Interview: Ben Young wins his second CSBK title.


Munich. The 2022 Canadian Superbike Championship has been won by Ben Young. The BMW racer from the Van Dolder’s Home Team secured the title, his second since 2019, at last weekend’s season finale at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The Constructors’ title in this season’s CSBK also went to BMW.

The final event of the year featured three races. Young took his fifth victory of the season in the opening race on Saturday while second place behind perennial rival Alex Dumas (Suzuki) in Sunday’s race two was enough to wrap up the title. The third and final race was shortened to just three laps after a red flag. Young was leading at the time of the stoppage, but the final classification was taken from the result of the previous lap, earning the champion another second place. This was Young’s 16th consecutive podium finish, with the run stretching back into last season, and his record in this year’s nine races reads an impressive five victories and four second places. In addition, Young extended BMW's streak of BMW podiums in a row to 85. The results of the final race also confirmed BMW as the winner of the Constructors’ title.

In an interview, champion Young speaks in detail about his championship-winning season.

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An interview with Ben Young.

Ben Young © Damian Pereira

The season finale at CTMP was a triple-header. You won the first race and by finishing race two in second place, you secured the title win. What came to your mind when you knew you were champion again?

Ben Young: “Alex [Dumas] and I were twenty seconds ahead of third place, so I knew I didn’t need to do anything silly to win the championship, I just needed to be in fourth place or higher to win it.  I was trying to win but if that didn’t come to me I would have been happy to finish second to clinch it. Obviously, we all worked hard all year to make it happen. This was the first year since 2019 that we had a full calendar because of Covid, so to manage it this year was nice. For me that’s almost like winning back-to-back championships. It was great to get back to all the tracks we hadn’t been to since 2019 and it was a big relief for the whole team. We had a tough pre-season with the new bike, so it was great to get everything working right. And once the bike was at 100 per cent, it worked flawlessly.”

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Ben Young © Damian Pereira

There is something special about the BMW M 1000 RR you were racing this season; it was the bike you got as your prize-winning BMW Motorrad Race Trophy last year

Young: “Yes that was the Race Trophy bike that we won the championship with and we decided to turn it into our race bike.”

You were speaking about a tough time pre-season preparing the bike. What challenges have you been facing?

Young: “The biggest challenge was overcoming Covid with everything that meant, for example parts stuck in delivery and being delayed. We actually raced the BMW S 1000 RR for the first two races of the year because we weren’t able to get the M fully built. Then we took parts from the S to build the M and then the S kind of sat there as a spare just in case. That was really difficult because we were short of parts due to Covid. And traveling wasn’t that easy either. Here in Canada, we have snow until April, and in May we had to go to Florida in the US to test, but due to Covid we couldn’t travel across the border even at the beginning of the year. So that made it difficult to get up to speed right away. But once we got it going it worked very well for us.”

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Ben Young © Damian Pereira

Nine races, all on the podium, five wins, four second places. What made you so strong?

Young: “I feel just having a great team around me. I’ve worked with the same group of guys since 2016 and we all know our strengths and our weaknesses. Having worked together for so long we have been able to turn any weaknesses into strengths. We had a lack of track time but knowing each other right from the get-go means they knew exactly what I want in a bike. My crew chief Willy knows how I operate and likewise my mechanic Scott, who builds and preps the bikes, knows exactly what we need to do and how everything goes. That was definitely a huge strength for us coming into the year. And without those guys, there is no way we would have been able to win the championship.”

All races on the podium, that sounds like a walk in the park… But you already mentioned last year’s champion Alex Dumas and it was a close battle between you…

Young: “Yes, for sure. Alex and I were inseparable the whole year. Even in the last race we both qualified with identical times for pole position and in Saturday’s race we crossed the line with 0.000, we were right next to each other. I managed to beat him to the line and win it, but all season we’ve pushed each other along, pushing the bar that little bit higher here in Canada.”

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Ben Young © Damian Pereira

Which race would you rate your best of the season?

Young: “Probably the second race at Atlantic Motorsports Park. Alex is very strong at starts but I got the lead into the first corner and led the first lap before the red flag. At the re-start unfortunately, I dropped back to fourth going into turn one and got up to second place after two or three laps. But Alex managed to gain two, maybe three seconds on me. I managed to catch up with him and then it started to rain, so we had to ride carefully to avoid crashing. That was very difficult, because it was light rain, they didn’t stop it, so we battled a little bit back and forth. Alex had crashed the race before, so I had a nice lead in the championship and knew I didn’t need to win the race, I just needed to finish for the championship, so I let him pass me. With two laps to go I was much stronger than him and decided to pass him. On the last lap, I put my head down and put in a quick lap. I won the race and what was great was that I had no need to win it, it just happened. That made it much better.”

In the final race of the season, you finished second and BMW also won the constructors’ title. Does this also have an important meaning for you?

Young: “Yes, it absolutely does. It was unfortunate that the last race which was 18-laps was red flagged on lap four due to an accident. The race was called, and they went back a lap which was not the way we wanted to end the season because I wanted to win it. If it hadn’t gone back a lap, I would have – but Alex did instead. That’s racing, but thankfully we managed to win the constructors’ championship for BMW. Of course, my goal was the riders’ championship, but I also really wanted to do that for BMW because I have been a part of the family since 2016. These guys treat me so well and we wanted to do the best we could. Myself, Sam Guerin and Michael Leon have all worked very hard all year to make sure we won BMW the constructors’ title, and it was great for myself and the team to be able to do that.”

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