By Darryl G. Smart
It doesn’t matter the circumstance, whether it be a new bike, or how short a season is, Jordan Szoke knows how to get it done.
The most storied superbike rider this country has ever had, added to his giant trophy case, by riding his Canada General Warranty-backed Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja to four victories during two stops en route to his 14th Canadian Superbike Championship title.
Szoke’s latest victory wasn’t only his 14th national title, he has set a new standard for longevity, winning titles in four different decades. But this one in particular is one he’ll remember because it was so different.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic CSBK feverishly attempted to put a season of some kind together.
CSBK’s Colin Fraser said, the shortened 2020 season couldn’t receive the full-national treatment, and the priority was to, “Offer enough pro superbike races so that the 2020 premier championship was meaningful. That is how a number of motorsport series have decided to approach 2020.”
The unfortunate part of it all though, was CSBK decided not to award the Canada Cup for this season and only award the champion of the premier class.
“I’m disheartened that CSBK has decided not to hand out the special awards we all work very hard for. Particularly during this season, the entire paddock (teams, tracks and organizers alike) had to commit during these uncertain times to make it happen,” Szoke said. “I can appreciate that this summer was rough on everyone, and huge kudos to Pro 6 and the series organizers for doing everything they could to salvage the season. All of the paddock’s sponsors, manufacturers and competitors worked together to conduct these national-level events to provide enough coverage for TV. Thank you to everyone involved, we all made this happen together.”
Another storyline heading into the season was Szoke’s future with the CSBK series. But don’t worry race fans, it looks like he will be back in 2021 looking for title No. 15, while promoting a sport he is more than happy to be the face of.
“I’ve won 14 of the 40 possible championships here in Canada.” Szoke said. “I was perhaps planning on maybe stepping back after this season, but with the promise of a brighter future as motorcycle sales increase and more and more people are getting back on two-wheels, I feel that maybe my time isn’t quite done yet. And perhaps it is even more important to follow up with another season promoting the sport and showing our manufacturers here in Canada that racing is a huge marketing asset for them.”