Bowmanville, ON – Ben Young will start from pole position for each of this weekend’s three Pro Superbike races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, after mixed weather conditions and a formal petition forced revised grids on Friday.
Rain stopped the second of two afternoon sessions for the feature Pro Superbike category, where the top ten qualifiers from the first Q1 offering were provided with the opportunity to go out on special Dunlop Qualifying slick rubber.
CSBK Officials initially opted to use the results of the first session to determine the grids, since the unpredictable weather made continuing with the interrupted final “Q2” opportunity problematic. This decision was not well received by several Pro Superbike competitors.
A short while later, a formal petition was submitted by eight of the ten racers who participated in the second “Q2” session to determine Pole and the starting grid. BMW’s Ben Young, Michael Leon, Ivan Babic and Jordan Royds, Suzuki racers Alex Dumas and Trevor Daley, Kawasaki pilot Sebastien Tremblay, and Honda mounted Steven Nickerson all requested that the times posted in the first half of the 20-minute rain-interrupted session be used to establish a grid.
Reigning Canadian national champion Jordan Szoke, riding for Kawasaki, and Tomas Casas, who crashed his Yamaha in the second session, did not sign the document.
“Based on the fact that the majority of the Pro racers asked for this adjustment, we have decided to respect their wishes and honor their request,” explained CSBK boss Colin Fraser. “We understand that the situation this afternoon was complicated, and tempers ran high. It is unfortunate that our goal to go for ultimate lap times with the special tires provided by Dunlop this weekend just didn’t work out.”
With the decision now final, the grid will look much different for the weekend’s three feature races, though Ben Young will retain pole position and Alex Dumas will still start second after both riders claimed the same positions in both sessions.
Now starting third will be Sebastian Tremblay, who moves up one spot from his Q1 time, while Trevor Daley will take the biggest jump to complete the front row in fourth after only managing eighth in Q1.
The second row will now be kicked off by Michael Leon in fifth, an improvement of two positions from his first session, while Steven Nickerson retains sixth place and the middle of the second row.
Tomas Casas will move from third to seventh following the revision, after the early crash in Q2 cost him a second front-row start of the season. Ivan Babic will move up two spots to lead off the third row in eighth, while the biggest faller is reigning champion Jordan Szoke, who drops from fifth to ninth in what is his worst qualifying finish since 2010.
In addition to his Superbike duties, Tremblay will start from pole position in both of the weekend’s Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike races, pacing the grid aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki with a time of 1:24.579.
Rookie pro Trevor Dion was perhaps the biggest surprise of the day, securing second on the grid with a time just 0.162 seconds behind Tremblay, as the former Lightweight race winner will look to spoil the pole sitter’s weekend aboard his LDS Consultants Kawasaki.
Third on the grid for the middleweight doubleheader will be former Guyanese Superbike champion Elliott Vieira, who excelled at CTMP a year ago and will look to replicate that success this weekend for the Snow City Cycle Yamaha team.
Completing the front row in the Sport Bike category will be another Kawasaki in the form of David MacKay, as the Mack Attack Racing rider continued his strong form at the circuit where he found the podium once before in 2018.
Jacob Black stormed to his first career pole position in the Super Sonic Road Race School Lightweight class, shattering the qualifying lap record and breaking his own outright record with a time of 1:39.813 aboard his Kawasaki Ninja 400.
Black was already comfortably on pole when he posted the record-breaking time on his final lap, cruising past second-place qualifier Paul Etienne Courtois by over a second.
Championship leader Mackenzie Weil struggled to fifth in the qualifying session, but the Kawasaki teenager can still make a strong push at the front as the Lightweight category will again rely heavily on the slipstream down the Andretti back straightaway.
Fellow title hopeful Anthony Bergeron was the man to beat on track in the AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike class, though Bergeron will be docked one position after failing to meet the fuel requirements in post-race tech inspection on his BMW.
Alex Cleary will instead start from pole this weekend, benefitting from the penalty after only losing out on the fastest time by 0.126 seconds to his BMW counterpart out front.
Brad Macrae continued his sensational Amateur Sport Bike season with another pole position in middleweight category, blitzing the field to a time of 1:26.476 aboard his privateer Honda.
Only hometown teenager Matthew Simpson was able to get close to Macrae, qualifying second on the grid and just 0.360 seconds behind, while no other rider was able to get within a second of the top two championship rivals.
Full results from Friday’s exciting day of qualifying can be found on the series’ official website at csbk.ca, while the schedule for this weekend’s racing can also be found online ahead of Superbike race one on Saturday.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions