Szoke, Daley to begin battle for 2020 crown at season opener in Calabogie
Toronto, ON – July 22, 2020 – The Canadian Superbike Championship will return to racing for the first time in over eleven months this weekend, as the 2020 season is set to get underway with a one-day invitational at Calabogie Motorsports Park, sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and organized in conjunction with Pro6 Cycle Track Days.
Thirteen-time National champion Jordan Szoke will roll into action on Saturday, July 25 as the odds-on favourite to add another Pro Superbike feature title to his resumé, as the Lynden, ON veteran attempts to reclaim his Canada Cup from 2018 aboard his General Warranty Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
Widely considered one of the greatest Canadian racers ever, Szoke tallied two victories and six podiums across seven races in 2019, with a round four crash proving to be the difference in his return to Kawasaki. Now in his second year with the green and black, “The People’s Champ” will look to add one more piece of hardware to his trophy case as his career winds down.
Szoke also enters as the defending race winner at Calabogie in the feature class, winning the 2015 season opener by just 0.255 seconds ahead of then-reigning champion Jodi Christie. It was Christie who set the fastest time of that weekend at a 2:00.584, though that mark will be put to the test after five years of development for spec tire distributor Dunlop, with temperatures set to rise into the low-30’s on race day.
The full CSBK slate has not raced at the venue since 2015, giving Szoke the familiarity advantage entering the two-race season opener – the first time ever that a pair of feature races have been planned for the same day. The event will also be the first to ever run without spectators, as face masks and social distancing practices will be mandatory for all crew and staff. There will be no qualifying points scored at the season opener due to the compressed schedule, with a maximum of 104-points up for grabs at CMP.
Despite Szoke’s expertise, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t robbed him of any potential challengers, with Trevor Daley leading an exciting crop of talent that will be aiming to score their first ever Pro Superbike championships this summer. Daley is expected to be the biggest contender to Szoke, finding the podium three times in 2019 before expanding his partnership with Suzuki Canada aboard a factory M4-backed GSX-R1000R.
The lone other race-winner set to contest the 2020 season is former factory star Jeff Williams, who has enjoyed a late-career resurgence aboard his BMW S1000RR. It has been over two decades since the veteran took the top step of the podium at Calgary in 1999, but Williams was among the most consistent riders in 2019, finishing eighth or higher in all but one race as he ended the year sixth in the overall standings.
Fans from Quebec will also have plenty to cheer for back at home, with a trio of riders from La Belle Province set to challenge at the front in 2020. At the top of that list will be Royal Distributing BMW veteran Michael Leon, who had a down year in 2019 but still managed to finish eighth overall, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in round two. Leon is perhaps the most experienced rider at CMP other than Szoke, having finished fourth in the last feature race there in 2015 and serving as an instructor at the venue for Pro6 Cycle in the years since.
The other two headliners from Quebec will likely make their mark in both Pro classes, with race winner Sebastian Tremblay and reigning Pro Rookie of the Year Nicolas Meunier set to battle in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class as well.
Tremblay will enter as the favourite to score his first career championship after a pair of wins and five podiums total in 2019, when he finished third in the overall standings aboard a DB Moto Kawasaki ZX-6R. However, he could face some resistance in the form of Meunier, who finished fifth in the standings a year ago despite just turning 18 ahead of the 2020 campaign. The Turcotte Performance Kawasaki teenager finished in the top-five in all but one race as a rookie, and will look to build upon that in 2020.
The two other classes set to compete at Calabogie – the MotorcycleCourse.com Amateur Superbike class and the AIM Insurance Amateur Lightweight category – will also be thrilling to follow, featuring wide-open racing that is expected to field a high number of entries in the shortened season. The Lightweight class will be returning to CMP for the second year in a row, having competed alongside the Vintage Roadracing Association in an invitational weekend last season.
Video highlights will be released to the official CSBK website and other media outlets next week, while the schedule for the season opener along with full details of the event, supplied by Pro6 Cycle, can be found under the Competitors tab at the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
More, from press release issued by Trevor Daley Racing:
Last Minute Testing & A Fortified Campaign
In anticipation of this weekend’s Canadian Superbike round at Calabogie Motorsports Park near Ottawa (without spectators, sadly, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions), Trevor Daley is pleased to welcome M4 Exhausts as a new member of the number 9 Suzuki Canada squad.
“Calabogie is a track where a superbike can really stretch its legs,” says Trevor, “the performance boost the M4 exhaust will bring to my GSX-R1000 is something I’m looking forward to experiencing.”
Exquisitely crafted in titanium and carbon fibre, American-made M4 Exhausts are the title sponsor and exhaust supplier to Team Hammer Inc., the official US Suzuki factory team for this season’s MotoAmerica series in the US. With former Moto2 and MotoAmerica champion Toni Elias and upstart Bobby Fong (who won in his fourth start) on the squad, Team
Hammer demands the best.
With a successful three days of testing behind him, including a pair of days at Calabogie, Trevor is busy preparing for Saturday’s event.
“I’ve felt as good as I’ve ever felt on the bike last weekend,” says Trevor. “I can’t wait for
Trevor encourages fans to follow his social media—especially on race day—for regular updates and for further news on additional 2020 CSBK race events.
With gratitude for support in 2020 to: Suzuki Canada, Liqui-Moly, Shoei Helmets USA, Moto-World.ca, Renthal, GB Racing, TEAM LTD, Tim McGill Photography, DP Brakes, Excellence Automotive, M4 Exhausts, Team Hammer Inc.
More, from a press release issued by Ben Young Racing:
Ben Young had a spectacular year in 2019 winning 3 races and finishing on the podium 6 times on route to winning his first Pro Superbike Championship. Young was looking forward to defending his title in 2020 aboard the all-new BMW S 1000 RR however like most race series and sporting events globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has cancelled the majority of events. During the off-season, Young was preparing for the 2020 season and looking forward to taking on all contenders while wearing the #1 number plate proudly on his race bike.
CSBK has decide to run a one day race series, with the first race taking place at Calabogie Motorsport Park this coming weekend. With the support of his sponsors, team members and other industry members, Young has decided to withdraw from the single day event and not compete in this year’s racing series. “This wasn’t an easy decision” said Young, “especially after the results of last season”. Young goes on to say, “As a team, we decided that in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety, we not race in this single day race event”.
All of his sponsors including BMW Motorrad Canada understand plus support Young’s decision not to race at this time and have agreed to extend their sponsorship of the Scott-Build Team for the 2021 race season.
At this time, Young would like to thank all of his fans and sponsors for their tremendous support. The entire Scott-build team wishes everyone taking part in the races this weekend the best of luck, stay safe and healthy.
Young will continue to train for the 2021 season. He will be coaching in the summer and hopes to get out to local track days when he can.
Ben Young and the Scott-Build Race Team