Finally, after a season of close finishes, Ben Young won his first Mopar Pro Superbike race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park aboard his #86 Scot-Build/Barrie Trim and Mouldings BMW Motorrad Barrie S1000RR. The final round was a double-header, with the win on Saturday and a 2nd place on Sunday, in what has been called the best Superbike race ever seen.
Qualifying took place on Friday afternoon under the hot sun and perfect racing weather. For the SuperPole shoot out, Dunlop tires provide a softer “Qualifying” tire. The first half of the 15-minute session saw all riders get a few laps on a race tire, and Young was flying right off the hop, topping the board with a 1:20:972, a time which would have secured him pole position, without switching to the qualifying tire. After 4 laps, Young came in and the team switch the rear to the qualifying tire. With the additional grip, Young improved his time to a 1:20.523, just 0.003 seconds off the lap record, and half a second quicker than Szoke in P2.
On Saturday, again the sun shone, and the track was packed with excited fans who would not be disappointed. Morning practice would see Young find his rhythm in no time, and again top the time sheets before the race that afternoon. When the lights went out, it was Szoke who got the hole shot into turn one from his 2nd place grid position, however, the lead was short lived as Ben got fantastic drive through turn 2 to take the lead early on. The race came down to Young, Szoke and Kenny Riedmann, who came out of retirement for the final round. Szoke fell back into third position, as both Riedmann and Young fought for the win, both hungry for their first career superbike win. With a few laps to go, Young made the final pass for first, and increased his pace, crossing the finish line one second ahead of Kenny Riedmann and Jordan Szoke. Emotions ran high as the team jumped on track to meet Young before his long awaited victory lap. With Young winning the race, and received points for most laps lead, the championship was not decided on Saturday. On the podium Young said “Winning the championship is a long shot, but we will not give up”.
Of race one, Young said the following “I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to get this win. I wanted to get the hole shot, then see if I could break away from the group, but decided to settle back and battle with Kenny, to ensure I left enough life in the tire for the last few laps. We were having a great time out there, but with two to go it was time to get my head down so that I was out of reach for a pass”.
The excitement was palpable on Sunday, and the racers brought what veteran John Long dubbed “the best Superbike race I’ve ever seen”. This time around, Young led going into turn 1, with Szoke and Riedmann on his tail. The three-way battle lasted for the first half of the race, again with Riedmann getting by Szoke and hungrily chasing down P1. Young and Riedmann chopped and changed positions throughout, though the battle meant for slower lap times, allowing Samuel Trepanier to catch up to the lead group. Young and Riedmann were 2 abreast coming off the Andretti Straight, with Young showing Riedmann his front tire through the final few turns, but it wasn’t quite enough. Riedmann would win, with Young just 0.118 behind and Trepanier rounding off the podium. With a 4th place finished, Szoke would take the national championship, with Young placing 2nd overall.
After race two, Ben said “During the race, Kenny seemed eager to lead, so once I’d lead enough to get the extra points I was content to sit behind and see what he had. During race 1, my strong area was braking into turn 8, but in morning warm-up, I’d hit a false neutral which damaged the gear selector inside the motor, making is difficult to shift down from 6th to 4th. Due of that, I didn’t feel comfortable putting myself up the inside incase I couldn’t make the shift as I didn’t want to run myself and/or Kenny off the track. I tried the outside to inside in 8 to 9 on the last lap and it was close as I tried to square up turn 10, but Kenny defended great and didn’t make it possible.”
“It was great to finish the season so strong, and to have such great forward momentum into 2019. I can’t thank the team enough for such a great year, and I’m looking forward to chasing the #1 place next season.”
This weekend marked the 40th anniversary of Canadian Superbike racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formally Mosport). In 1978, first race was won by John Long aboard his BMW R90S. Ben replicated the win 40 years later on his BMW S1000RR adding himself to the history books, and was able to celebrate with John Long who made a special appearance as Grand Marshall.
The team was rewarded for their hard work and dedication for the fantastic season. During final podium festivities, they were surprised with winning the “Team Of The Year” award, a trophy which typically goes to the team who wins the championship. It was the cherry on top of a fantastic race weekend.
Ben would like to thank the team – Scott Cartier, Willy Vass, Steve Weir and Scott Young. Also a huge thanks to all the sponsors - Scot-build Developments, Barrie Trim and Mouldings Inc., BMW Motorrad Barrie, BMW Motorrad Canada, AXO Racing, Arai Helmets, Hindle Exhaust, Woodcraft, SBS, Motion Pro, Bickle Racing, Liqui Moly, ACF-50.
He is also proud "Laps for Muscular Dystrophy" (Laps4MD) rider who's pledged to donate $1 for every lap he leads. These donations go to Muscular Dystrophy Canada to help make a difference in the lives of over 50,000 Canadians affected by neuromuscular disorder.
To keep up-to-date on Ben Young throughout the year visit; www.BenYoungRacing.com, www.facebook.com/BenYoungRacing and on Twitter and Instagram: @benyoung_86.
From a press release