Lalande continues perfect season in Canadian MiniSBK with victory in race one at Lombardy
Lombardy, ON – Teenage phenom Vincent Lalande continued to etch his name in the record books on Saturday [June 25], winning race one in the Canadian Mini Superbike Championship for his sixth consecutive Motul Canada Cup victory to begin the season at Lombardy Raceway, presented by the Super Sonic Road Race School.
Lalande swept the opening four races at Lombardy this May, before winning a one-off race five at the Grand Bend Motorplex two weeks ago, but a return to his familiar stomping ground brought only more success on Saturday as Lalande jumped out to an early lead from rival Benjamin Hardwick.
The 14-year-old Mirabel, QC native didn’t have an easy win in store, however, as Hardwick made up for a poor start with a number of consistent laps, reeling in the championship leader on his mandatory Pirelli-mounted Ohvale machine.
Hardwick eventually began to put real pressure on his counterpart, setting the fastest lap of the race with a 38.969 and building towards another late duel between the duo, but his charge was spoiled when he crashed in the hairpin with just three laps to go.
The 13-year-old Sudbury, ON native re-mounted to finish third, continuing his own impressive run with a fifth-consecutive podium to begin the campaign.
Splitting the two familiar finishers was debut entry Dexter Falkenberg, who was making a wildcard appearance out of White Rock, British Columbia. The understudy of pro racer and four-time National champion Tomas Casas, 14-year-old Falkenberg was riding an Ohvale GP-O 160 machine for the first time but didn’t look at all out of place, running consistently just a second off Hardwick and Lalande to score a debut podium in second.
The newest member of the feature Canada Cup class traditionally races a KTM machine in the Pacific Coast Mini Roadracing Club, but had never turned a wheel in Ontario prior to this week. The youngster was able to shave nearly 11 seconds off his lap time by Saturday alone, thanks in large part to the mentorship of Casas and the Super Sonic Road Race School.
Lalande added two more victories to his day in the support classes, winning the GP-1 and Moto-1 categories aboard his SpeedFactory67 Buccimoto machine to extend his title lead in both groups.
Both victories came against newcomer Felix Di, who pushed Lalande early before ultimately losing out in the late stages, while Hardwick joined them on the podium in the Moto-1 class and Falkenberg completed the podium in the GP-1 ranks.
Di had an eventful GP-1 race, briefly challenging Lalande before running off but recovering just in time to battle with Falkenberg for second place, a position he would come away with thanks to a brilliant move late in the race.
The final race of the day saw another victory for nine-year old star Michael Galvis, who continued his epic form in the Moto-2 category. The youngest rider in the Canadian MiniSBK field stole another win aboard his Kawasaki KX65 ahead of pro national racer Colin Campbell, with Mike Bell completing the podium in third.
Lalande and company won’t have to wait long for their next opportunity to battle it out in Lombardy, with the second half of the round four doubleheader going on Sunday.
More, from another press release issued by CSBK/Professional Motorsports Productions (PMP):
Lalande completes another weekend sweep in Canadian MiniSBK at Lombardy
Lombardy, ON – The fourth round of the Canadian Mini Superbike Championship wrapped up with a familiar face at the front, as teenaged star Vincent Lalande won his seventh consecutive Motul Canada Cup feature race [June 26] in Lombardy, presented by the Super Sonic Road Race School.
Lalande had swept the first three weekends and all five races before adding a sixth win on Saturday, and Sunday brought the same result as the 14-year-old maintained his perfect season aboard his Pirelli-mounted Ohvale machine.
Sunday’s race brought a new challenge for the field, however, as the grid had to navigate a slightly revised layout around the tight, challenging Lombardy Raceway, but the change wasn’t enough to unseat a resilient Lalande at the front as he stormed away for one of his most dominant victories of the campaign.
He was joined once again by rival Benjamin Hardwick on the podium, who maintained his perfect podium streak in second, though Hardwick had perhaps his stiffest challenge yet in what was a thrilling battle with newcomer Dexter Falkenberg.
With Lalande clear of the duo, it was Hardwick who led the wildcard entry for majority of the race, maintaining his advantage thanks to slightly better pace through the new, revised turn two chicane. Falkenberg didn’t look out of place through the rest of the layout, however, and managed to hang with Hardwick right to the line.
The 13-year-old Hardwick ultimately finished just 0.218 seconds clear of Falkenberg, with the 14-year-old British Columbia native completing a spectacular debut weekend with a pair of podiums in his first ever race appearance in Ontario.
Hardwick’s spectacularly consistent form will keep him ever so slightly in the title mix, though he will need to put some distance between himself and Lalande over the final two rounds and four feature races in August.
The trio battled again in the Moto-1 class support race later on in the day, with Falkenberg briefly grabbing the holeshot off the line before Lalande restored his lead en route to another victory aboard his SpeedFactory67 Buccimoto machine.
Falkenberg would settle in to second and lead Hardwick for almost the entirety of the contest, but the younger Sudbury, ON native eventually used his experience to make a brilliant move as they approached lapped traffic in the hairpin, clearing Falkenberg at the line to take another second-place finish on the day.
The other two support categories were won by nine-year old sensation Michael Galvis, as the youngest rider in the MiniSBK paddock dominated both the Sport-2 and Moto-2 races on Sunday.
Galvis was especially strong in the Sport-2 event, lapping the entire field aboard his Kawasaki KX65 to finish well clear of Mike Bell in second. Bell would place his Bellistic Films TTR110 just ahead of Sean Hickman, who scored a debut podium in third.
As for the Moto-2 ranks, it was pro national racer Connor Campbell who represented the biggest challenge to Galvis, though the emerging superstar held on for another victory with Bell completing the podium in third.
The Canadian Mini Superbike field will now enter their unofficial mid-summer break, with seven weeks of rest before the youngest talents in Canadian racing return to Lombardy on August 20-21 and again for the season finale on August 27-28.