By John Hopkins
ST-EUSTACHE, Que. – Stacey Nesbitt used a last lap pass of Ryan Roche to pick up her first win in the Honda CBR250R National Race Series at Autodrome St-Eustache on Saturday.
After spending most of the race sitting in second place the St-Lazare, Que. racer dove past Roche entering the Dogleg for the final time and hung on to win by just 0.183 secs. over the Pickering, Ont. rider. Tomas Casas of Peterborough, Ont. nearly snatched second at the line but settled for third, 0.667 secs. back of Nesbitt.
“I was content to wait,” said Nesbitt, last year’s Honda CBR125R Challenge champion. “My only worry was that someone would pass me, because I knew I had people behind me. Once I got past him [Roche] I was worried he would come back past me out of the last corner but I guess Tomas was on him and that gave me a break.”
Roche had won the opening two races of the season at Shannonville Motorsport Park and qualified on pole for Saturday’s third round at St-Eustache. After Casas grabbed the lead off the start Roche took over the top spot entering the Dogleg on the opening lap and controlled the race from there. He did briefly lose the lead to Nesbitt in turn one on lap nine of the 14-lap race, but was able to retake the top spot out of the final corner that same lap.
“I was hoping to get away at the start,” admitted the runner-up finisher.
Roche still leads the Honda CBR250R National Race Series point standings with 156 points to Nesbitt’s 133.
Casas held second for three laps before Nesbitt got him and he briefly dropped behind Costa Mouzouris on lap 10. The top four racers were well clear of the rest of the field.
“That was lots of fun,” Casas said. “Out of the last corner I was trying to get Ryan but he was able to get inside of me again.”
Montreal’s Mouzouris finished fourth overall and won the Media Challenge for Inside Motorcycles for the third straight race. Laval, Que.’s Pascal Bastien and Jean-Pascal Schroeder of Montreal were second and third, respectively, in the Media Challenge.
The Honda CBR250R competitors will go at it again Sunday afternoon at St-Eustache in another 14-lap battle.
1.Stacey Nesbitt, St-Lazare, Que., 12:49.697
2. Ryan Roche, Pickering, Ont., +0.183
3. Tomas Casas, Peterborough, Ont., +0.667
4. Costa Mouzouris, Montreal, Que., +2.104*
5. Pascal Bastien, Laval, Que., +17.419*
6. Jean-Pascal Schoreder, Montreal, Que., +27.596*
7. Sean Smith, Calgary, Alta., +36.038
8. Alex Crookes, Toronto, Ont., +1 Lap*
9. Didier Constant, Montreal, Que., +2 laps*
Did Not Finish
Eric Moffette, St-Jean, Que., 1 lap*
Fastest Lap: 58.518 by Stacey Nesbitt on lap 14
All competitors aboard Honda CBR250R motorcycles
1.Ryan Roche, 156
2. Stacey Nesbitt, 133
3. Sean Smith, 104
4. Tomas Casas, 84
1.Costa Mouzouris, 163
2. Alex Crookes, 94
3. Neil Graham, 81
4. Derreck Roemer, 70
5. David Booth, 46
6. Pascal Bastien, 45
7. Jean-Pascal Schroeder, 39
8. Didier Constant, 29