The Canadian Superbike series returned to Nova Scotia this past weekend after missing the 2020 and 2021 dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic—and quickly made up for the missing time with plenty of action and drama, not to mention almost-unbearable heat.
The buzz started in qualifying, where series leader Ben Young (2019 champ) and Alex Dumas (2021 champ) both laid down identical 1:07.521 lap times in qualifying. So who’d get pole position and the Superpole points? At first, officials granted the four points to Suzuki-riding Dumas, since he’d set his best laptime first; that extra point would have bumped him to the same points total as Young in the standings.
Young appealed to the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council tribunal that resolves controversies like this, and the MMIC recommended both Young and Dumas be given the four points, and that starting position be determined by a coin toss. That’s how it went down, in the end, and Young had his way the rest of the weekend too.
In the first Pro Superbike race (on Saturday), Dumas ripped off to a great start, benefiting from his practice time at Shubenacadie the weekend before. Young, right behind him, closed the gap aboard his BMW and after a close encounter in Turn 2 on Lap 11, Dumas went down on Turn 5—he lost his knee puck and said that made him lose his reference point for cornering.
Young cruised to the win at that point, with Trevor Daley second on his Suzuki, and Michael Leon finishing third on his BMW. It was a big moment for both Leon, his second-ever national podium, but unfortunately the high didn’t last.
In Pro Superbike’s second showdown (on Sunday afternoon), Leon went down between the second and third corners on the opening lap. He looked pretty banged up, although he walked it off, and it was a tough blow for him to be out of the fun before it really started.
After the red-flag restart, Dumas grabbed the holeshot (Young had led before the red flag). With rain sprinkling the track off-and-on throughout the race, Dumas and Young dueled back and forth—both grabbing the lead and then losing it. But in the end, Young worked his way to the head of the pack and took the hard-earned win, with excitement radiating off him through his victory lap.
Pro Sport Bike
Down in the 600 series, the grid was light. Connor Campbell’s nasty crash in practice on Saturday morning made the grid even lighter.
After the crash and Campbell’s helicopter ride to the hospital, CSBK provided the following update: “Campbell is conscious and recovering from multiple injuries suffered in the crash, including but not limited to a broken clavicle, collapsed lung, and fractured forearm. He is currently awaiting surgery to repair the clavicle and assess any other injuries.
“He is expected to make a full recovery.”
When racing started Saturday, Trevor Dion continued his winning ways by ripping out a big lead; he looked a sure winner, but after tucking the front between Turn 2 and Turn 3, Jake LeClair got the win, followed by David MacKay, and incredibly—Dion managed to get back on-track for third.
He repeated his break away from the pack at the start in Race 2, but did not crash this time; he led David MacKay, then Jake LeClair in to the finish.
At end of the weekend, Young maintains his lead in Pro Superbike, extending his margin over Dumas, while Dion still leads Pro Sport Bike.
Amateur Superbike/Sport Bike/Lighweight
Some of the best racing of the weekend came in the Amateur classes, with Pro-Am Lightweight on Sunday afternoon a classic Shubenacadie duel. Sunday’s Amateur Sport Bike was another great race. At weekend’s end, John Fraser from just down the road from the track (Hammond’s Plain, NS) won both Amateur Sport Bike showdowns and both Amateur Superbike races—a big weekend for him!
In Pro-Am Lightweight, Gary McKinnon won the weekend’s first race, Jared Walker won the second (and it wasn’t easy). In Amateur Lightweight, Vincent Wilson won Race 1, and Avery Hart won Race 2. In the Pro Cycle Invitational, Blaise Fougere won both races.