Alex Dumas’ epic run at Calabogie Motorsports Park continued on Saturday, as the defending CSBK Pro Superbike champion won race one of the round two doubleheader to keep his unbeaten streak at CMP alive and cut his championship deficit to just six points.
Dumas won all four contests at Calabogie last season and thus entered as the heavy favourite in his return, a case that was only bolstered when he captured the BS Battery pole position earlier on Saturday aboard his Liqui Moly/Fast School Suzuki.
That advantage was quickly erased, however, when rival Ben Young got a brilliant start off the line, leading the field into turn one and through the first few corners. His lead was just as short-lived, though, as Dumas instantly returned the favour in turn five and never looked back from there.
“I didn’t get the best start, but I got a better launch out of three and I was able to outbreak Ben into five,” Dumas said. “From there I just tried to put in a bunch of good laps, and rode a really good race to the end.”
It was a mixed bag in second for Young, who will be disappointed with the seven-point swing in Dumas’ favour but still looked strong as he debuted his brand new Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW M1000RR.
“It was our first weekend on the ‘M’, and there’s still a few things to sort out, but I felt good and I’m happy to still be here on the podium,” Young said. “We knew it would be a bit tough here, but we’re going to work through the night and come back stronger tomorrow to put it on the top of the box.”
It looked like a foregone conclusion that Dumas and Young would be joined by Trevor Daley on the podium, with Daley overcoming a slow start to latch onto the back of Young in third aboard his OneSpeed Suzuki.
However, Daley had a huge crash exiting turn eight with just four laps to go, handing the final podium spot to Sebastien Tremblay. It was a long-awaited return to the podium for Tremblay, who hadn’t stepped on the Superbike rostrum since 2015.
“It’s unfortunate for Trevor, but I’ll take it. It feels really good to be back up here,” Tremblay said. “I’ve been tired all weekend and didn’t really know where I could end up, so I’m very happy with this result.”
The podium will propel Tremblay to fourth in the overall standings and move Kawasaki to third in the Constructors behind BMW and Suzuki, though Daley limited the damage for Suzuki after re-mounting to finish eighth.
Samuel Guerin charged to fourth after a rollercoaster race, climbing as high as third on lap one and falling as low as seventh before eventually stealing fourth again on the final lap aboard his EFC Group BMW.
Guerin ultimately stole that spot from Michael Leon, though the strong fifth-place finish will still propel the Royal Distributing BMW rider back into the top ten overall as he recovers from a tough-luck opening round.
Pro Superbike Feature (Race 1 of 2) – Top 10
1. Alex Dumas, Suzuki
2. Ben Young, BMW
3. Sebastien Tremblay, Kawasaki
4. Samuel Guerin, BMW
5. Michael Leon, BMW
6. Ivan Babic, BMW
7. Anthony Bergeron, BMW (Rookie)
8. Trevor Daley, Suzuki
9. Ryan Taylor, Ducati (Rookie)
10. Vivian Matthews, Yamaha
Another new name was added to the list of Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike winners on Saturday, as Elliot Vieira properly entered the title fight with his first ever Pro national victory over pole-sitter Trevor Dion.
Dion was the man out front for almost the entirety of the race, but was hounded by Vieira and David MacKay behind, with Vieira launching multiple unsuccessful pass attempts into turn eight alone. This eventually led to Dion stretching out a modest gap, but Vieira somehow managed to reel it all back in on the final lap and make the decisive move in turn six.
“It feels so amazing, I don’t know what to say,” said an emotional Vieira. “I decided to just follow Trevor and see how he would do, and at the end his pace started to fade so I just threw another move in there and it stuck!”
The win propels Vieira to just nine points behind Dion, as the Snow City Yamaha rider will look to carry his momentum into Sunday and erase that deficit completely. As for Dion, it was a disappointing finish in what was an otherwise shocking day, as he exceeded all expectations to bag pole position and a solid second-place finish for the LDS Consultants Kawasaki team.
The podium will preserve a slim title lead for Dion, but his biggest prize may be that he increased his gap over MacKay in third, who ran with the lead duo early on but was never able to make a proper overtake. The Fast Company Kawasaki rider will now fall to 20 points behind Dion, but with an opportunity to make up for it on Sunday.
The compressed Saturday schedule will lead to a pair of events moving to Sunday morning, including AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike qualifying and race one of the Super Sonic Race School Lightweight class, though there was still action in the Amateur Sport Bike and Lightweight Pro/Am categories.
Bobby Desjardins will start from pole position in Sunday’s Amateur Sport Bike race after crushing the field for Suzuki, with Yamaha riders Frederic Barnabe and Martin Richard joining him on the front row.
As for the Pro/Am, it was Jared Walker who took another overall race victory to extend his lead in the Pro ranks, holding off a strong challenge from Ryan Vanderputten who finished second on-track but will win the Amateur division.
Harvey Renaud and Gary McKinnon completed the podium in the Pro ranks by finishing third and fifth overall, while newcomer Andrew Cooney finished fourth on-track to take second in the Amateur division ahead of Bryce DeBoer in seventh across the line.
The full results from Sunday’s action can be found on the series official website at csbk.ca.