Alex Dumas announced his arrival at the Canadian Superbike Championship finale in stellar fashion on Friday, leading the second practice session and setting the overall fastest time of the morning to pace the Pro Superbike field at Calabogie Motorsports Park.
The championship leader settled for second-fastest in FP1 as title rival Ben Young topped the charts with a time of 2:02.484, but Dumas obliterated those times in FP2, nearly setting a new lap record with a time of 2:00.640.
The Liqui Moly MPG/FAST School Suzuki teenager can capture his first ever YUASA Battery Pole Position award this afternoon, an honour Young has snatched from him both times already this season.
Conditions in the qualifying session will be important to watch, as track temperatures are expected to be much warmer than in the morning practices. This could give Dumas a realistic shot at breaking Jodi Christie’s lap record from 2015, though it could also play into the hands of one of his rivals.
The times were already noticeably quicker in the second session across the board, with the top-five in FP2 representing the top-five overall heading into qualifying. Young managed to keep himself within striking distance of Dumas, finishing 0.615 seconds shy of the top spot aboard his Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW.
After struggling somewhat in FP1, reigning champion Jordan Szoke posted a much better time in FP2, wrapping up the morning third-fastest for the Canada General Warranty Kawasaki team but still a distant 1.557 seconds off Dumas.
Szoke dealt with a number of mechanical issues in the first round at Calabogie but got back on track in a big way in round two at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, winning two of the three races to carry much-needed momentum into the doubleheader finale.
The biggest surprise of FP2 was veteran Michael Leon, who made up over three seconds on his FP1 time to post a 2:02.474 in the second session. The Royal Distributing BMW rider had his second round derailed by an unfortunate crash in race one but mostly impressed last time out in Calabogie, as he hopes to regain that form to end the year.
Completing the top five times overall was double-duty Turcotte Performance Kawasaki rider Sebastian Tremblay, who will bring his ZX-10R superbike to Calabogie for the first time while also balancing a hopeful championship in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class aboard a ZX-6R.
Tremblay made up a full second in FP2 as he comes to grips with the bigger machine around this circuit, though he remains still 2.113 seconds away from his first career pole position this afternoon.
Notably missing from the overall timesheets is Trevor Daley, who looked poised for a strong start after ending FP1 in third but was unable to carry that momentum into FP2 aboard his OneSpeed Suzuki.
A welcome sight in the overall top-eight was rookie Samuel Guerin, who has had a disastrous 2021 campaign after generating plenty of interest prior to the season for the EFC Group BMW team. Three DNF’s in four races have ruined the Quebec City native’s season, but his pace remains competitive as he looks to end his season on a high note.
Qualifying for the Pro Superbike feature class is scheduled to get underway at roughly 1:45 pm ET, with Dumas looking to rob Young of a third-consecutive pole position prior to their season-ending doubleheader battle tomorrow.
The full schedule of events can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.