2016 Magneti Marelli Amateur National Superbike Champ Jean-Marc Bilger heads the standings with 80 points, but 2015 Flat Track Canada Champ Doug Lawrence is a close second with 74 points after the most recent events on the tour at Atlantic Motorsport Park, NS, July 14-16.
“We all know how hard it is to make the big move from Amateur to Pro,” explains Brooklin Cycle Racing boss Rob Egan, a long-time top tuner and consultant on the National tour. “It can be discouraging measuring yourself against the very best riders in the country, so we want to make sure that our best rookies get some support and attention as they climb the ladder.”
Currently, Pickering’s Brooklin Cycle Racing provides a variety of services for the power sports industry, including Dynojet Dyno services at the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship events.
Although he has struggled through a variety of problems, including the June theft of his Vortex-backed Kawasaki and gear, Bilger had a great weekend on the east coast during the Honda Atlantic Challenge, with a very impressive eighth on Saturday followed up by a tenth position in Sunday’s second Feature race. These performances moved Bilger into the lead atop the BCR Rookie Pro Standings.
In the running for BCR Rookie Pro honours from the start of the season, Parts Canada supported Doug Lawrence had a tough weekend in his debut at Atlantic Motorsport Park, struggling with various minor issues to net a pair of 12th place finishes, after brake problems. With only a few road race events under his belt, Suzuki-mounted and supported Lawrence is focused on pavement racing this season, but has typically been a front runner on the Flat Track scene both north and south of the border.
Rookie racers must place among the points scorers in the regular series standings, earning a top 15 finish in a Feature race, to score points towards the separate BCR Pro Rookie of the Year points standings.
For much of the year, Tim Toldnes had led these standings, like Bilger using an ex-Riedmann Kawasaki. Unfortunately, Inglis Cycle-backed Toldnes was running in tenth at A.M.P. late in Saturday’s race when a fall in the turn nine carousel took him out of the results; a concussion meant he would not compete on the Sunday.
This chain of events means that while Toldnes is expected to show well during the final races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the overall Pro Rookie of the Year Champ is likely to be either leader Bilger or Lawrence.
Jacob Shaw-O'Leary is fourth on his Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class Pro Cycle Honda CBR600RR, even though he has missed races due to a hand injury. However, the high speed nature of the C.T.M.P. venue means it will be hard to rack up the points with a 600 against the bigger machines.
Steven Nickerson showed well in his only Pro CSBK start at Grand Bend with a contending 8th aboard his DeWildt Honda Superbike, and should be in the top ten if the S.O.A.R. regional regular races at “old Mosport.” Mitch Card, in the BCR points at the Shannonville opener on his Yamaha 600, is expected to make the jump to Superbike aboard a 1000cc YZF-R1 for the two C.T.M.P. races.
2017 Brooklin Cycle Racing Rookie Pro Points after five of seven events
1. Jean-Marc Bilger, Montreal, QC, Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, 80 Points
2. Doug Lawrence, Mississauga, ON, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 74 Points
3. Tim Toldnes, London, ON, Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, 47 Points
4. Jacob Shaw-O'Leary, Falmouth, NS, Honda CBR600RR, 44 Points
5. Steven Nickerson, Hamilton, ON, Honda CBR1000RR, 23 Points
6. Mitch Card, Kitchener, ON, Yamaha YZF-R6, 15 Points
7. Michael Hood, Pickering, ON, Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, 12 Points
Last year’s Brooklin Cycle Rookie of the Year Ben Young currently holds down third overall in the Mopar Pro Superbike points standings, while last year’s BCR runner-up Samuel Trepanier is fifth, both on BMW S1000RR race bikes.
In 2015, there was a unique tie atop the BCR Final Points standings, with Stacey Nesbitt and Thomas Casas sharing the overall Rookie Pro Honors. This season, Casas sits atop the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike National points standings with his Peterborough Cycle Yamaha YZF-R6, while Nesbitt had the best races of her Pro career at the most recent National tour weekend at A.M.P. aboard her Motovan Honda CBR600RR.