MacKay dominates Sport Bike race one in support class action at Grand Bend

A hectic day at round two of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship continued into the support classes, led by a dominant performance from local star David MacKay in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class at the Grand Bend Motorplex, presented by Goderich Toyota.

MacKay narrowly snatched pole position on Friday thanks to some last lap heroics, but left little to the imagination one day later as he sailed away from the rest of the grid early and never looked back, finishing nine seconds clear of Sebastian Tremblay aboard his ODH Snow City Cycle Kawasaki. 

The unusually masterful performance in a typically wide-open Sport Bike class was both what MacKay planned and what he needed, reducing his championship deficit to a mere two points heading into race two at his home circuit on Sunday.

“The plan was to put my head down and build a gap early, and thankfully that went to plan – I wish they could all be that way,” MacKay joked. “Now we’re back in the championship, so hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”

As for Tremblay, it was a spectacular return to the middleweight class in his first appearance on the Turcotte Performance Suzuki, besting championship leader Matt Simpson in a thrilling battle for second.

While Simpson escaped with a title lead intact, the Blackstock Motorsports Yamaha was feeling the effects late on from a morning practice crash, meaning he was mostly happy to follow Tremblay and learn from the former champion ahead of race two.

Charging to fourth and putting the entire grid on notice was rookie Zoltan Frast, who at one point in the final five laps was the fastest man on circuit aboard his Eurorace Kawasaki. 

That late momentum came at the expense of Elliot Vieira, who ran in fourth for most of the race before the GP Bikes Ducati fell victim to the charging Frast, though the fifth-place finish was still a step in the right direction as he scored his first points of the campaign.

Just as notable in the finishing order was who couldn’t crack the top-five, as a tough weekend continued for both of the round one winners in Connor Campbell and Brad Macrae. 

The latter was disqualified from qualifying due to a fuel-related issue, but appeared to be putting his Colron Excavating Yamaha back at the front by carving his way as high as seventh before getting tangled up in an early crash, remounting to finish 12th.

As for Campbell, the B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki rider was dealing with immense shoulder pain following a Thursday crash and was forced to retire early after attempting to collect as many points as possible.

Vincent Wilson won the first of two Super Sonic Race School Lightweight class races, fending off teenage phenom Vincent Lalande by just 0.013 seconds at the line. 

The race featured a familiar trio of Kawasaki youngsters on the podium, as Wilson and Lalande managed to pull clear of Jack Beaudry in third, extending Lalande’s early championship lead to an impressive 33 points aboard the SpeedFactory67 machine.

Lalande got some redemption in the EBC Brakes Lightweight Pro/Am though, defeating pole-sitter Ryan Vanderputten by 0.184 seconds for the overall victory.

Each rider would technically claim wins as Lalande was the top amateur and Vanderputten the top pro, while fellow pro Stacey Nesbitt completed the podium in third.

Sebastian Silva would be the runner-up in the amateur split, putting his Yamaha sixth in the overall classification while title leader Wilson crashed out, though the east coaster will maintain a four-point amateur championship grasp over Grant Nesbitt.

Full results from Saturday’s action can be found on the series’ official website at csbk.ca.