Radisic, Wilson headline day one winners in CSBK support classes at Shannonville

The opening round of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship season may have been headlined by a pair of Ben Young victories on Saturday, but there was plenty to come out of the five support classes to begin the 2024 season at Shannonville Motorsport Park, presented by the Fallen Rider Support Team sponsored by Pace Law.

The day included first-ever races in the amateur division of Pro-AM Twins and both halves of the Pro-AM Ninja ZX-4RR Cup, as well as a return to racing for Pro Twins, Pro-AM Lightweight, Amateur Superbike, and Amateur Sport Bike.

The most dominant outing of the day came in the Importations Thibault Pro-AM Twins category, where Vincent Wilson cruised to an outright victory in his class debut aboard the Atlantic Mini Suzuki.

Wilson – an amateur – immediately marched clear of the chasing pack, which included frontrunning pro’s Craig Atkinson, Justin Marshall, and Dallas Reynolds along with amateur Sebastian Silva. 

The race for second overall was hardly as straightforward, as all four riders battled throughout the contest. Atkinson would hold onto second and the pro division victory despite a late charge from Marshall, while Reynolds narrowly fended off Silva at the line to complete the pro podium, though Silva would take second in the amateur ranks.

As for the Niagara Race Crafters Ninja ZX-4RR Cup runners, it was Mack Weil who converted his pole position into a maiden pro victory, cruising clear of runner-up Dave Walker aboard his MotorcycleCourse Kawasaki.

The last pro winner of the day came in the Super Sonic School Pro-AM Lightweight class, as Cameron Walker outlasted an early attack from top amateurs Ryan Beattie and Zaim Laflamme to take the outright race victory.

Walker was locked into a spirited battle with the amateur youngsters but would wind up a massive 25 seconds clear of pro runner-up Gary McKinnon, who came out on top of a thrilling battle with Johann Plancque to decide the pro top-three.

As for Beattie and Laflamme, the two kicked off their rivalry with a race-long battle at the front of both their own split and the overall action. While neither had enough to displace the more experienced Walker, it was Beattie who escaped with the crucial amateur win ahead of Laflamme and debutant Dante Bucek. 

The AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike season got underway with a hectic battle of its own, as Goran Radisic held off a late comeback attempt from Tyrone Tavares to claim his first career national victory for PMR BMW.

Tavares started from pole position but quickly ceded the lead to Radisic, who held off an early three-way fight with him and Tyler Brewer before extending his advantage. 

Tavares nearly charged his way back to the front, however, hunting down Radisic in the late stages but ultimately coming up a half-second short as he was forced to settle for second, with Brewer bringing home the final podium spot in third.

The race of the day – and perhaps the weekend – came in the EBC Brakes Amateur Sport Bike class, where as many as six riders battled for the lead throughout the contest. 

In the end, it was a methodical debut victory for Laurent Laliberte-Girard, who picked his way through the field and saved his best times for the end as he carved his way to the front in the final laps.

Local rider Scott Szollos would fall just shy of the victory but still managed to push his way up to second in the dramatic fight for the win, fending off pole-sitter Serge Boyer who wrapped up the podium places in race one. 

Each of the five support races will now return for the second half of their doubleheader on Sunday, in what is shaping up to be a thrilling and unpredictable year of action across the national slate.

Full results from Saturday’s races can be found here.