Returning to the race track

Since March, we have waited anxiously for the Covid-19 allow us to get back to some form of normalcy

Chris Pletsch. Photo: Neena Channan.

Neena Channan is a journalist, photographer and correspondent for Jornal de Toronto

Since that day in March, we have waited anxiously for the Covid-19 virus to loosen its hold and allow us to get back to some form of normalcy. Large sporting events are still not allowing spectators in Ontario. In fact, even personnel working the events are still limited same as media personnel.

CTMP allowed a minimal number of media personnel for the Superbike event. We did not get to do our usual media meetings, re-connecting with old friends or even being able to get a coffee. Access to the pit areas and paddocks had strict guidelines (masks, hand sanitizers, social distance etc.). We received all our instructions on what we could and could not do via email.

Despite all this, for me, it was still exciting to get back to some degree of normalcy with a weekend at the racetrack.

With all the restrictions (closed border, limits on attendance) this bike weekend was a toned-down version of the originally planned Superbike Weekend at CTMP. However, there were still several races to be enjoyed. The main attraction being the Pro Superbike race with its star rider, Jordan Szoke.

Jordan Szoke. Photo: Neena Channan.

Jordan Szoke, a thirteen-time national champion came into the weekend with 2 wins already under his belt from the first round at Calabogie Motorsports Park. At the rate he is going, he is likely to be adding a fourteenth title to his name in 2020. Szoke did another sweep over the weekend winning both races in the Pro Superbike class at CTMP.

In race 1, Szoke changed bikes to his “B bike” which was equipped with a soft rear tire and a front rain tire. This would help counter the drying track conditions. Due to the last-minute change, Szoke was relegated to start at the back of the field from the pit despite having captured pole position in qualifying. By keeping his head down, Szoke made his way through the field and ended up winning the race. Last to first, this is why he has thirteen titles already under his belt!

In race 2, the four front runners put on quite a battle with constant changes in leader. About halfway through the race though, Michael Leon took an early lead before falling to third place. With four laps to go, Michael Leon crashed bringing out a red flag ending the race. At this point Szoke was leading and declared the winner.

These two wins give Jordan Szoke a commanding lead of 71 points. But with future racing still in question, we will see where 2020 ends.

During the Amateur Superbike race there was some excitement on the Sunday when the resident animals of the track decided that they had had enough humans around. With CTMP not having its usual level of activity, the various animals (deer, gophers, fox to name a few) have started occupying parts of the track where they are not normally found. At the end of the Amateur Superbike race on Sunday, race winner Alex Cleary had to be steered clear during his victory lap as a fox decided to take a nap in the middle of the track. Thankfully, Alex Cleary saw him and maneuvered around the fox.

Alex Cleary. Photo: Neena Channan.

Pro Superbike Race 1

  1. Jordan Szoke (Lynden, Ontario)
  2. Samuel Guerin (Quebec City, Quebec)
  3. Kenny Riedmann (Belfountain, Ontario)

Pro Superbike Race 2

  1. Jordan Szoke
  2. Kenny Riedmann
  3. Samuel Guerin
Samuel Guerin. Photo: Neena Channan.

In other classes

For the Pro Sport Bike race, Sebastien Tremblay (his second) followed by Christian Allard in second and Nicolas Meunier in third making it a sweep by the riders from Quebec.

In Amateur Superbike, Jordan Royds won in race 1 followed by Alex Cleary and Sarah-Michelle Cotton. Sarah-Michelle is the first female on a national podium in many years. For race 2, the winner was Alex Cleary followed by Jordan Royds and Anthony Bergeron.

Jordan Royds. Photo: Neena Channan.

In Amateur Sport Bike, the winner was Brad Macrae followed by Dave Carolli and Serge Boyer.

For Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike race 1, Paul Courtois won followed by Herve Remetter and J.F. Cloutier. Race 2 had Mattthew Simpson at the top of the podium, followed by Mike Maguire and Jacob Black.

At present, further racing has not been confirmed but CSBK has said that “The series remains optimistic of more racing to end the 2020 season, with an announcement expected in the coming weeks as CSBK officials continue to address their plans amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Full results for the races can be found on the series official website at www.csbk.ca.

Samuel Guerin and Jordan Szoke. Photo: Neena Channan.

Neena Channan is a journalist, photographer, and correspondent for Jornal de Toronto covering sporting events around North America. Her photography work can be found on Instagram @Imagesby_neena or on the web: www.imagesbyneena.com.

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