Jodi Christie and the Accelerated Technologies Honda race team claimed their first Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship with a second-place finish and a win at the final doubleheader round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Jodi also finished off his 2014 Hindle Pro Sport Bike campaign with a victory in the final round at CTMP and second place in the Sport Bike championship standings.
Preparation for the race weekend started early in the week at a Pro 6 Cycle track day on Tuesday, with Jodi riding three sessions on his CBR600RR to get reacquainted with the fast-paced venue. This bonus track time proved to be pivotal to the weekend's results, as pre-race track time was limited due to weather conditions. The first official practice sessions on Friday morning were interrupted by damp track conditions from overnight rain, and the team opted to do just a few laps in each session and wait for better conditions in the afternoon for qualifying.
Jodi set out in the Hindle Pro Sport Bike qualifying session on a mission to put down fast laps and come away with the pole for the doubleheader weekend, and managed to do just that with a gap of 1.172 seconds to second place. Up next was Mopar Pro Superbike qualifying. The team used much of the first half of the session to set up the bike; in the second half of the session for the top-10 riders, Jodi set out on the same set of tires and clocked a time just .139 seconds off of pole position to place second on the grid for the races to come.
Saturday morning the team worked on some simple setup changes to make sure everything was ready for the finals coming up in the afternoon. Jodi lined up for the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike final knowing he had to win in order to keep himself in contention for the championship. He got a great launch and was out front early, only to be out-powered and passed in the faster sections of the circuit. Jodi made some dominant moves in corners 9 and 10 on the first two laps to stay in the lead until a red flag stopped the race. After a short break, the race resumed in similar fashion, with Jodi in a battle for the lead and having to work hard through the tighter sections and corners to limit the damage on the straights. A few laps into the race, Jodi drove out of Moss corner onto the back straight and had a slight speed wobble. In race-mode, he didn't think anything of this but soon realized the severity when he went for the brakes at the end of the straight: The wobble had knocked the front brake pistons back into the calipers, and traveling at over 240 kph into turn 8, Jodi discovered he had lost his front brakes. He tried to scrub some speed with the rear brake, but it wasn't enough and he parted ways with the bike. Jodi plummeted into the tire wall at roughly 100 kph, but thanks to the superior protection of his Shoei X-Twelve helmet, Joe Rocket leathers and TCX boots, was able to walk away without a scrape on his body. Unfortunately, with the crash Jodi was out of championship contention in the Sport Bike class.
Jodi had to then rebound and prepare for the Superbike race later in the day. Under grey skies and with rain falling, Jodi was pleased to ride in the wet conditions after his earlier get-off. Jodi had a strong-performing machine in the rain and set out to a great start. Slotting into third place on the opening laps, he was keen on finishing the race safely to score points towards the championship. When Matt McBride crashed a few laps in, Jodi found himself in second with a reasonable gap to third place. He continued to pursue race leader Frank Trombino for several laps until the rain picked up and raised some traction issues, leading him to back off the pace as he worked through lapped riders. This allowed the third-place rider to catch up and make a pass. Jodi was content with this and sat behind the rider until the last lap; when they drove onto the back straight, the other rider had a slide and Jodi was able to make an easy and safe pass to bring his Accelerated Technologies Honda home in second place.
Sunday morning's warm-up sessions were a wash due to overnight rain once again. Jodi rode just one lap in Sport Bike and three laps in Superbike, then spent the lunch break signing lots of autographs for the fans at his local race and spending time with family that was visiting.
Jodi lined up on the starting line for the Sport Bike race wanting to go out and put on a strong performance. He got the holeshot and rode hard right off the hop, stretching out a strong enough lead before the back straight that helped keep the pack of riders behind him. Jodi put his head down for the first four laps and stretched a substantial lead, then slightly backed off the pace. He was still lapping fast enough to slowly gap the field, and brought home the win with an 8.046-second margin to second place.
Lining up for the Superbike race later on in the day, Jodi had a similar vision of how he wanted to close out the Superbike class. With another great launch and an early lead, he once again put his head down immediately and stretched a huge gap in the first two laps. He backed off his pace slightly, but continued to pull a gap that brought him across the finish line with the win and a 15.498-second margin of victory! The win also meant Jodi was crowned the 2014 Canadian Pro Superbike Champion as he crossed the stripe! Jodi was ecstatic and celebrated on his cool down lap with lots of wheelies and burnouts for the fans.
Jodi Christie: "I am overwhelmed with happiness for myself and my entire team. We all worked extremely hard for this and it is a pleasure to bring home our first Mopar Canadian Superbike title. I couldn't have done it without all of my amazing sponsors. I also have to thank my family for always supporting me and everyone that had helped me get to this point!"
John Sharrard (Crew Chief): "What a weekend. Just four days before, we heard of Jordan Szoke's injury with true mixed emotions. We were all disappointed and sad for Jordan, recognizing his predicament before the last big doubleheader. We also felt a bit robbed of the opportunity to wrestle the Superbike championship from him fair and square. We had the momentum, the bike, the team and the rider to take an incredible fight to Jordan and his BMW team. If anything, his injury added a lot of pressure to us, as not only did we need perfection to try and win the Sport Bike championship, but now the Superbike championship was truly within reach with only a freak failure, crash or mechanical to cause us concern. The Superbike was brand new, a real one-track wonder designed and built for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and being untested I was a bit nervous. As it turns out, my fears were for naught. While the Sport Bike championship repeat was not meant to be with our Honda CBR600s, Jodi and the Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR performed flawlessly after qualifying and we secured our first ever Canadian Superbike Championship with a dominant Sunday as Jodi won the race by 15 seconds to lock up the title."
Jodi Christie Racing competes in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship with support from Accelerated Technologies, Hindle Exhaust, Bazzaz, Dunlop, Pro 6 Cycle, AiM Sports Data Acquisition, DID Chains, Orient Express, Blue Streak Racing, Motion Pro, Elka Suspension, Motovan, Motul Oil, Zero Gravity, Renthal, Sunstar, Joe Rocket Leathers, Shoei Helmets, Mikey Moto, Bickle Racing, Villa Auto Wash, Rocky Ridge Drinking Water, Autographics LTD, Rod Hall-Remax, Molson-Coors, Andrew & Peter Trevitt, Gary & Roslyn Christie and TCX Boots. Follow the team on Facebook (JodiChristieRacing) or Twitter and Instagram (@JCRacing20). For more information about the Canadian Superbike Series and to watch the races online, visit www.csbk.ca.
From a press release