Canadian roadracing is back again for 2023, and we are getting an early start on the season compared to the past couple of years! The Canadian Superbike championship resumes next weekend (May 19-21), with new title sponsor Bridgestone and a return to Shannonville for the season opener.
Battle of the former champions
After Jordan Szoke won the title for most of the 2010s, we’ve now had three different champs in Pro Superbike over the past three years: Ben Young took a BMW to the title in 2022, Alex Dumas won it all aboard a Suzuki in 2021 and Jordan Szoke was the 2020 champ on a Kawasaki.
Due to injuries, COVID complications and other factors, these three racers have not competed in an entire series against each other. Dumas raced in the US in 2020, Young sat 2021 out and Szoke was injured through all 2022. So, if everyone stays healthy, 2023 could be shaping up for the first proper three-way showdown we’ve had in a long time.
That’s a big “if,” though. Through this past winter, Szoke was still undergoing repair work for his injuries suffered in pre-season practice for the 2022 season, and he’s had some other major health challenges in recent weeks. And yet—at the mid-winter Jennings GP test, he had plenty of speed. He is the winningest man in CSBK history and it would be silly to discount him.
Young seems to be also on the pace for the front. The big question is Dumas, whose career took a step back in 2022, after impressive results and championships in the US and Canada. Will he have the focus and conditioning for this season, and the bike setup? Stay tuned!
Notable rule changes this year include a bump in allowable horsepower, to 210 hp for Pro Superbike. You might not notice much difference on tighter tracks (a 600 in the right hands can run mid-pack with superbikes at Shubenacadie). But on faster tracks, well, the setup artists might have their work cut out.
There’s also a new allowance for Yamaha’s three-cylinder YZF-R9 in Pro and Amateur Sport Bike, sneaking in under the 125 hp limit. Ducati’s V2 Panigale was already legal there, competing with 600s.
And—CSBK has also announced a new Sport Twin series, featuring machines powered by Suzuki’s 650 V-twin or Yamaha’s 689cc parallel twin. Details on this new series are light, and perhaps it will be slow getting off the ground, but the Twins championshp has been a big part of the MotoAmerica series for years now, and we look forward to seeing how it plays out in Canada.
A full schedule (sort of)
For 2023, we see once that CSBK is once again running all of its races in Ontario, except for the double-header at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. After the Shannonville opener, there is a June 8-11 race at Grand Bend. The series then heads east for the Shubenacadie weekend on July 20-23; then it’s the big mid-summer showdown at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport) on August 18-20. Like Shubie, the CTMP race is a double-header, with a triple-header for Pro Superbike.
Finally, the season wraps up on the September 15-17 weekend with a final race at Shannonville. So, although the race series only visits four tracks, there are eight Pro Superbike races this season, the most competition the series has seen in a while.
Although there have been rumours of the addition of western tracks to the series for many years, that’s not happening this year, and we haven’t really heard any talk about it for 2024 either. Don’t expect a return to Quebec anytime soon either; there just isn’t a facility that is suitable and willing to host motorcyclists.
The opening round
You can purchase tickets for the opening CSBK round online; find them for sale here, with some other details about the weekend’s schedule.