Six championship questions as CSBK season reaches halfway point

The Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship has blitzed through its first three rounds and entered the halfway point of the 2024 campaign, officially entering an abbreviated mid-summer break before action returns to Atlantic Motorsport Park next weekend, July 12-14.

With plenty of drama in the rearview already and much more on the horizon, below are the six biggest questions in the national series with just three more rounds left.

Will Young’s podium run be enough for a fourth Canada Cup?

After beginning the year as the odds-on favourite to sweep all 12 races of the feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike class, Ben Young has instead watched first career victories go to Sam Guerin, Trevor Daley, and Torin Collins to split the first six events, three for Young and three to the field.

However, his incredible consistency has helped him wrap up the first half with a 34-point championship lead anyways, finishing on the podium in every race (extending a streak of 12 consecutive dating back to last year) and snatching three pole positions in a row.

Young will know better than most that podiums aren’t always enough, as he found himself on the right side of one of the greatest mid-season comebacks of all time last season. His five consecutive victories, coupled with a run of third place finishes for Alex Dumas, saw Dumas’ comfortable advantage disappear in a flash.

With Dumas, Collins, Daley, and various other wildcards joining the mix, Young won’t have as much margin for error as the math suggests, leaving plenty of potential title scenarios over the last six races.

Where will Dumas and Ducati go from here?

As if anyone doubted him, Alex Dumas returned to the series after a two-round absence and immediately returned to the front, finishing third and second (and leading much of race two) at Edmonton – aboard a machine that he rode for the first time a week before.

After joining forces with Economy Lube Ducati, there was nothing in round three to suggest that Dumas will struggle aboard the V4R, as he seems like a sure bet to win at least once this season and be a legitimate title threat in 2025.

However, it wasn’t that long ago the same was being said of Trevor Dion following his stellar end to 2023, and the fact remains that a Ducati rider has not tasted a Superbike victory in Canada since Jeff Sneyd in 1995.

It seems unlikely Dumas will have to wait long to end that drought, but until he does there will always be a question mark looming over the project.

Can anyone reel in Sebastien Tremblay?

The 32-point cushion Sebastien Tremblay enjoys in the Economy Lube Pro Sport Bike has been built up largely through his own spectacular wins and consistent results, finishing either first or second in each of the first four races.

However, in round three the middleweight field had a clear shot at the title holder, and collectively missed.

Nursing a shoulder injury, Tremblay finished third and fourth in Edmonton – his worst on-track finishes since 2019 – and yet only conceded 13 points to his rivals. John Laing did his part in race one with a dominant home victory, but he could only manage third in race two while title challenger Elliot Vieira crashed out of the lead.

A healthier Tremblay will be difficult to beat at each of the remaining three venues, and virtually impossible to match on a consistent level over the final three rounds, leaving little room for error over the final three rounds of what is CSBK’s most unpredictable class.

Who will be the next first-time pro winner?

Torin Collins showed up to CSBK for the first time ever and beat Alex Dumas and Ben Young in just his second race north of the border. Andrew Van Winkle became the youngest Sport Bike winner ever in his debut weekend. Trevor Daley won both classes in one day after missing round one. 

It’s safe to say 2024 has produced some crazy results, which begs the question – who’s next?

David MacKay is the highest non-winner in the Superbike standings, and although he perhaps missed his best opportunity in round two at his home track, he hasn’t been far off the lead group in 2024. A pair of rookies are fighting over the honour in Sport Bike, with Mavrick Cyr (fourth) and Philip DeGama-Blanchet (fifth) both at the sharp end of the championship and looking very fast in their young careers.

Or could the honour go to someone the paddock hasn’t even seen yet? Collins’ shock introduction has left open the door for numerous high-profile wildcards, and it’s possible the next may just be around the corner.

Who will be the signature amateur star of 2024?

Every year a group of highly competitive amateurs step up to the pro ranks, and 2025 is projecting to be no different. However, each class typically has one signature name, and this year there are a handful of talents fighting over the honour.

Goran Radisic would stake his claim as the leader of the AIM Insurance Amateur Superbike class, having finished inside the top-two in every single race thus far and extending a 31-point lead in the championship.

As for EBC Brakes Amateur Sport Bike, it’s Serge Boyer who leads the list with three wins and a podium in every race, and he added to his resumé in Edmonton by adding a maiden Superbike win. 

Laurent Laliberté-Girard will also have a compelling case with two wins and six podiums in Sport Bike, while Superbike runner-up Tyler Brewer has put together a career year thus far with a victory and five podiums.

Who is CSBK’s next top prospect?

The junior ranks feature a number of special talents in 2024, but similar to Amateur Superbike and Sport Bike, there will be one who tries to stand above the rest heading into the offseason.

Vincent Wilson has done a good job of making himself that name, dominating the amateur split of the Importations Thibault Pro-AM Twins class and taking multiple overall victories even against the pro riders.

However, 15-year-old Ryan Beattie has done the same in the Super Sonic Road Race School Lightweight Pro-AM ranks, winning five of six races thus far in the amateur split and showing up the pro field on a few occasions. 

Not to be forgotten are Zaim Laflamme, Dante Bucek, Cole Alexander, Sebastian Silva, and Treston Morrison, all of whom have impressed this year at a relatively young point in their national careers.