Young takes pole position for Canadian Superbike opener at Shannonville

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Ben Young will begin the 2024 Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship in the perfect spot to defend his Canada Cup, earning pole position for the GP Bikes Pro Superbike season opener at Shannonville Motorsport Park, presented by the Fallen Rider Support Team sponsored by Pace Law.

Young’s day got off to a brilliant start as he opened the morning with a dominant showing in FP1, setting the pace by over a full second from rival Jordan Szoke, and he showed no signs of slowing down early in Q1 with a provisional benchmark of 1:05.515.

The Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider would continue to chip away at that time as Szoke and Sam Guerin battled for the second spot, though one that theoretically wouldn’t matter much in the end as the riders chased a top-ten spot and birth into Q2.

Instead, the dry conditions quickly changed as rain interrupted the 20-minute Q1 session just past the halfway point, halting the afternoon events. The qualifying procedure was paused with Young on provisional pole with a time of 1:05.279, roughly a second clear of the rest of the field.

Ultimately, Bridgestone CSBK officials determined that the Q1 times would be combined with the morning practice session times to set the feature class grid for the weekend.

That decision had little impact on Young, who actually stretched his pole advantage thanks to a best lap of 1:05.278 in FP1 – a mere 0.001 seconds faster than his top time in Q1 – as he takes his 14th career BS Battery Pole Position by one of the largest margins in CSBK history (+1.019 seconds).

Joining him on the front row this weekend will be Szoke and Guerin, with the former benefitting from his Q1 performance to post a time of 1:05.911 aboard his Canadian Kawasaki Motors machine, roughly a quarter-second clear of Guerin and the EFC Group BMW team in third.

Just missing out on a front row spot was Trevor Dion, who improved in Q1 with a time of 1:06.329 but still fell just 0.079 seconds short of Guerin. The Economy Lube Ducati rider will hope he can join Szoke and Guerin in pressuring Young on Saturday, though the three-time champion seems a step ahead of the competition entering the weekend.

Centering the second row will be rookie Connor Campbell, who was banged up after a crash in FP1 but still managed to improve his time in Q1 for the B&T/MacFarlane Kawasaki team, roughly a second off his counterpart Szoke.

Finishing off the second row will be Elliot Vieira, who couldn’t improve in Q1 but did enough in the morning practice session to take a career-best sixth on the grid for GP Bikes Ducati, only two places behind lead Panigale rider Dion.

That was barely enough to displace Sebastien Tremblay and David MacKay, as the two former Sport Bike champions will line up in seventh and eighth respectively. Both would improve their times in Q1, with Tremblay making the biggest leap aboard his Turcotte Performance Suzuki while MacKay’s debut weekend aboard the Snow City Cycle Honda will continue from the centre of the third row.

Completing that row on the grid will be rookie Andrew Cooney, who put in a strong effort in Q1 aboard his Two Wheel Motorsport Suzuki, while fellow first-year rider Mavrick Cyr rounded out the top-ten aboard his Rizzin Racing Triumph.

Young’s effort will also see him claim the maximum ten points towards the season-long BS Battery Pole Position Award, which combines results from throughout the season to determine the overall best qualifier of the GP Bikes Pro Superbike class.

That was all just part of what turned out to be a spectacular day for Young and the Van Dolder’s Home Team squad, who also claimed a first career pole position in the Economy Lube Pro Sport Bike class earlier in the day.

The full Sport Bike summary, as well as all official results from the weekend, can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.

Main picture: Ben Young (1) will start his CSBK title defense from pole position at Shannonville Motorsport Park after topping practice and qualifying sessions for the GP Bikes Pro Superbike class. [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

SOURCE: CSBK

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