Thursday, July 5, 2012
Superbike Leader Nelson Takes in Rare View from the Top
TORONTO, Ont. -- The Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship has an unfamiliar look as it heads to Autodrome St-Eustache for its second round this weekend. For the first time since the opening round of the 2008 season, someone other than Jordan Szoke or Brett McCormick is on top of the national point standings.
With his win two weeks ago at Shannonville Motorsport Park on the distinctive blue and gold Nelson Racing / Endras Motorrad / mcn.tv BMW S1000RR, Andrew Nelson took the lead in the point standings and put Szoke in the unfamiliar role of having to play catch-up in the title chase.
The Brantford, Ont. racer has had an almost uninterrupted stay at the top since the start of the 2006 season, when he launched his run of five consecutive titles. His closest challenges have come from Brett McCormick in 2009 and last season, when the Saskatoon racer ended Szoke’s title run. In 2008 Lacombe had a brief stay on top of the standings when he qualified on pole for the opening race.
There could be more surprises in store as the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship makes its second of five stops this summer. The tight and quirky 1.93km (1.2-mile) St-Eustache circuit has a habit of producing upsets. The short lap means lapped traffic can become a key factor and a seemingly safe lead can disappear rapidly. Such was the case last year, when McCormick saw a comfortable advantage on Szoke disappear in the late going before he was able to hang on for the victory.
Experience counts for a great deal at St-Eustache, and Nelson is one of the few competitors in the Superbike field to have raced at the track, which was not a part of the national schedule from 2004 until last summer. The Kars, Ont. rider had a tough go at the venue last season, finishing fifth, but his victory last month at Shannonville could signal a turning point in his career.
Szoke comes into the weekend third in the Superbike standings with 41 points, 14 behind Nelson. Szoke was a winner at St-Eustache in 2002 and the rider of the Waznie Racing / Parts Canada / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR knows he still has plenty of time left in his bid for an unprecedented eighth national title.
Between Nelson and Szoke in the rankings, with 43 points is Mississauga, Ont.’s Matt McBride, who took a career best second spot at Shannonville on his Riders Choice BMW S1000RR. Heading into the season McBride was unsure if he would make a run for the Superbike title, but his excellent showing at the season opener on June 24 may have convinced him to make the trip to Quebec for this weekend.
Alex Welsh comes into this event fourth in the standings with 32 points following his spectacular charge through the field at Shannonville. The Uxbridge, Ont. racer suffered through all sorts of gremlins with his AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000 at the season opener but could be in a position to challenge should things go smoothly for him at St-Eustache.
Just one point back of Welsh is Lacombe of St-Cesaire, Que. In his return to racing after a two-year absence Lacombe placed a strong fifth at Shannonville on the Team Couturier Racing BMW S1000RR and had plenty of experience at St-Eustache earlier in his career.
This weekend’s racing also includes rounds for the K&N Performance Filter Pro Sport Bike Championship, Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup, Bazzaz Amateur Superbike Championship, Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Championship and Honda CBR250R National Race Series.
In Pro Sport Bike fans will be hoping for a repeat of the mouthwatering battle at Shannonville between the 725 Sports / Acme Slate Suzuki GSX-R600 of Frank Trombino and Jodi Christie on the Jodi Christie Racing / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR600RR. Kleinburg, Ont.’s Trombino won round one and was triumphant at St-Eustache last year, while Christie, from Keene, Ont., is the defending class champion.
Defending champ Steve Crevier of Maple Ridge, B.C. won the opening round of the XR1200 Cup on his MotoSport Plus-backed Harley. But he can expect a tough challenge from the Ruthless Racing duo of Darren James and John Ross MacRae, as well as former Superbike champ Michael Taylor on his Mackie Harley-Davidson entry.
Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley is coming off an emotional win in the Amateur Superbike season opener on his One Speed / Riders Choice Suzuki GSX-R1000 while Philippe Masse of St-Hyacinthe, Que. will be going for another victory in Amateur Sport Bike aboard the Racingphil.com / Pete’s Superbike Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Pickering, Ont.’s Ryan Roche leads the Honda CBR250R standings after sweeping the first two races.
Practice for this weekend’s event gets underway Friday with qualifying taking place on Saturday. The first of two Honda CBR250R National Race Series rounds goes Saturday afternoon, with feature races in all six national classes set for Sunday.
For ticket information call 450-472-6222 or 514-591-4388. Or go to www.autodrome.ca.
2012 Point Standings
Mopar Pro Superbike: 1. Andrew Nelson (BMW) 55; 2. Matt McBride (BMW) 43; 3. Jordan Szoke (BMW) 41; 4. Alex Welsh (Suzuki) 32; 5. Kevin Lacombe (BMW) 31
K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike: 1. Frank Trombino (Suzuki) 53; 2. Jodi Christie (Honda) 48; 3. Aubrey Bailey (Honda) 38
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup: 1. Steve Crevier 56; 2. Darren James 45; 3. John Ross MacRae 39
Bazzaz Amateur Superbike: 1. Trevor Daley (Suzuki) 55; 2. Riley Dawe (Yamaha) 42; 3. Philippe Masse (Kawasaki) 37
Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike: 1. Philippe Masse (Kawasaki) 53; 2. Jean-Francois Aubin (Suzuki) 46; 3. Austin Shaw-O’Leary (Honda) 38
Honda CBR250R National Race Series: 1. Ryan Roche 108; 2. Stacey Nesbitt 80; 3. Sean Smith 71
Recent St-Eustache Superbike National Wins
2011 – Brett McCormick (Saskatoon, Sask.) BMW
2003 – Jean-Francois Cyr (Ste-Adele, Que.) Yamaha
2002 – Jordan Szoke (Brantford, Ont.) Suzuki
2000 – Francis Martin (Sherbrooke, Que.) Kawasaki
1999 – Francis Martin (Sherbrooke, Que.) Kawasaki
St-Eustache Fast Facts
…How unpredictable is racing at Autodrome St-Eustache? The 16 nationals held at the venue have produced nine different race winners, and nobody has won at the track more than three times. Steve Crevier, Don Munroe and Michael Taylor all share three St-Eustache Canadian Superbike wins, and ironically Crevier and Taylor will face off against each other in the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup support class this weekend.
…The St-Eustache circuit has also been a popular setting for debut national Superbike wins. Marco Ferland (1994), Benoit Pilon (1997) and Jean-Francois Cyr (2003) all claimed their first victories at the track. Those were also the only national Superbike race wins in their careers.
Provisional Weekend Schedule
Saturday, July 7
12:20 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Qualifying
1:30 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. – K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike Qualifying
2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying
2:30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Pirelli SuperPole Qualifying
3:20 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Qualifying
3:50 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. – Bazzaz Amateur Superbike Qualifying
4:20 p.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Race (14 laps)
Sunday, July 8
12:00 p.m. – Honda CBR250R National Race Series Race (14 laps)
1:00 p.m. – K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike Race (18 laps)
Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike Race (16 laps)
Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Race (16 laps)
2:50 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Race (22 laps)
Bazzaz Amateur Superbike Race (16 laps)