Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Island Lake Alberta Canada
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Canadian Superbike Weekend
For the first time in 34 years pro level bike racing returned to Edmonton AB at Castrol Raceway. Jordan Szoke (8 time Canadian Superbike champion and 6 time Pro Sport champion) is currently having his way with things and is undefeated in the first two series this season. Jodi Christie (last year's champ and 3 time Pro sport winner) on his CBR1000SP is chasing hard but finding it hard to take the top place on the podium behind Jordan's rocket fast S1000rr, and Kenny Reidman is a close third coming into the Edmonton double header meet.
With the temperatures soaring well into the 30s (celcius, but that's mid 90's for you *f buffs) tire wear could be an issue on the right turn dominant 1.7 mile/2.7 km track. I spoke with friend Rob Silverman (Pro Sportbike class racer) after Friday's qualifiers and the right hand portion of the rear tire was pretty much shredded and he echoed several other racers with similar sentiments. My goal was to be there for the qualifying but herself's work screwed that up so it was early evening before we arrived. Szoke took the poll on the Superbike runs with a 2:17.8 time, with Christie and Reidman running a close second slower. I missed the top seat times in Pro sport but Christie, Reidman and Luis Raffa owned the front row spots.
Saturday's events saw REidman take the #1 spot in Pro Sport, Christie second and Raffa third. Jodi was challenging hard for the top spot but an off track excursion plowed him down and left him second. In superbike, Szoke pretty much ran away from the field after the mid way point and finished a solid two seconds in front of Christie. The BMW's acceleration was just too much for anything else in the field to contend with and every straight the gap grew wider. The bike is just a monster of straight line speed.
Sunday Was looking real good for Christie all the way through in the 600 class, Sticking tight on the rear wheel of Reidman's 675 Triumph, but it wasn't to be and they finished 1-2 with Reidman in front once more. Superbike was hair raising excitement from the time the green light glowed, and from where we sat at the entrance to turn 1 (the start line was in the mid straight point between turns 4 & 5 so much of the west end of the track wasn't visible to us in the stands) it was surprising to see Jodi out in front of Jordan as they went by. The field was pushing much harder than Saturday and the action was tight and furious. Mid corner passes and straightaway shootouts were everywhere and it was hard to stay focused on the leaders as action was just hair raising. After three laps, Christie and Szoke were still battling with Jodi managing to keep Jordan at bay and both riders were running fast and smooth. Lap four was still keeping the same pattern and as the leaders were in the high speed sweeper of turn three, my attention shifted to a major daring pass in turn one right in front of us. Squeals of both fear and delight ran through the bleachers and when I looked up I saw dust and Jodi's CBR in the gravel off turn four with Szoke speeding away. Not sure what happened but after checking the bike over Jodi started back up and rejoined the fray but much too valuable time was lost for him to even hope to catch Jordan Szoke. Then Jodi had to pit so the crew could remove the belly fairing and dump about 5 lbs of gravel from the body work, leaving Jodi over a lap behind. So much for Honda hope today. Szoke cruised to victory easily.
pic 1: Kenny Reidman out front early in Pro Sport
pic 2: These guys battled all race long in what we thought at the start would be for third in Superbike, turned out to be second and third after Christie binned it in turn four.
pic 3: Raffa and Christie fighting for second early in Pro Sport
pic 4: Superbike leaders Christie and Szoke in turn 4
I have my doubts that Jodi could have held Szoke off for 20 laps, the damn BMW is just too fast and Szoke is too experienced to be denied for that long.
This being my first ever live race event, I was amazed at just how fast these guys are. TV just doesn't do it justice, the sensation of speed is so much more pronounced when it's in your face like that. I was impressed with the group 1 and 2 riders during my track day experience (knowing the track made it even more so) but seeing some of the same riders out there in competition with Canada's best really hit home. The fornt runners could easily fit right in with the AMA or WSBK or Euro crowd (both Szoke and Christie have been asked to change venues) but only time will tell. Szoke being 34 is reaching the later stages of his race career, but Jodi is only 22 and has lots of potential to move up to bigger things.
Damn fine event and Castrol knows what they need to do to make it better. I spoke with the track owner Saturday and there are definite plans for the future of CSBK at Castrol in the years to come.
Duct tape can't fix stupid...but it sure helps muffle the sound
'03 SP2, '09 GL1800
Last edited by budoka; 07-15-2015 at 03:23 PM.