Toronto, ON – The Canadian Superbike Championship will enter unfamiliar territory in a number of ways this weekend, as teenage sensation Alex Dumas carries a surprising title lead into the first ever Pro Superbike tripleheader in round two at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, July 13-15.
The feature class grid will enter its most compressed weekend schedule ever, with qualifying and the chase for the Yuasa Batteries Pole Award – also featuring the return of the Dunlop Q tires – set to run on Friday afternoon before a 20-lap race one on Saturday, and two 18-lap races on Sunday.
Dumas entered round one at Calabogie widely believed to be a frontrunner, but the 18-year-old rookie far exceeded any expectations as he swept both legs of the thrilling doubleheader, earning a 17-point championship lead in the process.
Riding a Liqui Moly MPG Fast Riding School-backed Suzuki GSX-R1000, Dumas will now get three more chances to carve out history at “Old Mosport,” though he will have to do so with perhaps even tougher competition than he faced in the season opener.
Leading the challenge will again be 2019 champion Ben Young, who returned after a year away from the sport to snatch pole position and a pair of second place finishes at round one. Young has traditionally excelled at CTMP, the circuit where he captured his lone title two years ago, and he will look to continue that run of success aboard his Van Dolder’s Home Team BMWS1000RR this weekend.
The other member of the “big three” out front, defending champion Jordan Szoke will be looking to shake off a solid although disappointing opener, where he settled for a pair of third place finishes to take a 29-point deficit into CTMP.
The Canada General Warranty Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja rider has conquered the circuit a record 18 times before, including a sweep of the doubleheader last season as he claimed the 2020 championship, his 14th National title overall.
While the podium finishers appeared to be a step ahead in round one, the trio will likely be in for a much tougher task at the fastest track on the calendar, as the long Andretti straightaway usually delivers stunning battles throughout the grid.
A consistent frontrunner over the last few years, Trevor Daley came away with a mixed bag in round one as a pair of slow starts meant he could only manage fourth in each race, but the OneSpeed Suzuki Canada rider showed podium pace in both contests and will look to replicate that at his home track this weekend.
Another local favourite sure to join the lead group will be Tomas Casas, who returned to Calabogie after his own one-year absence to claim a career-best qualifying position in second. The Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1 rider went backwards on race day, most notably due to arm pump, but he seemed to right the ship with a victory at the Pro6 GP regional series and will be returning to full health in front of his hometown fans at CTMP.
The second-place finisher from that regional racing battle, rookie Samuel Guerin will also be looking to put a tough opening round behind him, as the 2020 runner-up was forced out of both races with mechanical issues. The EFC Group BMW rider remains a rookie due to the COVID-19 pandemic but looked like anything but a year ago, when CTMP proved to be his best track as he battled Szoke to the line before ultimately settling for second.
One wildcard to watch will be Sebastian Tremblay, as the Pro Sport Bike championship leader is believed to be adding a full Superbike program to his plans for round two. The Turcotte Performance Kawasaki rider has been focusing his efforts aboard a lesser-powered 600cc machine in recent years, though that hasn’t seemed to limit him as he claimed a pair of sixth place finishes at Calabogie.
An upgrade to a full 1000cc machine may make Tremblay a podium challenger – or even a dark horse for race wins – should the decision be made official this weekend, though his focus will still lie with the middleweight championship.
Perhaps joining the frontrunning battle for the first time since 2019 will be both rider and manufacturer, as Steven Nickerson is set to return to the series aboard his Dewildt Powersports Honda CBR1000RR after sitting out round one and all of last season. The SOAR regional racing champion will be a welcome boost for Honda in the Constructors standings, though Nickerson himself will have his sights set on a maiden podium as he joins a wide-open fight at the front in round two.
This weekend’s action won’t be the final National event of the season for CSBK, with a third and final round planned for Calabogie Motorsports Park in mid-September to be announced shortly.
The second round of the CSBK season will also feature the return of spectators to the storied circuit, with tickets available until August 12 at noon (online only) at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park website.
The full schedule of events and prior results can be found on the series’ own official site at www.csbk.ca.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions