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Old May 14th, 2024, 09:50 AM   #1
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[roadracingworld.com] - Canadian Superbike: Championship Opens May 17-19 At Shannonvi

Superbike Preview: Young kicks off 2024 title quest at Shannonville Hamilton, ON – The long wait for the 2024 Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship season is finally over, as the national series will […]

The post Canadian Superbike: Championship Opens May 17-19 At Shannonville appeared first on Roadracing World Magazine | Motorcycle Riding, Racing & Tech News.



Superbike Preview: Young kicks off 2024 title quest at Shannonville

Hamilton, ON – The long wait for the 2024 Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship season is finally over, as the national series will return to historic Shannonville Motorsport Park for the opening round this weekend, presented by the Fallen Riders Support Team sponsored by Pace Law.

It was just over five months ago that Shannonville hosted the 2023 season finale, a chaotic weekend in the feature GP Bikes Pro Superbike class as Ben Young clinched his third Canada Cup and second in a row.

A lot has happened in those months since, however, and the dynamic of the Superbike grid has shifted dramatically from the one fans would remember in September. Absent will be 2021 champion Alex Dumas, the main rival to Young and a three-time winner at SMP, along with frontrunners Trevor Daley and Tomas Casas.

Losing Dumas – the usual thorn in Young’s side – will be music to the ears of the Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW squad, as the two rivals had combined to win every race in the last two seasons and 24 of the last 26 races overall (12 victories each).

Betting on Young to potentially sweep the 2024 season would be a popular choice, having won at five of the six venues on the calendar and riding at the highest level of his career with five consecutive victories to snatch the 2023 crown.

But one rider’s absence is another rider’s opportunity, and you don’t have to look any farther than round one a year ago to see that Young is completely bulletproof. The Collingwood, ON native finished a distant second in race one before a bodywork issue relegated him to sixth in race two, undoubtedly his worst weekend of the season.

Young also won’t forget who was leading that opening race, as the eventual victory was handed to Dumas after a crash out of the lead by Sam Guerin – perhaps Young’s biggest rival entering the 2024 campaign.

Guerin has yet to taste victory in the pro ranks but proved he is more than capable a year ago, finishing third in the championship and at times looking like the only rider who could match the duo at the front.

The EFC Group BMW star would like nothing better than to finish what he started a year ago, winning the opening race at Shannonville and ending Young’s quest for a “perfect season” before it even begins, but he is hardly the only one with those ambitions.

Trevor Dion will also be chasing his first career Superbike victory in 2024, and he may not have to wait long for it after his breakthrough performances to end 2023. After starting the year with Kawasaki and only cracking the top-five on one occasion, Dion joined Economy Lube Ducati for the final round and promptly rattled off three podium finishes in a row to finish as the Pro Rookie of the Year.

The 22-year-old never got the chance to race around Shannonville’s round one “pro track” layout last season, missing the opener with an injury, but his performances at the “long track” finale were enough to put the entire field on notice.

The final name of the “big four” to watch will be one much more familiar to Young, however, as he is sure to renew his rivalry with 14-time champion Jordan Szoke at some point this season.

Now the healthiest he’s been since the 2021 season, Szoke has seemed revitalized in his quest for another title and is never one to doubt on at any track, including Shannonville where he has totalled an impressive seven career victories. The Canadian Kawasaki rider scored two podiums at the venue last season and will be hoping to add to that total this weekend from the top step of the box.

While the names above seem the most likely to pressure Young at the season opener, they are hardly the only riders capable of turning heads at Shannonville.

David MacKay will be an especially intriguing rider to watch as the reigning Pro Sport Bike champion adjusts to a bigger Snow City Cycle Honda machine, piloting a Superbike for the first time in his national career.

Joining him in the midfield will be teenage sensation John Fraser, who narrowly missed out on top rookie honours a year ago with six top-eight finishes on the season, including a career best fifth at the Shannonville pro track aboard his RLS Contracting Suzuki.

Fighting alongside him will be the favourite for this year’s Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year award in Connor Campbell, who made the jump to Superbike in the final round last season and will continue with B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki for the full campaign in 2024.

Other dark horses to keep an eye out for at Shannonville will be Paul Macdonell and Guillaume Fortin, both of whom will be racing new machines this season. Macdonell has switched to Vass Performance BMW and will look to build upon his best finish of seventh at SMP last year, while Fortin returns to the series aboard a Turcotte Performance Ducati after just one appearance last season.

The fourth year of the Constructors Championship will also get underway at Shannonville, where two-time reigning champions BMW hope to kickstart their title defence with Young and Guerin at the front.

Inaugural champs and 2023 runners-up Suzuki will need to rely mostly on Fraser in round one at SMP, opening the door for the likes of Kawasaki and Ducati to join the title fight for the first time after the award was introduced in 2021.

The full weekend schedule for the GP Bikes Pro Superbike class – and the rest of the seven Bridgestone CSBK categories – can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.

For more information on the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship, visit www.csbk.ca or email info@csbk.ca.

The post Canadian Superbike: Championship Opens May 17-19 At Shannonville appeared first on Roadracing World Magazine | Motorcycle Riding, Racing & Tech News.
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