Young awarded Superbike pole after qualifying cancelled at CTMP

Mother nature again affected the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship on Friday, as rain brought the cancellation of most of the scheduled qualifying sessions at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Instead, grids for the weekend races – including a pair of pro tripleheaders – will be set by Friday morning’s dry practice sessions, meaning Ben Young will be awarded his third BS Battery Pole Position award of the season in the feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike class after setting the initial pace of the weekend. 

Young sat atop the timesheets for virtually the entire 40-minute session, but with wildly different lap times as the pace ramped up in the latter half despite cool and cloudy conditions at the circuit just north of Bowmanville, ON.

After setting the early pace with a 1:22.331 lap, Young managed to gradually shave off three-quarters of a second, posting a time to beat of 1:21.674 aboard his Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW.

That would eventually reward the defending champion with his fifth pole position in the last six rounds and 13th in his Superbike career, moving Young into the top-five all-time.  

“It’s unfortunate we had another practice in place of qualifying, but we’re all in the same boat and it’s the same weather for everybody,” Young admitted. “The BMW is working great as always, especially now with the M1000RR, so hopefully we can put our head down and win some races this weekend.”

That looked set to be a comfortable advantage until the final moments, when rival and championship leader Alex Dumas – at that point a surprising fifth – improved to a 1:21.940 lap aboard his Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly Suzuki, just 0.366 seconds behind Young and a crucial result given the cancellations to come. 

“We’re happy to get back on the front row and next to Ben, even if it’s after another practice instead of qualifying,” Dumas said. “The weekend looks sunny and dry at least, so hopefully we can extend our championship lead.”

While it was ultimately a familiar duo up front, the entire top-five was hardly predictable for the chunk of the session, as the trio of Jordan Szoke, Sam Guerin, and Tomas Casas all swapped places back and forth with Dumas inside the 1:22 lap time bracket.

In the end it would be Szoke who wound up third, briefly sitting second aboard his LDS Consultants Kawasaki before Dumas shunted him back one position, just less than a half-second off the 2021 champion.

“It’s sad we couldn’t finish this in dry conditions, but I think we can still be there for the races,” Szoke said. “I don’t want to cause too much trouble for these guys in the championship, but you can bet we’re going to try and win at least one of these.”

Guerin would wind up marginally slower in fourth, only 0.090 seconds off Szoke, as the EFC Group BMW rider will complete the front row for all three of this weekend’s feature class races at CTMP.

That left Casas to round out the top-five, putting his Parts Canada Yamaha roughly one second off Young at the front of the pack and at the front of row two, where he will be joined by LDS Consultants Kawasaki rookie Trevor Dion and the IBEW BMW of Jordan Royds. 

The change in schedule will also hand Sebastien Tremblay his second consecutive pole position in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike category, after he paced the morning session by over a full second from championship leader David MacKay.

Tremblay will now start from the top spot for all three races this weekend after securing pole on the east coast for Friday’s round three make-up race, which will use the grid set prior to the cancellation of events in Nova Scotia. 

The Turcotte Performance Suzuki rider will line up alongside MacKay on the ODH Snow City Cycle Kawasaki, who benefitted massively from Friday morning’s weather changes after title rival Matt Simpson could only place himself seventh, putting his Blackstock Motorsports Yamaha on the end of the second row.

Simpson will start second in the make-up race on Friday, however, with MacKay one spot behind him in third. 

Completing the front row for the latter two races on Saturday and Sunday will be a pair of surprising names in Marco Sousa and Nathan Playford, both earning the best qualifying results of their Sport Bike career in third and fourth, respectively. 

Sousa put his privateer Suzuki just marginally behind MacKay in second, with Playford another quarter-second behind on his Playford Company Inc. Ducati. 

Superbike frontrunner Casas also got off to a blazing start in his Bickle Racing Pro Twins career, crushing the field to pole position in his debut appearance aboard an Acme Motorsports Yamaha.

The two-time Sport Bike champion went over four seconds faster than championship leader Jeff Williams, who will aim to extend his title advantage this weekend aboard his Williams Paving Aprilia after rival Andrew Van Winkle was sidelined by a big crash on Thursday at CTMP. 

The Sport Bike and Twins classes will now turn their heads to Friday afternoon’s AMP make-up race, before the full slate returns on Saturday to kick off a full weekend of national racing.

Additional results from the Amateur classes as well as the revised weekend schedule can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.