The Pro Superbike field will have more than just one title to fight for in the third and final round, as a pair of inaugural awards will be decided this weekend at Calabogie Motorsports Park, September 17-18.
The first ever Constructors Championship will almost certainly come down to the wire, with the top three manufacturers all within striking distance entering the pivotal doubleheader, while the inaugural YUASA Battery Pole Position Championship will be decided by the qualifying order on Friday.
Suzuki enters the final round with a 31-point lead atop the Constructors table, thanks in large part to Pro Superbike championship leader Alex Dumas, but their lead is quickly shrinking thanks to a strong round two tripleheader for Kawasaki and BMW.
Dumas has been the driving force behind Suzuki’s breakout season after finding the podium in each of the first five races to lead the rider’s championship, though Trevor Daley has been just as important to the Constructors total, finishing inside the top-five in every contest as well.
Despite Suzuki’s consistency, however, Kawasaki will have the momentum after defending champion Jordan Szoke grabbed a pair of victories at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, powering them past BMW for second in the standings and cutting their deficit to the top substantially.
The ZX-10R Ninja crew will also get a welcome boost from Sebastien Tremblay, who will race a full-fledged Superbike around arguably his strongest circuit for the first time at the National level. Tremblay finished sixth in each of the first two races at Calabogie aboard a lesser-powered 600cc sport bike, but should be a legitimate podium threat after breaking out his Superbike to finish fourth in all three races at CTMP.
While the absence of a consistent second rider has left BMW a surprising 50-points down in the championship hunt, the heroic performances of 2019 champion Ben Young have kept their hopes alive entering the final round. Young will likely be contending for wins again in round three as he chases his second rider’s championship, but a strong weekend from one of Samuel Guerin, Michael Leon, or Jordan Royds will be pivotal for BMW if they hope to complete a late comeback in the award battle.
Further down the order, Yamaha will be set to take fourth in the inaugural season barring a miracle weekend as they sit 106 points down on BMW for third, but 143 points clear of Honda in fifth. Triumph will round out the order in sixth, scoring their only points thus far in race one at CTMP.
Though Young will have plenty to focus on in the hunt for both titles, he will also have one more award to consider as he enters the weekend, with a comfortable lead in the inaugural YUASA Battery Pole Position Championship under his belt.
Young has captured true pole position in both rounds so far and will be a strong threat to do so again, though he’ll only need to qualify fifth or better to clinch the qualifying-based award as he holds an eight-point lead over Dumas.
However, should Dumas grab his first career pole on Canadian soil and Young fails to crack the top-five, the Suzuki teenager will steal both the honour of the title and the monetary bonus courtesy of YUASA Battery that comes with it.
While Dumas is the only rider who can mathematically challenge Young for the award, his position in second is hardly secure, with Tremblay and Tomas Casas both just four points behind him entering the final round.
Regardless of how the Constructors and Pole Position championships play out, Dumas will exit the 2021 campaign with at least one prestigious award on his resumé, after clinching the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year Award in round two.
Typically one of the closest battles to follow each season, Dumas has instead blown out the competition in his sensational rookie season, taking an insurmountable 132-point lead into the final doubleheader with just 108 points available.
The 19-year-old phenom could become the youngest Pro Superbike champion ever, having finished on the podium in each of the first five races and grabbing a pair of wins in the process for the Liqui Moly MPG FAST Riding School Suzuki team.
Royds will have the strongest case to finish second in the Rookie of the Year battle, though the IBEW BMW rider could mathematically be caught by any of the other four rookies classified this season. The closest threat would be Turcotte Performance Suzuki rider Guillaume Fortin, who trails by just 22 points in third, though Guerin could salvage his season with a pair of strong finishes after crashing out three times in four races for the EFC Group BMW team.
The full award standings heading into the final doubleheader weekend can be found on the series’ official website at csbk.ca.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions