It was another productive weekend to cap off an incredible 2018 campaign for Tomas Casas, as the 19-year old successfully defended his Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike title in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship season finale at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The Parts Canada/Yamaha Canada YZF-R6 rider won both races in the doubleheader weekend, bringing his season total to four victories over the course of the seven-race schedule, an improvement over his three-win season a year ago when he captured his first ever Pro title.
He will ultimately close out the year with exactly a 100-point gap to second place in the standings, after securing top-two finishes in every single race of the season – the only rider in the entire CSBK paddock to do so in 2018.
The first of those two race wins – which proved to be the deciding victory as Casas clinched his title defence – was a wild fight on Saturday, when the youngster capitalized on a last-lap incident behind him to cross the line alone out front. Casas was battling with rival Mitch Card, veteran Sebastien Tremblay, and fellow teenager Jacob Shaw-O'Leary when the trio were involved in separate crashes in corner five, allowing the reigning champion to cruise to the finish and wrap up his title defence.
"I figured I would save my tires and take the lead on the last few laps,” Casas said. “On the last lap I made sure to get a good drive onto the back straightaway and set myself up for a re-pass in case I got drifted by, like the previous laps. But unfortunately, they all went down behind me."
Though he admitted that he would have liked to see the race end differently for his competitors, he was still happy to come out on top and secure the championship.
“It’s been a while since I won here and it’s my home track, so I was really hungry for it. It feels great,” he added.
Things were much different on Sunday, however, as Casas – no longer with the championship on his mind – broke away early and never looked back en route to a dominant second victory of the weekend.
The Peterborough, ON native cruised to a near seven-second victory, though the lead felt much larger as he avoided any pressure from his rivals as they battled for second.
“It was nice to get out in the lead and concentrate on my own thing with no pressure on the championship,” Casas said. “It’s really cool to close out the year with a win, especially at my home track.”
Things were tougher in the Mopar Pro Superbike category, as Casas had to make his best efforts onboard his less powered R6 Sport Bike. Though he is expected to have an R1 machine for 2019, it was unfortunately not available to him at the fastest track on the calendar.
He was still the best 600cc rider on the grid by a healthy margin in both races, finishing 12th and 14th in the weekend’s two races. The next highest sport bike rider, Pro Rookie of the Year Samuel Desmarais, finished 17th in both races.
However, Casas was still able to salvage eighth in the overall standings, an impressive accomplishment given the horsepower difference between the larger machines.
The team is hoping to test out their new R1 project at the upcoming RACE Regional Superseries season finale from September 21-23, where Casas has dominated a number of Sport Bike races this season.
The team is also hoping to compete in a handful of MotoAmerica rounds in 2019 as well as looking for another strong season in Canada, though nothing is official at this time.
"I look forward to seeing how our 2019 plans come together and cannot thank everyone enough who was part of our success this 2018 season,” he added.
Casas would especially like to thank Yamaha Canada and Parts Canada for their support this season, including their efforts related to the R1 project for CTMP.
He would also like to thank Brooklin Cycle Racing, Pro 6 Cycle & Dunlop Tires, Bickle Racing, Flexi-glass, BlueStreak Racing, Hindle Exhaust Systems, Human 2.0, DP Brakes, Vortex, LAPS4MD, Peterborough Cycle Salvage, HB Cycle, Trackdayhub.com, and everyone else who has helped contribute to his success in 2018.
From a press release