Alex Dumas will seize a little bit of momentum back ahead of the first part of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship season-ending tripleheader, topping FP1 on Friday morning at Shannonville Motorsport Park.
The weekend kicked off with shockingly cold temperatures (as low as 6°C) in the morning sessions, but the sun began to shine near the start of the 40-minute period which saw track conditions gradually ramp up throughout the FP1 period.
Sam Guerin was the early beneficiary of the chilly circumstances, pacing the session behind a time of 1:47.697 aboard his EFC Group BMW, but his lead was short-lived as the championship-contending duo of Dumas and Ben Young began to trade stints at the top for the bulk of the morning practice.
Both would make consistent improvements, ultimately knocking three seconds off the pace at the front, but it was Dumas who got the last laugh as he put in a time of 1:44.107 aboard his Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly Suzuki.
The championship leader won’t have much breathing room over Young as expected, as the Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider wound up just 0.191 seconds behind his title rival entering qualifying on Friday afternoon.
Young had a slight error to end the session, crashing in turn ten as he tried to vault past Dumas to the top of the order, but thankfully was uninjured and appeared to have little damage to his M1000RR machine as he tries to get it prepped for qualifying.
The initial Q1 period will get underway at roughly 1 pm ET with Q2 immediately after, setting the grid for all three feature Superbike races this weekend. The first of those will then wrap up the day at approximately 4:10 pm ET, meaning neither Dumas nor Young will have much time to reflect on their qualifying pace before race one.
While the two title favourites were a clear step ahead of the field in FP1, the battle for third appears to be another classic in the making, as Jordan Szoke led a group of six riders within roughly 1.5 seconds.
The Canadian Kawasaki rider will be eyeing a front-row spot and at least a podium later in the day, but will have to contend with a host of familiar faces in Tomas Casas (fourth-fastest), Guerin (fifth), Trevor Daley (sixth), and former teammate Trevor Dion (seventh), the latter of which made his debut for the Economy Lube and Tire Ducati team.
The grid will now turn their attention to qualifying and the final BS Battery Pole Position Award of the season, with three season-ending races on tap for the final weekend of the year at SMP.
Full results can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.