Team News: Round 1 Report from Tomas Casas

A return to Shannonville Motorsport Park brought a return to the podium for Tomas Casas and the Parts Canada/Yamaha team, as they wrapped up a strong opening weekend of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship. 

Back at Shannonville for the first time since 2019, the team was excited to return to a track that played a big role in Casas’ early career, one where he managed an impressive fourth-place in just his second appearance on the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike. 

The team had made the trip to SMP for the SuperSeries regional the weekend before to put some laps in both on the machine and the new spec Bridgestone tires, but it proved to be a more challenging weekend than the team hoped as they worked through multiple changes in preparation of the CSBK national tour.

Arriving at SMP, Casas spent most of the FP1 session inside the top-five before finishing eighth, a decent start to just his second national weekend in the last year. Now entering the first portion of qualifying in Q1, Casas quickly dipped down into the 1:07 second mark and ran as high as fourth for a significant stretch, ending the session sixth. 

Earning an entry into the top-ten Q2 shootout, Casas continued to drop his pace significantly early in the session as he became accustomed to both the new tires and his Yamaha machine around SMP. 

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to match the frontrunners late in Q2, putting himself a frustrating seventh on the grid for both of the feature races and still looking to get comfortable on his YZF-R1. Having changed too many variables at the SMP regional, the team was still looking to pinpoint their problems entering race one. 

Saturday brought good fortune for the team in the form of rain, however, as Casas notably scored his first Superbike podium in the rain at Atlantic Motorsport Park in 2019. 

Getting a decent launch from the second row, race one was immediately red-flagged and forced to restart, and that proved to be another blessing for Casas as he made up more positions on his second attempt.

Briefly running with the leaders, Casas settled into a solid and comfortable fourth that later became a fight for the podium when Jordan Szoke crashed out – a rare incident for the 14-time champion that demonstrated how tricky the conditions were. 

Despite intense late pressure from Trevor Daley, a regular podium finisher in the Superbike class, Casas was able to master the wet track and squeeze a bit more out of his Bridgestone rain tires to hold on to third, his second career Superbike podium. 

“I was so focused on laps left and gaps behind on my pitboard, that I didn’t actually know I finished third until we were walking to the podium,” Tomas said. “After a slow start to the weekend in dry conditions for me, I looked forward to wet conditions and was pumped to have gotten on the box and started the season off on a good note.” 

Sunday brought clear skies and hotter conditions for race two, but that didn’t seem to faze Casas as he jumped to fifth and nearly fourth in FP3 ahead of the final race, hoping to have finally sorted out some of the discomfort in his machine.

Replicating Saturday’s terrific launch, Casas again put himself in the lead fight early on, putting a beautiful move on Szoke to move up to third on the opening lap.

While he continued to come to grips more and more with the Yamaha and the new tires, Casas’ body would begin to have other plans in the middle portion of the race, dealing with the same arm pump issues that limited him in CTMP last season. 

Despite the pain, Casas would briefly put up a fight on Szoke and again sustained a ton of pressure from Daley, bringing it home in a solid fifth to exit the weekend third in the overall championship – the highest he’s ever been in his feature class career. 

“I was glad I stuck with the front group in the start of the race and managed to go home well placed in the championship,” Tomas said. “However, I’ve struggled with arm-pump issues a few too many times and am tired of it hindering the second half of my races. I will be looking to resolve it when the time is appropriate.” 

The performances – coupled with a strong debut for rookie Paul Macdonell – will also help lift Yamaha to third in the Constructors Championship, the highest they have ever been since its introduction. 

Now settled in on his machine and comfortable with the Bridgestone tires, the team has made plans to test at Grand Bend in the upcoming weeks in preparation for the second round at the Grand Bend Motorplex, a track Casas has not visited since 2019 and has yet to ride on his Superbike. 

However, it’s a place that Casas seemed to like during his championship-winning Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike days, finishing third there in 2017, second in 2018, and winning a dramatic battle in 2019. 

The Parts Canada/Yamaha team will make their national return in Grand Bend just under three weeks from now, June 8-11, as they look to rack up more podiums and inch closer to the GP Bikes Pro Superbike championship lead.

Tomas and the team would like to thank Yamaha Canada, Parts Canada, GBRacing, Motul, Hindle Exhaust, Bickle Racing, Flexiglass, DP Brakes, Brooklin Cycle Racing, Vortex, Human 2.0, Forsaken Motorsports, Peterborough Cycle Salvage, Trackdayhub, Laps4MD, and everyone else who has supported him in round one and moving forward. 

You can follow Tomas Casas through his social media platforms below:

Instagram: @tomas_casas18

Twitter: @tomas_casas18

Facebook: Tomas Casas Racing


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