So far, CMG’s Costa Mouzouris made a clean sweep in the media class of all of the CBR250R Race Series rounds he’s attended (he missed the rounds at Shubie), but he’s also had a front-row seat to the action up front, being able to keep up with the lighter and younger series competitors.
It has been a very exciting battle so far with three riders dominating the series, Tomas Casas, Ryan Roche and current series leader, Stacey Nesbitt. The three riders have shared the top spot on the podium throughout the season so far.
This weekend’s rounds at Circuit Mont Tremblant were among the most exciting yet, with Casas taking two hard-fought wins, putting him in third place behind Roche.
Since it’s designed as an entry-level series, series organizers are very strict when enforcing rules, and thus far Roche has been most affected by the rulebook. After being penalized at Shubie for aggressive riding, costing him a victory, he was penalized two more times at Mont Tremblant, first for missing a mandatory noontime CBR250R riders’ meeting on Saturday, relegating him to a second-row start after earning the pole, and then again on Sunday for a gaining a position off the start by shortcutting the chicane.
It was a situation Roche could have easily avoided had he shown up for the start of the race, but he showed up late and had to take the start from the pits, meaning he had to file in behind the last rider after the start of the race. Although he took off after the last rider, he cut in ahead of him exiting the pits (the exit of which bypasses the chicane), and the rules stipulate that any positions gained by shortcutting the chicane must be relinquished immediately, which Roche did not do.
Impressively, he then passed every rider on the track until he caught up to the lead pack of Casas, Nesbitt and Mouzouris, turning the fastest lap times of the weekend by a second in doing so.
He eventually filed in between leader Casas and Nesbitt, but Nesbitt, who is a serious contender for this year’s championship, would have none of it and made a last-lap pass that Mouzouris called, “the pass of the weekend, by far.”
Going up the hill into Turn 14, a right-hand hairpin, she took a deep, inside line and out-braked Roche, getting a wheel ahead going into the turn.
This pushed Roche wide, though he never let off the throttle and got a wheel ahead of her in the transition before the last left-hand bend leading onto the front straight. Nesbitt, however, maintained her position and stayed beside Roche through the left-hander and rode around him on the outside of the last turn, out-driving him and getting to the finish line in second place behind winner Casas. Although Roche finished third, his penalty put him in fourth.
Nesbitt currently leads the series with 360 points, Roche follows with 356 and Casas is third with 288. These young riders have been putting on a great show so far, each of them displaying speed and skill. Roche, who also races motocross is probably the fastest rider in the class, but inconsistent behaviour has prevented him thus far from showing that with solid results.
The CBR250R champion will be crowned at the last two rounds at Mosport on August 24-26 and it will be a nail-biter.
In the media class, CMG has nailed down the team championship, though Mouzouris can still be mathematically ousted from the number one spot of the media riders’ championship going into Mosport. Stay tuned.