Grand Bend Motorplex has hosted regional road races for several years, but this is the first time a CSBK national event has been held on the 11-turn, 2.2-km road course. Most national Pro racers have never turned a wheel at GBM, which should equalize the field to some extent and create some unpredictable scenarios.
In Pro Superbike, defending 11-time champion Jordan Szoke is fresh off a win at the CSBK season opener in Shannonville. Szoke tested at Grand Bend in the preseason to get a feel for the track, so expectations are high for the Mopar Express Lane/BMW Motorrad S1000RR racer.
Szoke should face stiff competition from his fellow podium earners at Shannonville, Kenny Riedmann and Ben Young. Riedmann led a few laps in the opener on his Sturgess Cycle/Liqui Moly Kawasaki ZX-10RR, eventually finishing second. Young rode a consistent race on his Scot-Build Developments BMW to finish third.
Local fast guy Scott Rupert, winner of the recent SOAR regional Pro Superbike race at Grand Bend, should be a factor near the front on his Suzuki GSX-R1000. Fellow SOAR racer Steve Nickerson, a product of the bygone Honda CBR125R national spec series, should also shake things up at 'the Bend' on his Honda CBR1000RR.
In Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike, Tomas Casas is looking to hold onto No. 1 in points after his class win at Shannonville on his Peterborough Cycle-backed Yamaha YZF-R6. The PSB field looks particularly stout for round 2; Mitch Card, who finished third at Shannonville, has turned more laps than any other series regular at Grand Bend and is expected to challenge for the pole and the win on his Yamaha. Kristopher Garvie, who qualified No. 1 at the season opener, looks to continue his strong pace aboard his Kawasaki ZX-6R. Like Card, Will Hornblower also has lots of experience racing with the SOAR series at Grand Bend and should mount a challenge up front, making Pro Sport Bike anyone's game!
Given the tight nature of GBM's 2.2-km (1.375-mile) circuit, the 600 cc Pro Sport Bikes should be able to stay competitive with the more powerful 1,000 cc machines in Superbike, creating yet another layer of excitement for the spectators on hand.
The Amateur regional classes at Grand Bend are always deep, so expect big grids in both Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike and Shoei Helmets Amateur Sport Bike. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series will contest its third and fourth rounds of the season at Grand Bend as well.
Competition begins on Friday with practice for all five national classes. Qualifying, including the Dalton Timmis Insurance Pro Superbike Top 10 Qualifier, goes on Saturday. Feature races in all classes will be held Sunday.
Tickets are available at the track (gate); $10 on Friday, $20 on Saturday, $25 on Sunday, or $50 for the whole weekend. Additional ticket information can be found at grandbend.lweb.net.
Action from the 2017 Mopar Canadian National Superbike Championship will be televised on Canada’s Sports Leader, TSN. Dalton Timmis Insurance presents Mopar CSBK on TSN will consist of half-hour programs from each of the seven national rounds. Dalton Timmis Insurance will also be a co-sponsor of the online coverage of the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class.