May 25

Canadian Superbike Championship kicks off this Weekend in Shannonville

The Superbike Challenge marks the opening of the seven-round 2017 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship.

2016-06-26_0942Jordan Szoke is looking to ‘do the dozen’ in 2017 as he sets off on his quest for a 12th Canadian national Superbike crown against a formidable cast of competitors this weekend at the Superbike Challenge presented by the Trenton Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), May 26-28 at Shannonville Motorsport Park (SMP). 

Defending champion Szoke, now 38 years old, comes into the 2017 season having won the last 14 consecutive Pro Superbike races. The Mopar Express Lane/Motovan BMW S1000RR pilot hasn’t lost a race at SMP since 2012, but the Lynden, ON resident will have to deal with a deep field of hungry competitors that are eager to end his winning streak and spoil his drive for Superbike title number 12.

The biggest thorn in Szoke’s side should be Kenny Riedmann, who finished second overall in Pro Superbike behind Szoke each of the past two seasons. Riedmann, from Belfountain, ON, will campaign a brand-new 2017 Kawasaki ZX-10RR at SMP that he’s already tested south of the border.

2016 Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year Ben Young was consistently on the podium in 2016, finishing third overall in points. After making his first Superbike-class appearance at Shannonville last year, the Collingwood, ON racer should show well on his Scot-Build Developments BMW S1000RR.

21-year-old Bodhi Edie (Warman, SK) won Pro Superbike at last weekend’s RACE regional, which bodes well for the Z1 Tuning Yamaha R1M rider who struggled in his National Series return last season.

Always a threat at Ontario tracks, Matt McBride came in third at Shannonville last year on his Riders Choice BMW S1000RR. Michael Leon, the 2016 RACE regional Pro Superbike champion, should also fight for a top-five finish on his Royal Distributing-backed BMW.

Suzuki Canada’s new program will send Andrew Nelson and Doug Lawrence into national action; Nelson, a former national Superbike winner at SMP, will compete on the CSBK tour for the first time since 2012, while former Flat Track Canada national champion Lawrence is making his Pro class debut. Both racers will debut new 2017 GSX-R1000 units at the Superbike Challenge presented by the Trenton MFRC.

After winning the last three Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike titles, Riedmann is stepping away to focus on Superbike in 2017. This means there will be a new champion in the middleweight sport bike division for the first time since 2013. Keep an eye on the No. 46 Yamaha YZF-R6 of teenager Tomas Casas, who won Pro 600 at last weekend’s RACE regional at Shannonville and just came back from a week at Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Master Camp in Italy.

The crowd up front should include Yamaha-mounted Mitch Card, winner of the last two Pro Sport Bike rounds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last August, Quebec veteran Louie Raffa on a Honda CBR600RR, and last year’s overall runner-up Alex Coelho. The wild card should be Caribbean champ Wayne Elliot Vieira, competing on a Kawasaki ZX-6R.

The Superbike Challenge at Shannonville will also feature the opening rounds of both the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike class and Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike category, showcasing the stars of tomorrow in two of the most competitive classes on the tour.

The Trenton Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), a non-profit organization that provides programs, services and resources that support the well-being of military families, will hold 50/50 draws on both Saturday and Sunday. The 15-person Canadian Military Wives Choir of Trenton will sing O Canada during Sunday’s opening ceremonies.

Competition begins on Friday with practice for all five national classes. Qualifying, including the Dalton Timmis Insurance Pro Superbike Top 10 Qualifier, goes on Saturday. Feature races in all classes will be held Sunday.

Built in 1976, Shannonville Motorsport Park is located east of Belleville, ON, just south of Highway 401. The Superbike Challenge will be held on the track’s 2.45-km (1.53-mile), 11-turn ‘Pro’ layout.

Tickets are available at the track (gate); $10 on Friday, $15 on Saturday, $30 on Sunday, or $50 for the whole weekend. Additional information can be found at www.shannonville.com and at www.csbk.ca.

Action from the 2017 Mopar Canadian National Superbike Championship will be televised on Canada’s Sports Leader, TSN. Dalton Timmis Insurance presents Mopar CSBK on TSN will consist of half-hour programs from each of the seven national rounds. Dalton Timmis Insurance will also be a co-sponsor of the online coverage of the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class.

source: csbk.ca