The trend atop the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship continued to be reversed on Friday, as Alex Dumas snatched pole position from title rival Ben Young in the feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike class at Shannonville Motorsport Park.
Neither rider started out as the one to beat in Q1, as Jordan Szoke was the early leader in the first portion of the two-part BS Battery Qualifying session behind a best lap of 1:45.972.
The 14-time champion would have his provisional time bettered by Young halfway into that 20-minute period, the defending champ posting a 1:45.271, but Szoke appeared to be playing spoiler as Dumas sat third for most of Q1.
The Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly Suzuki rider would change that in the final moments to move to within a second of the top spot, but Young’s momentum from his CTMP sweep still seemed to be carrying into the final round ahead of Q2.
That thought was quickly erased, though, as Dumas smashed the provisional top time right out of the gates with a 1:43.590 lap. Young would eventually close to within 0.032 seconds of his rival, but a late red flag prevented him going any further as Dumas held on for his second pole position of the season.
“We put a great lap together, and I felt really comfortable. A lot better than last time out,” Dumas said, after recovering from a cold that hampered him in round four. “It looks like it’s going to be between me and Ben, so it’s nice to feel comfortable going into the race.”
Young was confident he could have flipped his fortune on his last flying lap had the red flag not come out – claiming to be over a quarter-second up on his best time – but admitted the showdown will only matter when the lights go out in race one.
“Q2 is a bit of a short session for a long lap like this, so we were winding up for a better lap when the red came out,” Young said. “It’s going to be a good fight with Alex again, but we’ll want to stand one spot higher this afternoon.”
Despite losing out on pole for the final round, Young’s effort was enough for the Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider to secure the season-long BS Battery Pole Position Award for a third consecutive season.
Joining the duo on the front row will be Sam Guerin – scoring his best qualifying position of the season in third – as the EFC Group BMW rider continues to play a starring role for BMW at the top of the order.
“It’s fun to be up here, it’s my first time in the top-three for qualifying this season,” Guerin said. “We’re quite a bit behind Ben and Alex, but we’ll see what we can do, and hopefully pick up some points this weekend.”
Fourth would go to Tomas Casas, but the Parts Canada Yamaha rider is unlikely to compete for at least race one after a hard crash brought out the red flag to end qualifying.
Casas was eyeing a spot on the front row when he went down in turn four with just under two minutes remaining, hurting his throttle wrist in the process, though the extent of the injury is unclear heading into the weekend.
Szoke’s initial Q1 pace ultimately couldn’t materialize into a front row spot, but the Canadian Kawasaki rider will still be firmly in the podium mix after settling for fifth at the end of Q2, hoping he can benefit from Casas’ misfortune to lead Kawasaki into third in the Constructors Standings.
Sixth on the grid will be Economy Lube and Tire/LDS Consultants Ducati rookie Trevor Dion – notably Szoke’s former teammate – as he quickly came to grips with his new V4 machine, a crucial result as he chases down the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year award.
The current leader of that award, teenager John Fraser, was left stranded in ninth after his own late charge was spoiled by the red flag, looking to be on par for a 1:45 lap that would have placed him inside the top-four aboard his RLS Contracting Suzuki.
The first of three feature Superbike races will get underway at roughly 4:10 pm ET, concluding Friday’s schedule before races two and three continue this weekend at SMP.
The full results from Friday’s qualifying can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions