. “Around here you never really get the perfect lap, but there were a few things maybe I could have done better. We’ll make a few small tweaks for tomorrow, something that helps us a bit through the rough sections.”
After setting the pace in practice on Friday Kevin Lacombe settled for third fastest in qualifying on the Team Couturier Racing BMW S1000RR with a time of 1:08.483.
“It’s good to be on the front row but I don’t like losing more points to Jordan,” said the St-Cesaire, Que. rider, who is fourth in the standings with 73 points. “We have some work to do tonight. I’m still searching for a bit of front feel. We need to work on the race set-up to be consistent tomorrow afternoon.”
The front row for Sunday’s race will be completed by the impressive Jodi Christie, who turned in a lap at 1:08.498 on his Jodi Christie Racing / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR600RR as just 0.265 secs. covered the top four qualifiers. The Keene, Ont. racer felt he could have gone even faster had he not been bothered by an engine problem throughout the SuperPole session.
“There’s a little gremlin in the engine that was cutting the ignition,” said Christie, who recorded a lap at 1:08.337 in the Prequalifying period. “I never had a clear lap, it was sputtering between the corners every lap. I’m confident I could have run an 8.2 or 8.1.”
Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont. leads off the second row for Sunday’s race after qualifying fifth with a time of 1:08.829 on his Acme Slate / Dua Bodywork / G Suspension Suzuki GSX-R600. Starting beside him will be Warman, Sask.’s Bodhi Edie on the Edie Racing / Blue Streak / Fast Company BMW S1000RR and the Team Archambault Racing / Picotte Motorsport / G Suspension Suzuki GSX-R600 of Terrebonne, Que.’s Raphael Archambault.
Edie recorded a time of 1:08.887 despite a fall at the end of the session in turn nine, while Archambault’s best lap was a 1:08.963.
Samuel Proulx, Sebastien Tremblay and Alex Welsh completed the top 10 qualifiers. Sherbrooke, Que.’s Proulx recorded a time of 1:09.864 on his Team Couturier Racing BMW S1000RR to earn his best career starting spot in eighth. Tremblay, from Longueuil, Que., will line up ninth after turning a 1:10.741 on his MotoNation BMW S1000RR. Uxbridge, Ont.’s Welsh was unable to set a time in the SuperPole session after crashing his AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000 in turn one early in the session.
Falmouth, N.S.’s Austin Shaw-O’Leary was the star of Amateur action on Saturday, taking his GoLo Racing / Dua Motorsport Honda CBR600RR to pole position in both the Bazzaz Amateur Superbike and Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike classes.
He topped the lap record in Amateur Superbike action with a time of 1:09.878, easily beating the 1:10.211 established by Amzy Nawaz last year. Tim Robinson of Gatineau, Que. was second quickest with a time of 1:11.701 on his Robinson Racing / Gym-Max BMW S1000RR and class points leader Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont. qualified third with a 1:11.790 on his One Speed / Riders Choice Suzuki GSX-R1000.
In Amateur Sport Bike Shaw-O’Leary set a new class lap record with a time of 1:09.292, which was 1.730 secs.
clear of his nearest challenger, Sarnia, Ont.’s Will Hornblower, who managed a lap at 1:11.022 on the Hornblower Racing / Blue Streak / ProPulsion Yamaha YZF-R6. Points leader Philippe Masse of St-Hyacinthe, Que. qualified third fastest with a 1:11.594 on his Racingphil.com / Pete’s Superbike Kawasaki ZX-6R.
The previous Amateur Sport Bike lap record of 1:09.406 was set by Cody Matechuk in 2009.
Christie stretched his lead in the K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike class by taking pole for Sunday’s race with a time of 1:08.380 on his Honda CBR600RR. The defending class champion now has 108 points to the 100 of Trombino.
Archambault qualified a career high second quickest at 1:08.606 riding his Suzuki GSX-R600 and Trombino qualified third at 1:08.670 on another Suzuki GSX-R600.
Ron Munroe of Beaver Bank, N.S. completes the front row for Sunday’s race after turning a fastest lap of 1:10.032 on his Freedom Cycle / Beta CNC Technologies / Podium One Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Michael Taylor used a last lap flier to snatch pole position for Sunday’s Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup race. Riding for the Mackie Harley-Davidson team the Toronto racer recorded a time of 1:12.963 to edge defending class champion Steve Crevier by 0.031 secs. and take the Tactical Products Canada LUMINOX Pole Award.
Crevier will start second on his MotoSport Plus-backed entry and Dartmouth, N.S.’s Blaise Fougere qualified third with a time of 1:13.534 on the Atlantic Harley-Davidson Dealers-sponsored XR1200.
In the weekend’s first race Tomas Casas claimed his second straight win in the Honda CBR250R National Race Series. The Peterborough, Ont. rider edged Stacey Nesbitt of St-Lazare, Que. by just 0.049 secs. in a thrilling 12-lap battle. Ryan Roche of Pickering, Ont. finished 0.884 secs. back in third and now leads Nesbitt by 14 points, 236-222 in the class standings. Casas has moved into third in points with 186.
Rob Harris of Sackville, N.B. won the Media Challenge portion of the Honda CBR250R race, representing CMGOnline.
Action at Atlantic Motorsport Park concludes Sunday with feature races for all six national classes. Practice opens at 9:00 a.m. with the first race set to go at 11:40 a.m.
For ticket information call the track at 902-488-0380 or the Atlantic Roadracing League at 902-758-2237. Or go to atlanticroadracing.com or www.atlanticmotorsportpark.com.