Cyr, Lalande look to extend early leads in support class action at Grand Bend

A pair of teenage stars put their names at the top of their respective classes at round one, but staying there will be the true test as the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship shifts to the Grand Bend Motorplex next weekend, June 8-11.

Mavrick Cyr emerged as one of the brightest young names in the series just three weeks ago, entering the year projected to be a top challenger in both amateur classes before blowing that expectation out of the water with a pair of round one victories. 

The Rizzin Racing Triumph rider absolutely crushed the field in the AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike race, and brought home an equally-impressive victory in the Scorpion EXO Amateur Sport Bike class, establishing himself as the new championship favourite in both categories. 

Flash back to his last appearance at Grand Bend, however, and it was anything but the case for Cyr. The 18-year-old crashed out of the Superbike race and managed only 12th in his opening round appearance at the Motorplex a year ago, putting some hesitation on his betting odds entering round two. 

As for who his closest challenger will be, it’s hard to gauge how competitive preseason favourite Andrew Cooney will be as he didn’t make the trip at all to Grand Bend one year ago, then in the Lightweight class. 

Cooney was the runner-up to Cyr in the AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike race but an early run-off cost him in the Scorpion EXO Amateur Sport Bike contest, where he could only claw his way back to sixth for the Fast Company Honda team.

The reality may be that neither of the overwhelming favourites are the ones to beat at Grand Bend – a track that’s produced numerous one-off performances from local riders in the past, typically thanks to their experience in the SOAR regional series.

If that’s the case again, Bryce DeBoer made sure to put his rivals on notice just one weekend ago. The reigning Amateur Lightweight champion and a frequent SOAR competitor, DeBoer finished fourth in the Sport Bike race at Shannonville and second to runaway local John Watson in the opening regional round, putting him on good form as the national series heads to his home venue.

After that lead trio, the betting odds become almost wide-open, as third-place runners in each championship Matt Vanderhorst (Superbike) and Bobby Desjardins (Sport Bike) will each be making their first trip to Grand Bend and will have to contend with plenty of local talent. 

As for the two Lightweight classes, there is a somewhat similar trend with a teenage star on top in Vincent Lalande, though the comparisons end there.

While Cyr still has some question marks given his 2022 struggles at the Motorplex, Lalande enters as the overwhelming favourite in the Super Sonic Race School Amateur Lightweight category.

The 15-year-old phenom swept his round one doubleheader to take a commanding lead over veteran Justin Marshall, and he’s already proven in his short career he can adapt quickly to any new circuit.

Comparatively, Marshall was a mixed bag in Grand Bend a year ago, struggling to fifth in race one before taking a strong second in race two. As for Lalande’s next closest rival, fellow teenager Jack Beaudry, he will also be making his first trip to Grand Bend but proved like Lalande that he can adapt rapidly to an unfamiliar track. 

Beaudry may again be the closest rival on-track to Lalande after the two youngsters duked it out to the line in race two, but they would be wise not to underestimate their podium-mate from that race, Vincent Wilson.

Wilson will have more experience after appearing at Grand Bend a year ago, albeit finishing just sixth and fifth, but a race one crash at Shannonville is the only thing separating him from being right in the championship mix early on with Lalande. 

Meanwhile, Lalande will have another pair of wins to fight for in the EBC Brakes Lightweight Pro/Am, where he enters as the early favourite in the Amateur division and the overall class after a pair of wins at Shannonville. 

Stacey Nesbitt will take a lead in the Pro division to round two, though her status is yet to be confirmed, as is race two winner Ryan Vanderputten. That will potentially leave a huge vacancy atop the Pro side of the Pro/Am standings, though one that can easily be filled by a strong local lightweight field.

Outside of the main class championships, the amateur categories will also continue their fight for the Surron Electric Rider Award, which goes to the rider who accomplishes the highest percentage of possible fastest laps across the season.

None of the lightweight riders scored multiple fastest laps across their doubleheader round one, meaning Cyr and Cooney will enter round two in a tie for first at 14% of their full-season schedule, slightly ahead of four lightweight riders tied at 10%. 

Those percentages will be sure to climb as more races are completed, though the deeper fields may bring more names to the front as they put in fast laps to climb their way through the pack and try to win a Surron Light Bee machine.

The full schedule for support class action, as well as the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class and feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike category, can be found on the official Bridgestone CSBK website.