CSBK Round Two: Grand Bend This Weekend!

Kawasaki is smart enough to insist its riders have plenty of green paint on their bikes if they want contingency payments. PHOTO CREDIT: Rob O’Brien/CSBK

Hey road racing fans: The Canadian Superbike season has its second race weekend of 2024 at Grand Bend Friday-Sunday, and we’re already seeing some exciting tracks ahead of the action. For example: Ben Young does not compete in the Pro Sport Bike race.

Young won Race 1 of the Pro Sport Bike Series at Shannonville, but when he pushed 2021 champion Sebastien Tremblay hard in Race 2, he suffered a radical hose failure. He crashed out of the race on the penultimate lap and since then has had no time to get his GSX-R750 back on track. So he’s focusing on the Pro Superbike series for round two of the series.

That means it’s hard to see him taking both Pro titles this year as long as Tremblay maintains his own race-winning pace. But the close race in this series is always akin to a knife fight in a phone booth, so don’t rule anything out yet.

You might also see a lot of green paint at Grand Bend, as Kawasaki has finally released its emergency money numbers. See below:

To qualify for the money, in addition to the obvious requirement of a podium finish aboard a Kawasaki, riders must also participate in four of the six CSBK rounds this year, and their bikes must carry the Ninja and Kawasaki logos, as well as “prominent green accents. .”

Out with the old, in with the new

Unfortunately, some of the faster youngsters from the last few years will not be at Grand Bend. Tomas Casas (Yamaha) and Alex Dumas (Suzuki) are expected to be out until the end of this year. Casas has other commitments and also cited the high costs of racing as a reason for not taking the early races; Dumas is focusing on racing in the US right now. Both drivers are expected to show up at the Mosport round.

David MacKay looks poised to take Tomas Casas’ place in fifth place with nowhere to go but up if he can keep this pace going. PHOTO CREDIT: Rob O’Brien/CSBK

However, we have some new faces to watch, especially David MacKay. MacKay won Pro Sport Bike last year and is a well-known entity, but he’s a Pro Superbike rookie…and he’s racing a Honda. No one has done particularly well on a Honda superbike since Jodi Christie won the literbike title in 2014. That was a decade agoin case you can’t do the math and it’s a long time for an OEM like Honda to get out of the title hunt.

Well, MacKay is certainly not in the title hunt this year. But with two fifth place finishes at Shannonville on the CBR1000, he will be a face to watch at Grand Bend. If he can keep this pace up, there could be a new podium challenger soon, aboard a bike that hasn’t really been a factor in Canadian Superbike for a decade.

This weekend’s races

Racing runs Saturday-Sunday as usual, with most evenings featuring a doubleheader. For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit the website here.