One of the great things about producing a more-or-less weekly blog is the opportunity to switch gears on the fly. I had planned to write about MotoGP this week: the possible Qatar return of Honda’s Marc ‘much-missed’ Marquez, as well as the possibility of Andrea Dovizioso competing sometime soon for Aprilia’s premier squad. However, at the end of last week, the Motorcycle Confederation of Canada (MCC) Competition Council ruled that CSBK series king Jordan Szoke would be eligible to run his typical ‘number one’ plate on his Canada General Warranty works Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja during 2021.
Monday, 22 March 2021 10:34 Published in Colin Fraser
The 2019 CSBK season provided some of the most exciting racing action in recent memory. While the season may be over, the team at CSBK has made it possible to relive all the moments of the 2019 season on their csbk.ca website and YouTube channel. Here is the final Pro Superbike race. Enjoy!
Monday, 19 August 2019 08:28 Published in Multimedia
Bowmanville, ON – August 10, 2019 – The Canada Cup changed hands for the first time in four seasons on Saturday, as Ben Young officially clinched the 2019 Mopar Pro Superbike crown with a third-place finish in race one of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship season finale weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, presented by BMW Motorrad.
Young entered Saturday’s action with a commanding 59-point lead atop the feature class standings, but his dominant season was almost put in jeopardy by an early morning crash in qualifying.
Despite the incident, his team was able to repair his Liqui Moly/Barrie Trim BMW S1000RR enough for his pole position to become official, his fourth pole of the year in five rounds, which stretched the Collingwood, ON native’s lead to 62 points.
With just 52 points up for grabs in Sunday’s race, Saturday afternoon represented the opportunity for Young to clinch his first ever CSBK crown, but the 26-year old was forced to deal with perhaps his most exciting task yet as the entire top ten of the 34-entry grid was separated by just over a second with a handful of laps to go.
Among the front-runners of that group were Young’s two biggest rivals, Jordan Szoke and Samuel Trepanier, who were looking to settle some history of their own at the front of the pack alongside former race-winner Kenny Riedmann. Szoke, the four-time defending champion, needed to put some distance between himself and Young to have a shot entering Sunday, with his number one plate on the line for just the second time since 2011.
Ultimately, a last-lap push was not enough to displace Trepanier, who finally scored his first career Pro victory after years of heartbreak, while Young made a late push of his own to finish third behind Szoke – ending his day with a 57-point lead and his first ever National championship in hand.
“The feeling is just incredible, I can barely put it into words to be honest,” an emotional Young said. “We started on the harder tire, and it was tough at first and I thought maybe we’d have to wait until tomorrow, but the tire started to heat up towards the end and I was able to catch that group again.”
“Once I saw Jordan’s number-one plate, I knew I wanted to take it away from him and get my own,” he continued. “I’m really blessed to have so much support, both from BMW and the team, but from all the fans as well. I owe this title to them.”
Unfortunately for Trepanier, the fan-favourite’s breakthrough moment was overshadowed by Young’s championship victory, but the St. Isidore, QC native embraced the moment nonetheless after a terrific performance aboard his Blysk Racing/Gulf BMW.
“It was here a couple years ago that I almost won my first race, so I knew I had to do everything I could to make up for it here today, and it just feels phenomenal,” Trepanier said. “Jordan actually made a push on me at the end, and I knew I had to get the drive to hold onto it, and I was just so happy to beat him to the line. My team works so hard, so I need to dedicate this first win – first of many I hope – to them.”
The pair of emotional victories were met by emotional defeat at the podium for Szoke, who entered Saturday in unfamiliar territory and will leave race one in an even more uncomfortable position.
The Lynden, ON veteran tried to keep things in perspective as he prepares for the final year of a two-year contract with Kawasaki, but the frustration was evident after failing to secure his record 14th National crown in his first year aboard the Mopar Express Lane ZX-10RR machine.
“After switching back to Kawasaki this year, it’s been tough. Not because of the bike – it’s been great – but it’s been an adjustment, and I’ve made a few mistakes that I usually never make,” Szoke said. “Ben hasn’t placed a foot wrong all year, even after that crash this morning, so I knew the focus was going to be on next year. Obviously, hat’s off to him and Sam, and they’ve earned every bit of this.”
Just missing out on the final podium spot behind Young was 20-year old rising star Tomas Casas, who entered fresh off his first ever Pro Superbike podium and nearly scored his second in a row aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1, while his teammate Trevor Daley rounded out the top five aboard his Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000R despite starting from eleventh.
Notably missing from the top of the results was Riedmann, who was all over Trepanier in the early stages and even led a handful of laps in his return to the series after only appearing in the season opener. Unfortunately, the Sturgess Cycle Kawasaki rider came out on the losing side of an incident involving Szoke and a lapped rider, as his attempt at a comeback victory ended early for the Belfountain, ON native.
The Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class drew closer to a new champion of its own on Saturday, as points leader Will Hornblower extended his grip atop the standings with a second-place finish aboard his Bickle Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
The Sarnia, ON native entered with a 33-point lead over two-time defending champion Casas, and was able to stretch that lead to 38, but his damage was limited by a thrilling victory from Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R rider Sebastien Tremblay.
The Mirabel, QC native led virtually start-to-finish despite constant pressure from Casas and Hornblower, as he looks to cap off a frustrating season to at least secure third place in the standings behind his Yamaha counterparts.
“It was a bit of a weird race, because the wind was really strong on the back straightaway, but I was able to make up for it in the last few corners, and so I tried to use that to my advantage” Tremblay said. “We built this bike in basically nine or ten days, so it’s really cool to be up here so quickly, but hopefully we can do it again tomorrow and end the season strong.”
With a maximum of only 52 points remaining, Hornblower will need only to finish 12th or higher on Sunday to secure his first ever National title, but his result on Saturday hardly came with ease after edging Casas by just 0.002 seconds at the finish line. Despite the thrilling finish, it continued the 24-year old’s improbable run of finishing top-two in every race this season, something no other rider has done in any class.
“That was a close race from start to finish, especially between us three, and I knew it was going to come down to the wire but I didn’t think it would be that close,” Hornblower laughed. “Tomas kept getting me in the last corner, but I was able to get the drive out and edge him to the line, so we just need to work on fixing that tomorrow and hopefully we can wrap this thing up.”
As for Casas, it’s another tough break for the Parts Canada Yamaha youngster, who had fought back in his quest to win a third straight title but has since seen that mid-season surge slip away as Hornblower inches closer to taking his crown.
“Oh man, what a crazy finish! I thought for sure I had him at the line, but I ran it in a little too wide and he must have got the drive on me,” Casas said. “The track was really hot from the start so the pace was good, but I just couldn’t make a move stick on Will at the end, which is a little disappointing for the championship but a lot can still happen.”
Hornblower may not be responsible for Yamaha’s only championship this season, however, as 16-year old Ben LeClair extended his points lead in the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class with a dominant victory aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R3.
“I was looking at the qualifying times and I knew I had the pace to win it, so I just tried to check out early and ride my own race,” LeClair said. “I put in a lot of consistent laps, and I was able to stretch a gap and ride it out to the line, so hopefully we can do the same thing tomorrow to win the championship.”
The youngster was able to grab an early lead and cruise virtually untouched to the finish line, extending his hold atop the standings to 38 points after a disappointing fourth-place result from rival Avery Hart aboard his WRBF Racing Yamaha.
LeClair will also have the chance to make history on Sunday with his older brother, Jake, after the 18-year old sensation earned a strong second-place finish aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike class, though he was unable to come out on top of a thrilling battle with fellow teenager Jared Walker.
Making just his second appearance of the year, Walker was able to win from pole position aboard his Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja, limiting the damage done by LeClair as he hunts down championship leader Christian Allard, who holds a 13-point lead after finishing third aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki.
It was also a first career National victory for Quebec City, QC youngster Samuel Guerin, who dominated in just his second appearance of the season aboard his Aprilia RSV4RR in the Mopar Express Lane Amateur Superbike category.
The battle to watch was won by Allard, however, who finished second in his first weekend aboard a BMW S1000RR machine, just narrowly defeating points leader and Turcotte Performance teammate Guillaume Fortin. As a result, Fortin will take a 16-point hold over Allard into Sunday, with the Kawasaki ZX-10R rider looking to fend off his surging teammate and score his first National title.
Full results from Saturday’s action, including the schedule for Sunday’s final day of racing in 2019, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Saturday, 10 August 2019 20:18 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Toronto, ON – August 6, 2019 – For the first time in his Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship career, Ben Young will have a chance to clinch the Mopar Pro Superbike title entering Saturday’s opening race of the season finale Doubleheader Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, presented by BMW Motorrad this weekend, August 9-11.
Young will reach CTMP with a shot at putting the exclamation mark on his terrific 2019 campaign, exiting round four with a commanding 59-point lead over rival Jordan Szoke and just 108 total points remaining, meaning the Collingwood, ON native needs only to finish respectably in both races to bring home the Canada Cup.
It likely won’t be a weekend of simply cruising around for Young, however, as the Scot-Build/Barrie Trim BMW S1000RR rider will be returning to the scene of his first career victory from a year ago and will look to celebrate his potential championship win from the top step of the podium.
While the odds are stacked against his biggest rival in Szoke, the four-time defending champion is the last rider in the field to count out, as five of his last six titles have been clinched at CTMP.
The Lynden, ON veteran also holds the record with 13 National championships for a reason, and even if he can’t storm back to take his fifth-consecutive trophy this weekend, he will at least be a sure bet to challenge for victories in both races aboard his Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja. Famed engine builder Scott Miller of Fast Company will join the Szoke program to ensure maximum performance rushing up the long Mario Andretti-named back straight at C.T.M.P.
Though the two front-running stars of the feature class will deservedly grab most of the attention, they will hardly be the lone challengers in what is shaping up to be the most talented grid in years, including a pair of former race winners set to make their much-anticipated returns.
Arguably the biggest fan-favourite of the weekend may be hometown star Alex Welsh, who is returning to the series after a near four-year hiatus following his semi-retirement in 2015. The nearby Uxbridge, ON native has two career wins under his belt, something that places him in exclusive company during the “Szoke era,” with both wins coming in thrilling fashion at CTMP.
Welsh will be making his return aboard a brand-new machine, however, as he will be the first to race the 2020 version of the BMW S1000RR in North America, the same bike that Young and company will have access to next season.
The most recent race-winner not named Szoke or Young will also be returning to the CSBK grid, as Kenny Riedmann will make his second appearance of the season and first at CTMP since scoring his first career victory one year ago.
The Belfountain, ON rider has stayed committed to running a partial program in 2019, finishing second to Young in the season opener before sitting out the next three rounds aboard his Sturgess Cycle Kawasaki.
Despite the four riders in front of them with race-winning experience already, it may also be the long-overdue breakout weekend for a pair of riders who came painfully close to their first career victories in round four at Atlantic Motorsport Park.
That heartbreak was especially true for Samuel Trepanier, who has come up just inches short of his first win on numerous occasions, including in an epic battle with Szoke at CTMP in 2017. The St. Isidore, QC native has had an up-and-down 2019 campaign aboard his Blysk Racing BMW, but remains just 32-points behind Szoke for second overall and could secure the result with his debut victory this weekend.
Another veteran rider who is looking to break a trend is Mississauga, ON’s Trevor Daley, who has also endured an inconsistent season in his first year aboard the Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000R machine. Daley’s run of three consecutive podiums was derailed by tough finishes in rounds one and race two of round four, but he can erase that disappointment with a victory at his home track at CTMP.
The race within the race to watch will be the fight for the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year award, as 17-year old phenom Nicolas Meunier enters with a ten-point gap lead in the standings aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R.
The Verdun, QC native has come under late pressure from Ottawa, ON’s Vivian Matthews, who will have the horsepower advantage aboard his Windmill Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R1 as he looks to erase that deficit and win the award this weekend.
Young won’t be the only Pro rider on the verge of his first career title, however, as Will Hornblower enters the finale with a 34-point lead over fellow youngster Tomas Casas in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class.
Hornblower, one of the unluckiest riders in the field over the last few seasons, has seen his fortune change in 2019 after scoring his two first career Pro victories and finishing second in every other race aboard his Bickle Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
The Sarnia, ON native is hardly out of the woods yet, however, as Casas is coming off a pair of wins at CTMP in 2018 and will look to do the same in order to claim his third-consecutive Sport Bike title aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha.
The 20-year old defending champion out of Peterborough, ON has been plagued by inconsistency in his fifth year as a Pro, crashing out in round one and settling for third in race two of round four to fall behind Hornblower in the overall standings.
The youngster at least holds a comfortable gap to David MacKay in third, who will look to come out on top of a thrilling battle with just 27 points separating the next three riders. The Hamilton, ON native struggled in round four as his title hopes slipped away, but can still secure his best result as a Pro with a strong weekend aboard his Mack Attack Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R.
One of the more exciting finishes may be in the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class, with just 14 points separating championship leader Ben LeClair from his rival Avery Hart.
LeClair, the younger brother of reigning class champion Jake, has followed in his sibling’s footsteps in 2019, scoring a victory in round one and finishing on the podium in all but one of the nine races since aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R3.
The Blackstock, ON teenager may need to put his consistency aside and push for his second and third wins of the season if he looks to secure the title at his home track, as a surging Hart has trimmed the deficit drastically aboard his WRBF Yamaha.
The Princeville, NS native is coming off three-consecutive victories and has taken the top step of the podium six times already this season, but his inconsistency has cost him a shot at a runaway title, making for a thrilling finish at CTMP.
Both Amateur classes will also be set for an exciting finale, headlined by Guillaume Fortin and his 25-point lead over his teammate Christian Allard in the Mopar Express Lane Amateur Superbike category.
Fortin has finished inside the top-four in every race this season aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, something only the Blainville, QC native has managed to do, but a round four victory from Allard aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R machine was enough to move the Chambly, QC native within striking distance of the title.
The elder LeClair will also have a shot at a trophy this weekend, although he will find himself in the opposite position from his brother in the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike class, trailing Allard by an even 20 points aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R6 as his Quebec counterpart attempts to secure both Amateur championships in 2019.
Andy Chilton will also enter the weekend in line to score the second-ever Parts Canada Hard Charger award, leading fellow Honda CBR600RR rider Chris Dopke by two points entering the final event.
The weekend schedule for the final round of the 2019 season can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 13:16 Published in News
St-Eustache, QC – June 23, 2019 – Four-time defending Mopar Pro Superbike champion Jordan Szoke may have won a number of races at Autodrome St-Eustache, but none were likely as meaningful as his victory on Sunday in the third round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship.
Entering with a 28-point deficit to Ben Young, the 13-time National champion needed a victory to keep his rival in sight and did just that, outlasting Young on brakes on the penultimate lap to win a thrilling contest that possibly featured more passing than the two prior races combined.
The Lynden, ON veteran was visibly emotional after the victory, as not only did it earn him the title of being the last ever CSBK winner at St-Eustache, but it was also his first win since returning to the Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja team.
“It took longer than expected, if I’m going to be honest, but that’s racing, and it just makes it feel even better,” said Szoke. “Round one was tough for us, but round two felt a lot better and this weekend it all started to go right for us. I wanted to be up front on the last lap, so it worked out in my favour and I got a good run to hold on for the win and we’re going to keep fighting for this thing right to the very end.”
As for Young, the Collingwood, ON rider will still leave La Belle Province with an 18-point lead in hand, but with Szoke now squarely in his rear view as he attempts to secure his first ever Pro championship aboard his Barrie Trim/Scot-Build BMW S1000RR.
“That was a lot of fun. Obviously it’s a little disappointing, but we tried really hard to pull it out at the end and win the last one here at St-Eustache,” said Young. “The BMW was working great as it always does, but Jordan is just so good around here, so it worked out well for everyone and we’re looking forward to the rest of the year.”
The duo will now prepare for a pivotal trip to Atlantic Motorsport Park next month, a circuit Szoke has won the last seven contests at, with three races completed and four left go in the 2019 campaign.
Completing the podium for the second consecutive race was Mississauga, ON native Trevor Daley, who continues to impress aboard his Parts Canada/Fast Company Suzuki GSX-R1000R as he climbs to third in the standings through three rounds.
“The launch control has been working so well on the Suzuki that I got a little ahead of myself on the start, but I knew if I got a good run down into turn one I would be able to hang with these guys for a bit,” Daley said. “I knew they were faster than me so I ended up just riding consistent at my own pace, and I just wanted to bring it home to pick up some meaningful points for the championship.”
If not for a tough start, Daley could have come under a lot more pressure from fourth-place finisher Samuel Trepanier, as the St. Isidore, QC native mounted a late charge aboard his Blysk Racing BMW but was unable to close the gap in the final stages.
Rounding out the top five for the second time this season was Peterborough, ON youngster Tomas Casas, who continues to put together one of the best two-class seasons in recent memory in his first year aboard the Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1.
The top rookie of round three was Vincent Levillian out of Montreal, QC, who climbed to third in the season-long Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year award fight aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja.
It was a dominant effort from two-time defending champion Casas in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class, as the 20-year old phenom pulled back within the title hunt with a four-second victory over points leader Will Hornblower.
Both the Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R6 of Casas and the privateer Yamaha of Hornblower got off to less-than-ideal starts, but it took the reigning champ just a handful of turns to snag the lead and begin to pace the field.
“The plan was to get a good start, and I was able to get out front on the first lap so I wanted to pull ahead, but I couldn’t shake these guys so I knew I had to put my head down and ride really hard,” said Casas. “The Parts Canada Yamaha was just amazing, and the Dunlop tires were working really well too, so it was important to pick up the win and keep fighting for the championship.”
The Sarnia, ON native of Hornblower needed a few laps to work his way up from fourth, and by then it was too late to catch Casas as the race was all but settled only a few laps in.
“It was a bit of a bummer to not be fighting up front. I had to work really hard to move up the field, and by the time I got there Tommy was gone,” Hornblower said. “I tried to catch him but it just wasn’t going to happen, so I settled in and brought home some points which is always a plus.”
Joining the duo on the podium was fan-favourite Sebastien Tremblay out of nearby Mirabel, QC, who battled through a broken collarbone to finish third aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja at his home circuit.
Despite the intense rivalry between Casas and Tremblay, the former took a moment to commend his counterpart, applauding his iron-man like performance as he battled through the injury to join them on the podium.
Tremblay emphasised his struggles on the podium, as he scored the best finish of his difficult campaign to get himself back into the points fight.
“The start was really hard, but it got a little easier as the race went on and the pain went down,” said Tremblay. “I was able to catch the guys ahead of me and get up to third, which should help us get back into the points a little bit.”
The TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike championship got turned on its head on Sunday, as local favourite Alex Berthiaume completed the weekend sweep but it was second-place finisher Ben LeClair taking over the points lead.
Berthiaume, riding a Yamaha Laval YZF-R3 out of Laval, QC, quickly took over the race lead from former points leader Avery Hart, who had been having a nightmare weekend aboard his WRBF Racing Yamaha out of Princeville, NS.
However, it wasn’t long after Berthiaume moved into the lead that Hart suffered a heartbreaking mechanical failure, ending his race and inspiring the Blackstock, ON teenager of LeClair aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha.
LeClair, who lost out on second place to Keegan Gaudet after a last-lap pass on Saturday, returned the favour with almost an identical pass on the WRBF Yamaha youngster out of Ellerslie, PEI to secure a ten-point lead in the championship.
“That last lap was really touch and go, but I knew I had to try something if the opening was there,” said LeClair. “I didn’t really expect to leave here with a championship lead. It sucks for Avery, but it should make for really great racing in Calabogie next weekend.”
The Lightweight class will head to Calabogie Motorsport Park next weekend for a special round alongside the VRRA, where Hart will look to reclaim his championship lead before returning home to the East Coast for round four.
It was also a championship-changing result in the Mopar Express Lane Amateur Superbike class, as Guillaume Fortin took over the points lead with a victory at his home track aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
While the Blainville, QC native already held a race lead for much of the contest, his gap got bigger when former points leader Dave Natale was involved in a turn two collision, though the Markham, ON native was able to pick up his Aprilia RSV4RR and finish 16th.
It was the opposite outcome in the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike class, as championship leader Christian Allard extended his gap with a dominant win over Jake LeClair at his home track.
The Chambly, QC native added to his team’s successful weekend aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja, winning by over nine seconds, while the Blackstock, ON native of LeClair will settle for a 12-point deficit aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R6.
The Lightweight class will now head to Calabogie Motorsport Park in a matter of days for their special bonus round, before joining the rest of the CSBK tour for round four at Atlantic Motorsport Park just outside of Halifax, NS next month.
Full results from the weekend’s action, as well as information regarding future rounds of the 2019 season, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Sunday, 23 June 2019 17:28 Published in Reports, Results & Points
St-Eustache, QC – June 22, 2019 – Four-time defending Mopar Pro Superbike champion Jordan Szoke will start from pole position on Sunday, securing the fastest time of the day on Saturday as he will start from the front of the grid for the final Canadian Superbike Championship race at Autodrome St-Eustache.
The 13-time National champion took longer than expected to score his first pole position after returning to the Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja program this offseason, but all it took was a trip to La Belle Province for the Lynden, ON veteran to get things back on track.
After pacing the initial qualifying session with a time of 46.383, Szoke made no mistake in the Top Ten SuperPole session, setting a fast lap of 45.524 to place himself 0.144 seconds clear of rival Ben Young.
Despite scoring a crucial pole position – and doing so with a faster time than his pole pace from a year ago – Szoke had been strugging with rear tire grip for much of the weekend, before finally finding a balance in the final SuperPole session.
“We had been having some problems with it, but everyone’s kind of dealing with the same thing to an extent,” said Szoke. “It was hard just to get fast laps in the first place because of all the traffic, but we’re pretty happy with how things are looking for tomorrow. Everything’s working really well now.”
As for Young, it will be an uphill battle for the Collingwood, ON native on Sunday, as the championship leader has looked a step behind Szoke for much of the weekend aboard his Barrie Trim/Scot-Build BMW S1000RR.
“There’s a lot of traffic out there, it made it really hard to find clean track and get consistent laps in,” Young said. “But the pace is pretty good, so if we can get a good start tomorrow we should be able to stay right up there fighting for another win.”
Joining Szoke and Young on the front row will be round two podium finisher Trevor Daley, who continues to come to grips with his OneSpeed/Fast Company Suzuki GSX-R1000R machine. The Mississauga, ON native struggled in round one after an early crash, but has looked like a dark horse to win his first ever Pro Superbike race since.
Leading off the front row will be St. Isidore, QC native Samuel Trepanier, who finished third in St-Eustache a year ago and will look to do the same, or better, in Sunday’s race aboard his Blysk Racing BMW.
Rounding out the top five behind Trepanier will be Inverary, ON veteran Jeff Williams, who has also begun to round into form aboard his Williams Paving BMW and will aim to finish in the top-five for the first time all year come race day.
The top rookie in Saturday’s qualifying was Maple, ON’s Ivan Babic, who will need a strong finish on Sunday aboard his Champion Cycle BMW after missing round two due to injury.
Headlining the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class on Sunday will be two-time defending champion Tomas Casas, as the Peterborough, ON youngster continues to get his season back on track after a tough start aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R6.
Casas just narrowly edged current championship leader and Yamaha counterpart Will Hornblower, beating the Sarnia, ON native to pole position by just 0.056 seconds after posting a time of 46.969.
“Tommy made some changes and his pace really picked up, but we’re both really close so I’m not super worried,” said Hornblower. “If I can hang with him off the start I think I got a real shot, but realistically if we can podium it will be nice for the championship.”
Joining the two on the front row will be David MacKay and his Mack Attack Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja, as the Hamilton, ON rider looks to build upon his current second place standing in the points with a strong start on Sunday.
Notably rounding out the top five will be Turcotte Performance Kawasaki teammates Vincent Levillian and Sebastien Tremblay, albeit under different circumstances. The Montreal, QC rookie of Levillian will celebrate his best qualifying finish as a Pro, while Mirabel, QC’s Tremblay continues to battle through a broken collarbone suffered in a round two crash.
The first race of the weekend was won by local veteran Alex Berthiaume, as the Laval, QC rider took a crucial victory aboard his Yamaha YZF-R3 in the first of two races for the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class.
“I got a good enough start, and I knew I was at a mismatch because I’m a bit older and a bit bigger than these guys,” Berthiaume laughed. “But I was able to settle in and get the win, which is huge for the championship, and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
Joining Berthiaume on the podium were Yamaha teenagers Keegan Gaudet and Ben LeClair, as the Ellerslie, PEI native of Gaudet was able to make a thrilling last-lap pass on his Blackstock, ON counterpart to secure second-place.
“I’ve been looking forward to just staying at the front this weekend,” said Gaudet, who crashed out in race two of round two. “I had an opening at the end there, and I knew I had to make a move. Benny was all over me, but thankfully I held onto it.”
Notably finishing just off the podium was championship leader and Gaudet’s WRBF Yamaha teammate, Avery Hart, as the Princeville, NS native was forced to miss the morning’s qualifying and thus stormed his way from last on the grid to finish in fourth.
Pacing the field in the Mopar Express Lane Amateur Superbike class for the first time all weekend was Quebec City, QC’s Samuel Guerin, who made a late charge in qualifying to edge a big group of riders aboard his Aprilia RSV4RR, as the top six are all separated by just 0.396 seconds.
It was a less surprising result in the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike class, as hometown favourite Christian Allard out of Chambly, QC continued his dominant weekend by scoring pole position aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja by over a half-second.
Full results from Saturday’s qualifying, including information for Sunday’s final day of racing at Autodrome St-Eustache, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Saturday, 22 June 2019 21:52 Published in Reports, Results & Points
St-Eustache, QC – June 21, 2019 – His streak of early dominance may have come to an end on Friday, but Ben Young was still the fastest man on track as round three of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship kicked off at Autodrome St-Eustache.
The Collingwood, ON native entered the final race ever at the historic Quebec circuit with his name atop every leaderboard so far this season, having finished first in all 12 sessions aboard his Barrie Trim/Scot-Build BMW S1000RR to take a 29-point lead in the Mopar Pro Superbike feature class.
However, that streak was ultimately snapped in the morning practice when rival Jordan Szoke topped the charts with a time of 46.825, as the Lynden, ON veteran and three-time reigning champion enters a crucial weekend aboard his Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
Young would ultimately settle for third in that session, with Blysk Racing BMW’s Samuel Trepanier running second-fastest out of St. Isidore, QC, but Young managed to make his absence from the top a short-lived one after posting a time of 46.102 in the afternoon practice to set the fastest overall lap of the day.
The margin to Szoke was miniscule, however, with the 13-time National champion falling just 0.078 seconds short of the current points leader. Szoke was struggling with a lack of grip on the rear tire in the second practice, an issue the Kawasaki team will look to get sorted out before Saturday’s qualifying.
Both he and Young will have their eye on Sunday’s race, as the duo not only enter perhaps the most pivotal round of the season, but will also look to win the last ever Pro Superbike race at the Autodrome before it closes this fall.
The third-fastest time of the day overall belonged to Trevor Daley and his OneSpeed/Fast Company Suzuki GSX-R1000R machine, as the Mississauga, ON native looks to build upon his podium finish from round two and secure another top-three result in La Belle Province.
Trepanier would ultimately finish with the fourth-fastest time of the day, while Inverary, ON veteran Jeff Williams rounded out the top five aboard his BMW machine.
The top rookie of the day was Montreal, QC’s Vincent Levillian, who placed tenth in the morning practice aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja with a time of 49.017.
Both sessions of the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class were paced by championship leader Will Hornblower, as the Sarnia, ON native posted a best time of 47.639 aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6.
The round one winner was a comfortable 0.736 seconds clear of second place, but just 0.234 seconds separated the next five riders, with two-time defending champion Tomas Casas leading that group aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha out of Peterborough, ON.
Despite an all-Ontario top-three, the class is set to feature a strong contingent of hometown talent, with nine of the next ten riders hailing from Quebec.
Another hometown rider also paced the field in the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class, as Alex Berthiaume finished with a time of 54.310 aboard his Yamaha YZF-R3 out of Laval, QC.
A race winner in St-Eustache last season, Berthiaume finished just 0.018 seconds clear of championship leader Avery Hart, as the Princeville, NS rider continues to impress in his first full National tour aboard his WRBF Racing Yamaha.
Leading the Mopar Express Lane Amateur Superbike grid on Friday was another Laval, QC native in Pascal Bastien, who finished with a time of 48.041 aboard his Yamaha YZF-R1. He was notably just 0.119 seconds clear of Blainville, QC’s Guillaume Fortin, who just narrowly defeated Bastien in a thrilling race a year ago and will look to do the same again aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
As for the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike ranks, it was championship leader Christian Allard leading the field aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja, as the Chambly, QC native looks to extend his one-point lead in the series at his home track this weekend.
Full results from Friday’s practice sessions, including the schedule for the weekend’s action, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Friday, 21 June 2019 17:01 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Toronto, ON – June 18, 2019 – The Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship will be heading to historic Autodrome St-Eustache for the final time this weekend, June 21-23, with a potential season-changing battle in store in the Mopar Pro Superbike class.
Barrie Trim/Scot-Build BMW S1000RR rider Ben Young currently leads the championship by 29 points over his rival Jordan Szoke, as the Collingwood, ON native has finished every session of the season on top of the leaderboard.
Young has looked a step ahead of the competition in his breakout season, as the first-time championship leader has the maximum number of possible points through two rounds with five races to go.
However, Szoke made things as interesting as they’ve been all year in the late stages of round two’s race, narrowly losing out on the victory aboard his Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
The Lynden, ON veteran will look to keep that momentum going at arguably his best track, as the three-time defending champion has won seven-consecutive races at the circuit and 10 of the last 12 races in the province of Quebec.
Szoke briefly battled with Young in St-Eustache a year ago before storming to a six-second victory, but all indications are that the two will combine for a much more thrilling contest in Sunday’s race.
The biggest question mark may be who will join the duo on the podium, with a handful of names proving themselves certainly capable so far this season.
The man to earn that honour in round two was OneSpeed/Fast Company Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider Trevor Daley, who rebounded from a tough opening round to claim his first podium since 2015. The Mississauga, ON native sits in a tie for sixth in the overall standings, a spot that hardly indicates his front-running ability.
Another name that has taken many by surprise so far this year is Peterborough, ON youngster Tomas Casas, who enters round three in a tie for third in the standings in his first year aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1. The reigning Sport Bike champion has yet to podium in the feature class, but finished fourth in round one and has typically excelled in La Belle Province.
Another fan-favourite to watch will be Verdun, QC teenager Nicolas Meunier, who currently leads the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year standings aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja. The tighter, narrower Autodrome is perhaps the track that is kindest to the lesser-powered sport bike, as the hometown youngster could be in line for his first career top-five finish.
Both Casas and Meunier will be at the forefront of multiple classes, however, with the two in line for what will certainly be a dramatic weekend in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike category.
Casas got his two-time title defence back on track with a victory in round two, albeit after a protest determined the result, and will aim to win his third-consecutive race in St-Eustache and inch closer to the front of the standings aboard his YZF-R6 machine.
It will be a pivotal weekend for championship leader Will Hornblower, who carries a 17-point grasp on the series lead but has not raced at the Quebec circuit since 2015, when he finished seventh. The Sarnia, ON native may be in need of a top-five finish to retain his points lead, as the Yamaha rider is now under fire from Casas and company.
It’s expected that the Quebec round will not feature one of it’s most notable faces, as Sebastien Tremblay is recovering from a broken collarbone suffered in round two of the Sport Bike class. The Mirabel, QC native was widely considered a championship leader aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki, but has had a season to forget with crashes in both of the first two rounds.
The biggest runaway class so far will feature a welcome dose of adversity in round three, as Avery Hart’s stranglehold on the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class will be put to the test in races five and six.
The Princeville, NS rider has looked dominant in his first full National campaign aboard his WRBF Racing Yamaha YZF-R3, leading the title fight by 41 points, but will face a tough challenge in hometown veteran Alex Berthiaume.
The Laval, QC native won the first of two races in St-Eustache a year ago, and has perhaps the best knowledge of the circuit aboard his Yamaha machine. Berthiaume sits fifth in the overall standings after a crash in round one, but rebounded with his first podium of the year in race two at round two.
The two Amateur categories will also feature a number of intriguing battles, with a large Quebec-based contingent set to make their gains at their home facility.
That may be most true in the Express Lane Amateur Superbike class, where current points runner-up Guillaume Fortin enters St-Eustache as the reigning race winner at the track after a thrilling victory last season. The Blainville, QC rider has been a step behind Markham, ON’s Dave Natale this season, but will look to finally even the field against the Aprilia RSV4RR rider aboard his Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
As for the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike category, it will be a chance for Chambly, QC’s Christian Allard to extend his points lead at the same track he won at a year ago. Allard currently holds just a one-point lead over last year’s Lightweight champion Jake LeClair, but the Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja rider will have the benefit of track experience over his younger bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R6 counterpart out of Blackstock, ON.
Fans and riders are encouraged to attend what will be the final CSBK event at the Autodrome St-Eustache, before the 54-year old facility is shut down for good at the end of the 2019 season.
Information regarding round three, including the weekend schedule, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 16:18 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Grand Bend, ON – June 9, 2019 – The Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship continued to produce stellar racing on Sunday, just as Ben Young continued his success at the forefront of the series, winning in round two at the Grand Bend Motorplex to extend his points lead in the Mopar Pro Superbike feature class.
After losing last year’s race at Grand Bend to rival Jordan Szoke after a daring pass in the final corner, it seemed like the situation would repeat itself on the final lap on Sunday. After running into lapped traffic, Szoke had appeared to snatch the victory from Young yet again, only for the Collingwood, ON rider to emerge first out of the final corner aboard his Van Dolder’s Home Team/Scot-Build BMW S1000RR.
“It was such a great race. I had Jordan right there behind me the whole way, so I knew it was going to come down to that final corner yet again,” said Young. “The BMW was dialed in, and the Dunlop tires worked great right to the end, so it was on me to just work really hard and try to hold him off. It’s another great opportunity for the championship, so we’re all looking to keep the ball rolling and get on with round three.”
The win makes a perfect 112 points for Young through two races, having finished first in every session so far this season, as four-time defending champion Szoke now finds himself trailing by 29 points entering round three at Autodrome Ste. Eustache.
However, the Lynden, ON veteran remains confident despite the unfamiliar territory, as Szoke and the Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja team head to arguably their best track on the calendar.
“I thought I had him at the end, and I was planning something the whole way, but I just went in a little too deep and he was able to duck underneath me,” explained Szoke. “It’s a tough break, but we made some steps and we’re scoring points. This was one of Ben’s strongest tracks, but now we go to maybe my best track from the last few years in Ste. Eustache, so we’ll keep plugging along and the wins will come.”
The win marks four-consecutive losses for Szoke in the feature class dating back to last year, the longest such streak since Brett McCormick’s championship season all the way back in 2011.
Joining the two front-runners on the podium was Fast Company/OneSpeed Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider Trevor Daley, as the Mississauga, ON native scored his best result since round three in 2015.
Daley has ground to make up in the championship after crashing and finishing 13th in round one, but was able to bounce back on Sunday after running at the front for a number of laps, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.
“We’ve been riding really well all weekend, setting a lot of strong, consistent laps, and I had the pace early on to hang with them,” Daley said. “The Suzuki held up great, but unfortunately the tires got a little greasy towards the end which forced me to slow up a bit. But it’s been a while since I was up here [on the podium] so I can’t complain.”
Equally as impressive was local youngster Stephen Nickerson claiming his best career finish in fourth place, as the Hamilton, ON rider placed his DeWildt Honda Powerhouse CBR1000RR inside the front group early on and never looked back.
Rounding out the top five and surviving a late charge of his own was Beaconsfield, QC veteran Michael Leon, who was able to rebound from a round one crash aboard his Royal Distributing BMW despite a late effort from Peterborough, ON youngster Tomas Casas and his Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1, who finished sixth.
The top rookie of the day was Breslau, ON youngster Dylan Bauer, who featured prominently in the Sport Bike category but was able to finish a respectable tenth place in the Superbike class aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6.
As for the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class, it was a dramatic finish that saw Mirabel, QC rider Sebastien Tremblay win his first race of the season in unusual circumstances, having been involved in a collision with Bauer that caused a red flag stoppage and an early end to the race.
Tremblay is provisionally listed as the race winner aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja, with Bauer finishing second for his best career Pro finish, though results are subject to change from CSBK officials in the coming days.
“It’s great to be up here celebrating the win, even though you never really like to win like this,” said an injured Tremblay. “It gets us back in the championship which is huge, so you can’t really complain with the result, despite it ending in a tough way.”
Rounding out the podium was two-time defending class champion Casas, who crashed out in round one but bounced back with a strong finish aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R6 machine.
“We managed to get some points, maybe not in the way we wanted to, but either way it helps the championship,” said Casas. “The bike felt pretty good, and the pace was definitely there, so hopefully we can keep things going at Ste. Eustache.”
Race one winner and points leader Will Hornblower just missed out on a return to the podium at his home track, but the Sarnia, ON native was still able to piece together a strong finish aboard his Yamaha and keep the title hopes intact.
The fourth race of the season in the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class was perhaps the most spread out, with championship leader Avery Hart extending his points hold with another dominant victory.
The Princeville, NS rider once again left his opponents early and went into cruise control, expanding his lead to 40 points aboard his WRBF Racing Yamaha YZF-R3.
“It was a perfect weekend, we scored the most total points we could get, so obviously it’s been a lot of fun,” Hart said. “It was my first time ever at this track and I won both races, so hopefully I can keep some of that magic going in round three.”
Finishing at the front of the battle for second was Strathroy, ON teenager Trevor Dion, who claimed his best ever National finish aboard his Kawasaki Ninja 400, with Alex Berthiaume and his Yamaha machine completing the podium out of Laval, QC.
Express Lane Amateur Superbike points leader Dave Natale stuck with the theme of extending his lead, winning again in round two aboard his Aprilia RSV4RR out of Markham, ON to take a commanding 33-point lead in the early going.
Meanwhile, reigning Lightweight champion Jake LeClair scored his first win since graduating to bigger machinery, as the Blackstock, ON teenager stormed to a comfortable win aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R6 to pull himself within one point of championship leader Christian Allard, who finished fourth aboard his Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja out of Chambly, QC.
The second Classic Superbike Racing contest of the year also ran with success on Sunday, as Whitby, ON native Mike MacNeil won a tight contest aboard his 1980’s Freddie Spencer era Honda CB750 machine.
Full results from round two’s racing, as well as information regarding round three at the Autodrome Ste. Eustache on June 21-23, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Sunday, 09 June 2019 20:43 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Grand Bend, ON – June 8, 2019 – The second round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship continued to ramp up its excitement on Saturday, with both Pro classes coming down to the wire in qualifying at the Grand Bend Motorplex.
Mopar Pro Superbike points leader Ben Young continued his perfect streak of ten consecutive sessions atop the charts, albeit by the closest margins yet, putting in his best lap of the Top Ten Superpole as the flag waved to jump into pole position as time expired.
The Collingwood, ON native remained in the pit lane with under two minutes remaining and rival Jordan Szoke sitting in first place, but managed to begin his final flying lap with just two seconds to spare before placing his Van Dolder’s Home Team/Scot-Build BMW S1000RR at the top of the leaderboard.
His time of 1:03.045 not only pushed him 0.223 seconds clear of Szoke, but gave Young the new outright lap record, ironically displacing Szoke’s record from 2017.
“The plan was to leave it to the last second before we went back out, but it was definitely a little close there at the end,” Young laughed. “The BMW was phenomenal, so we just threw a new rear Dunlop tire on and pushed really hard for one lap. But everything was working really great, and I know we have the pace to stay at the front tomorrow, so things should be fun.”
As for Szoke, the four-time defending champion will lose yet another session to his biggest rival, but the Lynden, ON veteran did manage to show his best pace of the weekend aboard his Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
The 13-time National title-winner will look to end Young’s unbeaten streak on Sunday, as he continues to find himself in an unfamiliar position early in the 2019 campaign.
“It’s frustrating, but the bike felt really good, and everything was a little more comfortable today," said Szoke. "There’s always some changes to be made, so hopefully we make the right ones and come out stronger in the race tomorrow.”
Rounding out the front row for Sunday’s race will be Beaconsfield, QC veteran Michael Leon, who will be chasing his first ever podium in the Pro Superbike class after crashing out in round one aboard his Royal Distributing BMW.
Trevor Daley continued his bounce-back weekend as the Mississauga, ON native also looks to recover from a disappointing round one, qualifying in fourth aboard his OneSpeed/Fast Company Suzuki GSX-R1000 after running second-fastest in both practice sessions on Friday.
Centering the second row and rounding out the top five will be Samuel Trepanier, who is still recovering from a massive crash to start the year but was able to post his personal best times at the Grand Bend Motorplex aboard his Blysk Racing BMW.
“My arm is still in quite a bit of pain, and it’s tough flipping the bike over to the left, even though there’s only a couple left turns here,” said the St. Isidore, QC native. “Luckily the bike feels great, and we’re still riding pretty well, so hopefully we can go a little faster in the race tomorrow.”
The top rookie from Saturday’s 24-rider field was Georgetown, Guyana’s Elliott Vieira, who completed the Top Ten Superpole in tenth place aboard his Aventura Gold Yamaha YZF-R6, though he has yet to score points in the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year fight.
The Superbike class wasn’t the only group to come down to the wire, however, as local youngster Dylan Bauer scored his first career pole position in the Pro ranks in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class.
Riding out of nearby Breslau, ON, Bauer posted a time of 1:04.351 aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6, moving from third on the grid up to the top spot to displace Sebastien Tremblay with just moments remaining.
The Mirabel, QC native will now start from second aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja, with championship leader Will Hornblower rounding out the front row.
Hornblower crashed early in the session but was still able to put in a fast lap prior to the incident aboard his Yamaha machine, as the hometown favourite out of Sarnia, ON will look to stretch his points lead with a win on Sunday.
“I was just praying I put in a good enough time to be at least near the first few rows,” Hornblower said. “The last couple minutes were definitely nerve-wracking, but it’s still a front row start which is awesome, all things considered.”
Two-time defending champion Tomas Casas will kick off the second row aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha, as the Peterborough, ON youngster battled through a number of mechanical issues after crashing out in round one.
Notably, the top six riders in the class were all separated by just over a half-second in qualifying, with the top five all posting better times than the pole position mark from a year ago.
The first National race of the weekend also provided some excitement on Saturday, with Avery Hart extending his points lead atop the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class with a dominating victory.
The Princeville, NS native got off to an early lead and never looked back, storming his way to a four-second win aboard his WRBF Racing Yamaha YZF-R3.
“The gameplan was to pull away right off the start, so you can’t really complain with how that worked out,” Hart said. “The tire got a little greasy towards the end, but everything felt great and held up enough for me to get the win.”
Winning the battle for second was Hart’s east coast teammate, Keegan Gaudet, who held off a late charge from fellow teenager Ben LeClair to claim the second spot on the podium, with LeClair breaking his older brother’s lap record in the class on the final lap of the race aboard his Fast Company Yamaha out of Blackstock, ON.
The final two CSBK qualifying sessions of the day also failed to disappoint, with Jordan Royds claiming pole position in the Express Lane Amateur Superbike class and Jake LeClair, older brother of Ben, leading the charge in the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike category.
Royds, riding a Yamaha YZF-R1 out of Ancaster, ON, will be looking to make up for a disappointing performance at his home track in round one, while LeClair – last year’s Lightweight champion – is aiming for his best career finish in his first year aboard the bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R6 machine.
Race one of the Goderich Toyota Classic Superbike Racing series also kicked off on Saturday, with Scott McVicker coming away victorious aboard his vintage 1980’s era 1025cc Honda CB750 machine out of Oakville, ON.
Full results from Saturday’s racing and qualifying, as well as the schedule for Sunday’s races, can be found at the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
Saturday, 08 June 2019 23:04 Published in Reports, Results & Points