Team News: Connor Campbell's Round 2 Report

An early championship push was put on hold for Connor Campbell and the B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki team this weekend, after the race one winner fought through a shoulder injury at the second round of the Bridgestone CSBK series in Grand Bend.

Having already suffered a heartbreaking mechanical failure in race two of the season opener, Campbell entered round two looking to make up for lost points and repeat his debut victory in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class.

However, a hard crash on Thursday morning changed those plans quickly, as Campbell sat out the rest of the day to rest his head and shoulder. He thankfully avoided a concussion, but Friday morning revealed more shoulder pain than previously thought.

Still battling through the injury as he chases his first pro championship, Campbell wasn’t able to ride at anywhere close to his full pace, settling for tenth on the grid as he hoped the pain would subside for the weekend’s races. 

That wasn’t the case, but the team decided to keep fighting through it anyways and score as many points as possible, with six more races still left after Grand Bend.

It initially looked like a decent result could be on the cards for Campbell in race one, as he made up a trio of positions and was locked into a seven-rider battle for sixth, but the bad luck continued as another mechanical failure forced him out of the race. 

“Unfortunately, our luck after race one hasn’t been very good!” Connor said. “After the crash on Thursday we were still able to ride, but I could only ride at about 80% to make it the race distance.”

The two consecutive DNF’s had already taken its toll on Campbell’s early championship bid, but the Canadian Kawasaki Motors rider elected to keep pushing through the pain in unpredictable conditions for race two on Sunday.

Again locked into a seven-rider battle for fifth early in the race, Campbell managed to at one point work his way as high as seventh before the shoulder injury began to really show its teeth, fading back outside the top-ten.

Campbell would manage to squeeze out an extra ounce of energy on the final lap, though, executing a brilliant pass on rookie Alex Michel for tenth at the line, salving six points for his championship fight.

“We are happy to have some time off to regroup,” Connor said. “We have some work to do now to get back into the championship fight, but it’s not over till it’s over. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The unfortunate weekend drops Campbell down to seventh in the overall standings, but still only 13 points out of third overall entering round three of five. 

The return to the east coast and Atlantic Motorsport Park will bring mixed emotions for Campbell and the team, as it was the site of his scary crash in round three a year ago that ended his season early.

However, Campbell flashed podium pace prior to that incident and is confident he can fight for the win this time around, a challenge that will hopefully be helped by the month off in between to allow his shoulder to heal. 

Campbell would like to thank B&T MacFarlane, Kubota, Canadian Kawasaki Motors, Centre Town Motorsports, Woody’s Cycle, Bickle Racing, DP Brakes, Moto World, RST, Super Sonic Road Racing School, Bam Paving, Direct Bore, Local Boys Snow Blowing, and all his other friends and family for their continued efforts during the 2023 campaign.

From a press release

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