History was made at the Canadian Superbike Championship finale on Saturday, as 19-year-old Alex Dumas became the youngest champion in Pro Superbike feature class history with a clean sweep at Calabogie Motorsports Park.
The Liqui Moly MPG/FAST School Suzuki youngster needed only to finish inside the top-four to mathematically clinch the title after his victory in race one, but Dumas left little to the imagination with his fourth emphatic win of the season to become the first ever rookie champion in class history.
It didn’t initially appear like that would be the case, as rival Ben Young grabbed the holeshot in race two and began to gap the field quickly out front. However, an early red flag forced a restart, which was much less successful for Young as Dumas got the better start to lead start-to-finish.
“It was an awesome day and another awesome weekend to end the year. To clinch it with pole and two wins, it feels amazing,” Dumas said. “I have to give a huge thanks to Suzuki and my team for putting this year together. Everyone was such a good help, and I couldn’t do it without them.”
Despite rumours of his return to MotoAmerica in 2022 – where he has already won two championships – or even the pursuit of a ride oversees, Dumas wouldn’t close the door on a legitimate title defence in his home country next season.
“I would really, really love to do it all again next year. Personally, I would like to be back, but I’m not thinking too much about it now.”
Dumas and his team will at least have an additional trophy to appreciate while they debate their offseason plans, after taking home the Team of the Year Award. Their surprise entry to the 2021 campaign proved to be a massively successful one, as crew chief Patrice Goyette and company guided Dumas to a historic debut season.
The Quebec City native beat Jordan Szoke’s record by just 177 days to become the new youngest champion in class history, with Young unable to capture his second career Superbike title.
Nevertheless, Young was his typical optimistic self on the podium, as he immediately turned his focus towards reclaiming the number one plate in 2022.
“I gave it everything, but Alex just rode so well all year,” Young admitted. “I was able to fight back after the tough start and fix a few of the issues we had, but in the end it wasn’t meant to be. But we’ll be back to fight again next year.”
In a repeat of the first podium, Trevor Daley grabbed the third step after a heated battle with reigning champion Jordan Szoke, as the two sides made contact in the final carousel before Daley won the drag race to the line.
It was a crucial result for the OneSpeed Suzuki rider, as he helped wrap up the inaugural Constructors Championship for Suzuki with his third podium of the season, as Daley again proved to be the best “number two” rider of any of the manufacturers.
“I was really patient at the start, because I knew if I could save my Dunlop tires I would have a bit more life left at the end when it mattered,” Daley said. “Me and Jordan went back and forth quite a bit all race, but it got pretty close at the end there. It will be a good race to watch on TV, that’s for sure!”
Szoke would settle again for fourth, a disappointing result to end arguably the most frustrating campaign of his storied career. The 2020 champion has endured a number of tough-luck incidents this season, with this year’s final result proving to be his worst since an injury-riddled 2014 campaign.
Despite the frustrated results, Szoke has been optimistic about returning for a record 24th season in the Pro Superbike class, though he has yet to confirm his plans – a notable detail given Ducati’s impending entry to the feature class and Szoke’s prior experience aboard Ducati machinery.
Completing the top-five in the second half of the doubleheader was Sebastian Tremblay, who was forced to ride his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R sport bike after an earlier crash in race one. The 2021 Pro Sport Bike champion narrowly defeated Samuel Guerin at the line, a terrific result ahead of the EFC Group BMW rookie.
Dumas wasn’t the only rider to wrap up a championship on Saturday, however, with a pair of nail-biting finishes in two of the Amateur divisions.
Anthony Bergeron completed his comeback in the AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike class, leading nearly from lights-to-flag to win the race and the championship aboard his privateer BMW.
The pre-season favourite nearly derailed his own title bid with a crash in round two, but consecutive wins to end the year were enough to hand him the crown by just eleven points over ASM Yamaha rival Pascal Bastien, who struggled to fourth.
The biggest swing of the season came in the Super Sonic Race School Lightweight category, as Harvey Renaud secured the national championship in unlikely fashion with a photo-finish win by just 0.018 seconds.
Renaud entered the weekend with a sizeable disadvantage to teenager Mackenzie Weil atop the leaderboard, but a crash in race one that ended Weil’s weekend – combined with a victory for Renaud – put him in position to win the title on Saturday.
Jacob Black, who was involved in the crash that ended Weil’s championship hopes, hung on to second at the line, though it wasn’t enough to do Weil any favours as Renaud will be crowned the national champion by just 16 points.
The full list of season results can be found on the series’ official website at csbk.ca, with the focus now turning towards the offseason and the 2022 CSBK campaign.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions