The Brantford, Ont. rider set the fastest time in practice for this weekend’s second round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship, taking his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR around the 1.93km (1.2-mile), 10-turn road course in 45.574 secs. for an average speed of 152.455km/h (91.473 mph).
Keene, Ont.’s Jodi Christie was second fastest with a time of 45.912 on his Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR and Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ont. was close behind at 45.916 aboard the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Szoke used a victory at St-Eustache last year to propel himself towards his eighth national Superbike title and he holds the early season lead in this year’s Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship chase.
“I’m pretty happy with how the day went,” said Szoke, who also won at St-Eustache in 2002. “The track is well-prepared as always, but a little bumpy on the entrance and exit of some of the corners, so we’re trying to get the bike better in those areas.”
Conditions were extremely warm for Friday’s opening day and track temperatures were measured at 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) by representatives from Pirelli, the official series tire supplier. But using a combination of the softest front and rear of Pirelli’s Diablo 2 World Superbike rubber, Szoke was able to string together 25 laps on a single set, with his fastest laps of the stint being his last two.
Former St-Eustache winner Jean-Francois Cyr of Ste-Adele, Que. had the seventh fastest time in Superbike practice of 47.583 secs. on his CyRacing / Raceline Aprilia RSV4.
Frank Trombino also unveiled his Aprilia and had a best time of 48.208.
In other action at Autodrome St-Eustache, 2012 race winner Christie set the fastest time in practice for the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Championship. The two-time defending class champion turned a lap at 46.958 on his Honda CBR600RR.
John Ross MacRae of Calgary was second quickest with a time of 47.171 riding the Riedmann Racing / Triumph / Blackfoot Triumph 675 and Kleinburg, Ont.’s Trombino was third with a lap at 47.601 aboard the Trombino Racing / Draft Picks Sports Lounge / Acme Slate Honda CBR600RR.
Michael Taylor of Toronto topped defending champion Steve Crevier from Maple Ridge, B.C. in practice for the Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup with a time of 50.000 on his Mackie Harley-Davidson entry.
Points leader Riley Dawe of Toronto had the fastest time in Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike practice with a time of 49.732 on his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Stephan Houle of Gatineau, Que. led the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike class with a time of 48.016 on his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Japanese visitor Hikari Okubo led the Honda CBR250R National Race Series field with a time of 56.861.
Action at Autodrome St-Eustache continues Saturday with qualifying for all six classes, including the battle for Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Mopar Pro Superbike division. The first of two Honda CBR250R National Race Series rounds goes Saturday, 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.
Video coverage of the Mopar Pro Superbike, Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup and Saturday’s Honda CBR250R National will be available on www.csbk.ca, as well as highlights from the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike race.
--From Frontline CSBK Inc.