Young and Vieira ready for 200 after private Bridgestone test at Jennings

The Canadian duo of Ben Young and Elliot Vieira are officially prepped for this week’s famed Daytona 200, after completing a successful private test with Bridgestone at the Jennings GP facility on Tuesday.

On a day where many Daytona entries were testing across Florida and the southeastern U.S., the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike stars used the opportunity to shake down their matching BPM Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 machines, provided by local squad Bike Pass Motorsports and with the support of Bridgestone staff. 

Both were somewhat familiar with the machines already, with reigning CSBK champion Young a former Yamaha rider in the United States and Vieira having raced an R6 over the last few seasons in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class. 

While Jennings is hardly an equal comparison to the unique oval-and-road course Daytona International Speedway, both stars decided to stick their DIS setups from the start. That brought some early challenges, as did the unfamiliarity with Jennings and the developing partnership with Bridgestone, but all parties managed to find their groove by days end.

Young in particular – a former top-ten finisher at the Daytona 200 – managed to make massive improvements heading into the weekend, eventually achieving an unofficial 1:18.030 lap. That put him just over three seconds off the outright CSBK Superbike lap record at Jennings, a fantastic time given the number of changes through the test. 

“We weeded a whole bunch of things out today, and I think we found the right balance at the end,” Young said in a conversation with his usual Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW mechanic Willie Vass, who is on-hand this weekend. “I was pushing so hard on those last few laps, but that was all the track was giving us today.”

Young remains confident he is capable of walking away from Daytona as a race winner, and projects to be in the top group once again when he returns to the Speedway for Thursday practice. 

As for Vieira, the Guyanese star had much more prep work to do ahead of his first Daytona 200 appearance, but managed to sort out a number of challenges of his own and find competitive pace with the help of BPM and his Snow City Cycle crew, finishing just over two seconds off Young’s unofficial pace. 

“There are still some things to work on, but we got pretty comfortable by the end,” Vieira said. “We aren’t far off where we hoped to be, so it was a good day all said and done.”

Though his inexperience at Daytona will be a tough task to overcome, Vieira has proven he has the pace and craft to at least crack the midfield, a target he will hope to beat this weekend alongside his teammate. 

Despite the issues that interrupted action for them early Tuesday, both CSBK stars were pleased with the support of BPM and owner German Vacca, as well as the continued efforts of all the trackside Bridgestone staff as they come to grips with their new Battlax slick rubber. 

The entire team was also given a helping hand by Pro Sport Bike sophomore Brad Macrae, who helped gather on-track information and scrub in tires for his Canadian counterparts ahead of the Bridgestone CSBK Winter Test at Jennings next week.  Macrae is fully recovered from Atlantic ankle injuries that shorted his rookie Pro season.

Young and Vieira will now head to Daytona on Wednesday before their first official action on Thursday morning, giving them a day to get acclimated to the famous Speedway prior to Friday qualifying and the 57-lap race on Saturday. 

Full coverage of the BPM Yamaha team will be provided throughout the weekend here on the official Bridgestone CSBK website.