Alex Dumas will start from pole position for both halves of Saturday’s Pro Superbike feature doubleheader, as the teenage sensation narrowly outpaced rival Ben Young in an exciting YUASA Battery qualifying session at Calabogie Motorsports Park on Friday.
The Liqui Moly MPG/FAST School Suzuki rider picked a perfect time to snatch his first career YUASA pole position, doing so at the season finale with Young just a few points behind in the championship.
Dumas paced the session almost from start to finish, but the Quebec City native by no means had it come easy to him, as Young trailed by just a few tenths in search of his third consecutive pole position. Dumas would put in his best lap in the dying moments with a time of 2:01.036, which proved to be a necessary move after Young rattled off consecutive flying laps to nearly steal the position as time expired, though he ultimately came up just 0.171 seconds short.
The feat makes Dumas the second-youngest pole-sitter in Pro Superbike history, as the 19-year-old looks to become the youngest champion ever on Saturday.
“It feels awesome to grab my first pole of the season, but the goal was always to start on the front row,” Dumas said. “We still have two races tomorrow to focus on, so now I just have to get a good sleep and come back with two more trophies.”
It’s a disappointing result for Young, not only because it ends his pole position streak but also –more crucially – because he concedes an extra point to Dumas in the championship battle, extending the deficit to eleven. Still, with 104 points up for grabs on Saturday, the Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider is not losing any confidence with yet another front row start.
“That was a close one! It was a lot of fun, and even though we wanted pole it’s still a pretty good session,” Young said. “I haven’t ridden since the last round and a few of these guys have, which makes it tough, but I think the cream still rises to the crop. I just hope it rises to the top for us tomorrow!”
Young and Dumas famously battled in round one at Calabogie with Dumas winning on both occasions, but both riders will have more to fight for on Saturday with the Canada Cup on the line. That duo already separated themselves in qualifying, with the two posting times nearly a full second faster than anyone else.
Joining them on the front row will be the second half of the dominant Suzuki pair in OneSpeed’s Trevor Daley, who grabs his first front row start of the season after a late move inside the top-three with a time of 2:02.100.
“I’m really happy to be back up here. I struggled with my setup in FP2 but we managed to find a balance here, and the front row was our goal all along,” Daley said. “I’m always strong in the race, so to qualify well gives us some good momentum for tomorrow.”
Daley will play a pivotal role in the Constructors Championship, as he and Dumas look to clinch the inaugural award for Suzuki as soon as race one, though they will have a pair of talented Kawasaki riders looking to do the same.
Sebastian Tremblay will lead off that second-row lockout after qualifying fourth for the Turcotte Performance team, just 0.209 seconds clear of reigning champion Jordan Szoke. It’s a disappointing grid spot for Szoke, as the Canada General Warranty Kawasaki rider will have to make up some ground – and have some luck go his way – on Saturday if he hopes to capture his record 15th National title.
Tremblay will at least have one less thing to worry about when he takes to the track on Saturday, as he officially wrapped up the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike championship with another victory on Friday.
The race was technically a carryover from round two at CTMP after their first race was postponed, with riders only entered in that race allowed to compete in race one on Friday.
Riding his ZX-6R, Tremblay had his toughest test of the season in the form of Elliott Vieira, who led for a handful of laps and looked poised to challenge for his first national victory. However, the former Guyanese champion suffered an engine failure halfway through, handing Tremblay the win and the number one plate in the process.
It’s a long-awaited championship for Tremblay and the Turcotte Performance team, while it also ends a sixteen-year drought for Quebec in the Pro classes – though La Belle Province may not have to wait long for another title.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I feel like it’s maybe a bit overdue, but I’m still very happy to finally win one,” Tremblay said. “I was trying to just ride smart and protect the championship, but unfortunately Elliott suffered a bit of an issue, so I’m very happy to cap this off with another win.”
It was another brutal result for Vieira, who has seemed to have nothing but bad luck since joining the series out of Guyana. However, the Snow City Cycle Yamaha rider tried to maintain a positive attitude after the unfortunate mishap.
“It’s really, really heartbreaking. I though for sure we had the win, or at least a podium,” Vieira said. “But we’ll come back next year stronger. We’ll still push for those wins and push for the championship.”
Joining Tremblay on the all-Kawasaki podium was David Mackay and teammate Phillippe Masse, the former of which will move into second in the overall standings. The Mack Attack Racing rider scored his first podium since 2019 as he looks to wrap up the second overall spot on Saturday, while Masse will look to do the same after scoring his second podium of the season.
The biggest swing of the day came in the Super Sonic Race School Lightweight class, as title favourite Mackenzie Weil and “friendly rival” Jacob Black collided and crashed out in race one to end Weil’s perfect season.
With Weil out, Harvey Renaud and Paul Etienne Courtois managed to finish one-two to boost their championship hopes, which moves both riders into championship contention with Weil not expected to race on Saturday due to injury.
Black was apologetic for his role in the crash, though CSBK officials deemed it a racing incident and no further action was taken.
Joining them on the podium was Canadian Motorcycle Hall-of-Famer Toni Sharpless, who grabbed her first National podium in over three decades as she enjoys a brilliant return to racing late in her storied career.
Brad Macrae completed a perfect season of his own on Friday, winning his fourth consecutive race in the Amateur Sport Bike class after already clinching the title in round two at CTMP.
Both Macrae and runner up Matthew Simpson plan to do the rare feat of turning Pro mid-season on Saturday, joining the Pro Sport Bike category aboard their privateer Yamaha machines. The former Amateurs will be the first to do so, ironically, since Tremblay in 2009, with their times comparing favourably to many of the top Pro riders.
The full results from Friday’s action – as well as championship implications – can be found on the series’ official website at csbk.ca.