CANADIAN KAWASAKI CELEBRATES BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS!
September 6, 2007
The Canadian Kawasaki Factory Road Race Team ended the 2007 Parts Canada Superbike Championship in winning style by reclaiming the highly coveted Superbike and Supersport Canadian championship titles. Jordan Szoke successfully defended both of his #1 plates by taking the checkered flag in the final round of the Yoshimura PRO600 and crossing the line a conservative 4th in the Parts Canada Superbike race. The team’s achievements over the weekend also encompassed rookie team member Brett McCormick’s first time to podium in both classes at an event this season.
Although a victory was not necessary to clinch the Yoshimura PRO600 championship, the current number 1 plate holder Szoke had every intention of hanging on to his title. If series rival Steve Crevier were to win Round 7, Szoke would have to finish no lower than 3rd to retain his title. Crevier led most of the race until, Szoke dug deep on the final lap of the race to make a brilliant pass on Crevier and take ear in a row.
In what spectators deemed a thrilling race, McCormick made it Kawasaki first and third after emerging at the front of a four way battle for the final podium step. No easy feat, he worked his way through the pack from his seventh qualifying spot to finish a convincing third.
Kawasaki Team Manager Jeff Comello had nothing but praise for both of his pilots. "Jordan is one of just two riders to have four or more championships to his name. He’s a really smart rider and he proved it by winning back to back titles. Then we also have Brett who has impressed everybody. This season is his first with the team and he’s exceeded all expectations."
In Superbike qualifying action, Szoke captured his 5th pole of the season. With just minutes remaining in the session, Szoke broke the track record with an astonishing lap of 1:04:632 around Shannonville’s 2.4-KM Pro Track configuration. Not to be left out, McCormick made it a Kawasaki 1-2 with an outstanding lap of his own, just 0.050 behind his teammate! In the process, the two riders demolished the previous lap record at Shannonville. On race day, Szoke needed to finish 7th or better to follow up his 2006 championship and make it back to back titles.
Szoke ran a smart race and rode his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R conservatively to finish 4th in the last round of the series at Shannonville Motorsport Park. Those points were more than enough for the Brantford, Ontario native to hoist the Canada Cup as the series 2007 Champion.
"When you have the number 1 on your bike, it’s always hard to defend your title," explained Szoke, "the other two championships I’ve won, I wasn’t able to defend those titles for some reason or another. This one is pretty cool. I’m really happy to make it back to back championships for the first time in my career."
After a strong performance earlier in the day, 16 year old boy wonder McCormick continued his impressive form by finishing a career best 2nd place on his ZX-10R in the Superbike race and setting the second fastest lap of the race.
McCormick thought it might have been the top step of the podium if it wasn’t for his start. "I had a horrible start! By the time we got to turn one, I went from 2nd to 6th. I passed Clint McBain on the first lap and started to make my way through the field. If it was a 30 lap race, I may have caught Crevier. But one thing is for sure, my ZX-10R was really consistent throughout the race and was perfect all weekend. The team did another great job!"
Comello sums up the 2007 campaign, "At the beginning of the season, there was a lot of speculation from would be critics regarding our team and product. I think that we proved that our entire team is committed, talented and able to continue to raise our game at every event. That was key factor in bringing home both of these championships."
For the latest series information, visit kawasakiracing.ca and cdnsuperbike.com. Starting September 11th, TSN will have coverage of all seven races of the 2007 Parts Canada Superbike Championship beginning with Round 1 from Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The series will also be broadcast on RDS.