Breaking news: Riedmann ready to rock at Bol D'Or in France!

Reigning and two-time Hindle Pro Sport Bike CSBK national champion Kenny Riedmann will compete aboard an Atomic Motorsport Suzuki GSX-R1000 this weekend in the Superstock class at the famed 24 Hour Bol D’Or event at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France.

Riedmann’s best lap in the second qualifying session put his team 21st overall, and 11th in class, for the start of the race on Saturday, September 19. His effort is considered a strong debut since Riedmann is new to this type of racing, as well as the bike, team and venue.

Riedmann is expected to be the “clean-up hitter,” riding third in the three-man rotation, usually with worn tires. Each stint is expected to last in the 45 minute range, the fuel range poor at Circuit Paul Richard thanks to the mandated 24 litre gas tank and very high speed straightaway. Regular Riedmann tuner Scott Cameron is on hand from Canada to assist with the Atomic Suzuki program.

Riedmann indicated through his father, former racer Roland, that the bike is detuned compared to his regular Mopar CSBK Superbike Kawasaki, no surprise given the demanding nature of the day and night event. The two-time Hindle Pro Sport Bike Champ for Triumph also had to adjust to starting each session with the machine fully loaded with fuel.

This year’s event marks the 79th running of the Bol D'Or, a French classic, returning to the Mediterranean coast near Le Castellet. Originally held at Le Mans, the event moved to Circuit Paul Richard in the 1970s, then more recent to Mangy-Cours. This is the first time the Bol has run at its most famous host venue, Paul Richard, in 15 years.

The venue is 5.861 kms in length, including a famously long Mistral straight than covers 1.3 km and allows the big bikes to run on full throttle for 13 seconds. The track is famous for warm weather and a crazy party atmosphere.

Riedmann’s team, listed on the score sheets as “Atomic 68,” includes regular FIM Endurance World Championship competitors Stephane Egea and Giovanni Bussei. In qualifying, the three turned best laps within a few tenth of each other: Riedmann at 2:02.6, Egea at 2:02.9 and Bussei with a lap at 2:03 flat.

At the front of the 51-team field is the works Kawasaki SRC Superbike class squad of famous veterans Gregory Leblanc/Mathieu Lagrive/Fabian Foret took pole at 1:58.2, followed by the Yamaha factory entry of Yamaha Monster YART, ridden by Broc Parkes/Max Neukirchner/Sheridan Morais at 1:58.490, Yamaha GMT94 third overall with a lap at 1:58.8. Honda Endurance Racing will start fourth while the factory Suzuki is fifth, followed by two BMWs, the second the top Superstock entry at seventh overall.

Friday, 18 September 2015 13:43


Szoke Struggles on Sunday in MotoAmerica New Jersey

A slightly sore Mopar CSBK Canadian National Champ Jordan Szoke is heading home from the final 2015 MotoAmerica at New Jersey Motorsport Park September 13, following a frustrating return to the American National tour.   Both Szoke and his 2015 BMW S1000RR, sponsored by Express Lane, Joe Rocket and BMW Motorrad, are a little the worse for wear.

Szoke earned 15th overall in the opening, shortened, combined Superbike/Superstock Feature race, twice interrupted by rain and incidents.  In the second, 26 lap Feature on Sunday afternoon, Szoke was eliminated in a first turn crash when he was collected by the Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Elena Myers.

“Race one didn’t go very well,” explained Szoke.  “We didn’t really have the speed I thought we should have had, all weekend.  With the rain in Q, and various issues, we just never seemed to get things going.”

“The first race was going OK, but I still had some issues with the front end.  Then they stopped things because of the rain, and then I didn’t get a good start on the restart.  I got around Elena, then I started after all the Superstock guys, they were mainly in a group, not far in front of me.”  Szoke’s Canadian spec BMW was competing in the Superstock class.

“Then it started to rain a bit, and I rolled out of it, I was there to have fun, and didn’t want to take to many chances when it was slippery,” continued the ten time Canadian Superbike Champ.  “But this time they waited a while to Red Flag it, and Elena got past again.”

Between the two Feature races, Ohlins suspension guru Jon Cornwell discovered that Szoke’s BMW had a problem with his front suspension.
“Jon found a blown O-ring in our fork, so I had no compression damping in my fork, probably since the start of the weekend,” confirmed Szoke.  “So we were really excited for race two, looking forward to seeing what difference a good fork could make!”

“We ended up going about half a second faster than Jodi (outgoing CSBK Champ Christie, a front runner at NJ 2014) did when he got that good sixth here last year, and it shows how deep the field is now – the fork fix could have made a real difference.”

“So I got a good start in race two, I was on the outside of Chris Fillmore’s KTM Superbike into turn one, my knees on the ground, and I got hit so hard from behind – I was in the air and there was no bike under me!”

“Elena hit me from behind, I don’t know what she was thinking, there was no room between Chris and me.  She got the tail section and exhaust, since I was already leaned over, and I was lucky not to get run over.  Now I’m bruised up, hurt my elbow, wrecked my leathers and made a mess of my beautiful motorcycle.”

“This was one of my worst AMA Nationals ever, my first crash on the 2015, in fact it was my first crash since I fell in a Q session in Canada back in 2012!  That crash was my fault, but this one wasn’t.  But that’s racing – that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Overall, Szoke still views the tip south on a constructive note: “I enjoyed the track, I loved the competition, the MotoAmerica people were awesome.  Wayne Rainey and all of his people were so friendly, it was almost like a family reunion.”   

Monday, 14 September 2015 13:25


Beaubier wins MotoAmerica SBK Championship in New Jersey

The 2015 MotoAmerica National Championship Series came to its conclusion at New Jersey Motorsport Park on September 13, and Josh Hayes won the battle while his Monster Energy Yamaha YZF-R1M team mate Cameron Beaubier won the war.  Hayes took a dramatic final race victory after a thrilling last lap fight with the runner-up Yoshimura-Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Roger Lee Hayden.

Meanwhile, Beaubier played it cool, earned a conservative sixth overall and third in the Feature Superbike category, good enough for his first overall National Feature race crown.  Yamaha took ever win in every class in the debut season for MotoAmerica, only KTM breaking the streak with the spec singles class!  The top works Yamaha racers used matching yellow and black “bumble bee” paint scheme for Sunday’s events only, celebrating the firms’ 60th race anniversary.

“I’m just speechless,” explained Beaubier from the podium.  “My R1 has been rippin’ all year, it’s so fun to ride, and I can’t wait until next year.”

“Riding alongside Josh is awesome – he is the first guy I want to beat, and he is a true Champion,” said Beaubier of his 40 year old team-mate and outgoing Champion Hayes.

“I talked a lot of trash before these races about how I was gonna win them, and I thought I might have to eat some crow,” smiled double victor Hayes.  “I found myself in the right place again, even with all that pressure from Roger.  I am so proud to win ten races on the year, that is more than half of them, and I’m going to kick Cam’s butt so bad next year.”

The Superstock class title already belonged to Red Bull Roadrace Factory Yamaha R1 pilot Jake Gagne, and Gagne confirmed his star status with a solid third overall, taking the Superstock victory.  Next on the road was third overall Taylor Knapp, second in Superstock, battling with third Superstock finisher Joshua Day.  Yamaha swept the Supersport podium with their new-in-2015 R1.

Earlier in the day, Hayes had won the red flag interrupted penultimate race in the Feature class, in a day interrupted by some rain and very high winds.   In an event that wound up getting scored after 14 of a scheduled 25 laps, fast starter Hayes held off Beaubier for victory, although neither racer knew it was the final lap!

Hayden was third overall in the opener, while Gagne was just four seconds back to win the Superstock division. Kyle Wyman was fifth on his Yamaha, second in Superstock, with Day going 6th overall, third in class.

Reigning Mopar CSBK overall Canadian National Champion Jordan Szoke was 15th overall in the first Feature race, placing Szoke 9th in the Superstock division, after a hectic race.  Szoke retired on the first lap of race two, a frustrating end to his record-setting 2015 campaign with the Express Lane/Joe Rocket/BMW Motorrad S1000RR.

In support race action, former American Superbike Champion Josh Herrin won the Supersport closer on a dry track for the Wheels in Motion Yamaha squad, coming on top of a wild battle with team-mate Joe Roberts and Garrett Gerloff’s works Yamalube Yamaha YZF-R6. J.D. Beach, who had already clinched the Supersport title for Yamaha, wound up fourth, at the back of the fight for first.  Canadian rising star Ben Young was ninth on a Hindle-backed Yamaha.  

In Bazzaz Superstock 600 race two, Bryce Prince took victory by more than 12 seconds from Travis Wyman, both on Yamaha YZF-R6s.  Ruthless Racing’s B.C. based Darren James retired his Yamaha mid-race, while Quebec-based rookie Pro Stacey Nesbitt did not start with her Honda.

Sunday, 13 September 2015 17:14


Szoke Moves Up in Wet New Jersey Superpole

Reigning Mopar CSBK Canadian Superbike Champion Jordan Szoke moved up to 13th overall in sodden Superpole action for the MotoAmerica Feasture events at New Jersey Motorsport Park, Saturday, September 12.  Aboard his Mopar Express Lane/Shoei/BMW Motorrad S1000RR, Szoke was fastest for much of the opening, rainy session, but was shuffled down to third overall in the final minute of the first SuperPole.

With the top two riders moving on to the second session and the overall battle for Pole Position in both of tomorrow’s 25 lap combined Superbike/Superstock 1000, Szoke was held back to 13th overall.  The sessions combine both the full blown Superbike and lesser-spec Superstock classes, with Szoke’s regular Canadian, CSBK rules machines (two BMWs) eligible for the Superstock category.

Szoke’s best lap was a 1:42.222, while the quickest in the same session was Sheridan Morais on an Aprilia at 1:40.8.  The second best lap belonged to the Yamaha of Shane Narbonne at 1:42.164.

“I gave it a real try, and then I lost out by a tenth of second to one of the Aprilias,” smiled Szoke, drying off in his team tent.  “I ended up giving Morais a tow, he faked me into the pits and then tucked in behind.  I didn’t know I was fastest at that point, but it is a bit frustrating to miss the final session like that.”

“I really needed to make a change at the rear,” continued Szoke, who rode his 2014 machine, last used to win in the rain at Autodrome St-Eustache in round two of the 2015 Mopar CSBK National tour.  “I was nervous with the back end, and I was learning the track in the wet for the first time – there are these little seam/patches, and they can be slick.”

“The throttle control is a little more to my liking with the 2014 bike, and that only really gets noticeable when it is slippery.  I also would have liked a little change in the electronics, and with the rear end too.  It caused a little delay getting it back up onto the wide part of the tire exiting the corners.” 

“So I’m 13th, I moved up a little,” finished Szoke.  “Things went well, and they could have been even better.  It’s been really good seeing everyone, hanging out a little with the guys – I’ve missed it.”

Meanwhile, in the second, less wet portion of SuperPole, reigning Superbike Champ Josh Hayes put his Monster Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 on pole for both of tomorrow’s races, the final events of the 2015 American National Championship.  Hayes lapped at 1:39.4, four tenths of a second clear of the second placed Yoshimura Suzuki of Roger Lee Hayden.

Top Superstock bike was the Yamaha YZF-R1 of Jake Gagne, third best for a spot on the front row of tomorrow’s grids.

Hayes is currently chasing team-mate Cameron Beaubier in the points, setting up a pair of Sunday races that will likely yield plenty of drama.

“There are a lot of fast Superstock guys running that class here, and Cam is back on row two, and his starts haven’t been that good this year,” started pole man Hayes.  “There are so many things to consider, and I know what it can be like with the pressure of a title lead.  I am just going to concentrate on my issues, get the most from my Yamaha.  There is still a lot of racing to go.”              `

Saturday, 12 September 2015 15:36


Szoke Ready for SuperPole in New Jersey

Jordan Szoke was 17th quickest this morning at New Jersey Motorsport Park in the final practice for tomorrow’s two races in the MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock category. Aboard his regular, Mopar CSBK Canadian National crown winning Mopar Express Lane/Joe Rocket/BMW Motorrad S1000RR, Szoke was again ninth quickest in the supporting Superstock section of the Feature class.

Next up for Brantford, ON based Szoke is the split SuperPole sessions, scheduled for mid-afternoon, when rain is expected at the New Jersey shore’s facility.

“My comfort level is getting there,” explained Szoke of the busy, 27 rider session.  “The goal of comfort is to make things less work.  We made some ride height changes to the chassis, and that helped make things easier to do physically.”

As Ohlins suspension guru Jon Cornwell made electronic adjustments to the wheelie control portion of the BMW, Szoke continued:  “We also put in some new brakes, and it took me a few laps to get my head around that.  Then I just needed a few clear laps, but that somehow didn’t work out!”

“Traffic was really bad for me that session, and the track is narrow in some sections, you have to be careful.  I was out with Cameron (Beaubier, second quickest overall for Yamaha) in the middle of the session, and the Chris Fillmore (works KTM rider) crashed right in front of us.  After that red flag, I was going to go out with Danny Eslick on that quick Aprilia, but then he had some kind of a mechanical problem.”

“Right now I’m not too concerned about our laps times, I just want to see what we can do with the bike; we haven’t played with the Traction Control feature much in Canada this year, our tracks are so point and shoot, but we’ll see what we can come up with.”

While unwilling to speculate about possible weather conditions, most of the regular MotoAmerica racers expect Szoke to do well if it is wet for final qualifying in the two SuperPoles sessions. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015 13:21


Szoke Starts Strong in New Jersey

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.   

Friday, 11 September 2015 19:00


First Ride: Honda’s 2015 CBR models

Honda Canada invited a large contingent of Canadian media to Savannah, Georgia in late March for an event focused on the company’s broad CBR lineup for 2015.

Monday, 06 April 2015 15:22


Laverty Completes SBK Double over Champ Sykes in Spain

Eugene Laverty finished his career with Aprilia racing in style, earning victory in the second race of the 14th and final round of the 2013 eni Superbike World Championship at Jerez, Spain.

Sunday, 20 October 2013 11:51


Laverty Wins Spanish SBK Opener But Sykes is 2013 World Champ for Kawasaki

Eugene Laverty of Ireland on an Aprilia staged a thrilling last lap battle to beat Italian Marco Melandri’s BMW at the eni World Superbike Championship opener at Jerez, Spain. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013 07:45


Carlos Checa Announces Retirement from Racing

Famed Spanish motorcycle road racer Carlos Checa has announced his retirement from the sport.  The 41 year old made the much anticipated call today at the 14th and final round of the 2013 eni Superbike World Championship at Jerez, Spain.

Saturday, 19 October 2013 11:42


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