CSBK confirms “long track” layout for SMP finale

The Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship will return to Shannonville Motorsport Park to close out its season, but it won’t be the same circuit fans remember from five months ago as CSBK officials have confirmed the use of the 15-turn, interior “long track” layout.

After running the perimeter nine-turn, 2.4 km “pro track” in round one, the original plan was to return to SMP on the roughly 4 km layout to close out the season, a configuration not used on the national calendar since 2006.

Following consultation with a number of top pro riders during recent testing, the decision was made by CSBK and Shannonville officials to proceed with the long track layout. 

The tighter configuration and longer lap have generated plenty of thrilling races in CSBK’s history, and previously served as the season finale from 2002-2005. 

That span included a pair of nail-biting title deciders, as Pascal Picotte finished sixth to narrowly win the 2003 title by five points over Steve Crevier and race winner Francis Martin, only for Martin to get his revenge two years later and defeat race-winner Picotte by five points for his second championship.

It seems very likely history will repeat itself again in 2023, as the finale will serve as the title deciding shootout between championship leader Alex Dumas and reigning champion Ben Young, with Dumas carrying a three-point lead into the tripleheader. 

Picotte currently holds the overall lap record around the long track layout with a time of 1:42.820, set during qualifying in 2004 aboard a factory Yamaha YZF-R1. 

The Bridgestone CSBK season finale will feature three Superbike races and a full doubleheader for each of the remaining six national classes throughout the weekend, September 15-17 at the circuit just east of Belleville, Ontario. 

More information can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.