ST-EUSTACHE, QC (June 23, 2017) – Jordan Szoke topped the practice sheets in Pro Superbike action during round 3 of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Autodrome St-Eustache in Deux Montages, north of Montreal, on Friday afternoon. After a wet morning, the track dried as official action in all classes got underway.
Szoke (Lynden, ON) lapped his Mopar Express Lane/Motovan BMW S1000RR around the 1.93-km Quebec track in 0:45.488 seconds, less than a tenth off his top practice time from last year despite a still-drying track, and more than a second quicker than the next-fastest racer.
"We knew we had a good dry setup," said Szoke, the current track record holder at 0:44.812 seconds. "We felt good yesterday (during the MotoNation track day), and we went even faster today, doing a bunch of 0:45-second laps, which is really good since the track had a couple of damp spots and felt a little green. Considering the track conditions, the times we did were really good."
Szoke is currently riding a six-race Pro Feature race National winning streak at this venue on the Mopar CSBK tour.
Ben Young (Collingwood, ON) finished practice in second overall despite lingering pain from a crash at Grand Bend in round 2 of the National Series 12 days earlier. "We took a gamble not going out for practice this morning since we were making some changes to the bike, but we took care of some glitches for this afternoon," said Young, who posted a 0:46.671 on his Scot-Build Developments BMW.
"Physically I'm beat up a bit (after Grand Bend); I've got an issue with my right shoulder, but we should be good for the race,” Young continued. “I'm not too worried about it. When it comes down to it, I'll just have to grit through it and push a little bit harder for the 22 laps."
Third place on the charts was claimed by Kenny Riedmann, who posted a quick 0:46.791 out of the gate before crashing his Sturgess Cycle Kawasaki ZX-10RR while passing a slower rider. "I was out in the first rain session, and I was fastest, which was good considering I'm not a good rain rider," acknowledged the Belfountain, ON rider.
"I feel good. I'm bummed that I crashed, because we're a bit behind on bike setup right now, but I got some good laps in yesterday and now I've got a good rain setup, so who knows what might happen." The Feature race program on Sunday at St-Eustache is likely to be affected by rain.
Rounding out the top five in Pro Superbike practice were Andrew Nelson (Ottawa, ON) on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 and returning local Sebastian Tremblay (Laval, QC) on a Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Earlier in the afternoon, Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike practice concluded with Frank Trombino (Etobicoke, ON) setting the fastest lap in the middleweight sport bike division with a 0:49.428 on his ProStar/White Gold Financial Services Honda CBR600RR. Yamaha R6-mounted racers Mitch Card (Ripley, ON) and Eric Richard (Sainte-Basile, QC) finished the day second and third.
"We're trying to go fast on the 600 because we're thinking of using it for the Superbike race," admitted Trombino, acknowledging the advantages of a smaller bike on the tight St-Eustache track. "My bike feels really good, and we've raced here for 15 years, so we know the track in the rain and the dry. That makes a big difference."
Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike practice was led by Ernest Bernhard (Ste-Brigide, QC) on a Yamaha R1, while Montreal's Vincent Levillain topped Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike on an R6. Amy Szoke (Lynden, ON) set the quickest time in Friday's Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series practice.
Saturday action at St-Eustache kicks off with practice and qualifying starting at 10 a.m. in all classes. Mopar Pro Superbike qualifying, including the Dalton Timmis Insurance SuperPole session, starts at 3:40 p.m. For more information, visit www.csbk.ca.