Young dominates Superbike race two at Shannonville

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The narrow gap atop the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship was blown wide open on Sunday, as Ben Young cruised to a comfortable victory in race two at Shannonville Motorsport Park, presented by the Fallen Rider Support Team sponsored by Pace Law.

The three-time GP Bikes Pro Superbike champion faced stiff competition from Sam Guerin and Jordan Szoke on Saturday, having to claw his way from fourth in the early going to win a dramatic opener at SMP, but things were vastly different in the second half of the doubleheader on Sunday.

Guerin grabbed the holeshot from Young and Szoke on the opening lap but could only hold the lead for parts of two laps, as Young was far less patient this time around and made the decisive move in turn eight on lap three.

Young would squeeze out a one-second advantage just two laps later and never looked back from there, ultimately securing a 17-second win at the finish – the third largest margin of victory in Pro Superbike history.

It was a statement win for the Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider, who exits SMP with a perfect points haul and ten-point championship advantage.

“The BMW was unreal as always today, and really awesome all weekend,” Young said, a stark comparison to the 2023 opener when a fairing issue left him sixth in race two. “It’s a bit of redemption for a year ago, so it’s nice to reward the team for all their hard work and add another win here for the fans.”

As for Guerin, it was another runner-up finish but one far different from Saturday, when he looked like a legitimate title threat to Young. While that still may be true with five rounds remaining, the EFC Group BMW rider admitted they still have a lot of work to do to close the gap in Grand Bend.

“The second place is important. It’s another 1-2 for BMW and we’re still in the championship,” Guerin said. “I tried to stay with Ben, but we’re still learning the new bike, so it’s better to be here than in the back of an ambulance!”

Completing the podium in the exact same order from race one was Szoke, who couldn’t replicate his early race lead from Saturday as he fought through some mechanical issues aboard his CKM Kawasaki, though he did enough to escape with another impressive podium.

“We felt really great in practice, and I was really looking forward to the race, but we had some issues in turn three and four and at one point I almost thought I was going to have to pull off,” Szoke said. “It’s a bummer. I’m not saying we would have won, but I thought I could have stuck at the front a little longer today, but I have a great crew and we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

One of the most interesting stories of the day was Trevor Dion, who crashed in morning warm-up and needed to park his main Economy Lube Ducati on the sidelines, though he made the unusual choice to switch to BMW machinery for the afternoon.

That proved to be a successful decision, as Dion overcame a tough start and some early unfamiliarity to carve his way through the field and into fourth at the finish, matching his result from race one on Saturday. The reigning Rookie of the Year will jump back to Ducati at his home track in round two, and made sure to let his rivals know that his confidence remains sky-high despite the race two rollercoaster.

“It took a while to get comfortable on the new bike, but we put together some really good laps and were able to match our result from yesterday,” Dion said. “To anyone who thinks I can’t ride a Superbike, I can. Now we’re looking forward to being on top in a couple weeks at Grand Bend.

The 2022 Sport Bike champion took home the FAST Riding School Hard Charger award for his efforts, after Young claimed the honour on Saturday.

Sunday’s Superbike podium: Ben Young (1st, centre), Sam Guerin (2nd, left), and Jordan Szoke (3rd, right). [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

Dion’s performance was anything but straightforward, as he enjoyed a thrilling battle with David MacKay for most of the contest. MacKay’s strong debut weekend aboard the Snow City Cycle Honda continued in race two as he ran in fourth throughout the first half, but ultimately couldn’t fend off Dion as he settled for fifth once again at SMP, a solid points haul for the reigning Sport Bike champion.

The race within the race was the battle for sixth between Connor Campbell and Sport Bike race two winner Sebastien Tremblay, who ran nose-to-tail for most of the 20-lap feature.

Tremblay was aboard his smaller displacement Suzuki GSX-R750 but riding at full health, unlike Campbell who fought through a rib injury in his B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki debut, creating an intense battle between the two unlikely foes.

Ultimately, Tremblay managed to move past Campbell in the late going and take a strong sixth-place finish for Turcotte Performance Suzuki, while Campbell was forced to settle for seventh amidst the pain – though still crucially one spot ahead of Rizzin Racing Triumph’s Mavrick Cyr in the fight for the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year award.

As for the Constructors Championship, the perfect start continued for two-time defending champs BMW, as they claimed another one-two behind Young and Guerin.

Perhaps most crucially for BMW, though, is that Dion’s switch left Ducati without any points on the day, meaning Kawasaki’s third and seventh-place finishes with Szoke and Campbell will put them second in the table and a whopping 42-points behind BMW.

The feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike class will now get a three-week breather before returning to action at the Grand Bend Motorplex in round two, June 7-9, which will set the tone for a return west to Edmonton later that month.

Full results from the weekend racing can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.

Main picture: Defending CSBK champion Ben Young (1) dominated Sunday’s GP Bikes Pro Superbike race at Shannonville Motorsport Park – winning by over 17 seconds ahead of Sam Guerin (2). [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

SOURCE: CSBK

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