Ben Young followed up his season opening performance with another victory in the Canadian Superbike Championship on Sunday, sweeping the Pro Superbike doubleheader to grab an early points lead exiting the Grand Bend Motorplex.
After a hard-fought victory on Saturday that featured a four-rider battle at the front, Young was left with only one challenger on Sunday as defending champion Alex Dumas grabbed the holeshot off a terrific launch.
Dumas would pace the opening five laps with Young close behind, but a move seemed inevitable as Young attempted a trio of passes into turn one. The Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider finally got a strong drive onto the front straight on lap six, and made the decisive move into turn one before opening up a comfortable gap at the front.
A second victory in as many days for the Collingwood, ON native will give him a 14-point lead atop the feature standings, a crucial result as they head to Calabogie for round two next month – a track Dumas has yet to lose at in his CSBK career.
“Alex was buzzing off the line, but I had a few good first laps behind him and knew I could check out a bit if I put my head down and hit the front,” Young said. “The headwind made it really tough, and I kept seeing the gap stay the same, but my Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW was great again all weekend.”
The result will have special meaning for Young, as not only does it propel him into a tie for tenth all-time on the Pro Superbike wins list (with Francis Martin), but it also gives BMW their 50th win as a manufacturer in the feature class and a nine-point lead in the Constructors Championship in the process.
As for Dumas, it’s a mixed bag weekend that will see the reigning title winner without a win after two races, though he will still leave Grand Bend with a pair of second-place finishes aboard his Liqui Moly Fast School Suzuki.
“I had a really good start – a lot better than yesterday – and I tried to pull away early, but Ben just had more pace in the end,” Dumas said. “From there I just tried to be smart and pick up as many points for the championship. It’s a long season, so we’re already looking forward to Calabogie.”
Trevor Daley returned to the podium for the first time this season after another strong late-season charge, overcoming a scary moment early on to place his OneSpeed Suzuki in third behind a brilliant late pass on Steven Nickerson.
“It was another grind at the end, I made a few more mistakes at the start and ran off the track in the carousel, but I was able to climb back up through the pack,” Daley said. “We had the pace to be here all weekend, so hopefully we can build on that in the future. It’s also great to have two Suzuki’s on the box again, three podiums this weekend between me and Alex will hopefully help build towards another Constructors title.”
Nickerson would battle through persistent pain to tie his career-best finish of fourth, capping off an admirable weekend for the Dewildt Powerhouse Honda rider as he fights lingering knee issues from 2021. The pair of top-five performances will lift Honda to third in the Constructors table behind BMW and Suzuki, their highest ranking since the introduction of the award last season.
Local hero Trevor Dion wrapped up his breakout weekend with a solid fifth-place finish for the LDS Consulting BMW team, following up his historic podium and pole position as he exits his home race third in the overall Superbike standings.
The weekend-long battle between Quebec natives Sebastian Tremblay and Sam Guerin was tied up on Sunday, as Guerin got the better of his budding rival in sixth aboard his EFC Group BMW, with Tremblay settling for seventh on his ST Motorsport Kawasaki.
David MacKay had a statement win of his own in the Pro ranks on Sunday, scoring his first career National victory in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class after leading start-to-finish aboard his Fast Company Kawasaki.
MacKay looked like the man to beat on Saturday before crashing out, but wouldn’t allow the same to happen on Sunday as he held off a race-long push from Will Hornblower, beating his regional rival and friend by just 0.17 seconds across the line.
“I’m so glad for that race to be over,” MacKay said after capturing his long-awaited first victory. “I’m really enjoying this moment. I knew I had to come back swinging after yesterday, but it’s a long season so hopefully this gives us some momentum back heading to round two.”
Hornblower also made up for a race one crash of his own with a strong second-place finish, keeping himself in the championship hunt aboard his Yamaha Financial Services machine, but the winner of the weekend will be Dion, who exits with a 12-point championship lead aboard his LDS Consulting Kawasaki.
Dion was “doing the double” in the Pro ranks as he contested all four races in round one, and a third-place finish on Sunday was enough to give him a slim title lead over Elliott Vieira, who managed a strong fourth on Sunday aboard his Snow City Yamaha.
Julien Lafortune stormed to an opening-round victory in the AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike class, leading the opening stint before a red-flag stoppage but following up on the restart with a dramatic flag-to-finish win.
Pole-sitter Marc Labossiere ran behind Lafortune in the early going before crashing out, handing second to weekend standout Nathan Playford with East-coast star John Fraser completing the podium.
Playford was the bridesmaid again in the Amateur Sport Bike race, leading for much of the late stages but conceding the victory to local rival Sebastian Hothaza, who made a daring move in the final carousel to narrowly win across the line.
Hothaza and Playford were joined by Paul Etienne Courtois on the podium, who had a terrific debut weekend in the Amateur ranks after stepping up from the Lightweight grid this season.
Evan Morarity completed the sweep in the Super Sonic Race School Lightweight class, winning again on Sunday after a brief challenge from local youngster Bryce DeBoer.
Moriarity’s championship bid will be helped by an unfortunate disqualification going the way of DeBoer, who was penalized for running the wrong fuel after failing post-race tech inspection. Promoted to second in his place was Justin Marshall, who also moves to the runner-up spot in the overall standings, while Grant Nesbitt was also promoted to the final podium place.
Jared Walker was the overall winner once again in the Pro/Am class, dominating across the line to extend his lead in the Pro division ahead of fourth-place finisher Istvan Hidvegi. Vincent Wilson was the top Amateur on track ahead of Nesbitt, with Wilson taking just a single-point lead over Nesbitt in the final tally.
The full weekend results can be found here.