Collins tops CSBK test at Rocky Mountain Motorsports

The first official Bridgestone CSBK test at Rocky Mountain Motorsports concluded on Monday, with local star Torin Collins topping the timesheets at the private circuit just north of Calgary, Alberta.

Following a successful round three at Edmonton’s RAD Torque Raceway, the Canadian national series invited its competitors to make the trip to nearby Carstairs for a one-day test at RMM, with the goal of collecting data and information for a potential future race weekend.

The 18-turn, “chicane-layout” version of the track, featuring ten rights and eight lefts and numerous elevation changes, was popular with the pro paddock but described as a unique circuit with elements of various other tracks. 

Collins – the most recent winner in the feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike class – had prior experience at the venue located just north of his hometown in Calgary, and was the rider to beat all day as he topped every pro session aboard his Novalda Kawasaki.

The 18-year-old didn’t have to face all the same threats as this past weekend, as championship leader Ben Young, runner-up Sam Guerin, and former champion Alex Dumas were amongst the absences on Monday. 

However, he did have to go up against 14-time champion Jordan Szoke, with the two exchanging fast laps throughout the afternoon. Collins would ultimately set the fastest motorcycle lap ever recorded in the final session, a time of 1:41.174, with Szoke going second-best and just 0.986 off the front in his first ever trip to RMM.

While Collins admittedly has slightly more track time at the venue than most of the other riders in attendance, the rookie (who’s currently racing full-time in MotoAmerica) had nothing but good things to say about the day.

“It’s a fun track. It would be interesting for racing, it has some tight sections but I think there’s a lot of spots to pass still, and the asphalt is really good,” Collins said. “There would be some really fun races if CSBK came here. It’s physical, so it might be a bit of a tough race and the pace might drop off a bit, but I think it would be really cool.”

Despite lacking the experience of his younger counterpart at RMM, Szoke worked his way down to a very competitive time by the end of the day, going slightly faster than Collins’ previous unofficial lap record was at the start of the day.

The CKM Kawasaki rider opened up a near 1.5 second gap to the rest of the field, with Sebastien Tremblay going third-fastest on the day. The Turcotte Performance Suzukl rider was the lead Sport Bike rider on the day and very competitive with the Superbike field, a good launching point for a potential middleweight round in the future.

Home rider Philip DeGama-Blanchet was fourth and only marginally behind Tremblay for top honours in the Sport Bike ranks, posting a time of 1:44.360 aboard his Vass Performance Kawasaki.

Last year’s Sport Bike championship runner-up Matt Simpson turned in an excellent effort for PMR/Vass Performance BMW, going fifth-fastest with a time of 1:45.837 in just his first ever day riding a Superbike machine, filling in for Paul Macdonell. 

As for the most recent Sport Bike winner, teenager Andrew Van Winkle was sixth-fastest for FD Racing Suzuki, only 0.129 seconds behind Simpson for a spot in the top-five.

Pro Rookie of the Year frontrunner Connor Campbell was seventh on the day, putting in a number of late improvements for B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki to put himself just 0.020 seconds clear of fellow star rookie Mavrick Cyr aboard the Economy Lube Ducati.

Photos and times from the official test can be found on the series’ official website.