CSBK Year in Review: Top Moments of 2021

With the year 2021 now officially in the rear view, many around the world are turning the page to 2022 – something CSBK riders and fans have been doing for months already. 

The upcoming season is expected to provide just as much drama and entertainment as the previous edition, with the return of champion Alex Dumas, the introduction of Ducati to the series, and a potential record number of races making a full schedule for the first time since 2019. 

However, with all eyes on 2022, it’s important to first look back on all the headlines we experienced this past season, beginning with the emergence of a new star in the sport. 

July 11: Dumas delivers in much-anticipated Calabogie debut

This time a year ago, many were eager to hear about the rumoured addition of teenager Alex Dumas to the series. A two-time MotoAmerica champion in the junior ranks, Dumas had already put together quite the resumé before returning north of the border, creating plenty of hype and high expectations for his Pro Superbike debut at Calabogie One in July. 

However, even the wildest of expectations were no match for the Quebec native, as he overcame a brief setback in qualifying to dominate the first of two races and become the first rider ever to win his Pro Superbike debut. The Liqui Moly MPG/FAST Suzuki-mounted Dumas faced a stiffer challenge in race two, but escaped with another victory as he swept the opening round, setting the tone for what was about to be a remarkable rookie season. 

August 15: Young bests Dumas at CTMP to even up the championship

Despite the heroics of Dumas at the opening round, title rival and 2019 champion Ben Young didn’t need long to remind us that his teenaged counterpart is beatable. After storming to his second consecutive Yuasa Batteries pole position award, Young made his intentions clear early in his fight with Dumas at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers backed triple header at “old Mosport,” making a handful of decisive passes before finally making one stick on lap six as part of a thrilling eight-rider battle out front. 

The Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider made his return to the top of the podium for the first time since that 2019 season, having chose to sit out the COVID-impacted 2020 campaign, but proved at CTMP he had no rust left to shake off. The victory erased most of his deficit to Dumas and put them just six points apart, setting up a crucial pair of races to cap off the tripleheader later that afternoon. 

August 15: Fraser represents the east coast with strong finish in CSBK debut

With a pair of pandemic-shortened seasons costing CSBK their annual trip to the east coast and the famous Atlantic Motorsport Park, many from the Maritimes were glued to their timing screens when youngster John Fraser – the son of former Honda frontrunner James and nephew of fellow alumni Dave – decided to make the long trek to CTMP. 

Despite having never raced in the Amateur Sport Bike division with CSBK and having limited knowledge of the circuit, Yamaha-mounted Fraser made himself one of the stars of the weekend, nearly spoiling the perfect season for eventual champion Brad Macrae (Yamaha) as he fought his way to a second-place finish and a podium in his debut, ending the year sixth in the title standings after only competing in two races. 

August 15: Szoke silences his critics with a pair of wins at CTMP

While it looked for years like father time may never catch up to Jordan Szoke, having captured his record 14th national championship at the age of 41 in 2020, that sentiment began to change following a frustrating start to the season. After settling for a solid but unremarkable third-place finish in the opener, Szoke followed that up with a sixth-place finish in race one at CTMP, his worst result since 2008. The tough start left him well out of the title fight and caused some to question if the greatest rider in CSBK history had finally reached his peak. 

Fast forward two races and a few hours later, and Szoke had emphatically squashed any of those doubts. After overcoming a few mechanical issues that hampered him in race one, the Canada General Warranty Kawasaki veteran fought his way through a pair of massive battles to win races two and three at CTMP, keeping his title hopes alive and – perhaps more importantly – reminding his competition that he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

September 17: Tremblay caps off perfect season for first Sport Bike title

After years of tough luck denied Tremblay his chances at a Liqui Moly Sport Bike title, the fan-favourite Quebecor entered the 2021 campaign with mixed expectations. Everyone knew that Tremblay had the talent to win a Pro championship, but it was more a matter of whether he had the luck on his side to do it. Instead, he left nothing to luck at all. 

Tremblay didn’t have a single blemish on the season, capturing pole position for all three rounds, winning all four races, and comfortably adding the most laps led bonus in each race aboard his Turcotte Performance Kawasaki. He ended his year at Calabogie with a perfect 220 out of 220 points, finally earning his long overdue title and cementing his status as one of the greatest Sport Bike riders of the generation. Amazingly, Tremblay did so while also balancing a successful year in the Superbike class, something rarely seen over the last decade. 

September 18: Unfortunate crash turns the tide in Lightweight title fight

Heading into the season finale at Calabogie II in September, teenager Mackenzie Weil was in prime position to capture his first national championship, as he had won all four races and taken 210 out of a possible 216 points to place his Kawasaki Ninja 400 comfortably out front. Despite the dominant results, the racing was close all season, and Weil had many moments where he escaped with a victory by the skin of his teeth. 

That luck unfortunately ran out at Calabogie. The popular youngster was battling for the lead when he and rival Jacob Black got tangled up in the first of two races, ending his day and ultimately his season. CSBK deemed it purely a racing incident with no blame on either rider, but the damage was done for Weil. The unfortunate result did give birth to one of the feel-good stories of the season, however, as veteran Harvey Renaud managed to win the Lightweight title behind a thrilling photo-finish victory on race day two. 

September 18: Dumas becomes youngest champion in CSBK history

The unrivalled biggest story of the year, Dumas left little to chance when he returned to Calabogie for the season finale. With a red-hot Young chasing him in the championship and a suddenly motivated Szoke joining the fray, Dumas needed to be perfect if he wanted to escape with the title in his debut season – and he was just that. 

The 19-year-old held off Young in a pair of close one-on-one battles to sweep the final round of the campaign, nearly doing the impossible and approaching a sub-two-minute lap time, while capturing the Pro Superbike title in the process and becoming the youngest feature class champion in CSBK history. His feat was even more impressive on the global scale, as he became the youngest domestic Superbike champion ever, surpassing names like Nicky Hayden and Alex Lowes. 

The soft-spoken teenager is set to return for another season in his home country next year, but his dominant debut campaign in 2021 may already be the defining moment of his career, as Dumas looks set to take the mantle as the new face of Canadian Superbike racing for the foreseeable future – a trend that will surely continue in 2022. His Grand Bend debut in June should be most interesting.