By John Hopkins
SHUBENACADIE, N.S. – Peterborough, Ont.’s Tomas Casas claimed his second straight victory in the Honda CBR250R National Race Series at Atlantic Motorsport Park on Saturday, edging Stacey Nesbitt and Ryan Roche in a thrilling battle to the line.
The 13-year-old pipped St-Lazare, Que.’s Nesbitt by just 0.049 secs. while Roche was only 0.884 secs. back after the trio had run together throughout the 12-lap race around AMP’s daunting 2.56km, 11-turn road course.
“It was a close race and I just wanted to wait for the last couple of laps to make my move,” said Casas, who spent most of the race lurking in third place. “These bikes are all really similar so you have to wait for the end of the race.”
Casas took second place from Nesbitt on the penultimate lap and then dove down the inside of Roche heading into turn one to start the final lap. The two battled back and forth before Casas established himself in the lead.
Nesbitt looked to be out of contention when she was slightly delayed behind a backmarker in turn four on the final lap. But she managed to get past Roche entering the turn nine Carousel and just missed catching Casas at the line.
“It was frustrating [getting delayed] but that’s part of racing and you have to deal with it,” said Nesbitt, last year’s CBR125R Challenge national champion. “I didn’t expect Tomas to come past me when he did, and that gave me some extra work to do.”
Roche now leads Nesbitt by 14 points in the CBR250R National standings, 236-222, while Casas has moved ahead of Calgary’s Sean Smith into third spot with 186 points. Smith finished sixth at AMP on Saturday.
Ballie Ives of Hants County, N.S. placed fourth and Dartmouth, N.S.’s Connor Warnell was fifth.
Rob Harris of Sackville, N.B. won the Media Challenge portion of the Honda CBR250R race, representing CMGOnline.
The CBR250R competitors will go at it again with another 12-lap race at AMP on Sunday afternoon.