Going into the first weekend of the CSBK season, the big question was: With Ben Young, Alex Dumas and Jordan Szoke facing off at Shannonville, who would prevail? It turns out, Dumas was the man in control.
Those three riders had won the last three CSBK Pro Superbike titles. Young won aboard a BMW in 2022, Dumas won aboard a Suzuki in 2021 and Szoke won aboard a Kawasaki in 2020. All three riders had never been on a CSBK track at the same time, though, due to injuries and COVID complications. This was the first legit showdown for these riders, all returning with the same manufacturers’ machines for the 2023 season.
The result: Dumas won Race 1 and Race 2, and Szoke and Young had bad luck, but earned some points.
Szoke crashed in practice, but still qualified for the front row in the first race after his team put his ZX-10R back together. In Race 1, he crashed after losing the rear in Turn 1. In Race 2, he bagged third. A tough result compared to what he wanted, but considering the health difficulties and other challenges Szoke has faced in the past year-and-more, he was happy to be back on the podium! An impressive result, when you consider his injuries from 2022’s pre-season were still requiring serious medical attention in recent weeks.
Young was second in Race 1 after starting on pole. In Race 2, Young’s seat basically fell apart, after a bad start. He ended up heading to the pits to remove it after, rejoining in ninth and making his way to sixth. Not what he wanted, but proof that he’s an amazing rider, scooting around the track with his machine hacked apart. No doubt he’ll return with a vengeance at Grand Bend.
With Dumas in front and Szoke in third, second in Race 2 went to Samuel Guerin, who’s racing a BMW S1000 RR this year. He was a DNF in Race 1; this was his first podium since his breakout 2020 season. It shall be most interesting to see where the 2023 season takes him…
At end of the weekend, Dumas leads the Pro Superbike series with 57 points. Young is in second, with 34 points. Tomas Casas, who returns aboard a Yamaha, earned two fifth-place finishes and is in third overall with 27 points. Casas was always a contender for the title in Pro Sport Bike, but since moving up to the litrebike series, he has struggled with arm pump. It seems that may be an issue again this year, unfortunately, but he is probably quite happy with his position in the standings at this point.
You can see the Pro Superbike standings here.
Pro Sport Bike
In the 600 series, Connor Campbell won Saturday’s soggy race, his first victory in the Pro class. Campbell paid his dues with CSBK’s feeder classes, and no doubt both he and the series’ management are happy to see all that hard work pay off! It wasn’t an easy win, as Campbell had to duel with Brad Macrae, Alex Coelho and Matt Simpson to take the crown. Coelho appeared a cinch for the win, but Campbell and Macrae eventually reeled him in—and then Macrae crashed out of the lead on the last lap. Campbell won, Coelho was second, Simpson third.
On Sunday, the win went to Macrae. Simpson was second, David Mackay was third.
Once again, Pro Sport Bike proves to have the most up-and-down action, with Simpson leaving the weekend with 43 points and the lead in the standings. Macrae is back with 33 points in second, Coelho with 32 points for third. Expect a lot of entertainment from this series as the summer goes on. See full standings here.
In the new Pro Twins category, only three racers contested, on-track at the same time as the 600s. Jeff Williams took his Aprilia RS660 to both wins, Andrew Van Winkle was second in both races on a Suzuki SV650. Hans Van Sleuwen was a DNF in Race 2 and third in Race 1 on his SV650.
It is interesting to note that in their first race of the new class, Williams’ best lap-time was about mid-pack with the 600 class. As the summer goes on, will that tighten? It could make things interesting.
Mavrick Cyr was the guy to beat in Amateur Sport Bike and Amateur Superbike. He took his Triumph to the win in both races over the weekend (Am Sport Bike standings here, Am Superbike standings here). In Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike, Vincent Lalande won both races (standings here). In Pro-Am Lightweight, Stacey Nesbitt made a return to track after years away, battling with her father Grant for the podium in Race 1. She ended up second, Grant third, and Vincent Wilson won. Ex-CMG big boss Jacob Black was fourth in that race, in his first year as a pro.
In Pro-Am’s second race, Ryan Vanderputten won, Wilson was second and Stacey was third. That leaves her atop the Pro standings for now! Wilson leads the Am category. (full championship standings for Pro and Am here).
I too would also like to know why there were so many DNS. All the other races were well represented. And, yes, it was a sizeable crowd, good to see the support.
In the Pro Superbike class, there were 9 finishers and 10 ‘did not starts or DNFs’ in the finals on Sunday.
If someone could explain that to me it’d be great.
On the plus side, more bums in the grandstands than in years.