CSBK opening weekend at Grand Bend filled with surprises

Trevor Dion put his knowledge of his home track to good use, with a win in Pro Sport Bike, and a pole and a podium in Pro Superbike. Photo: Rob O'Brien

The 2022 Canadian Superbike weekend was filled with a roaring return to action for the national roadracing series, with camping and fans in the stands for the first time since 2019.

The prime event of the weekend, the Pro Superbike doubleheader, went to Ben Young, the BMW-mounted racer. Young went into the weekend as the favourite to win, since Jordan Szoke was out of action (he did show up to rep Kawasaki in the paddock, though!) and 2021 champion Alex Dumas (Suzuki) was making his first race visit to Grand Bend Motorplex.

Alex Dumas up front. Dumas led Young at various points over the weekend, but the BMW got past the Suzuki for the win in both features. Photo: Rob O’Brien

However, while Young did win both Pro Superbike races, everyone was surprised when Trevor Dion came out of nowhere to set a blistering pace in pre-race track outings, starting off in pole position. At the end of it all, Dion had a third in Race 1 and fifth in Race 2 aboard his BMW. Will he be this year’s dark horse, to upset the standings for other, more-experienced competitors? Maybe—he certainly cost some members of The Establishment some points this weekend. He also took a win in Pro Sport Bike aboard his Kawi in R1, and third in R2 in that series. It remains to be seen whether or not he can keep this pace up all season long on unfamiliar tracks, particularly Shubenacadie, if he heads east, but we eagerly await the chance to see what he’s got.

At weekend’s end, Young now sits atop the Pro Superbike standings with a 14-point edge on Alex Dumas, who took second in both Pro Superbike races (Trevor Daley was third in Race 2, and as said above, Dion took third in Race 1). Fourteen points isn’t a whole lot of a cushion at this point in the season, as all it takes is one DNF in the super-tight CSBK schedule, and you’re out of the running.

Vincent Lalande won his fifth consecutive MiniSBK race at Grand Bend. Photo: Rob O’Brien

Speaking of which: One of the more notable off-track excursions saw Will Hornblower into the weeds in Pro Sport Bike; the 2019 Pro champ managed second in R2 (David Mackay took the win in Pro Sport Bike’s second showdown).

Pro Superbike’s Michael Leon also had a DNF in his second race of the weekend, after a last-place finish in the first outing. No word yet on exactly what went wrong for that squad, but let’s hope the Beaconsfield-based BMW rider can get things squared away for Calabogie.

Amateur racing

The Amateur races were the usual scrap, with Julien Lafortune, Nathan Playford and John Fraser finishing 1-2-3 in Superbike and Sebastian Hothaza, Nathan Playford and Paul Etienne Courtois 1-2-3 in Sport Bike.

With the new Pro-Am Lightweight series, there were four 400-class races in total over the weekend. In the Amateur series, Evan Moriarity, Bryce DeBoer and Pat Barnes filled the podium in that order in Race 1; in Race 2, it was Moriarity again, then Justin Marshall and Grant Nesbitt (Stacey Nesbitt’s dad, for those of you who remember her time in CSBK).

Several of the Amateur racers also appeared in Pro-Am, where Race 1’s podium went to Jared Walker, then Gary McKinnon, then Istvan Hidvegi. Race 2 went to Walker again, then Pat Barnes, then Harvey Renaud.

With a weekend this filled, we can’t report on every red flag and all the other drama and points battles—but you can find entire results posted here. We’ll let you know when the races run on TSN, so if you missed the at-the-track fun, you can at least see the battles on your screen.

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