The first attempt to start the 22-lap Superbike Feature race was red-flagged and stopped after Trombino (Etobicoke, ON) experienced a major opening-lap crash while in the lead pack on the Roller Coaster back straight. The much-liked 44-year-old received medical attention at the track and was taken by ambulance to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
On the restart, Szoke punched his Mopar Express Lane/Motovan BMW S1000RR to the front of the pack and steadily extended his lead, eventually crossing the line 11.09 seconds ahead of runner-up Kenny Riedmann (Belfountain, ON).
"Because of the way you have to set up the motorcycle here, because it is so bumpy, you can't really slow down too much," said Szoke about the rough AMP track surface. "The bike wants to beat you up... so you've got to push the whole time here. I'm just as exhausted now as if I was battling someone, but I can't complain. Obviously we had an amazing setup right out of the box.
"We all hope that Frank's okay, and I think Bodhi's okay, I see him walking around," Szoke concluded, referring to Yamaha racer Bodhi Edie, who crashed his Z1 Tuning/Parts Canada R1 out of third place at the end of the last lap. "We don't want to win hurting guys that way."
Riedmann earned his podium spot the hard way, winning a race-long battle with Edie for second. "Off the restart, Bodhi and I had a great battle—really aggressive, but pretty clean for the most part," said Sturgess Cycle/Liqui Moly Kawasaki ZX-10RR-mounted Riedmann. "I had so much fun. Jordan won, but I had way more fun out there."
The last podium spot was nabbed by Scot-Build Developments BMW rider Ben Young (Collingwood, ON), who claimed third after Edie's last-minute crash. "There just were not enough laps today," said Young, who got pushed back early in the race and fought his way up to the podium. "Maybe tomorrow I can get a better start and get a good race pace going, try to make some changes to the bike to make it better.
"It's great to make it back to Shubie," Young added, referring to the track by its nickname. "It's great to see the fans here and it's nice to see a good turnout for Saturday's races."
In the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike race held earlier in the afternoon, Trombino parlayed a holeshot into a commanding victory aboard his ProStar Honda CBR600RR. The series veteran known as "The Warlord" took the checkered flag 12.79 seconds ahead of runner-up Tomas Casas (Peterborough, ON).
"If you want to know the truth, I just have to picture Crevier pushing me in the old days," said Trombino, who won his first CSBK National race in 2000 and was referring to retired six-time overall CSBK champ Steve Crevier. "Hats off to this ProStar Honda; it did a fantastic job and the pit crew did amazing. We worked so hard - thank you so much, guys."
Pro Sport Bike class points leader Casas' second-place finish aboard his Peterborough Cycle/Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R6 came after a dicey battle with fellow Yamaha rider and No. 1 qualifier Mitch Card (Ripley, ON) that ended when Card lost control and went over the handlebars in turn 3. He was unhurt, but his spill allowed local hero Caleb "Hollywood" Noiles (Salisbury, NB) to nab the last spot on the podium.
"It was a good race," said a pleased Casas upon completion of the 18-lap affair. "Frank had a good start, and Mitch and I were hanging in there trying to keep up. Hopefully tomorrow we get a better start and can fight for the win. That's what we want to get out here."
"I had a bad start," admitted AMP veteran Noiles from the podium, "so I had to wait for Stacey (Nesbitt) to make a mistake and get by her. I look forward to tomorrow; it was a great race this afternoon."
Saturday's qualifying session for the Shoei Helmets Amateur Sport Bike class concluded with Samuel Desmarais (Lasalle, QC) on the pole for tomorrow's race. Second-quickest qualifier Joseph Pulsifer (Cambridge, NS) was penalized one spot for exceeding the class horsepower limit in post-race inspection, putting current class leader Jean-Francois Aubin (St-Jerome, QC) in second.
Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike qualifying was postponed to Sunday morning.
In the first of two Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series starts this weekend, Jared Walker (Oakville, ON) crossed the line a scant 0.014 seconds ahead of points leader Xavier Paradis (Shannon, QC), with local guy Patrick Pelletier (Dartmouth, NS) in third.
Action at CSBK round 4 continues at AMP on Sunday with a full slate of racing in all national and regional classes. Visit www.csbk.ca for full results, photos and revised Sunday schedule.