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McCormick Wins Canadian Superbike Season Opener

Brett McCormick won his first race for BMW at Circuit ICAR. Photo by Ramesh BayneyBrett McCormick started off his bid for the 2011 Canadian Superbike Championship by Parts Canada in perfect style with a convincing victory in the season opener at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que. on Sunday.

Riding the radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR the Saskatoon racer started from pole and led all 20 laps around the 2.8km (1.68-mile) track. He completed the 56km (33.6-mile) race in 27 minutes, 58.357 seconds for an average speed of 120.117km/h (72.070 mph).

Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont. finished second on the Nelson Racing / GymMax / Monette Sport BMW S1000RR, 10.800 secs. behind McCormick and defending national champion Jordan Szoke of Brantford, Ont. placed third riding the Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team Kawasaki ZX-10R.

“I really don’t think it could have gone any better,” said the 19-year-old McCormick, who also won the Superbike race at Circuit ICAR in 2009. “I got a good start and wanted to put my head down and try and pull away as quickly as I could. We came here with a pretty solid base set up so we didn’t have a lot of work to do to get the bike working around here.”

After finishing second in the 2009 Canadian Superbike Championship McCormick competed in the United States last season, but is back in Canada for another shot at the national title.

“It’s great to be back and I’m happy to be here,” said McCormick, who set the race’s fastest lap at 1:22.855 on his third tour. “This is a great way to return to Canada, with a big win.”

Szoke looked poised to take a run at McCormick but began experiencing handling problems just past quarter-distance and slipped back into the clutches of a group consisting of Nelson, Michael Ferreira (radX HD / BMW Motorrad Canada BMW S1000RR), Francis Martin (Couturier Racing BMW S1000RR) and Alex Welsh (Z1 CycleTech Suzuki GSX-R600).

Nelson got around the seven-time Canadian Superbike champ on lap 16 and went on to claim his second podium finish at Circuit ICAR. He was third in the Superbike race in 2009.

“The tires were amazing and the bike was superb,” said Nelson, last year’s Canadian Superbike Championship runner-up. “I think we have a good package to run at the championship this year.”

Martin also got by Szoke but fell on the final lap, allowing Szoke to reclaim the final spot on the podium.

“The way my race went I’m lucky to be here,” said Szoke, who won at Circuit ICAR last season to start a perfect run of seven race victories. “We had limited time with the set-up because of the bad weather here and we went the wrong way. The front end was working beautifully the rear went away.”

Although rain limited dry track time for most of the weekend the Superbike race was held in ideal conditions.

Uxbridge, Ont.’s Welsh got around Ferreira on the final lap to claim fourth place from the Mississauga, Ont. racer.

Martin remounted after his fall to salvage sixth spot. He did have the consolation of being named the winner of the KICKER Kick-Ass Pass of the Race Award for his move on Szoke to take third place.

In other action at Circuit ICAR, Woodbridge, Ont.’s Frank Trombino won the Pirelli Pro Sport Bike race on his Suzuki Canada / Hindle / Sturgess Cycle Suzuki GSXR600.

Trombino led all 10 laps and finished 36.676 secs. ahead of the JHP Racing Team / Picotte Motorsport Suzuki GSX-R600 of Granby, Que. rider Jeremie Hade Precourt.

Sean Huffman completed the podium on his Pro 6 Cycle Honda CBR600RR. The Kemptville, Ont. racer made a last lap pass of Terrebonne, Que.’s Raphael Archambault to secure the third place finish.

Cody Matechuk of Cochrane, Alta., held off six-time Canadian Superbike Champion Steve Crevier by just 0.168 secs. to win the opening round of the HarleyDavidson XR1200 Cup. Riding his Privateers Harley-Davidson-backed entry, Matechuk battled with the Maple Ridge, B.C. racer throughout the 14-lap race.

Matechuk also won the Performance Under Gear Performer of the Race Award.

Behind Crevier’s MotoSport Plus of Kingston-backed XR1200, Darren James of North Vancouver took third on the Ruthless Racing machine.

Alex Coelho of Longueuil, Que. won the K&N Performance Filters Amateur Superbike race on Sunday aboard his Black Sheep / Elka Suspension Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-6R. Rouyn-Noranda, Que.’s Alain Lefebvre took second aboard a Suzuki GSX-R600, just edging the BFE / ProStar / Sturgess Cycle Honda CBR600RR of Burlington, Ont.’s Jody Greening and the Ricky Bobby Racing Team Suzuki of St. Jermoe, Que. racer Jean Francois Aubin.

Samuel Proulx won the Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike race aboard the Sherbrooke Harley-Davidson Suzuki GSX-R600. The Magog, Que. racer led all 10 laps to finish 4.191 secs. clear of Aubin, who was closing quickly by the finish.

Edward Rudkowski of Toronto finished third on a Suzuki GSX-R600.

St-Lazare, Que.’s Stacey Nesbitt scored her first career victory in the Honda CBR125R Challenge, leading all 10 laps in very damp and challenging conditions. The 14-year-old was 27.087 secs. clear of Belle River, Ont.’s Seth Van Dongen at the finish, with David MacKay of Stoney Creek, Ont. third.

Coverage of this weekend’s racing at Circuit ICAR will be shown later this year on radX HD as part of its Monday night block of motorcycle racing programming. The first of the six shows will premier on Nov. 7.

The Canadian Superbike Championship by Parts Canada continues with a doubleheader at Shannonville Motorsport Park near Belleville, Ont. July 1-3. For more visit www.csbk.ca

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