2017 Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Canadian National Champion Tomas Cases was busy packing on Monday night, getting ready to head to fellow Pro racer Kenny Riedmann’s place first thing, Tuesday morning, September 12. Then the Pro pair will head south to Barber Motorsport Park, Alabama, for the final round of the 2017 MotoAmerica National Championship this weekend. This will be the first career start for Casas on the U.S. tour.
Officially called the Honda Championship of Alabama presented by Genuine Broaster Chicken, the event is the tenth and final round of the MotoAmerica Championship and will include two events for three MOPAR CSBK Canadian National stars.
“I’m heading down with Kenny, he’s going to ride in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class,” confirmed 18-year-old third year Pro Casas from his home in Peterborough, ON. “Mitch (Card, the chief rival for Casas in 2017) is also going to race in Superstock 1000 too, and I’m riding the Superstock 600 class with the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 I used in Canada for most of the season.”
After spending most of the season on a Yamaha YZF-R6 battling Casas, Ripley, ON’s Card will switch to the Yamaha YZF-R1 he used during the final Superbike events of the season last month at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Card earned 10th/11th place results on his 1000cc racer backed by Shoei, Dunlop, Vortex, Goderich Toyota, DP, Maclyn Dust Control, Bluestreak, Bickle, Dynojet and Liqui Moly.
“This will be a big step, my first race in the States,” admits Casas. “I’m really excited to get out there, to see what it’s all about. Sandy Noce from Dunlop said that the track is a little like Calabogie, a track with technical corners and not too much in terms of straight-aways. I’ve been watching videos to learn the track; mentally I think I have it fairly sorted out, but that’s not the same as racing on the bikes!”
Casas will be joining the “second” middleweight category in the MotoAmerica Series, the Superstock class run in conjunction with the Supersport division, also for 600cc class machinery. Currently, Braeden Ortt of Calgary, AB, is the only Canadian who contests the Superstock series as a regular, aboard the Tuned Racing Yamaha. Earlier this season, 17-year-old Ortt won a round at Sears Point, CA.
Joining Casas by air at the venue will be his father, as well as former Casas team-mate and front-running National Superbike privateer Franklyn Dominguez. This duo will work in the pit lane for Casas during his on-track sessions around Barber’s popular 17 turn, 2.3-mile-long layout.
The Riedmann Management team is also expected to be helping Casas, since Kenny does not compete in the same class as Casas and therefore the two racers will not be on the track at the same time. Former racer and famed chassis consultant Jon Cornwell is also likely to help newly crowned Canadian number one Casas with set-up on his Yamaha Canada entry.
“I’m missing some High School but I’ll catch up,” continued Casas. “I’m trying to work ahead; I don’t want to do too much homework on the trip!
“I want to say a big thank you to the Riedmanns, they’re really making all this possible. Then I have to thank Pro 6 and Dunlop, they’re looking after our tires. Also my new sponsors DP Brakes and ASM Motorsports. As well I have to include my solid regulars, Yamaha Canada, Parts Canada, Brooklin Cycle Racing, Blue Streak Racing, Vortex, Bickle Racing, Flexiglass, Human 2.0, Hindle Exhaust, Peterborough Cycle Salvage and HB Cycle.
“This is probably our last race of the season, for what we have planned,” says Casas. “There is some possibility we might go to the last round of the Dominican Republic Championship. But right now my focus is on Friday morning at Barber, and getting the best set-up right away to get ready for Qualifying.”