After a wild second round in Grand Bend earlier this month, one of the most exciting race seasons in recent memory is taking form.
The Pro classes in particular were full of exciting action at the first two rounds, with plenty of happenings in Mopar Pro Superbike and Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike.
Extra attention is on the Pro Superbike class after a spectacular series debut at Grand Bend Motorplex. Ben Young (Collingwood, ON) made national headlines and went viral after a wild high-side while gunning for the lead on his Scot-Build Developments BMW S1000RR. Young's crash ultimately red-flagged the thrilling Feature race, giving the win to race-leading Z1/Parts Canada ace Bodhi Edie (Warman, SK) on his Yamaha R1. Edie's victory marked the first time in a decade that a Yamaha rider stood atop a Canadian Superbike podium.
Edie's crucial win also meant that Jordan Szoke's 15-race winning streak came to an end in very abrupt fashion, the defending champ and his Mopar Express Lane/Motovan BMW claiming second at Grand Bend while watching Young and Edie scrap for the lead. Szoke (Lynden, ON) is first in points going into the only Quebec round on the series, at a track where he has won six straight Feature races in the headlining Superbike class.
Kenny Riedmann (Belfountain, ON) had a forgettable weekend at Grand Bend, but sits tied for second in points with Edie after two straight podium finishes on his Sturgess Cycle Kawasaki ZX-10RR. Surprising sophomore Samuel Trepanier (St-Isidore-de-Laprairie, QC) sits in fourth on his Blysk Racing BMW, with consistent veteran Michael Leon (Beaconsfield, QC) rounding out the top five on his Royal Distributing-backed BMW.
A penalty for causing the red flag in Grand Bend shuffled title hopeful Young down to sixth; behind him in the top 10 are BMW rider Jeff Williams (Kingston, ON), Suzuki's Andrew Nelson (Kars, ON), BMW-mounted Matt McBride (Mississauga, ON) and Kawasaki pilot Tim Toldnes (London, ON). Toldnes also leads the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie Award standings going into round 3.
The Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike division has proven to be as exciting as insiders predicted going into 2017, with a strong group of feisty front runners clawing at each other for podium spots and points. Tomas Casas (Peterborough, ON) sits atop the standings after a win at Shannonville and a third at Grand Bend on his Peterborough Cycle/Parts Canada Yamaha R6, but the newsmaker at round 2 was series veteran Frank Trombino (Etobicoke, ON), who showed up unexpectedly after more than two years away and wiped the table on Sunday with a runaway victory on his ProStar-prepped, White Gold Financial Services-supported Honda CBR600RR.
Second place in Pro Sport Bike is currently held by Mitch Card (Kitchener, ON), who made the podium in both opening rounds on his Goderich Toyota/Shoei Helmets R6 despite mediocre qualifying efforts. A resurgent Kristopher Garvie (Caledon, ON) was the victim of an unfortunate on-track miscue from another rider at Grand Bend, but the Kawasaki ZX-6R pilot sits third in points. Louie Raffa (Ste-Marthe, QC) holds fourth and hopes to make some noise at his home track on his CBR, while Trombino rounds out the top five in the middleweight division.
Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike action should be hot at St-Eustache, with Quebec racers including points leader Ernest Bernhard (Ste-Bridige, QC) and Shannonville winner Samuel Desmarais (Lasalle, QC) looking to do well in front of a partisan Quebec crowd. The same goes for Shoei Helmets Amateur Sport Bike, where local Jean-Francois Aubin (St-Jerome, QC) looks to keep Desmarais and the rest of the anxious field at bay.
Keeping with the Quebec theme, teen sensation Xavier Paradis (Shannon, QC) has all but ruled the Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series in 2017, winning three of four races and generally setting the fastest laps. However, Amy Szoke (Lynden, ON) closed the gap to the leader at Grand Bend and continues to get back up to race speed after returning to the CSBK series full-time in 2017.