Szoke gives new Ninja strong debut at Jennings
April 17, 2007
courtesy of cdnsuperbike.com
The 2007 Parts Canada Superbike Championship kicked of with day one of the traditional two day Pirelli Tire test at Jennings GP in north Florida on April 16, with reigning Parts Canada double National Champ Jordan Szoke setting the pace.
Conditions were very windy throughout the day, blowing sand limiting the pace of the top Canadian competitors on hand. With conditions barely above freezing in the early running, few competitors took to the track. In the afternoon, temperatures reached the mid-70s Fahrenheit, and lap times started to drop with the mostly new assortment of machinery.
Kawasaki had their new ZX-6R Ninja to test, while Suzuki and Yamaha were debuting the latest GSX-R1000 and YZF-R1 Superbike class equipment. As well, six time Canadian Superbike Champ Steve Crevier was making his official return to the series for Fast Company Yamaha Two time Parts Canada Superbike Champ Pascal Picotte has switched from Yamaha equipment to head the Blackfoot backed Suzuki effort, joining two time Champ Francis Martin.
But the pace setter over the day was Brantford, ON based Szoke, a three time Champ and the reigning number one in both the Parts Canada Superbike class and the Hindle Exhaust Pro 600 Sport Bike support division. In his first ride on pavement since last season’s title-deciding event at Shannonville Motorsport Park at the start of September, Szoke quickly found form, setting the best lap overall with the new Ninja 600 and leading the Superbike runners aboard an updated ZX-10R.
“That is hands down the best road racing bike I have ever ridden,” smiled Szoke after turning a best tour of 1:16.5 aboard the 2007 ZX-6R, “The old bike was good, but this thing, well, I’m just doing my best to get the most from it – it feels like I’m holding the bike back, not the other way around.”
“We did most of the running with the 600, and it was so great to try the bike myself, after reading about it in all the magazines,” joked Szoke. “And I was really happy with the Pirellis, especially the new front. We started off with last years tires, and that was good, but the new fronts for both the 600 and the Superbike are a big step – I really like how Pirelli are really looking after us in terms of the new stuff.”
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