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Old July 8th, 2024, 11:51 AM   #1
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[] - Canadian Sport Bike: Tremblay Leads Points Heading To AMP

Sport Bike Preview: Van Winkle chases Tremblay to east coast at AMP Hamilton, ON – After an extremely brief mid-season break, the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship will get back underway with […]

The post Canadian Sport Bike: Tremblay Leads Points Heading To AMP appeared first on Roadracing World Magazine | Motorcycle Riding, Racing & Tech News.

Sport Bike Preview: Van Winkle chases Tremblay to east coast at AMP

Hamilton, ON – After an extremely brief mid-season break, the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship will get back underway with round four action this weekend, returning to the east coast and Atlantic Motorsport Park, July 12-14, presented by Pro Cycle and Canadian Kawasaki.

The Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia venue will hope this weekend brings better fortunes after historic flooding cancelled the event in 2023, and better weather will be music to the ears of two Economy Lube Pro Sport Bike riders who were eagerly anticipating their races one year ago – Sebastien Tremblay and Andrew Van Winkle.

The two find themselves in very opposite spots in the championship battle, as Tremblay has paced the standings since race two of the season and built up a 32-point advantage in the process, while Van Winkle only made his Sport Bike debut in round three.

However, the contrasting resumé’s meant very little in race two at Edmonton when Van Winkle stunned the field to become the youngest winner in Pro Sport Bike history, carving his way to the front in only his second appearance in the middleweight category.

The 17-year-old did capitalize on an injured shoulder that limited Tremblay all weekend, but there was plenty of other top riders he needed to beat at RAD Torque, including home favourite and race one winner John Laing who sits second in the championship.

What’s the biggest concern for the Sport Bike grid is that if anyone believed Edmonton could be a one-off for the Chilliwack, B.C. teenager, they should be reminded that his “home round” isn’t even Van Winkle’s favourite track – that honour would instead go to AMP.

It was at that track last season where the then-16-year-old took his first career pole position in the Pro Twins class, narrowly beating Jeff Williams who at that point had built up a perfect season. While he never got the opportunity to start from pole after the flooding cancelled the weekend, it was a turning point that launched Van Winkle’s championship season in the Twins category.

The FD Racing Suzuki rider will now enter Nova Scotia as a proven race winner at the track he loves most, a threatening message to the paddock as he looks to continue his winning ways on the east coast.

However, a more rested Tremblay will have his own fond memories of Shubenacadie, a track he is no slouch at either. The Turcotte Performance rider won there in 2018 and nearly did again in 2019, taking three consecutive podiums in the Sport Bike class at AMP, and he was set to be the pole-sitter himself one year ago.

He won’t need to concern himself with Van Winkle in the points battle, holding an 87-point lead over the teenager, but Tremblay saw his title grasp diminish at round three as he fought through the pain and will want to maximize every chance to restore that in round four.

Winner of the most recent Pro Sport Bike race, Andrew Van Winkle (45), will be looking to carry his momentum from round three into the weekend as he chases another top-step on the podium at Atlantic Motorsport Park – his favorite track. Photo by Rob O’Brien, courtesy CSBK.

It will represent the opposite type of weekend for Laing, who trimmed his deficit to Tremblay with a win and third-place finish at his home track but is one of the least experienced riders in the class at AMP.

The Vass Performance Kawasaki rider made the 49-hour drive straight from RAD Torque to AMP to race the sARL regional event last weekend, finishing second in each Pro Sport Bike race, but his best time of the round (1:11.363) would have placed him only seventh on last year’s grid.

The Cochrane, Alberta native will need to find more improvement if he hopes to keep his title hopes in good shape – a strong possibility for someone of his talent, but a tough spot to be in with only one day of unofficial practice before Friday qualifying.

Another pre-season favourite who now finds his back against the wall is Elliot Vieira, who wasn’t even scheduled to ride at AMP when the weekend was cancelled in 2023.

The Economy Lube Ducati rider has crashed out of three of the last four races to see his championship dreams evaporate, and his last AMP visit in 2022 yielded only sixth and fourth-place finishes, putting Vieira’s chances of a 2024 comeback on thin ice.

Hoping to leapfrog the title contenders will be teenage sensations Mavrick Cyr and Philip DeGama-Blanchet, who have traded weekends as the rookie to beat in their own personal rivalry.

Cyr seemingly moved the goal posts last time out as he earned his first career pro podium for Economy Lube Ducati, finishing second to Van Winkle in race two at Edmonton, and he will have another advantage coming his way as DeGama-Blanchet makes his first ever trip to Shubenacadie.

The 19-year-old Cyr took provisional pole in both Amateur Superbike and Amateur Sport Bike before the weekend was washed out in 2023, and the circuit was also the site of his first Amateur Superbike podiums as he finished third in each race, a strong indicator of how comfortable he feels around “Shubie.”

It will be the opposite for the 16-year-old DeGama-Blanchet who owns zero prior knowledge of the tight, twisty layout, but the Vass Performance Kawasaki star has exceeded expectations in virtually every race thus far and could continue to impress in his first visit to the east coast.

As for potential locals to throw into the mix, Atlantic Motorsport Park hasn’t seen as many wildcards in recent years but has plenty of regional talent to offer if that changes in 2024, including Eric Stanley.

The Halifax native beat Laing in both sARL races last weekend and posted times that would have placed him fifth on the national grid in 2023, making him a legitimate podium threat if he joins CSBK for round four at his home track.

More information can be found on the series’ official website.

The post Canadian Sport Bike: Tremblay Leads Points Heading To AMP appeared first on Roadracing World Magazine | Motorcycle Riding, Racing & Tech News.
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