Round 2 of the Mopar CSBK Canadian Superbike Championship brought us to Grand Bend Motorplex near the shores of Lake Huron. The weekend forecast predicted hot and sunny weather with a fair bit of wind. We were not disappointed and many bananas and many bottles of Gatorade were consumed!
It was a very challenging weekend for Tim. Playing “catch-up” all weekend and working on bike set up to work well on a narrow bumpy track caused some frustration on Friday but the lap times started to improve towards the end morning practice on Saturday. “I’m really surprised how quickly the other riders have figured out this track. I have a raced a few seasons here with SOAR and they have only been here one day and they’re already killing it. We really struggled on Friday and barely broke into the top 20 in practice but finally made some gains on Saturday morning and qualifying went really well. We were fortunate to get a tow from Jeff Williams and we’ll be starting the race from P13” said Tim after qualifying.
Sunday morning came with the promise of even warmer temperatures. “I’m really happy with how the bike is working right now so we don’t have anything specific to work on today. Morning warm-up will be just that. All I plan to do is get my brain up to speed and make sure the bike is still happy with me, then we’ll conserve our energy for the race. It’s going to be really hot this afternoon and 20 laps of this track will be physically and mentally demanding! I expect we’ll see some riders fade towards the end of the race, so hopefully all the effort I’ve put into off season training will help me maintain my pace through the whole race” commented Tim on Sunday morning.
Tim got a good start in the race but got held up into the 1st turn. Doug Lawrence (another contender for the Brooklin Cycle Pro Rookie of the Year Award) made an early pass and pulled a small gap on Tim by the end of the 1st lap. Tim slowly closed the gap on Doug with Jean-Marc Bilger (yet another contender for the Brooklin Cycle Pro Rookie of the Year Award) close behind. With 10 laps to go Tim made a successful pass on Doug on the brakes at the end of the back straight and moved into P12. “Shortly after I got past Doug I started to lose rear end grip. I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer to get by him because this track layout makes it really tough to overtake except in a few spots. I was able to back off a bit, be a bit more gentle on the throttle, and brake a bit deeper to keep Doug and Jean-Marc behind me. I could hear them in every slow corner… I knew they were right on top of me and ready to pounce if I made a mistake”. Tim was able to fend off the other two Pro Rookies until the race was red flagged on Lap 18 and declared complete. Finishing in P11 was a great result for the weekend and once again we were the highest finishing Pro Rookie. If the season continues like this it should be a great battle that won’t be decided until the season finale double-header at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in August. It was fantastic to see a great turnout at Grand Bend Motorplex with plenty of local friends and family coming out for support!
Next up on the CSBK calendar is Round 3 at Autodrome St-Eustache on June 23-25.
Special thanks go to all those who have supported Tim Toldnes this season: Inglis Cycle, Hellfury Motorsports, Jason Jenkins, POR15 Inc, Dunlop & Pro 6 Cycle, Hindle Exhaust, Vortex Racing, LS2 Helmets, Bluestreak Racing and VnM Sport Gear
From a press release