PrintPrint

Superbike: Szoke clinches season title

Superbike Release

9/4/2007 9:39:42 AM

SHANNONVILLE, Ont. – Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke clinched his second straight Parts Canada Superbike Championship with a fourth place finish on his Kawasaki ZX-10R in the final round at Shannonville Motorsport Park over the weekend.

Although his closest challenger for the title, Steve Crevier scored his third straight victory of the season, the Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory rider still ended the season with 298 points compared to Crevier's 290.

Crevier led all 20 laps of the season finale on his Team Toyota Yamaha / Fast Company Yamaha YZF-R1 to claim his all-time leading 26th career national Superbike victory. He finished 3.510 seconds ahead of Szoke's rookie teammate Brett McCormick on another Kawasaki ZX-10R. Kevin Lacombe completed the podium riding the Team Toyota Yamaha / Brooklin Cycle Yamaha YZF-R1.

"The past two years have been phenomenal," said the 28-year-old Szoke, who became just the second rider to win four Canadian Superbike championships. "It's the greatest feeling in the world to defend a number one plate. Winning it is nice, but defending it is even better."

Szoke picked up $15,000 from the $75,000 Parts Canada prize fund and was presented with the Canada Cup on the podium.

From third on the grid Crevier launched into the lead off the line and initially led a four-rider scrap at the front consisting of Lacombe, Matt McBride on the Riders Choice Suzuki GSX-R1000 and McCormick.

Lacombe started dropping back just after half distance, however, as he battled handling problems and Crevier was able to ease away. The Maple Ridge, B.C. rider set the race's fastest lap at one minute, 5.002 seconds around the 2.45km track.

"Jordan had a really good year, he rode like a veteran today," said the 42-year-old Crevier, who was bidding for a record seventh Canadian Superbike title. "We learned a lot this year and we got faster and faster as the season went along."

Szoke entered the race needing to finish seventh or better to be assured of the championship. He settled into fifth place in the early laps and then moved up to fourth when McBride crashed out three laps from the end.

After qualifying second McCormick made a poor start and was fifth at the end of the first lap. But the 16-year-old Saskatoon native worked his way up to battle Lacombe for second in the final 10 laps of the race. Lacombe passed McCormick on the penultimate lap but the Kawasaki rider got back around the Granby, Que. racer on the final tour.

"I wish I could have had a better start and given Steve a run for his money," McCormick said. "But I worked my way through, conserved a little in the last few laps then laid down a quick last lap."

McCormick was presented with a $5,000 cheque from Parts Canada for winning the HJC Pro Rookie of the Year Award.

Cochrane, Alta.'s Clint McBain finished fifth on the Suzuki Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 after running right behind Szoke all the way. McBain had a shot at the championship but instead settled for third with 254 points. Lacombe ended the season fourth with 247 points.

Francis Martin of Sherbrooke, Que. placed sixth in the race on the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Performance Suzuki GSX-R1000, right behind McBain and just in front of the ProStar Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Vaughan, Ont.'s Frank Trombino.

In other action at Shannonville, Szoke won his second straight Yoshimura Pro 600 Sport Bike Championship in impressive style by outduelling Crevier for the win in the 18-lap race.

As in the Superbike class, Crevier was Szoke's closest title challenger and started from pole position on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Szoke beat him off the line but Crevier took the lead on lap 2 and stayed in front until two laps from the end, when Szoke regained the lead in turn 2.

The Kawasaki ZX-6R finished 0.119 secs. ahead of Crevier, with McCormick a close third on another Kawasaki.

"Steve got by me earlier than I expected but I just glued myself to him," Szoke said. "It was tough to stay back there and not go for it, but he left the door open near the end there and I thought I should go for it in case things got crazy behind me."

Szoke ended the season with 311 points to Crevier's 287.

Crevier's Team Toyota Yamaha / Fast Company crew, led by Scott Miller, was named winner of the Inside Motorcycle Team of the Year Award.

Action from this weekend can be seen on TSN HD and TSN in two one-hour programs later this year. Coverage from the Pro 600 Sport Bike and Thunder classes will air on Tuesday, Oct. 23 starting at 12:30pm, and Superbike and Amateur 600 Sport Bike racing will be shown a week later on Oct. 30 beginning at 2:00pm.

The 2007 Parts Canada Superbike Championship will make its debut on TSN HD and TSN with coverage of round 1 from Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant on Tuesday, Sept. 11 starting at 2:30pm.