Thirteen-time National champion Jordan Szoke will start Sunday’s one-day Pro Superbike doubleheader from pole position at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, narrowly defeating a trio of rivals in a thrilling qualifying session at round two in the Canadian Superbike Championship, presented by Pro6 Cycle.
Szoke claimed his second consecutive pole-position to open the 2020 season, setting the fastest time on his fourth and final lap at 1:22.993 aboard his Canada General Warranty Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, but capturing that honour was a much tougher task at CTMP with just 0.226 seconds separating the entire front row.
The Lynden, ON veteran swept the round-one doubleheader at Calabogie Motorsports Park and is in good position to add to his total this weekend, as he chases his 17th and 18th career victories at the “Old Mosport” circuit.
Starting alongside Szoke will be Michael Leon, who nearly captured his first career pole as he crossed the line just 0.059 seconds behind the championship leader aboard his Royal Distributing BMWS1000RR. The Beaconsfield, QC native will be looking to make up ground on Sunday after crashing out of race two in Calabogie, entering with a 67-point gap despite scoring a podium in race one.
Still searching for his first career podium will be rookie Samuel Guerin, who will start from third for the second-consecutive weekend aboard his EFC Group BMW. Guerin struggled to replicate that pace at Calabogie but is coming off a pair of victories as an Amateur at CTMP last season, as he will look to disrupt the front-running group in just his second career Pro weekend.
Perhaps Szoke’s biggest challenge will come from the end of the first row in the form of long-time rival Kenny Riedmann, who has shown little rust in his return to racing as he fills in for Trevor Daley aboard the M4 Suzuki Canada GSX-R1000R. The former Kawasaki rider has won twice at CTMP in the last two seasons and will look to make it three years in a row atop the podium on Sunday.
Rounding out the top-five and kicking off the second row will be veteran Chris Murray, who hasn’t competed on the CSBK tour since 2016 but has made a strong return aboard his BMW at the same circuit where he finished fourth in 2015.
Qualifying sixth in Superbike was reigning Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike champion Will Hornblower, but the Sarnia, ON native will turn his focus to the class he won his number-one plate in after capturing pole position earlier on Saturday.
Hornblower was unable to travel to round one in Calabogie but picked up right where he left off at CTMP, finishing only a half-second off the lap record with a time of 1:23.487 aboard his Yamaha Canada YZF-R6. That was over a full second clear of rival and round one winner Sebastian Tremblay in second, who struggled to match Hornblower’s pace aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja.
Lining up next to the duo will be Guyanese youngster Elliott Vieira aboard his Yamaha machine, who claims just his second career front-row start ahead of Sunday’s race, and fellow Turcotte Performance Kawasaki rider Vincent Levillian, who crashed late in the session but managed to hold onto fourth to complete the first row.
Saturday’s action at CTMP also included the first race in the Amateur ranks, with the Brooklin Cycle Racing Amateur Sport Bike class completing their weekend after a dramatic seven-lap battle to end the day.
Brad Macrae won a red-flag shortened Amateur Sport Bike race, leading start-to-finish for his first career National victory aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6. The Kingston, ON native held off an early challenge from pole-sitter Dave Carolli, who settled for second aboard his Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja.
Serge Boyer completed the podium aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600, while Vincent Daigle survived a jump-start penalty to claim fourth ahead of Barry French, who charged his way to fifth after starting from the back of the grid.
The AIM Insurance Amateur Lightweight class was scheduled to run their first of two races to end the day, but will be forced to complete both halves of their doubleheader on Sunday after time constraints brought racing to an early halt.
The series will now turn its attention towards a seven-race schedule on Sunday, including a pair of one-day doubleheaders to wrap up round two action.
Full results from Saturday’s action, as well as Sunday’s schedule, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.