Historic CSBK season opener

Photo Credit: Damian Pereira

It was an exciting, unpredictable weekend of racing to kick off the 2021 Canadian Superbike season at Calabogie Motorsports Park. After a year of uncertainty, teams were back in full force with limited spectators allowed at the track.

The big news on Saturday was Sebastien Tremblay’s historic turn on his Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike, as he claimed pole position by over a second-and-a-half to decimate the previous qualifying lap record by achieving a time of 2:04.741. Overcoming a deficit to teammate Christian Allard on lap one, Tremblay went on to win the opening race of the season.

2019 Pro Superbike champion Ben Young made his return to Calabogie with a slow start on Saturday, before getting into the groove to secure a qualifying time of 2:02.436 with his BMW S1000RR. With a margin of only 0.749, he was able to achieve his seventh career Yuasa Batteries Pole Position.

Tomas Casas earned a career-best qualifying to sit second on the grid for Sunday’s first race, with reigning champion Jordan Szoke just behind him in third, separated by only 0.097 seconds. Starting from fourth after a disappointing qualifying session, rookie Alex Dumas scored his first career Pro Superbike victory in his inaugural race at Calabogie Motorsports Park ahead of Ben Young and Jordan Szoke aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000, becoming the first rider in CSBK history to ever win their Pro Superbike debut. It is a feat that has never been accomplished in the 42-year history of the series.

“The crash in qualifying was a bit of a setback, but we had two strong starts and now two wins, which is pretty amazing,” Dumas said. “Ben pushed me really hard in that second race, but everything worked perfectly. I really love racing Superbikes.”

Mirroring the results of the previous race, 18-year-old Dumas then went on to win the second CSBK Pro Superbike race on Sunday, again ahead of Ben Young and Jordan Szoke, to sweep the round one doubleheader. The points he earned opening weekend give him an early lead in the new Constructors Championship. Szoke’s third-place finish was also historic, marking his worst career race at CMP while breaking a five-race unbeaten streak at the circuit. Szoke and his Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja were in the mix with Dumas and Young for the entirety of both races but was unable to improve on third place.

“I was struggling with grip out there which was really hurting our drive, but I thought our corner speed was really strong. The new Kawasaki’s were phenomenal, so I think we’ll get better as the season goes on,” Szoke said. “Alex has been riding really well in the U.S., and obviously those are some of the best guys in the world, but we aren’t slow up here either.”

Racine, QC native Anthony Bergeron benefitted from a late red flag to take home the win for the season opener in the Motorcycle Course Amateur Superbike category. Guillaume Lavallee and Julien Lafortune, who started on the pole, rounded out the all-Quebec podium, with Lafortune setting a new lap record in the process.

There was also a great deal of excitement in both the Brooklin Cycle Racing Amateur Sport Bike and Super Sonic Road Race School Lightweight Sport Bike classes. The full results from the action-packed weekend of racing can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.

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