The battle for the 2023 Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship continued to heat up on Sunday, as Ben Young won race two in the GP Bikes Pro Superbike feature class at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Similar to race one on Saturday, Young saw championship leader Alex Dumas grab the holeshot off the line, but again needed just a handful of corners to seize the lead from his main rival.
Unlike race one, however, Young failed to break away from the chasing pack, as Sam Guerin moved past Dumas and quickly latched onto the reigning champion with the lead trio separating from an eight-rider group.
Young would eventually squeeze out a slightly more comfortable gap, which would force Dumas to ramp up the pressure on Guerin in second, running nose-to-tail right to the final lap of the race.
While Young crossed the line for his second consecutive win, Dumas attempted a daring pass into the final corner, only for Guerin to respond with a beautiful switchback and win the drag to the line for second.
That proved to be another blessing for Young, who scored the 13th Superbike victory of his career – moving him into sole possession of fourth all-time – and cut his title deficit to just 14 points after trailing by 36 prior to CTMP.
“These guys pushed me right to the end, but our Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW continued to work great again today, and these Bridgestone tires held up really well for all 18 laps,” Young said. “It’s been a trying year, but the highs are always really good and the lows are a bit tough, so we’re trying to put a smile on through it all.”
Young will continue to thank Guerin for his efforts, as the EFC Group BMW rider has been a thorn in the side of Dumas for two of three Superbike races this weekend, playing a massive role in the championship fight while helping lift BMW to the top spot in the Constructors standings.
“Another BMW one-two, it feels like a win,” Guerin said. “I was trying to latch on to Ben before Alex got me a couple times in the first few laps, but thankfully I managed to get him back at the end.”
As for Dumas, the Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly rider confirmed he was still feeling under the weather on Sunday, but looked much stronger on-track despite his last-corner pass coming up just short.
“The pace was good – faster than yesterday – but Sam was also,” Alex said. “I was trying to save some energy for the last lap, but it didn’t stick. We still have the points lead, so hopefully we can keep it positive and get some better results in Shannonville.”
Not far behind the battle for third was another 18-lap duel between Jordan Szoke and Tomas Casas, where Casas led for majority of the first half of the race before Szoke took over in the second half.
Casas attempted to launch a last-lap pass of his own, but the Parts Canada Yamaha rider came up just short as Szoke held onto fourth for the LDS Consultants Kawasaki team, another strong result for the 14-time champion.
Sebastien Tremblay became the sixth different winner in seven races of the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class, fending off Elliot Vieira for his first victory of the season.
The 2021 champion crashed out of the round three make-up race on Friday and failed to make the start in race one on Saturday, but made up for all of it with a resilient effort to score his first win since switching to Turcotte Performance Suzuki machinery.
“I knew Elliot had a bit more top speed, so I tried really hard to push into turn five every time and build a gap,” Tremblay said. “Our weekend started really badly – we actually had to rebuild the bike on Friday – but this is a much better result.”
Vieira pushed Tremblay from start-to-finish but was unable to launch a proper move, even with an advantage down the Andretti Straightaway aboard his GP Bikes Ducati.
“Tremblay rode the ass of that Suzuki! I had the draft on him, but he was so consistent in the first half of the track,” the race one winner said. “It sucks to not win again, but it’s the best we could do today.”
While Vieira and Tremblay ran their own race up front, the battle for the championship heated up behind them, as David MacKay ran a quietly solid race to complete the podium.
The ODH Snow City Cycle Kawasaki rider stuck with the lead duo for the first few laps before fading back into a lonely third, a smart move for the championship frontrunner as rival Matt Simpson could only manage fifth on the day.
“That was the point of the race today, to just keep the points intact,” MacKay said. “I latched onto them at the front until there was a gap behind, and then I just tried to avoid any mistakes.”
The unfortunate showing for Simpson stretches MacKay’s lead to 16 points with two races to go in round five, a still-manageable gap but one that went in the opposite direction for the Blackstock Motorsports Yamaha rider.
His effort was partially unraveled by a career day for rookie Nathan Playford, who denied a last-lap pass attempt to take fourth aboard his Playford Company Inc. Ducati, marking a pair of V2 Panigale’s inside the top-four.
Casas added to his day with a second consecutive victory in the Bickle Racing Pro Twins class, completing a weekend sweep in his one-off appearance aboard the Acme Motorsports Yamaha machine.
Casas moved comfortably into third in the championship after just two races, winning comfortably again in the split-class race.
Full results from Sunday’s races can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.
- From Professional Motorsports Productions