Andrew Nelson will return to the Mopar CSBK National Superbike Championship in 2017 aboard a new Suzuki GSX-R1000. After a five-year layoff, the popular racer from the Ottawa, ON area has inked a deal to ride for Suzuki Canada this season on the National motorcycle road racing tour.
“I have raced Suzukis before,” confirmed the 32-year-old Nelson prior to playing Hockey on Monday evening, February 27. “I used a Suzuki in the Daytona eight-hour Endurance race, and then in the Latin American Championship in the Dominican Republic in 2010, so in a way I have come full circle.”
A one-time protégé of Honda with Expert-level experience racing in the U.S.A. and in New Zealand, Nelson scored his breakthrough National Pro Feature Superbike class win aboard a BMW at the Shannonville Motorsport Park Mopar CSBK opener in June of 2012. This season, he will make his return to the series at the same Belleville, ON area venue, May 25-28.
These days, Nelson serves as an Eastern Ontario District Sales Manager for parts distributor Kimpex, the company celebrating their 50th anniversary this season.
Nelson calls his just-confirmed team a “work in progress,” but was comfortable listing some of his 2017 season sponsors. Ipone lubricants will be on-board with the Nelson program, as well as Armor Bodies and K-Tech suspension via Alberta chassis expert Willy Vass. Nelson intends to confirm the rest of his team details by the end of March, one month away.
As far as goals are concerned, Nelson concedes that “I have been out of racing for long enough, it isn’t realistic to aim to win in the first year. My aim is to work my way up. It will all be really fresh for me, since I’ve been out if it for a while.”
“In some ways, with the things that have changed with the series, it will be a sort of learning process,” continues Nelson, who placed 3rd overall in National Superbike points in 2011. “The new Suzuki really looks great, and I’m aiming for the top five in 2017. Consistency will be a key to attaining my goals.”
Regarding his race fitness, Nelson confirms that “I’ve been getting ready for a while, buys loosing some weight, and there is more to go. I think my cardio is already pretty good, but getting in shape is harder than it used to be!”
Flat Tracker Doug “Fresh” Lawrence will also be aboard the new-for-2017 Suzuki thousand, making two likely new top ten runners joining the Mopar CSBK Series in 2017. BMW’s Jordan Szoke has earned the overall series Championship for the past two seasons, winning every Superbike race.