Samuel Trepanier, the second year Pro, made his first career podium finishes at the Mopar CSBK Canadian Superbike Championship series finale and established a new outstanding racing track record at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, ON.
The last racing weekend of the 2017 CSBK season started with some mechanical problems for the Blysk Racing Team. The usual five-hour drive from Montreal transformed into a 10-hour drive due to mechanical issues with the trailer - arriving at the track at 1 AM.
However - even with only 6 hours of sleep - Samuel was very motivated and sped off quickly, wanting to feel the bike from the very first corners. That day, together with the help of Martin Richard, official mechanic in the Blysk Racing team, Samuel managed to pull some very fast laps. Although Samuelís goal was to get in the 1:21 range, he was satisfied with his fastest time of 1:22.2 that day.
"At that point I was checking the other top racers and they were 1 to 1.5 seconds slower than me. Even though I was happy to see that, I was also expecting them to get way faster on Friday during qualifying," he told us.
In the qualifying session, Samuel was sitting in 2nd position with a time of 1:21.968. He was the only one in the 1:21 second range alongside with Jordan Szoke, twelve-time Canadian Champion. At this moment, Samuel had a 0.3 second gap between him and the 3rd place qualifier Ben Young (1:22.314), former Pro AMA and British Superbike Championship racer.
"It's only during qualifying that I started to feel confident about my pace and realize that I had a very good chance."
In 2016, Samuel was in his first Pro year and he qualified in 12th position at CTMP. Back then, with a best time of 1:23.867, he was in 12th position, 2 steps away from the Dalton Timmis Superpole. And this time, not only was the Blysk Racing Team in 2nd place in qualifying, but they were heading to an unknown Superpole with an unknown Dunlop Q Tire.
"I felt enormous pressure heading into the Dalton Timmis Superpole. Doing one fast lap out of 5 is something, but doing a fast lap out of a single lap extra-soft "Q" tire is something else!" he added after celebrating his first Dalton Timmis podium.
Samuel managed to place his Blysk Racing/Neuroperforma/Lettrage T2 Design/MM Carrosserie Mecanique BMW S1000rr 2015 into 2nd position with a very fast lap of 1:20.832 just behind former Canadian Champion, Jordan Szoke. Again together with Jordan, they were the only ones in the 1:20 range.
"Considering that this is only my second year in the Pro class and my third year on a road racing bike, I'm beyond happy with the pace we've been riding here at CTMP! I'm looking forward to racing tomorrow and learning even more about the track."
In Saturday's Race 1, Samuel gained his first career podium and achieved a great success with his Blysk Racing Team.
"Everyone told me I wouldn't be able to break up at the front, because CTMP is a fast drafting track. But from the observation I had made earlier, I was very confident to do so along with Jordan".
The lights went off and Trepanier got into third position in the first corner. He quickly put his head down and ultimately took the lead in that first lap of the race.
"I was really concentrated, relaxed, and confident about the bike. I worked with Jon Cornwell from Ohlins to set up my suspension and it has been a joy since 2016. The bike was behaving perfectly and the Dunlop tires were giving me a world of feedback in all the corners so that I was able to reassess every lap to keep my rhythm".
After celebrating his 2nd place podium, Samuel commented: "I had no clear idea of the gap between Jordan Szoke and the second group of racers, but in my head I felt far at the front with Jordan at my back. I just got informed that mid-race I detached myself from Jordan and had a good gap. But although Jordan wasn't in my back anymore, he was still in my head: so instead of reading +1 sec on my pit-board, I read +.1 which meant to me that he was still right behind me, exactly where I expected him to be... But in reality, he wasnít."
Samuel then continued to slow down lap after lap in an attempt to save the rear tire for the last corners, and to see if Jordan would try to make a pass.
"Since Jordan didnít show me any sign of passing, I thought he would stick behind me until the very last corners, so I continued to slow down more and more".
Trepanier didn't realize he was destroying the gap he had created until Jordan passed him as if Samuel was touring on the track.
"When Jordan passed me on lap 18, he went by so quickly and unexpectedly, that I clearly remember saying to myself: "man you slowed down way too much!".
While Samuel got back on the throttle, his bikeís rear end was all over the place. He not only lost the gap, pulling on Jordan behind him, but he cooled down his rear soft compound tire that had started to tear dramatically, resulting in a major loss of traction.
"That was the biggest mistake of my race. After Jordan had passed me I couldn't maintain the same exit drive to follow him closely enough to attack, but especially out of 5b where I was normally very strong. Being down on horsepower compared to Jordan's bike, I couldn't keep up in the draft either... I gained back some time in corner entries, but it was unfortunately not enough yet to make a pass. When I finally found the rhythm in corner exits, it was already too late."
"Although Iím extremely angry at myself for making this huge mistake of slowing down on purpose, all race long it was great to know that I had a multiple champion behind me with lots of experience and safety concerns. Jordan is really smooth and knows how to pass safely. Finishing the day with such a performance is incredible and setting the fastest lap of the race is also quite an achievement!" Samuel added after his first podium in his Pro class career.
Having set the fastest lap in Saturday's race, Samuel was starting from pole position for race 2.
"If you ask Sandy Noce from Pro 6 Cycle, he would say I'm normally pretty relaxed on the grid start. The truth is that I'm always a bit concerned with riders' safety, as well as my own safety during the first corners. But being on pole Sunday was just an awesome feeling. I felt like my first victory was right there in front of my eyes and that feeling was very special."
Fourth in the first corner, Samuel settled down on lap 1 to see how things were rolling at the front. On the second lap, he entered corners faster than ever and pulled the absolute fastest lap with a time of 1:20.978, establishing a new racing track record at CTMP. This was a first ever racing lap time in the one minute 20 seconds at CTMP, an outstanding new record in the history of road racing in Canada.
Lap after lap Samuel was getting closer to the front runner. He passed both Jordan Szoke and Ben Young at the same time on the brakes coming into corner 8 to take the lead on lap 4. He was strongly leading the race until lap 9 when a red flag came out and had the race stopped.
"Corner 8 is a tricky one with the wall ahead of us and I was really concerned about the situation for Doug Lawrence... I'm pleased he got out of that not too hurt", he said before restarting the race for an 8 laps sprint race.
The second portion of the race didn't go as planned for the Blysk Racing Team. Samuel momentarily tucked the front of his BMW S1000RR which caused him to run wide in corner 8 and get pushed back to 3rd place. Tire degradation didn't help his case as the Blysk Racing rider saw Kenny Riedmann passing him in the straight line after having a difficult exit out of 5b, pushing him to 4th position.
"I didn't have any good traction exiting corners on that 8-lap sprint race. I had a hard time understanding the pace of the other riders too. I was really fast coming into corners, but it played against me as it caused me to run wide a few times to avoid tire contact. It screwed up my exit speed even more since I was off the line."
On the very last lap of the race, the young Pro rider from Quebec reassessed the whole situation and performed, once again, the fastest lap of the race. He passed Ben Young on the final lap to take 3rd place finish on the podium.
"This last lap was incredible: when I finally understood the grip on lap 7, I knew it was the moment to get things going. I put everything together and I made it to the podium for all the fans cheering for me out there. The pass I made on Ben Young for the podium finish was truly a chance I dared to take. Since both of our bikes have 191 HP, as I pulled next to him on the straight line, we were equally side by side at almost 300 km/hr heading into corner 8 and Ben had the inside line. I knew I was very strong there all weekend so I waited for Young to pull the brake first while we were literally side by side flat out at 295 km/hr! When I finally pulled the brakes, I had a massive wobble in the first braking meters, but it was a well-deserved podium after all the efforts my team and I have made to get to the top!"
Samuel had no words to explain how he was so fast at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park venue, but he definitely knew where he was coming from, having both trophies in hand: "My team and I have been making Canadian Superbike racing history since the beginning of this adventure in 2015. The results I've gotten this weekend were the results of tremendous efforts made over the last 3 years.
The most important and unspeakably motivating person for Samuel during these 3 years was his girlfriend, Beata Marszalik. "I cannot thank her enough. She has been closely working with me in the pursuit of this dream I decided to chase back in 2015, and we finally made it; the one of becoming a top Pro Superbike racer. She devoted herself and worked with me day and night and I want to dedicate these two podiums and the new CTMP racing track record of 1:20.978 to her!"
The Blysk Racing Team is looking forward to the 2018 season, starting at Shannonville Motorsport Park and would also like to thank - everyone involved in the team such as Beata Marszalik, Martin Richard, Andre Neder, Herve Remetter, friends, family and fans for their work and support, as well as all the Blysk Racing sponsors for the wonderful season of astonishing accomplishments: Neuroperforma, Lettrage T2 Design, M.M. Carrosserie & Mecanique, Dominion Tshirt, Ipone, Motovan, Nadon Sport St-Eustache, Pro 6 Cycle, ASM Motosport, Tremblant SBK, Turcotte Performance, Fab Mac, Ohlins USA, Maple Syrup North America, Sportbike Track Gear, Karting St-Zotique, Hotbodies Racing, Dainese, Euromoto, Franklin Motosport, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires, and Galfer USA.
You can follow all Samuel's worldwide adventures on:
Facebook Page: Samuel Trepanier
From a press release