Szoke, who has won the last six races at "Twin Peaks," was more than a second quicker than the rest of the field, posting a lap at 0:44.921 on his Mopar Express Lane/Motovan BMW S1000RR. Behind Szoke in the top five were Ben Young (Collingwood, ON), Kenny Riedmann (Belfountain, ON), Bodhi Edie (Warman, SK) and Michael Leon (Beaconsfield, QC).
"What can I say; this is my strongest track on the circuit, so we expected to be fast," said Szoke, who hasn't been beat at St-Eustache since Brett McCormick did so in 2011. "We have a great setup and the Dunlop tire wear is fantastic. I have the lap record here at a 44.8, and I felt we could beat that today. I tried to do it at the end of the SuperPole session, but I had a little bobble—just pushing too hard.
"Hopefully it's dry tomorrow and we can utilize the strengths we have here to our advantage," concluded the 11-time National Series Champion. "It'll be a really big turning point toward the championship if we can win tomorrow."
Young was the best of the rest in Pro Superbike, piloting his Scot-Build Developments BMW to a 0:46.051 ahead of seven other racers in the 46-second zone.
"The Dalton Timmis Insurance SuperPole worked out well for us, and I'm happy to put the BMW in P2," said Young, who has been a consistent front runner at every race this season. "We made a spring change between sessions and it worked out in our favour, and it was nice to set a quick lap time early on."
Riedmann managed to put his Sturgess Cycle/Liqui Moly Kawasaki ZX-10RR into the third spot on the grid with a last-minute run at 0:46.251, two tenths of a second behind Young. "Track conditions are probably the best I've ever seen here," said Reidmann. "We're still gonna make some adjustments for tomorrow, but I feel pretty comfortable. I'm not necessarily going for lap times tomorrow, but I'm preparing myself for a big battle."
In Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike qualifying, Mitch Card (Ripley, ON) earned his very first Pro pole position with a 0:47.320-second lap on his Goderich Toyota/Shoei Helmets Yamaha YZF-R6. Series points leader Tomas Casas (Peterborough, ON) put his Peterborough Cycle/Parts Canada Yamaha in second, 0.158-seconds behind Card, while Kristopher Garvie, who was quickest in morning practice on his Riedmann Management/Reliable Mechanical Kawasaki ZX-6R, claimed third on the timing charts. Round 2 winner Frank Trombino (Etobicoke, ON) and Pro rookie Chris Brent (Ottawa, ON) took the remaining two spots in the top five on their Hondas.
"We got the bike really tuned up this weekend. The suspension is dead-on, so I just went out and ripped a quick lap," said Card, who hasn't been at St-Eustache since he was an Amateur in 2013. "I didn't honestly know I got pole position until I came into the pits and my dad told me. It was a big surprise for me."
Pole position in Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike was claimed by local racer Vincent Levillain (Montreal, QC), who pushed his Yamaha R6 to a 48.411-second top qualifying time. Due to noise curfew issues, Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike qualifying has been rescheduled to Sunday morning; Ernest Bernhard (Ste-Brigide, QC), winner at Grand Bend, topped morning practice on his Yamaha R1.
The first of two Kawasaki Ninja 300 races this weekend featured an exciting back-and-forth tussle between teenagers Jared Walker (Oakville, ON) and Xavier Paradis (Shannon, QC), who traded the lead a handful of times before Walker took the checkered flag just 0.358-seconds before Paradis crossed the stripe. Johann Plancque (St-Jerome, QC) rounded out the podium.
A revised Sunday schedule, full results and weekend photo galleries can be found at www.csbk.ca.