The fight for the 2023 Canada Cup drew almost even on Sunday, as Ben Young conquered Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for a third time to complete the tripleheader sweep in round four of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship.
After cruising to wins in race one on Saturday and race two earlier on Sunday, Young continued to be no match for any of his GP Bikes Pro Superbike competitors as he grabbed the lap one holeshot and never looked back, dominating en route to a seven-second victory.
That in itself would have been enough to make matters interesting in the championship fight, but it was aided for a third consecutive time by Sam Guerin, who continued to make life difficult for points leader Alex Dumas in the penultimate round.
Guerin would lead a thrilling four-rider battle for all 18 laps, repeatedly denying attempts from Dumas to limit the damage in second, who did all he could to survive a separate attack from Tomas Casas and Jordan Szoke.
Ultimately, Dumas would have to settle for yet another third-place finish, watching as Young trimmed his championship deficit from 36 points to now just three entering the final round at Shannonville Motorsport Park next month (another tripleheader).
“What an accomplishing weekend for the whole team, and such a big points haul. I guess it’s going to come down to the wire as always!” Young said. “Our Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW has just been phenomenal all year, and I owe another thanks to Sam for taking some points off Alex, which is good for BMW in the Constructors as well.”
Young also brought home the annual King of Mosport award for the second time in three years, scoring the most total points across the weekend as he becomes the second-winningest rider in CTMP history.
His sensational comeback – one of the largest in CSBK history – has set up a last round showdown at Shannonville in September, the same venue where the season began with a pair of Dumas victories in May.
“We’re really looking forward to Shannonville. We got nothing to lose now after crawling back,” Young added. “Alex is obviously really good there, but Alex is good everywhere so hopefully we can take it to him a couple more times.”
The title shift owes a lot to the breakthrough performances of Guerin, who capped off the best weekend of his career with a trio of runner-up finishes aboard his EFC Group BMW.
While that severely impacted Dumas’ title hopes, it also caused a massive swing in the Constructors standings, where BMW turned their 28-point deficit into a 37-point lead.
“It’s been a dream weekend, hopefully we put on a good show for all the fans here,” Guerin said. “I got to give a huge thanks to BMW for helping make this happen, and I hope we can help bring home the Constructors championship for them.”
Sunday brought a merciful end to what was a disaster weekend for Dumas, watching his comfortable lead evaporate atop the championship as the Purple Skull Brewing/Liqui Moly Suzuki star now finds himself on the back foot entering SMP.
“Not at all what we were expecting, but we still have the lead,” Dumas said of his three-point advantage. “At least we’re comfortable at Shannonville, so hopefully we can make up for this next month and bring home the championship.”
The similar results continued for Casas and Szoke, who each finished in the top-five in all three races (but in swapped positions for race two), with Casas taking fourth and the 14-time champion fifth in race three.
The strong weekend moves Casas into a comfortable fourth in the championship as he trails Guerin by 33 points aboard his Parts Canada Yamaha, helping his brand extend their advantage over Kawasaki for third in the Constructors as well.
As for Szoke, the LDS Consultants Kawasaki rider completed his best round of the year to more than double his championship output, jumping three spots to fifth in the overall point standings.
His LDS Consultants teammate Trevor Dion would wind up one spot behind in sixth after a mechanical failure in race two, coming out on top of a lights-to-flag duel with Eli Daccache aboard his Milwaukee Yamaha.
RLS Contracting Suzuki teenager John Fraser built up his lead atop the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year battle, finishing eighth once again to take a four-point lead over Acme Motorsports Yamaha rider Paul Macdonell entering round five.
The feature class will now take a four-week breather before returning to Shannonville Motorsports Park for the decisive showdown, September 15-17, where Young and Dumas will go toe-to-toe for the 2023 Canada Cup across three feature class races.
Full results can be found on the series’ official website at www.csbk.ca.
For more information on the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship, visit www.csbk.ca.
Main picture: Ben Young (1) scored a perfect weekend at the CTMP tripleheader, winning all three GP Bikes Pro Superbike races over Sam Guerin (2) and Alex Dumas (23). Tomas Casas (18) finished race three in fourth ahead of Jordan Szoke (101). Photo credit: Rob O’Brien / CSBK.
Source: Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship