Newly crowned Mopar CSBK overall National motorcycle roadracing Champion Jordan Szoke made his debut at New Jersey Motorsport Park today, in opening practice for the deciding event in the 2015 MotoAmerica Series. Aboard his regular Express Lane/Joe Rocket/BMW Motorrad S1000RR, but sporting the number 110 on a red background rather than his typical number 1 or 101, Szoke was 15th quickest in Practice two for the featured Superbike/Superstock 1000cc division, improving on his 18th best set in his morning debut around the “Thunderbolt” layout with a 12 turn, 2.25 mile long layout.
Szoke’s effort put him 9th best in the 19 rider strong Superstock class-within-a-class, the category closest to rules with the Canadian National tour. 27 riders set times during the hour long second session.
“Fifteenth isn’t my goal, but around two seconds off the top factory Superbike isn’t too bad,” smiled Szoke after practice in New Jersey, his first U.S. appearance since 2010. Szoke lapped at 1:23.56, while quickest overall belonged to the works Monster Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike of series points leader Cameron Beaubier, with a lap at 1:21 flat. Beaubier’s team-mate and title rival Josh Hayes, the current Champ, was second quickest with a lap at 1:21.69.
“You really notice the difference that $ 60,000 worth of electronics can provide,” continued Szoke about one of the advantages that the top U.S. machines enjoy against the more heavily restricted bikes used in CSBK north of the border, such as Szoke’s BMW. “Through the esses the top guys just pin it and the bikes just do not move around, it’s just such a big, noticeable difference.”
“Early on I was by myself learning the track, went over a bump, got spit right off the bike, my whole leg was draggin’, but somehow I managed to hang on! But overall the BMW feels really food, and I’m having fun out there with my bike.”
“So far, this track is really physically demanding. I did a bunch of consistent laps, 26 on one tire, more than the race, so I feel like we already know a lot about what the race will require. My set-up allows me to ride the bike consistently, and I just have to work on my lap times.”
“Still, it’s only Friday, and I’ve never been here, so I have to set realistic goals. I was a little sluggish in the morning, but the afternoon session was solid. My goal is to be the first BMW, and we will see how it goes tomorrow, where we can go from there.”
Szoke is scheduled to take part in two SuperPole sessions on Saturday, at 2:10 and 2:35 in the afternoon, to establish the grid for Sunday’s pair of 25 lap races.
In the opening session of SuperSport qualifying, Joe Roberts set the pace (1:22.16) aboard his Wheels in Motion Yamaha YZF-R6, while Canadian young gun Ben Young was 12th quickest with a 1:24.7 on his RoadRace Factory Yamaha.
Bazzaz Superstock 600 Qualifying was headed by Bryce Prince on the Tuned Racing Yamaha at 1:24.54. In her second career start in the U.S., recently crowned co-BCR Rookie Pro of the Year in CSBK, Stacey Nesbitt, placed 34th aboard the Satoni Racing Honda CBR600RR.