BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Ontario, Canada, 02/09/2015, Canadian Superbike Championship
He is the man who makes his mark on Superbike racing in Canada: privateer BMW Motorrad rider Jordan Szoke. With a more than impressive performance, he secured the 2015 title in the Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK). Seven races were contested this season, with Szoke winning all seven on his BMW S 1000 RR by Mopar Express Lane BMW Superbike Team.
It was the tenth time the 36-year-old was crowned champion in CSBK. And for the second time after 2010, he won the title after a clean sweep of wins in all the races. Thanks to his fantastic results, the Canadian is currently leading the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. In an interview, Szoke speaks about his 2015 season, his BMW S 1000 RR, the BMW Motorrad Motorsport community and his goals for the future.
Question: Congratulations to that brilliant season, Jordan. After you were forced to sit out the final races last year due to injury, you had a striking comeback. You won the 2015 CSBK title with seven wins in seven races. Did you expect to be so strong?
Jordan Szoke: “To be honest, I was a bit sceptical when I was heading into pre-season testing and wondering how I would feel on the bike. But it was just fantastic straight from the word go. We had not one single issue and I was surprised how well everything went. That gave me a huge boost of confidence for the season ahead. I always try to start a season on a high. The first round was held at Calabogie, a track that I like and I just wanted to get a win under my belt to start off. I was able to get that win in a really good battle with the 2014 champion Jodi Christie. From there, it just snowballed. With the 2015 RR, BMW really made big steps forward. It is a real pleasure to ride it.”
Q: In which specific areas did you feel the 2015 BMW S 1000 RR has improved?
Szoke: “It definitely turns better. It is a lot less physical work to turn the bike and the frame just seems to be more supple. Regarding the tracks, Canada it is a bit similar to the British Superbike Championship. We have these amazing world class circuits with a smooth surface, but we also go to tracks that are really bumpy and tight and have different types of pavement from sector to sector. So the bike needs to be quite supple and the 2015 RR definitely is.”
Q: The races were sometimes really tight. During the course of the season, would you have settled with finishing in the points with regard of the championship, or did you go for the win in every single race and have you been looking for the clean sweep?
Szoke: “At the two races at the season finale at Mosport I was, of course, thinking of the championship. Mosport is a track where you always have five or six guys fighting for the lead. On one hand I had the championship in mind and did not want to push unnecessarily hard. But if you settle for a position a little further back, you also end up in battles. So I thought why not fight for the lead with guys I am used to riding with, and I felt that this would be safer. The bike felt very good, we had a good set-up and so I was able to try the move for the win on the last lap. We were able to get the win and to secure the championship in the first of the two Mosport races, so the final race was really fun because I could just go for the win.”
Q: How important is the support through BMW Motorrad Canada and HP Race Support?
Szoke: “The guys at BMW Motorrad Canada are great, they are really enthusiastic for the sport and their support is fantastic. They offer special conditions for all the privateers who compete in the national series. We get a little bit more support from them directly being a top team, and it is great to work with them. They are also going to help me to contest a round of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Championship this season. I will take part in the races at New Jersey Motorsports Park in September, and BMW Motorrad Canada is opening that door for us in helping us to offset the costs. Also the engineers from HP Race Support in Munich are really, really supportive. They helped us a lot with the new software, which was very important for us.”
Q: You are currently the leader of the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. How do you like that special worldwide competition for the privateer BMW Motorrad riders?
Szoke: “I think it is great – for several reasons. The acknowledgement by BMW for the achievement of us privateers is cool. Then there is the financial aspect. Obviously we all try to scrape up the finance to go racing, which is not an easy thing to do. So the extra support through the prize money is awesome. And it is just fantastic when we all come together at the end of the season to celebrate together. The Race Trophy also offers a great international platform for the riders from the different continents. I think North American racing is good, and there is a lot of talent coming from here over the years. It would be really cool for us over here in North America and Canada to possibly win the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. That would for sure be a big accomplishment for all of us.”
Q: Do you feel like being part of a family with all the other BMW riders from around the globe?
Szoke: “Of course. I have been racing for a long time and I have travelled around the world with racing so I know quite a few of them from over the years. It is always great to meet and chat. We all race the same bike, so we have a lot in common to talk about. For me personally it is always a really enjoyable time when we come to the end of season event in Germany, as my wife is German and my son Wolfgang has a German name – so it is brilliant for us and something we are really looking forward to.”
Q: After this brilliant year, what is your goal for the next season?
Szoke: “To keep it rolling. I love it! I am getting older, but I feel better than ever on the bike and the competition has been fantastic. There are a lot of young guys coming up, so that is very motivating. We are going to try to do a few more US rounds next year as well, and I would love to go back to Suzuka and do the 8 Hours and more events like that. This season we mainly focused on getting back on our feet and getting the title back in Canada. Next year we will try to repeat that, but also to do other events as well.”