Guerin takes first career victory in wild Superbike race one at Grand Bend

By Posted on

The long wait for Sam Guerin’s maiden national victory is over, as he escaped a chaotic race one at Grand Bend Motorplex with a first career win in the second round of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship, presented by Southwest Marine & Powersports.

Despite championship leader Ben Young entering the weekend as the overwhelming favourite, it was a nail-biting race from the drop of the lights as he held off a group of five that included Steven Nickerson, Sam Guerin, Jordan Szoke, and David MacKay.

Young would pace majority of the contest, but never managed to break fully clear of Nickerson in particular, as the local wildcard pressed hard for his first career GP Bikes Pro Superbike victory with Guerin in tow and Szoke fading to a lonely fourth, while MacKay ran off on lap two.

The lead trio would run in unison with eight laps to go when disaster struck for Young, as he found himself on the wrong side of lapped traffic. The Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider dove around the outside of Ernest Bernhard while Nickerson and Guerin stuck to the inside line, causing Bernhard to sit up in an effort to avoid the leaders and unintentionally forcing Young wide.

The three-time Canada Cup champion would keep it upright but rejoin in a distant third, as Nickerson and Guerin continued for the lead. Guerin attempted to capitalize on the opportunity just two laps later, but the two briefly made contact as Nickerson defended hard for the top spot.

Action on lap one of Saturday’s Grand Bend Superbike race saw Ben Young (1) with the early lead, followed by Steven Nickerson (66), Sam Guerin (2), Jordan Szoke, and David MacKay (hidden). [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

That gave a slight cushion to Nickerson, but he failed to manage it as Guerin quickly rebounded right to the back of the DeWildt Honda rider, putting all sorts of pressure on the home track favourite as they both chased a maiden Superbike win.

It all came to a head when Nickerson crashed out of the lead in turn eight with just over two laps to go, paving the way for Guerin to manage a roughly 1.5 second gap over Young and escape with an emotional debut CSBK win for the EFC Group BMW team.

“That was a crazy race! Lots of unfortunate events, but I kept it close to the front and had a feeling something might happen if we could just stay there. Then Steven crashed in eight, which is where I crashed last year, so it’s a bit of redemption,” Guerin said. “I never thought I’d be standing here between champions, but I’m so excited. There’s been so much work and training and wrenching behind the scenes, so it feels awesome to finally win one.”

It was a mildly historic victory for Guerin, as he captures BMW’s 62nd Superbike victory to move them into a tie with Suzuki for the second-most all-time – a tie they will try to break on Sunday.

The win was also a popular one in the paddock for the fan-favourite out of Quebec City, as even Young shared mixed emotions on the podium as he recovered to salvage second.

“You never ever want to lose, but if I was going to lose to anybody, I’m happy it’s Sam. Congrats to him and the team, it’s been a long time coming and it keeps the BMW streak alive,” Young said. “I was running at about 90% pace for the first bit, just trying to manage a few things. The end result is unfortunate, but I’m happy we finished.”

The outcome will also have huge implications on the championship, as Guerin trims his title deficit to just seven points entering a crucial race two on Sunday.

It was an unfortunate end to a spectacular effort for Nickerson, who crashed out of the lead and remains without a podium in his Superbike career, though he certainly put the likes of Young and Guerin on notice if he can rebuild his DeWildt Honda for race two.

His misfortunate proved to be a blessing for Szoke, who was riding in a lonely but calculated fourth prior to the crash. The CKM Kawasaki veteran made a strong early charge before fading back on his own, though it was an intelligent ride from the 14-time champion as he continued his streak of podiums.

“I wanted to get MacKay and Daley behind me right away because I knew they would be fast early on. From there I hung on as long as I could, but it just wasn’t enough to stick at the front,” Szoke said. “I’ve been in enough of these races though to know that anything can always happen, so I worked hard to keep it where I needed to and think about the bigger picture in the championship.”

It was a whirlwind race for MacKay, who briefly ran with the leaders before botching turn one and falling to a distant fifth. However, the ODH Snow City Cycle Honda star would recover to earn a career-best fourth in just his third Superbike race, setting the table for a potential podium charge on Sunday.

Rounding out the top five was Trevor Daley, who continued his excellent return with a strong showing for OneSpeed Suzuki. The perennial frontrunner was absent in race one but immediately reinserted himself at the front, beginning his campaign with a fifth-place finish and much-needed points for Suzuki.

Saturday’s Superbike race one podium from Grand Bend with winner Sam Guerin, Ben Young (left) and Jordan Szoke (right). [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

A pair of other local wildcards exited Saturday with great performances, as Chris Pletsch and Dylan Bauer managed to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.

It was a quieter effort for Pletsch after his stunning podium a year ago, but the Stratford Cycle Centre Honda rider managed a smart ride to put three Honda’s near the front prior to Nickerson’s crash.

Bauer, meanwhile, would charge through the field to take seventh for Economy Lube Yamaha, coming out on top of a hectic battle with Connor Campbell, Paul Macdonell, and Sebastien Tremblay for the final places in the top-ten.

As for the Constructors table, another one-two finish for BMW – albeit in reverse order from Shannonville – will continue their perfect run atop the championship, extending a 62-point advantage over Kawasaki.

Young will now attempt to rebound on Sunday in a pivotal race two at Grand Bend, while Guerin will instead aim to apply more pressure in the title fight with the gap back down to single digits through three races.

Full results from Saturday’s action can be found on the series’ official website at

Main picture: Sam Guerin (2) won his first CSBK Superbike race Saturday at Grand Bend Motorplex over Ben Young (1) and Jordan Szoke. [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].



Young, Team Taro BMW finish 13th at Suzuka 8 Hours

Torin Collins Joins Economy Lube & Kawasaki for CSBK Round 5

Indian Motorcycle Challenger RR and FTR750 entertain the crowds at Goodwood Festival of Speed

First Aid for Motorcyclists with the Canadian Red Cross and Biker Down

Indian Motorcycle Factory Rider Tyler O’Hara Pilots S&S Indian FTR to Victory, Maintains SuperHooligan Championship Points Lead

Vespa Primavera Batik – Elegant lines of the Vespa meet Batik patterns of Indonesian culture

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *