Threatening skies didn’t faze Alex Dumas one bit on Friday morning, as the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship leader topped FP1 in stunning fashion at Atlantic Motorsport Park, presented by Pro Cycle and Kawasaki.
After unofficially leading the Thursday test, Dumas put an exclamation point on his first official times of the weekend even amidst uncertain conditions, putting his Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly Suzuki on the provisional top spot with a time of 1:07.547 heading into afternoon qualifying.
That time is especially notable considering it already puts Dumas just 0.026 seconds off the pole position time from a year ago, and over a half-second clear of the FP1 pace from a year ago. With extreme rain forecasted for Friday afternoon, it remains possible that Dumas’ provisional time could put him on pole for the weekend’s races.
His benchmark came at an opportune time, as it moved him just ahead of rival Ben Young moments before a red flag with under five minutes to go in the 40-minute practice session.
Young would thus have to settle for second after leading majority of the morning, though his final time of 1:07.825 was equally as impressive in comparison to the times from a year ago, putting his Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW just 0.278 seconds off Dumas.
Local teenager John Fraser continued to deliver on his high expectations, beginning the weekend a lonely third aboard his RLS Contracting Suzuki. The 18-year-old led the first ten minutes of the session before settling in behind the lead duo, putting in a time of 1:08.375 to sit a half-second off provisional pole but equally ahead of fourth.
That next group was led by 14-time AMP winner Jordan Szoke, who returned to the east coast for the first time since 2019 and quickly put his LDS Consultants Kawasaki into the podium mix with a time of 1:08.940.
The next trio all swapped places numerous times throughout the morning, with Sam Guerin taking fifth in the end aboard his EFC Group BMW ahead of the other LDS Consultants Kawasaki of Trevor Dion and OneSpeed Suzuki’s Trevor Daley, all covered by only 0.181 seconds.
Daley’s status has unfortunately been put in jeopardy for the weekend after a late crash caused the red flag, as he suffered a serious but thankfully non-life-threatening injury.
Barring any extreme weather adjustments, the feature class is expected to begin qualifying with the initial Q1 session at 3 pm local time (2 pm ET), before the final Q2 BS Battery Pole battle begins at roughly 3:30 pm local time.
Connor Campbell will lead the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class into qualifying early Friday afternoon, after topping the first morning practice session of the weekend.
Most of the session was led by Matt Simpson behind a competitive time of 1:11.558, but the last few minutes provided much better track conditions as Campbell moved comfortably to the front with a time of 1:10.794 aboard his B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki, just 0.4 seconds off the FP1 pace from 2022.
Weekend favourite Sebastien Tremblay would cut that deficit shortly after, but not by enough as his time of 1:11.093 put the Turcotte Performance Suzuki rider between Campbell and Simpson and 0.299 seconds off the provisional top spot.
Simpson would keep his Blackstock Motorsports Yamaha ahead of rival and championship leader David MacKay, who could only climb to fifth-fastest aboard his ODH Snow City Cycle Kawasaki while John Laing split the pair of title contenders to put his Vass Performance Kawasaki fourth.
Qualifying for the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class is scheduled for 1 pm local time (noon ET) on Friday afternoon.
Full results from the morning practice sessions can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.
- From CSBK.ca