BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Jordan Szoke completed a sweep of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship doubleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday in dramatic fashion, leading a five-bike pack across the line in the final round of the 2017 season.
A day after clinching his 12th Canadian Superbike crown, the 38-year-old from Lynden, Ont. survived a last lap move by Kenny Riedmann to score his sixth straight win at CTMP on the Mopar Express Lane/Motovan BMW S1000RR.
Riedmann settled for second aboard the Sturgess Cycle/Liqui Moly Kawasaki ZX-10R while Samuel Trepanier claimed third on the Blysk Racing/Neuroperforma BMW S1000RR with a last lap pass of the Scot-Build Developments BMW S1000RR of Ben Young.
Michael Leon completed the lead pack in fifth spot on his Royal Distributing BMW S1000RR, just 1.069 secs. behind Szoke.
“What a battle that was. It feels good to win that way,” said Szoke after his 65th career Canadian Superbike win. “Battles like that can go either way and I’ve been on the other end too.”
A red-flag midway through the scheduled 20-lap race turned the Pro Superbike finale into an eight-lap shootout. Szoke led all the way but the positions behind him changed constantly, with first Trepanier, then Young and finally Riedmann taking up the runner-up spot.
On the final lap the Kawasaki rider tried a move around the outside of Szoke through turn 8, at the end of the backstraight, but was unable to pull it off.
“I was protecting the inside line and I was expecting Sam to try and come around the outside,” Szoke explained. “But then I saw a flash of green and realized it was Kenny. We both drifted wide and I was worried someone would come up the inside, but no one did and I was able to hold the edge on Kenny.”
Szoke completed the race distance in 10 minutes, 49.749 seconds for an average speed of 172.867km/h and his sixth victory in seven races this season.
Riedmann bounced back from a disappointing fifth place finish on Saturday to challenge for the win on Sunday and lock up second place in the final Mopar Pro Superbike standings.
“We made a ton of changes after yesterday’s race, mostly to the geometry,” said the Belfountain, Ont. racer, who crossed the line just 0.097 secs. behind Szoke. “The cooler track in practice had sent us in the wrong direction, but we made drastic changes last night and even gambled a bit for the race.
“I knew the opportunity [to go for the win] was there and I was saving it for a draft pass at the end of the backstraight. I guess I didn’t time it quite right and Jordan was able to hold me off.”
After leading almost all the way on Saturday and finishing a close second Trepanier didn’t quite have the same pace after the red flag on Sunday and slid down to fourth place before snatching the last podium spot from Young under braking in turn 8.
“I didn’t get a great start and I wasn’t getting the same drive out of turn 5B [onto the backstraight],” admitted the St-Isidore de Laprairie, Que. racer.
Nevertheless, his pass of Young boosted Trepanier up to fourth place in the final Mopar Pro Superbike standings, just two points ahead of Bodhi Edie.
Collingwood, Ont.’s Young said he was suffering on top end speed in comparison to his rivals in the lead group, while Beaconsfield, Que.’s Leon moved up to sixth place in the year-end point standings with his fifth place finish.
Mississauga, Ont.’s Matt McBride took sixth place on his Riders Choice BMW S1000RR, passing the Z1 Tuning/Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1 of Edie on the last lap. The Warman, Sask. racer, who battled shifter issues in the first part of the race, settled for seventh after standing on the podium Saturday.
Sebastien Tremblay of Laval, Que. battled with Daley through the middle of the race but dropped back to a solitary 10th on his MotoNation/LavalMoto Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Szoke’s Waznie Racing squad picked up the Inside Motorcycles Team of the Year Award.
In other action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Mitch Card completed a sweep of Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike races this weekend by holding off newly-crowned class champion Tomas Casas in the 14-lap race. Card, from Ripley, Ont., and Peterborough, Ont.’s Casas traded the lead repeatedly before Card held on to win by 1.143 secs. on his Goderich Toyota/Shoei Helmets Yamaha YZF-R6.
The 17-year-old Casas had clinched the title Saturday with a runner-up finish on the Peterborough Cycle/Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R6.
“I think that was one of the best races we’ve had all year,” said Card, who placed second in final Pro Sport Bike points behind Casas. “I really had to work for that one. It wasn’t handed to me.”
After mixing it up with the leaders for the first five laps Jacob Shaw-O’Leary lost touch after an anxious moment in turn 1 and settled for third on his O’Leary Brothers/Pro Cycle Honda CBR600RR. The result vaulted the Falmouth, N.S. racer from sixth to fourth in the final Pro Sport Bike standings.
Jason Thoms was another racer to complete a doubleheader sweep at CTMP, taking Sunday’s Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike round on his BMW S1000RR. Jean-Francois Aubin of St-Jerome, Que. took second on a Suzuki GSX-R600, 8.857 secs. back, and Ajax, Ont.’s Mike van Ek was third on another BMW.
Lasalle, Que.’s Samuel Desmarais clinched the Amateur Superbike title.
For the second straight day Cameron Walker of Oakville, Ont. won the Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike race on his Kawasaki ZX-6R while Aubin clinched the series title with a second place. Montreal’s Vincent Levillain completed the podium on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Walker’s margin of victory was 0.651 secs.
Jared Walker of Oakville, Ont. did everything he could to claim the Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Series, winning the series finale, but with a third place finish Shannon, Que.’s Xavier Paradis locked up the series title. Amy Szoke of Lynden, Ont. split the two title protagonists in second place, 2.902 secs. back.
Richard Thompson led all the way on his Yamaha YZF-R3 to score a convincing victory in Sunday’s Bickle Racing Invitational Lightweight race. The Milford, N.S. racer finished 11.666 secs. clear of Laval, Que.’s Alex Berthiaume, also on a Yamaha, and the Kawasaki Ninja 300 of St-Jerome, Que.’s Johann Plancque.
This weekend’s Mopar Pro Superbike races will be shown on TSN. Check the csbk.ca website or your local listings for dates and times Coverage of Friday’s Dalton Timmis Insurance SuperPole and both Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike races can be viewed at csbk.ca.