Despite the pandemic, the roadracing scene is suddenly really, really busy. CSBK is back in action this weekend, there’s bad news from Suzuka, and Alex Dumas has returned to the US to show he’s got what it takes. Read on!
Canadian Superbike runs this weekend
The Canadian Superbike season is soldiering on, despite pandemic restrictions that made things very difficult to coordinate this year. This weekend, the national series is back in action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (aka Mosport).
There’s racing on August 15-15 (Saturday and Sunday) at CTMP, but don’t show up looking for a ticket. Once again, pandemic regulations mean fans can’t attend the series (maybe you could rent a skylift to watch, like these Polish speedway fans?). The teams will be running skeleton crews, too, and unfortunately, several of CSBK’s fastest riders won’t be attending. Ben Young, the 2019 Pro Superbiker champion, is not racing this season, and neither is Pro Sportbike champion Will Hornblower, or Tomas Casas, who won the two 600 championships before that.
Trevor Daley pushed hard in the first two CSBK races, but he can’t attend either, thanks to pandemic measures. Daley had travel commitments abroad; because the CTMP round wasn’t confirmed until recently, he was unable to schedule his travel around the racing, which means he is required to self-isolate this weekend. He can’t race.
That means less competition for series leader Jordan Szoke, who’s taken every possible point so far, winning Superpole and both races. However, Daley has lined up former fast-guy Kenny Riedmann to take his place on the Suzuki at CTMP. Riedmann might not be familiar with Daley’s GSX-R1000, but he’s very familiar with Mosport; he won races there in 2018 and 2019. More on that story here; stay tuned for a fun weekend of racing, if the bike’s a good fit for Riedmann.
Dumas gaining momentum
For the past few years, it’s possible Alex Dumas has been the most successful Canadian roadracer. He’s been running in the MotoAmerica series, taking the Junior Cup championship in 2018 aboard a KTM RC390, and then last year’s Twins Cup championship on a Suzuki SV650.
After doing some club racing and other on-track action on the west coast of the US last winter, Dumas is back in MotoAmerica this season. He’s running the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the Superstock class.
Dumas currently has 91 points, good for third overall in the championship, after racing at RoadAmerica, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Corey Alexander (112 points) and Cameron Petersen (115 points) are both theoretically within striking distance, if Dumas has some good luck and they have some bad luck. With five weekends still left in the season, Dumas could also go on his usual late-season rampage and beat them all outright.
Dumas had a second-place at Pittsburgh, a second and a third at Atlanta; his worst finish was the season-opener at Road America, where he earned 7th. Otherwise, he’s been no lower than fourth in any race. He’s getting faster as the season goes on, and even if he doesn’t get another championship this year, it’s probably just a matter of time.
No Suzuka 8-Hour
The Suzuka 8-Hour endurance race has long been a mid-season marker for the roadracing scene, and it’s long been a prestigious event that attracts top pros from all over the world. Although it isn’t much-followed in North America, it’s a very prestigious event for the Japanese industry, who like watching their superbikes perform at home.
Sadly, the 8-Hour is cancelled this summer. FIM officials and World Endurance series organizers made the announcement after realizing it was impossible to bring all the out-of-country visitors into the race.
François Ribeiro, one of the bigwigs behind the endurance series, says “We have been working hard with Mobilityland (the race’s organizer—Ed.) to reschedule the race from July to November – a first since 1978 – and then to organise entry into Japan for international teams and riders with a special business visa. Our hopes have evaporated with immigration restrictions for foreigners. The cancellation of the 2020 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours is not a question of spectators’ access. The decision was made not to run this iconic race as a domestic event. The Suzuka 8 Hours, the most prestigious endurance race in the world over the last 40 years, shall not run without top international riders.”
So what about the other big upcoming travel races this year, then? Particularly the Macau GP? Don’t expect to see that running either, certainly not with the attendance it’s had the past few years.