The Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class continued its unpredictable nature on Sunday, as Brad Macrae became the seventh different winner in the last ten races at the opening round of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship season.
After the pole-sitter crashed out of the lead at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Saturday, Macrae fought his way through for redemption in race two, passing Matt Simpson just before the halfway point and cruising the rest of the way for his first pro national victory for the Colron Excavating Yamaha team.
His race didn’t get off to a blazing start, as he settled into third behind Simpson and initial race leader John Laing at his home track, but his late-race pace was unmatched by any of his rivals as Macrae exits SMP just ten points back of the championship lead.
“It’s nice to be back here at Shannonville, in front of all my friends and my family,” said the Perth Road, Ontario native. “I threw it away yesterday, but here we are. I got to give a huge thanks to everyone who stuck it out.”
Settling for second was new championship leader Simpson, the only double-podium scorer of the weekend. The Blackstock Motorsports Yamaha rider couldn’t fend off Macrae for the race victory but was pleased to be exiting SMP with a consistent points haul, bagging 43 points to Macrae’s 33.
“It’s nice to have the points lead. I wanted to win, but when Brad got by me I just decided to ride a smart race,” Simpson said, reiterating his desire from Saturday to not throw away points early. “It’s a long season, so we’re pretty happy to be exiting here on top.”
Completing the podium was David MacKay, who made a terrific charge from 13th on the grid to salvage third, climbing as high as sixth by just the second lap. The Snow City Cycle Kawasaki rider and preseason title favourite endured a tough weekend, but will have a chance to redeem himself from fifth in the championship when he returns to his home track at Grand Bend in round two.
“It hasn’t been a good weekend for us, but the result we got is pretty good, all things considered,” MacKay said. “We’re definitely looking forward to being able to fix some things and come back at Grand Bend ready to fight at the front.”
MacKay’s battle through the field came at the expense of one of his Kawasaki mates, as John Laing came up just short to settle for fourth on his Vass Performance machine after grabbing the holeshot.
Laing will still head home to Alberta with a terrific result in-hand despite never appearing at SMP before, proving he won’t need much time to get up to speed the rest of the season either as he heads to Grand Bend ninth in the standings.
Completing the top-five was local rider Marco Sousa, who was locked into a great battle with race one winner Connor Campbell and rookie Nathan Playford, though both dropped out of the fight due to mechanical problems as Sousa stuck his Suzuki into an impressive fifth.
The tough break knocks Campbell down to fourth in the overall championship, but still only 14 points adrift of Simpson aboard his B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki.
Jeff Williams completed a weekend sweep in the Pro Twins category, dominating once again after a terrific performance in the rain a day ago. The Williams Paving Aprilia rider will exit his home track with a perfect 54 points, pacing runner-up Andrew Van Winkle.
Van Winkle will remain the closest title threat to Williams after putting his FD Racing Suzuki in second place, fending off fellow Suzuki veteran Hans Van Sleuwen who crashed out on the final lap.
Full results can be found on the series’ official website.