Dion unofficially tops razor-thin timesheets at Thursday test in Grand Bend

If the start to the second round of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship is any indication, the GP Bikes Pro Superbike class will be in for quite a shuffle at the Grand Bend Motorplex this weekend. 

Navigating a cool and windy unofficial Thursday test day, it was LDS Consultants Kawasaki rider Trevor Dion who put himself at the top of the informal timesheets, clocking in at a time of 1:03.801 as just 0.021 seconds separated the top three. 

While official times won’t be available until FP1 on Friday, it seemed as though the grid was setting blistering pace on the new Bridgestone tires even amidst the cool conditions, with Dion winding up just 0.033 seconds off his unofficial top time from 2022. 

Differing from a year ago, however, was the gap behind him. While Dion torched his rivals by over a half-second at this time last season, the margin this time around was unofficially just 0.011 seconds to championship leader Alex Dumas, with Ben Young listed only another 0.010 seconds behind. 

The re-emergence of Dion isn’t great news for Dumas and the Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly Suzuki team as they look to stretch their early title advantage, but it’s even less ideal for Young, who enters with a 23-point deficit aboard his Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW. 

Just another fraction behind the lead trio was Sam Guerin, who overcame an early afternoon crash to inch right up behind the leaders with an unofficial time of 1:03.967 for the EFC Group BMW team, as just 0.166 seconds covered the entire top four. 

A bigger gap then formed between fourth and fifth, though with another surprising name in tow, as local star Chris Pletsch clocked in at a 1:04.353 aboard his Stratford Cycle Centre Honda, a half-second behind the unofficial leaders as he looks to put his track knowledge to good use this weekend. 

Another half-second then divided Pletsch from an additional nail-biting group, as Jordan Szoke clocked in sixth fastest with a late time of 1:04.900. The LDS Consultants Kawasaki veteran will need to find significant pace to repeat his heroic race two podium from Shannonville, though his physical recovery has seemed to be recovering after setting his fastest laps in the final session of the day. 

His place in sixth was hardly comfortable, however, as Trevor Daley registered an unofficial time just 0.033 seconds slower than Szoke aboard his OneSpeed Suzuki, while Tomas Casas put his Parts Canada Yamaha only another 0.030 seconds back of Daley, with just over a second covering the entire top-eight entering the weekend.

Completing the unofficial top ten were Jordan Royds aboard his IBEW BMW and Phillip Leckie on the SCM/Tanians BMW machine, both clocking in nearly a second behind the trio of Szoke, Daley, and Casas as they fight for spots in the Q2 top-ten shootout on Friday afternoon. 

The first official times will roll in Friday morning when the feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike class goes on track at roughly 10:30 am ET, before qualifying gets underway with Q1 around 2:40 pm ET and Q2 immediately afterwards. 

The full schedule for all seven national classes can be found on the series’ official website.