After all the hype that started the season, the 2017 flat track season became a somewhat one sided affair for the AFT Twins class as the campaign wrapped up at the Perris Speedway in California over the past weekend. Indian Motorcycle riders took the first three spots in the standings as Jared Mees, Bryan Smith and Brad Baker finished 1,2 and 3 for the season. The 4th and 5th spots were occupied by Sammy Halbert on a Yamaha and Jeffrey Carver Jr. on a Harley-Davidson XR750.
In the AFT Singles class rising star Shayna Texter placed third even though she had the most victories this season at 5 but missed points in six events. The season champion was Kolby Carlile followed by Brandon Price. Only 27 points separated the top three riders.
If in recent years you had forsaken MotoGP because the leader board seemed to feature the same names in the top five race after race, you may want to take a look now with 12 of 18 2017 season races being complete. After this weekend British GP at Silverstone the overall rider standings are:
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 183pts
Marc Marquez (Honda) 174pts
Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 170pts
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 157pts
Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 148pts
While some things change others continue to be the same as Rossi with this race became the first rider to ever start 300 MotoGP races.
Imagine if you will that you were a young superbike racer back in say, 1998. You had dreams of being a Canadian Champion, standing at the top of the podium, having a giant bottle of champagne sprayed on you, winking at the umbrella girls, lining up sponsorships for the next season…. basically just enjoying the adulation of the fans and industry. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Well there is good news and bad news about this scenario. If your name was Jordan Szoke, congratulations your dreams came true. Over the past weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the 12th time and for the 10th time in 12 years, Jordan was crowned CSBK Superbike champion. The crowning actually occurred after the first race of the weekend’s double header (he also won the second race just for good measure). While Szoke has ridden a BMWS1000RR to his last six championships, he has also won aboard a Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R, Suzuki GSX-R1000 among others.
The 2017 CMDRA season unfortunately became a four weekend series due the cancellation of this past weekend’s Northern Nationals stop in Prince George , BC. Widespread forest fires prompted the cancellation but the series will still consist of five rounds as the Prince George races will be replaced with a doubleheader at the season finale weekend in Mission, BC. The next races will be the Edmonton Oil City Nationals on September 9th and 10th.
While there isn’t a class for the machine in AMA Flat Track, Honda’s European R&D staff have come up with a concept flat track machine based on the venerable air cooled CB1100 which still fills the retro niche in Honda’s line-up. The bike is intended to pay tribute to the most American form of motorcycle racing – the dirt oval. Whether this concept CB1100TR would in fact usurp the current dominance of Indian’s 750 Scout is one of those things we will never know.
The 2nd round of the 2017 Canadian Superbike Championship will descend this weekend upon the Grand Bend Motoplex in Grand Bend, ON. The Motoplex features among its other facilities a short 2.2km road race course that has never before hosted a national CSBK series race. Defending champion (x11), Jordan Szoke will again be the rider to beat although ending his winning streak that now encompassed parts of three seasons after his win at the inaugural 2017 race will be a challenge but perhaps the unfamiliar environs and some skilled local riders familiar with the track will bump the odds slightly upwards. With only five rounds encompassing the season, there is no time to relax.
For more information about the series visit www.csbk.ca
While the national drag racing series is primarily western based and the superbike series is eastern based, if you want to watch a round of Canada’s nation MX series you have the choices of locations from Kamloops, BC to Truro, NS. If you can’t make the races, the CMRC has announced a partnership with TSN to televise the races.
The CMRC Motocross Nationals 2017 schedule is:
Sunday, June 4 Whispering Pines Raceway, Kamloops, BC
Sunday, June 11 Blackwater MX Track, Prince George, BC
Sunday, June 18 Wild Rose MX Park, Calgary, Alberta
Sunday, June 25 Moto Valley Raceway, Regina, Saskatchewan
Sunday, July 9 Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario
Sunday, July 16 Motocross Ulverton, Ulverton, Quebec
Sunday, July 23 Pleasant Valley Motorsport Park, Truro, NS
Sunday, July 30 Riverglade MX Park, Moncton, New Brunswick
Sunday, August 6 Motocross Deschambault, Deschambault, Quebec
Sunday, August 13 RJ Motosport Park, Barrie, Ontario
There has been a lot of hype and tonight the hype will be decided at the Daytona TT flat track event as a historical rivalry comes full circle. Harley vs Indian, Indian vs Harley. Indian Motorcycles in particular has been pushing this showdown to add historical credence to the company’s revival. Both come to the event with all-new, liquid cooled bikes – Harley basing their machine on a Street 750 while Indian’s is a nod to the Scout. It will be sad for some not to see factory team versions of the venerable XR750 but such is progress. While much of the focus has been on the Indian and Harley and their champion riders there are other manufacturers including Kawasaki at the race with riders and machines that have the opportunity to take some of the spotlight. The race will be available for viewing online so visit the AMA Flat Track site for details.
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