With a 4th place finish at the second round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship held at Grand Bend Motorplex June 10th, Michael Leon had a solid weekend riding the Royal Distributing BMW S1000RR Superbike. Riding with an injured hand and shoulder, the Beaconsfield, Quebec team bounced back from a difficult opening round and hopes to build on the success during the upcoming events.
When practice began for the “Battle by the Beach” at Grand Bend on Thursday, Michael was still nursing the injuries that he sustained at the opening round, two weeks prior. “My hand was still quite swollen and my right shoulder was pretty sore. I only managed a few laps on Thursday and I was concerned that I might not even be able to last the whole 20 lap race on Sunday. We tried not to do too many laps throughout the weekend and concentrated on quality laps rather than quantity. The amazing thing is that by Sunday, I was feeling good and not bothered too much by the shoulder and hand. Riding motorcycles is one of the best physio therapies there is!” commented Michael.
Rain on Saturday forced qualifying to be rescheduled to Sunday morning. Crew Kyle Blakely and Joe Gervais were able to use the down time to optimize the setup of the S1000RR to focus on making the tire last the distance over the 20 lap race. For the first qualifying session on Sunday morning, the team choose the medium Dunlop rear tire in an attempt to see how fast Michael could go on that compound. He turned a time of 1:04.994 on his fastest lap. This was second fastest of the session and he transferred to the top ten Dalton Timmis SuperPole session.
For SuperPole, occurring a few minutes later, the team elected to use the soft Dunlop compound rear tire. Michael went faster on the soft. His fastest lap was 1:04.432, putting him in fifth place and placing him on the second row of the grid.
The key decision for the race was which Dunlop rear compound to use. The medium would be sure to go the distance. The soft would provide additional grip and faster laps at the beginning of the race but performance would likely begin to fall off before the end of the race. After discussions with tire supplier Sandy Noce (Pro 6 Cycle), the team decided that soft compound would provide the best chance to stick to the leaders during the opening laps and that the longevity of the medium wouldn’t be much of an advantage if Michael’s pace suffered too much at the start of the race
After another difficult start, Michael completed the first lap in 6th. He was able to make a successful pass for 5th on lap eight. A few laps later, the 4th place rider crashed out. As the laps wound down the soft rear began to drop in traction, but it was manageable. On the last lap, Michael held off a hard charging Trevor Daley to maintain 4th, matching his best result from last year. “I had a great race with Trevor. It was fun right down to the end. My team did a great job this weekend and I’m proud of our result,” Michael commented.
The team’s next event will be the 3rd round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship which will be held at Autodrome St-Eustache, Quebec, during the Canada Day weekend.
The Royal Distributing Racing Team would like to thank Royal Distributing, Pro 6 Cycle, Dunlop USA, BMW Motorrad Canada, Windmill Motorsports, Bell Helmets, Joe Rocket Canada, Five Gloves, TCX Boots, Hindle Exhaust, Liqui Moly Canada, Motovan, Performance Friction, Perry Performance, Forsaken Motorsports, Apex Brakelines, GianMajor Inc., Armour Bodies, Woodcraft, MWR Air Filters, Bickle Racing, Dave Smith and Vortex Racing Sprockets.
From a press release