Kawasaki begins 2007 Season with Perfect Weekend
June 4, 2007
2 Pole Positions New Supersport Track Record 2 Race Wins
The 2007 Parts Canada Superbike Championship kicked off the season this past weekend at Le-Circuit Mont Tremblant with a familiar face at the top step of the podium. 2006 Double Champion Jordan Szoke piloted his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R to the front of the pack and picked up the feature race win for the Canadian Kawasaki Factory Road Race Team. The 28 year old made it a clean sweep by dominating the competition in the Yoshimura PRO600 Sport Bike race by winning the opening round aboard the all new ZX-6R. Szokes first round performance is a mirror image to last years championship where the Brantford, Ontario native also won both races at Mont Tremblant. His team-mate, 15 year old Brett The Kid McCormick completed his first national race weekend with his new team by finishing an incredible 6th position in both the Parts Canada Superbike race and the Yoshimura PRO600 Sport Bike event.
The Kawasaki Factory Team declared their intention early on to defend both titles with Szoke and McCormick finishing first and second in the opening practice session. The three-time Canadian Superbike Champion would sit on pole for both races while McCormick lined up 8th in 600 and 9th in Superbike. When the race got underway, Szoke settled in just behind Pascal Picotte for the first seven laps before putting his ZX-10R into the lead, a position he would never relinquish. Szoke, pleased with how the weekend turned out commented. Its a pretty nice way to start a title defense. We did our homework off the track and during the pre season testing and everything just went really well.
McCormick spent much of his race battling former champion Steve Crevier. At the end of his first national Superbike event, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native crossed the line in 6th and was elated with the result. The whole weekend was a great experience. I really worked well with the Kawasaki team. Our lap times aboard both the ZX-10R and the ZX-6R kept dropping as the weekend progressed. I was hoping for a top five but Im thrilled with 6th.
The Yoshimura PRO600 Sport Bike event saw much of the same success for the Kawasaki Team. Riding the all-new ZX-6R, Szoke led all but one lap on his way to the victory. Szoke also set a new track record during qualifying of 1:41.645 shattering the previous time that had stood uncontested since 2004. In fact, Szoke immediately bettered his own mark with an incredible lap time of 1:41.085 seconds. However, that time was not ruled official due to an untimely red flag situation on the track. We decimated the track record on the next lap said Szoke. I was hoping theyd give it to me but those are the rules. McCormick found himself swapping places on the track with series regulars and would end up finishing an aggressive 6th, earning him valuable series points.
Kawasaki Team Manager Jeff Comello expressed his satisfaction in a near perfect weekend in Quebec. Together with the crews efforts and Jordans outstanding performance, weve been able to elevate our game as a team. Were pleased with the outcome at the first round and look to maintain that level of excellence throughout the 2007 season. Comello was more than happy with the debut of Kawasaki new-comer McCormick. Brett did an amazing job throughout the weekend. He battled with six-time champion Steve Crevier and very much held his own. He shows a level of maturity and composure in his riding that is well beyond his years.
Up next for the Canadian Kawasaki Factory Road Race Team are Rounds two and three from Race City Motorsport Park in Calgary, Alberta June 28th July 1st. Fans can follow the series all year long and get more information at www.kawasakiracing.ca and www.cdnsuperbike.com . In addition, all seven races on the schedule will be broadcast on TSN.