CSBK Untold: Extra Storylines from Round 2 at Grand Bend

It seems like not much more excitement can be packed into Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship weekends, but every round more and more stories are left on the cutting room floor by the time Sunday comes and goes.

From the major headlines that require a bit more detail, to the countless hidden gems that never crack the spotlight, here are some added notes from the second round of the 2024 season at the Grand Bend Motorplex.

Sunday’s “Daley Double”

Trevor Daley has been one of the greatest riders of CSBK’s modern era since turning pro in 2013, finishing in the top-five of the Superbike championship seven times and ranking in the top-20 all-time for career podiums. Unfortunately, what always eluded him were wins, owning just a single Sport Bike victory from a wild race in 2014.

Well, Daley returned to his winning ways in Grand Bend, and did so emphatically – twice.

His race two Sport Bike win came after a spectacular comeback effort that set up a head-to-head duel with Sebastien Tremblay, the championship leader and one of the best middleweight riders ever. Daley then went toe-to-toe with his close friend Ben Young, the Superbike championship leader and one of the best feature class riders ever, and managed to beat him too.

It was a hard-earned and well-deserved day for the OneSpeed Suzuki rider, who erased the biggest blemish on his resumé and did so in impressive fashion.

Dion steps back from Superbike

Despite all the on-track craziness and exciting racing, much of the buzz in the paddock was centred around the status of Trevor Dion.

The Economy Lube Ducati star and 2022 Sport Bike champion did not ride all weekend, confirming he is taking some time away from the series as he recovers from arm pump, an ailment that has worsened an already-difficult transition to the V4 Panigale.

Regardless of when – or if – the Superbike field will see Dion again, the truth is that the 22-year-old has proven himself as a very talented rider on all machinery and an even more captivating personality in the paddock. His absence will be an unfortunate one for the series, but one that hopefully sees him back stronger in the future. 

SOAR talent shows up again

Every circuit has its fair share of locals who typically turn up and perform well, but 2024 proved there is still something different in the Grand Bend water.

After an impressive batch of performances a year ago, the pro stars of the SOAR regional series had even more to show this time around, proving themselves against some of the best riders in CSBK history.

Steven Nickerson held his own against the top two Superbike riders in the country in Ben Young and Sam Guerin, leading both before crashing out late in race one, and rebounded nicely to finish fifth in race two. 

Zoltan Frast put in a pair of timely efforts in Sport Bike, finishing third in both races to climb to second in the overall national championship and challenging the likes of Sebastien Tremblay, Trevor Daley, and Elliot Vieira, amongst others. 

Dylan Bauer also turned in an impressive showing, hopping aboard the Economy Lube Ducati V2 for the first time and instantly fighting for the lead on Sunday, settling for a strong fourth despite his late addition to the team and unfamiliarity with the bike.

As if that wasn’t enough, strong weekends for Chris Pletsch, Sebastian Hothaza, and Jordon Bauer (amongst others) left CSBK fans hoping to see the locals more often, having proved they can run with the best in the country at more than just a familiar venue.

Cyr’s heartbreaking DNF

Mavrick Cyr’s first trip to a pro podium is entirely a matter of when and not if, as the 19-year-old hasn’t looked out of place one bit in his first two rounds of the season, but that question of “when” could have ended on Sunday if not for a heartbreaking mechanical failure.

The reigning amateur double-champion instantly hit the front and even led the Sport Bike field briefly, trading places with the top-five and looking perhaps on course for a stunning debut victory just five races into his pro national career.

Unfortunately, the Rizzin Racing/Economy Lube Triumph rider slipped back and eventually was forced out of the race on the final lap with an engine failure. Not only did that heartbreak cost him a shot at the podium, but the DNF will relegate him to sixth in the championship order.

However, Cyr remains just 15 points out of second and remains on course for a potential race-winning future – something he could begin as soon as round three in Edmonton.

Wilson, Beattie continue perfect seasons

Ben Young’s goal of a perfect season unraveled in Grand Bend, but there are two other young amateur riders who have kept the rare feat alive entering round three.

Vincent Wilson and Ryan Beattie have gone four-for-four in their respective seasons thus far, with Wilson leading the amateur split of the Pro-Am Twins class and Beattie pacing the amateur portion of the Pro-AM Lightweight ranks.

To take it a step further, both have taken pole position in their category and the four qualifying points to go with it, achieving a flawless 108 points thus far. 

Wilson will own a slight bit of bragging rights over the 15-year-old Beattie, however, as he has been the outright on-track winner in three of the four Pro-AM Twins races (losing to pro J.P. Tache in race one), while Beattie was defeated twice by pro Lightweight winner Cameron Walker at the season opener.