You may have seen him displaying his trials riding skills at one of the motorcycle shows in January or February but if you want to watch to find out if Jordan Szoke will capture his 12 CSBK title in 2017 (his first one was way back in 1998) the five race weekends will be available for viewing on TSN.
The 2017 Schedule is:
Round 1 Shannonville Motorsport Park, ON – Pro Track May 26-28
Round 2 Grand Bend Motorplex, ON – Technical Track June 8-11
Round 3 Autodrome St-Eustache, Montreal, QC June 23-25
Round 4 Atlantic Motorsport Park, Halifax, NS July 13-16
Round 5 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON August 18-20
Visit the Canadian Superbike Championship website for more info – www.csbk.ca
With flat track being such a success at the summer X-Games it is no surprise that X-Games organizers were keen to get more motorcycle activity into the winter X-Games. As the options were limited as to what motorcycles could do in the snow – beyond of course ice racing which would be dependent upon having a facility big enough to accommodate a track – the best option was SnowBikeCross which is as the name suggests much like moto-cross but with a ski replacing the front wheel and a track replacing the rear wheel of the motorcycle. The first ever running of SnowBikeCross took place on a converted snowmobile course at the Aspen Winter X-Games and saw Brock Hoyer finish first on a Yamaha, Colton Haaker 2nd on a Husqvarna and Cody Matechuk 3rd on a Yamaha.
The Harley-Davidson factory flat track team will be campaigning the 2017 season on a fleet of machines powered by a racing version of the engine found in the Harley-Davidson Street 750 marking a liquid-cooled sweep of the Harley-Davidson flat track force. The team was announced during the winter XGames in Aspen, Colorado and includes two previous Grand National Champions, Kenny Coolbeth Jr and Jake Johnson along with Brandon Robinson. The first race of the season will be held at Daytona International Speedway on a new track constructed in the huge infield of that legendary facility. The XGames reveal coincided with flat track racing being incorporated into the XGames and reaching – perhaps – that much sought after group of young fans.
Harley / Indian – Forgotten Flat Track Rivalries
The Street derived XG750R is set to have a much ballyhooed battle with the new Indian Motorcycles flat track team , known as the “Wrecking Crew” who will be riding the Scout FTR750 powered by an exclusive race only liquid cooled 750cc motor. Not to be outshone by Harley-Davidson, the Indian team consists of three Grand National Champions. The Indian offering proved itself to be competitive in selective races in 2016 while not campaigning for the entire season. While the press may focus on the Harley / Indian battle manufacturers including Kawasaki and Triumph have competitive bikes in the field. In truth the last time the two American nameplates battled for supremacy was so long ago the new showdown is more of a marketing prop than a resurgence.
For 2017 AMA Pro Racing, the organization behind US flat track, has high hopes that flat track can regain some of the following that the racing had back in the 1970’s when it was the most popular racing in the US. Part of that strategy will require finding a way to make the sport marketable and simple enough for a new generation of racing fans to embrace. While the rebirth of a Harley / Indian rivalry may not do much to attract younger eyes, the quality, accessibility and excitement of the racing should.
KTM wrapped up its 16th consecutive victory in the Dakar Rally as the 2017 edition of the world’s most famous rally concluded over the weekend. The winner was Sam Sunderland of Great Britain followed by the podium sweeping efforts of teammate Matthias Walkner and fellow KTM rider Gerard Farres Guell. All this occurred even though last year’s winner and 2017 favourite Toby Price of Australia was knocked out of the race with a broken leg after the fourth stage. Finishing in fourth position was Yamaha rider Van Beveren followed by Honda rider Joan Barreda. Another high point among many for KTM was that of of female rider Laia Sanz who finished 16th overall. Of the 146 riders who started a race that was challenged by high temperatures, landslides and flooding, 97 made it to the finish line.
Jordan Szoke won his 11th Canadian Superbike title this past weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He had clinched the title after the first race of the doubleheader weekend but put an exclamation point on the year with a win in the second race as he completed his second straight perfect season. A challenger was introduce to make the perfect season a little more of a challenge as Italian Claudio Corti was brought in to ride a Aprilia but that didn’t seem to make much of a difference. A full wrap of the season including points totals and support classes can be found on the Canadian Superbike Championship website at www.csbk.ca
In a quickly concluding 2016 CSBK season, rounds 4 and 5 where run in Shubenacadie, NS this past weekend. Jordan Szoke continued his long uninterupted streak of race wins – now at 12 – finishing at the top of the podium in both weekend races. As a matter of fact, the podium was identical for both finishes as Kenny Reidmann of Belfountain, ON and Ben Young of Collingwood, ON finished 2nd and 3rd in each race. It wasn’t clear sailing for Szoke the entire weekend as he was forced to come from behind to win the second race while he had lead wire to wire for the first race. Szoke stands clear of Reidmann by 51 points going into the last weekend of racing in August.
The 7th round of the 2016 GP Trial was held in Yorkshire, England over the weekend with the results being much the same as they have been for the entire season. Tony Bou came in first to continue his lead over Adam Raga which amounts to 31 points. With only one round remaining in the season it looks as though Bou’s tenth consecutive trials championship will come in Valchiampo in early September.
The current standings are:
1.Toni Bou 249 Repsol Honda Team2
2.Adan Raga 218 TRS Factory Team
3.Takahisa Fujinami 169 Repsol Honda Team
4.Albert Cabestany 155 Sherco Factory Team
5.Jaime Busto 148 Repsol Honda Team
The Canadian Superbike series heads to St Eustache, QC for its second weekend of racing this coming Saturday and Sunday. The Autodrome St. Eustache is a very compact facility (check it out at www.autodrome.ca) featuring a road section incorporated with a oval track for a course length of 1.93km. It might be easy to expect that Jordan Szoke will win both races of the event’s doubleheader as he has (a) won 8 straight races dating back to last year’s series sweep and (b) won the last four races held at St. Eustache. That being said there are several racers including Kenny Riedman and Matt McBride who would be keen to disrupt Szoke’s streak.
The weekend’s schedule looks like this:
Saturday, June 25
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Series Qualifying
12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. — Dalton Timmis Insurance Pro Superbike Top 10 Qualifier
2:00 p.m. — Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Series Race (10 laps)
2:20 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. – Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Qualifying
3:10 – 3:30 p.m. – Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying
3:40 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Race (22 laps)
4:20 – 4:40 p.m. – Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Qualifying
Sunday, June 26
12:55 p.m. – Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Series Race (10 laps)
1:55 p.m. – Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Race (18 laps)
Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike Race (16 laps)
3:00 p.m. – Mopar Pro Superbike Race (22 laps)
Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike Race (16 laps)
Indian Motorcycles has a motor – an all new liquid cooled, 4 valve, 750cc race ready job – but we are still waiting on the news of a chassis that the mill will be placed in so it can be campaigned on the dirt ovals of North America that constitute the flat track racing scene. Indian announced that they will debut this new platform ridden by multiple flat track champion Jared Mees at a round of the 2016 season followed up by a full campaign in 2017. This news follows the recent announcement by Harley-Davidson of their new liquid cooled XG750R flat tracker that ran its first race at the recent Springfield event.