A new venue made little difference to Alex Dumas on Thursday, as the defending CSBK champion paced the feature Pro Superbike grid through the official test day ahead of the weekend action at Atlantic Motorsport Park, presented by Pro Cycle, Kawasaki, and Arai.
Dumas had never turned a wheel around the east coast circuit prior to last weekend’s Society of Atlantic Roadracing League (SARL) regional, but that hasn’t seemed to affect him one bit as he set the fastest time of the day at a 1:08.065, already faster than the initial practice time of the last AMP national in 2019.
The Liqui Moly/Fast School Suzuki rider set his fastest lap in the first afternoon session of the day, warming up quickly to the tight, twisty Shubenacadie, NS track known by many as “The Rollercoaster.” Dumas would wind up just 0.060 seconds faster than rival Ben Young, with both rivals already approaching the pole-position time from 2019.
Young remains the weekend favourite as the only former winner at AMP on this year’s Superbike grid, but his betting odds will decrease slightly after watching the fast start of Dumas on Thursday.
The Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider will cling to a one-point championship lead heading into the round two doubleheader, but he will know better than anyone how quickly his fortunes can change at this venue, after his dramatic race one victory in the last outing here which played a huge role in his 2019 championship.
Trevor Daley will carry a bit more momentum into the weekend after a strong start of his own on Thursday, posting the third-best time at a 1:09.502. The OneSpeed/Pro Cycle Suzuki rider followed up Dumas and Young in the first afternoon session for his fastest overall time of the day, but was notably second-fastest in the second session.
Royal Distributing BMW veteran Michael Leon enjoyed his return to the east coast on Thursday, following up the traditional “big three” by posting the fourth-fastest time of the day at a 1:10.520 in the second session.
Some of Leon’s best weekends in the feature Superbike class have come at AMP, and that momentum has appeared to carry over to 2022 as he looks to join the podium mix in this weekend’s doubleheader.
Completing the top-five on the day was Sebastien Tremblay, who crowned the final session of the day at a 1:10.837 to place himself fifth overall. The Turcotte Performance Kawasaki rider scored his first podium since 2015 in the last round at Calabogie and has so far continued that upward trend, putting himself just roughly 1.3 seconds off the podium pace again heading into the weekend.
The early pace in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class was far less predictable on Thursday, as youngster Jake LeClair paced the middleweight category with a time of 1:10.675 in the final session.
The bLU cRU Yamaha rider has dealt with a number of issues in 2022 leaving him 13th in the overall standings, but his true pace has finally started to shine through as he led the timesheets ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Matt Simpson (1.319 seconds behind).
The full national grids will be back for more track time on Friday as the practice and qualifying sessions get underway, with races on Saturday and Sunday set to play a big role in all six national championship battles.
The complete schedule can be found on the series’ official website, while tickets can also still be purchased through the series as well.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions