Grand Bend, ON – June 7, 2019 – Mopar Pro Superbike championship leader Ben Young continued his hot start to the 2019 season on Friday, pacing the field at round two of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Grand Bend Motorplex.
After winning the opening round in stunning fashion, the Collingwood, ON native picked up right where he left off, ending the morning practice atop the leaderboards with a time of 1:04.280 aboard his Barrie Trim/Van Dolder’s Home Team Scot-Build BMW S1000RR.
The rest of the field seemed to be catching Young in the afternoon practice as the track warmed, but not before “Braveheart” improved upon his own pace to post a blistering time of 1:03.432 – just 0.232 seconds off the lap record and nearly a full second faster than any other rider.
His chart-topping times from Friday extended Young’s streak to eight-consecutive sessions atop the leaderboards in 2019, as last year’s championship runner-up has looked virtually unbeatable in the early going.
While Young will look to continue his momentum into Saturday’s qualifying, he’ll have to do so with an unfamiliar foe behind him, as Trevor Daley placed his Fast Company Suzuki GSX-R1000 second-fastest in both sessions.
After struggling to 13th in the season opener, in large part due to a crash on lap one, Daley will attempt to get his year back on track with a strong qualifying performance on Saturday and a potential shot at his first career Pro Superbike victory on Sunday.
It will also be a crucial day of qualifying for four-time defending champion Jordan Szoke, who failed to win the season opener for the first time in seven years and remains behind the pace in round two.
The Lynden, ON veteran is still within striking distance of Young, however, running third-fastest in both practice sessions aboard his Mopar Express Lane Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja with a best time of 1:04.587.
The fourth-fastest time of the day came from Blysk Racing BMW’s Samuel Trepanier, as the St. Isidore, QC native was the last rider to break into the 1:04 second mark, squeezing out a time of 1:04.989 in the afternoon practice.
Notably rounding out the top five, however, was Sarnia, ON’s Will Hornblower, who posted a time of 1:05.057 aboard his lesser-powered Yamaha YZF-R6 sport bike.
Despite the strong performance, all eyes will be on Hornblower in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class, where he and his Yamaha machine enter his home circuit with a surprising championship lead.
While his time in Superbike practice would have been the fastest of the day in the Sport Bike class, the actual front-runner in both sessions was Laval, QC’s Sebastien Tremblay, who posted a best time of 1:05.433 aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja.
Tremblay will also look to rebound in round two after an unfortunate collision late in the season opener cost him a shot at a victory, courtesy of rival and two-time reigning champion Tomas Casas.
Casas, meanwhile, will look to get things back on track aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha, as the Peterborough, ON native trailed Tremblay by a minuscule 0.016 seconds in the afternoon session after switching to a new engine for round two.
Another championship leader who got off to a hot start on Friday was Princeville, NS’s Avery Hart, who enters with just a two-point lead in the TSN Motorcycle Experience Lightweight Sport Bike class.
The WRBF Racing Yamaha YZF-R3 rider paced the field with a best time of 1:12.416, over a full second faster than championship rival Ben LeClair, as the Blackstock, ON teenager struggled to fifth on the leaderboards aboard his Fast Company Yamaha.
After arguably the most exciting race of round one, the Express Lane Amateur Superbike class continued its narrow pace into round two, as Jordan Royds set the fastest time of the day by just 0.074 seconds aboard his Yamaha YZF-R1.
The Ancaster, ON rider just barely edged the Aprilia RSV4RR of Dave Natale, who won the opening race out of Markham, ON.
Ben won’t be the only LeClair brother looking for a victory on the weekend, however, as last year’s Lightweight champion, Jake LeClair, finds himself just 0.128 seconds behind points leader Christian Allard in the Parts Canada Amateur Sport Bike category.
Allard, riding a Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja out of Chambly, QC, paced the field with a time of 1:07.591, with LeClair next in line aboard his bLU cRU Yamaha YZF-R6.
Full results from Friday’s practice sessions, as well as the weekend schedule, can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.