It’s time for the Canadian Superbike championship’s so-called East Coast Vacation! The national roadracing series is headed to Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia for the July 22-23 weekend, with another weekend of showdowns planned in every class, as long as the weather cooperates.
For anyone who’s been to the Shubie races, you know that the track itself is extremely challenging, with plenty of elevation changes and some tricky corners. Add in the usual heat and humidity, and you’ve got a recipe for a tough weekend for racers, many who are a long way from their usual support base, at a track where many of them lack experience.
In past years, it’s been obvious when front-runners from the series have shown up and been unable to handle the extreme temperatures inland from Nova Scotia’s sea breezes, and found the unfamiliar track to be a steep learning curve. This year, though, we see a batch of experienced riders at the front of the Pro Superbike pack, who have differing levels of history at Shubie. It’s a battle of current series leader Alex Dumas vs. second-place Ben Young, with Jordan Szoke also a likely race-winner or at least capable of a podium.
Dumas doesn’t have the history of success at Shubenacadie that Young and Szoke have, particularly Szoke, and we expect a close battle between all three—as long as all three stay on-track. Szoke’s injuries from 2022 seem to have hampered him this year, but if he’s back in top form at Shubenacadie, we would expect a show of expert riding from him, as he attempts to muscle his way back up the standings. Dumas currently leads the series, but struggled at Shubenacadie last year, and you can bet that Young, who’s raced there enough to now know the track well, will push him hard, looking for any chance at all to make up some points.
Aside from those riders, local ace John Fraser is in his first year on a Pro Superbike licence, and CSBK insiders reckon he’ll put up a scrap for the front. Of course Tomas Casas, Trevor Dion and Sam Guerin are also all threats; Casas took a Pro Superbike podium at Shubenacadie in 2019 and has been racing there ever since his days in the CBR250R series. If his physical issues don’t hamper him too much, he may be a particularly interesting challenger for the front, at a track where anything can happen.
The entire CSBK series is headed to Shubenacadie, even the Pro-Am Lightweight series. Given the historically strong racing based out of the local sARL programs, the smaller-cc races are often highly entertaining at Shubie, with cutthroat passes and expert riding.