Jordan Szoke was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame at their 22nd Gala Induction Ceremony at the Glenn Gould Studio Theatre at the CBC Building in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Saturday evening, October 22. Born in Bradford, ON., and recently moved to Lynden, ON., Szoke has won the Canadian National Pro Superbike crown a record 11 times, as well as further success in numerous pavement support categories and off-road activities.
Reigning Mopar CSBK Champion Szoke, riding for Express Lane/BMW Motorrad Canada aboard a S100RR, has also managed three perfect seasons on the National tour, unbeaten in 2010 with Honda and 2015 and 2016 for BMW.
The 37-year-old won his first career Superbike Feature National at Race City in Calgary, Albert in 1998, taking the title for Kawasaki at the end of the same season.
Since then, Szoke has built a record total of National Superbike events, with a running total of 59 successes, including 14 consecutive wins heading into the 2017 season.
Szoke went on to ride for Honda Canada several times, satellite teams in the USA for Ducati, Suzuki and Harley-Davidson, Suzuki Canada, a long and successful stint with Kawasaki, and the current Szoke-BMW era on the Canadian tour.
Szoke was presented to the Hall of Fame Gala audience by Fiat Chrysler/Mopar Executive Jim Kiritsis, one of the key supporters for Szoke’s Waznie Racing squad.
“When you start racing, you think about the next race, maybe the next win, the next Championship, the next season,” explained Szoke from handsome CBC stage. “Then you get to a certain point, and you consider what you have achieved, how far you have come – and it makes you feel old!”
“I think that most people know that with motorcycle racing, the wear and tear is a major issue with your career’s span, with the amount of time you can compete at a top level having so much to do with injuries, recovery, and all those factors.
“I am very fortunate, that things have gone very well for me over all the years at all the tracks in all the series,” smiled Szoke. “I might limp a little when I get up in the morning, but by the afternoon everything is working fine! I want to race as long as I can be competitive at a high level, at least for a few more years.
“I think when you listen to all the of the other inductees in their speeches, there is a clear theme of the help and guidance of our mechanics, for the technical side, as well as the important support of family of friends. Some of those people belong in the Hall of Fame too.”
The last motorcycle roadracer to join the “overall” Canadian Hall of Fame was British Columbia’s Tom Walther, a star in the late 1980s who died racing Superbikes in Japan. Walters was inducted in 2012.
Three-time Canadian Superbike Champion, Flat Track and Ice Racing ace Michel Mercier, currently the owner of the FAST Racing School, joined the Hall in 2008. Mercier took the number one road racing plate in Canada for Suzuki in 1986 and 1987, and in his final career year with Yamaha in 1990.
1980s AMA Formula One/G.P. class star Alan Labrosse, also a successful car racer and currently the owner of the Autodrome St-Eustache oval and road course, was inducted in 2007. Labrosse won National rounds in the U.S. in the 250cc Grand Prix and Formula One (500cc) classes, before switching to open wheeled Formula car activity and eventually managing the career of Miguel Duhamel.
Szoke’s induction marks the first 1990s (and later) era motorcycle racer to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the rare acknowledgement of a competitor still active and at peak form.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame have their next Ceremony next year in Montreal, Quebec on February 25. Among the roadracers entering the two-wheeled Hall in their 11th annual event is Miguel Duhamel, Pascal Picotte and Peter Hurst.
As well, famous Atlantic Motorsport Park co-founder and builder, the late car and bike competitor Jack Canfield, will also be inducted into the “Bike Hall” early next year.