Brantford, Ont.’s Szoke leads the championship chase with 158 points as he goes after an unprecedented 10th national title on his Mopar Express Lane Parts Canada BMW S1000RR while Christie, from Keene, Ont., sits on 145 points and is bidding for his first Canadian number one plate riding the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR.
With four points available for setting the fastest time in Magneti Marelli SuperPole qualifying on Friday and a maximum of 52 points on offer in each Superbike race, the battle is wide open heading into the weekend.
Szoke is an acknowledged master of CTMP’s legendary 3.9km (2.459-mile) 10-turn layout, and the 35-year-old has won 10 of his 45 career national Superbike wins at the track. However, his efforts this weekend may be compromised by a right thumb injury suffered last weekend while competing in an Observed Trials event.
The 22-year-old Christie, meanwhile, comes into the weekend riding a wave of momentum after scoring a dramatic, last-lap, last-turn victory over Szoke in the previous Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship round at Atlantic Motorsport Park, his first victory of the season after Szoke took the opening two rounds.
While Szoke and Christie have owned the top two steps of the podium through the opening three rounds of the season, there are plenty of other racers who could play spoiler in the title battle this weekend. Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley lies third in points with 102 and the rider of the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Honda CBR1000RR already has a third-place finish to his credit earlier this season at Shannonville Motorsport Park.
Just 11 points back of Daley is Longueuil, Que.’s Sebastien Tremblay, who took a career-high third at Autodrome St-Eustache on his MotoNation / Laval Moto /CrossFitLaval.com Kawasaki ZX-10R. Tremblay has a history of strong races at CTMP, and qualified on the front row in 2012 as a Superbike rookie.
Kristopher Garvie of Caledon, Ont., the 2013 Sunoco / Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year is just a further three points behind on the Honda Canada / Fast Company / Platinum Painting Honda CBR1000RR.
Will Hornblower of Sarnia, Ont. leads this year’s Sunoco / BCR Rookie of the Year standings on his Hornblower Racing / Blue Streak Yamaha YZF-R6.
This weekend’s doubleheader will see the first series appearance of Kelowna, B.C.’s Marcel Irnie on the MobiBuff / Irnie Racing / World’s Best Motorcycles BMW S1000RR. Irnie competed in July’s AMA Pro SuperBike event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
There is also a possible entry from Uxbridge, Ont.’s Alex Welsh, winner of two Superbike nationals at CTMP and runner-up in last year’s Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings.
Action at CTMP includes doubleheaders for the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike, Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike, Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike Championships and the Honda CBR250R National Race Series.
The Pro Sport Bike class is wide open with the top four racers within 16 points of each other after action at AMP. Shannonville winner Kenny Riedmann of Belfountain, Ont. leads with 99 points on the Riedmann Racing / Castrol Triumph 675, just four ahead of three-time defending class champion Christie, aboard a Honda CBR600RR. Fellow Honda riders Garvie and Daley are third and fourth in points with 88 and 83, respectively.
Honda CBR1000RR rider Pedro Sousa of Mississauga, Ont. enjoys a 17-point lead, 116-99, over Peterborough, Ont.’s Tomas Casas, riding the OCM Motor Sports / Peterborough Cycle Salvage Yamaha YZF-R6, in the Amateur Superbike standings.
In the Amateur Sport Bike class, only a point separates Casas from St-Lazare, Que. teammate Stacey Nesbitt on the OCM Motor Sports / Honda Canada / FTR Honda CBR600RR, with Ariss, Ont. Triumph 675 rider James Moore lurking 29 points back in third.
There is also only a point between Honda CBR250R series leader Eric Quintin of Notre Dame de l’Ile Perrot, Que. and Falmouth, N.S.’s Jacob Shaw-O’Leary.
Action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park opens Friday with qualifying, including the Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Pro Superbike division. Feature races in all five national classes will run Saturday and Sunday.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race video coverage of both of this weekend’s Mopar Pro Superbike races, as well as Sunday’s Hindle Pro Sport Bike feature and the deciding round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series.
--From Professional Motorsports Productions