BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Lynden, Canada, 31/08/2016, Canadian Superbike Championship
Jordan Szoke dominates the Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) with his BMW S 1000 RR. In 2016, he recorded a perfect season, just as he had done the year before: he claimed every pole position and won all seven races on his way to a successful title defence. The 37-year-old, who will be inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in the autumn, has been leaving his mark on the CSBK for some years.
Regardless of the conditions, and no matter how turbulent the races are or how strong the competition is (he was up against former MotoGP rider Claudio Corti at the season finale in Bowmanville): Szoke always crosses the line first with the BMW S 1000 RR from his Mopar Express Lane BMW Superbike team. In 2016, the record champion celebrated his 11th consecutive title win and also recorded a perfect season for the third time, winning every race as he had also done in 2010 and 2015. Szoke has also claimed 49 CSBK wins, another record that is unlikely to be bettered by the competition any time soon.
In this interview, the 37-year-old talks about his great season, reveals why he himself was a little surprised by his march to glory and explains why the RR is also the bike of choice for racers in Canada.
Question: “For the second time in a row, you won the title with a clean sweep of seven wins in seven races. What makes you so strong?”
Jordan Szoke: “I am not too sure, to be honest. I try to tell the people who are not familiar with our series that it is not as easy as it seems. The racing is fantastic. We had a representative from the FIM from overseas coming to watch at the finale and he said it was some of the best racing he had ever seen. I just somehow manage to put myself in the right spot at the right time and get the win. In the first race of the final round, three of us went across the line within four hundredths of a second. It was like a Moto3 finish, the racing has been close and extremely exciting for the fans. To have a former MotoGP rider taking part, like Claudio Corti did in Bowmanville, and Aprilia sending a whole factory team from the US, just shows that we are a respected and highly competitive series in Canada.”
Question: “Could you have imagined before the season that you would be that successful again with taking all poles and winning all races?”
Szoke: “Really not. It is not very often that you have a perfect season, that’s for sure. And there are a lot of young riders, there was a bunch of them coming back into the series, one was coming from the US championship, so the field was quite big this year. I knew we would be strong at a couple of the race tracks that we ride, but that there would also be tracks were it could go either way, like the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where we had the final. So to be able to do what we did again, to win all seven races – I was quite shocked, honestly (laughs).”
Question: “This year, the number of BMW riders in the CSBK increased. What are the reasons for more and more RRs competing in the series?”
Szoke: “The BMW fits very well to our rules with production based racing and this is why more and more privateers chose it. I would say that now the BMW is definitely the bike of choice for the privateers – and for the pros, too. So you have a lot of BMWs on the grid, and obviously another reason for that is that the people from BMW Motorrad Canada have a lot of passion for racing and are former racers themselves. They are very creative in promoting motorsport with many activities and it is great for the riders to be involved. They also support the professional and amateur racers who compete in the CSBK in giving them the bikes with a discount, so they are really helping the privateers.”
Question: “One of these BMW racers is Ben Young, who ended the season in third overall and was ‘Rookie of the Year’. What do you think of him? Could he be as successful as you are in the future?”
Szoke: “For sure. Ben is still young but has plenty of experience. He is from Scotland and raced in the very competitive Superstock class of the British Superbike Championship and in the AMA, so he gathered a lot of experience. Some of the tracks we raced on this year in Canada were new to him, so he will only be stronger in the future. He is very young and determined so, for sure, I expect him to be successful – and a bigger threat for me next year as well.”
Question: “You are among the top riders in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. How important is that special competition for BMW riders worldwide for you?”
Szoke: “It is a very cool thing to be a part of. The focus is so much on the racing series in Europe and America, so to be highly ranked in the Race Trophy is gratifying. It brings awareness to our series and shows how good the racing is here in Canada as well. I am very proud of that – and the prize money and the bonuses are awesome, too. We all work hard to try and get the prize money. The Race Trophy is fun and very exciting for us.”
Question: “Last year you finished second in the Race Trophy. How did you invest the prize money and the championship bonus you received for the title win?”
Szoke: “Paying my tyre bill! (laughs)”
Question: “We are at the end of August and the CSBK season is over. What are your plans for the rest of the year?”
Szoke: “I will be very busy with my other occupation, as I will be at numerous events with my Extreme Show. I also will focus on the Trial events I am taking part in – and, of course, we will prepare for next season.”
Question: “So what is your plan for next year? To get your 12th CSBK title?”
Szoke: “Yes, of course. And I still want to ride a lot, I love riding, so I hope to do some rounds of the MotoAmerica in the US as well – and I would love to get back to Suzuka and do the 8-hour race there. It is a fantastic race and for a few years it seems to have been getting more popular again within the racing community. There are a lot of big names involved and it would be cool to be a part of it again. I try to further broaden my activities, as I would like to be on the bike as much as I can.”