Collins outduels Dumas for thrilling race two win at Edmonton

The Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship produced another new GP Bikes Pro Superbike winner on Sunday, as wildcard Torin Collins came out on top of a thrilling battle with Alex Dumas in race two at RAD Torque Raceway.

The two young talents first had to fight through championship leader Ben Young, who got a terrific start from pole position and led for the opening four laps, but all the chaos kicked off on lap five as Young got a bad launch out of the final corner and was passed by both riders into turn one – including a brave move around the outside by Collins.

The pair would quickly break away from Young and begin their showdown, with Collins attempting a number of passes and Dumas slamming the door each time. It appeared as though Dumas may have secured the win after a brilliant move to put lapped traffic between himself and Collins late in the race, but Collins immediately reeled the 2021 champion back in with five laps to go.

The Calgary native would then make the decisive move one lap later, barging his way through on Dumas with an aggressive pass in turn 12 to take the lead and promptly stretching out a slight advantage, one he would hold the rest of the way en route to a spectacular maiden victory.

The win puts Collins firmly in the CSBK record books, becoming the third-youngest Pro Superbike winner in history at 18 years old and 347 days (ironically surpassing Dumas by eleven days), and becoming the second-fastest rider to win a feature class race after doing so in just his second start.

“I got a bad start again, but today I just didn’t want to waste any time so I put my head down right away and was able to get around Ben on the outside in turn one,” Collins said. “I didn’t know how I was going to get past Alex, he was just so strong everywhere, so I kind of just went for it. We did make a little bit of contact – I hope he’s not too upset about that – but rubbing is racing!”

The stunning victory also proved to be a historic one for Kawasaki, as the Novalda-sponsored rider handed the manufacturer their 75th all-time Superbike victory, despite piloting a privateer machine he normally only uses for testing.

As for his future in Canada, Collins wouldn’t rule out a return to the CSBK paddock, as he juggles his duties with Altus Suzuki in the MotoAmerica Supersport championship.

“Obviously my commitment is to the current MotoAmerica season, but if there’s no conflicts, I’m open to anything,” Collins admitted. “I knew this was a great series, but even still I’ve been pleasantly surprised. It’s a lot of fun and the grid is really strong, so I definitely won’t close any doors.”

As for Dumas, the newly-minted Economy Lube Ducati rider will be forced to leave Edmonton without a win, but his third and second-place finishes will still represent a fantastic return to the series after missing the opening two rounds.

“It was a fun race, I’m pretty happy with most of it. There was a bit of contact, for sure, but I knew Torin was faster than me in some spots so I had to defend hard,” Dumas said. “I really wanted the top step of the podium today, but I’m happy to be back in CSBK and I can’t thank Steve Moxey and Economy Lube enough for the opportunity.”

While it was an unusually quiet third-place finish for Young, the Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider admitted that once he lost the lead he was content with avoiding any unnecessary drama between the two non-title contenders.

“Congrats to these two, they both rode unbelievably well and it’s nice to have another new winner in the series,” Young said. “We had some front-end issues yesterday that I thought were resolved, but then I lost a lot of drive and they both got by me. After that I knew they were really going to push the issue and race hard, so I just kept the championship in mind.”

Despite his worst result of the season, Young would manage his 12th consecutive podium (the fourth-longest streak of all-time) and exit Edmonton with a 34-point lead, a much higher total than the eleven-point gap he held coming into round three.

That advantage was aided by Jordan Szoke in fourth, who held off title challenger Sam Guerin in an exciting battle further back. The two both ran with Young for majority of the race, with Szoke even attempting a few daring passes on his old rival, but their late duel would prove to be insufficient for Guerin as he settled for fifth.

David MacKay put his race one crash behind him and finished a much-needed sixth on Sunday, retaining fourth overall in the championship as he continues to build momentum for ODH Snow City Cycle Honda. 

Local star Brian Worsdall was seventh, battling with fellow Alberta native Philip DeGama-Blanchet before Worsdall separated himself late on for Mots Machining Honda.

DeGama-Blanchet would take eighth for Vass Performance Kawasaki and move into third in the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year fight, albeit 31 points behind his close friend Collins, who takes over the award lead from Connor Campbell.

Collins’ victory will also help boost Kawasaki’s hopes in the Constructors Championship, cutting their deficit to 71 points behind leaders BMW and giving them a larger cushion over third-place Honda, who are also coming under fire from Ducati with the addition of Dumas to the mix.

The series will now get two full weeks of recovery before venturing east to Atlantic Motorsport Park, with round four getting underway in Nova Scotia, July 12-14. 

Full results from Sunday’s action can be found here.