The Royal Distributing Superbike Team has moved up to 5th place in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship points standings, after a good weekend in the Maritimes. Rider Michael Leon, started the first of the double header races from the front row after completing the Dalton Timmis Insurance SuperPole Qualifying in 3rd place, a career first for the Beaconsfield, QC based rider. Michael finished 5th place in Saturday’s race and moved forward one spot to record a 4th place finish during Sunday’s Superbike race.
The team met up at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia on Wednesday to begin preparations for practice on Thursday. Crew members, Kyle and Joe, had taken the opportunity to combine the eastern swing of the series with family vacations.
Practice went well as the team made many small changes to improve the setup step by step throughout the open practice sessions on Thursday.
By the time Friday SuperPole session began, the team had a good setup for the S1000RR. Michael was able to record a time of 1:09.008, fast enough for third place and 0.412 seconds faster than his qualifying time from last year. “From the first lap on Thursday, I knew that we would be in good shape. The new motor is so strong. Pro 6 Cycle did an amazing job with it. I was a little worried that it might be a disadvantage on such a tight track but it turned out to be a big help. The stronger mid-range makes it easier to get out of the corners without screaming the engine. We were able to gear it way taller without giving anything up and making it easier to ride with less shifts. I was so happy to get up on the qualifying podium after all of the crew’s hard work. Proud to represent our sponsors up there.” commented Michael.
Check out the SuperPole podium presentation on CSBK's YouTube Channel.
At post qualifying technical inspection, the team’s BMW Superbike recorded the highest horsepower of the top 3 machines.
Weather was the story of the day on Saturday. At lunch, a rainstorm rolled in. The Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike race was a held on a wet track after the lunch break. By 3 o’clock, when the Superbike grid rollout was scheduled, the rain had stopped and the track was drying. It wasn’t wet enough for rain tires, but too damp for slicks. The series’ staff took the decision to delay the start. It was the right call. 45 minutes later, the race was started on a dry track.
Michael completed the opening lap in 4th place. He hung on to the lead group for a few laps while pulling a gap over fifth place of about 4 seconds.
At the halfway point, fifth place started to reel him in until Michael conceded the position with about 6 or 7 laps to go. “I knew I was in trouble when I saw the gap coming down. I was spinning the rear quite a bit and didn’t have enough tire to respond. I rode a bit over my head on the first few laps and I guess I abused the tire too much. I’m a little disappointed to be honest. I hate going backward in the closing stages” commented Michael.
The team joined many other riders for a fresh lobster dinner on Saturday night organized with the help of some of the local racers.
The paddock woke to rainy conditions on Sunday morning. Kyle and Joe converted the S1000RR to a rain setup and Michael went out for some wet practice. After 5 laps, he came in after setting the fastest time up to that point in the session. The team was happy with the setup and parked the bike in order to save the rain tires in case the wet conditions persisted throughout the day.
Fortunately, the weather cleared, and Sunday afternoon’s Superbike race was held under dry conditions. In the opening lap, Michael was once again running in 4th place. He was able to stick with the lead group until the halfway point. He set his fastest time of the weekend, 1:08.695, a new personal best at the Shubenacadie track. As the laps wound down, Leon lost touch with the lead pack but was able to maintain about 5 seconds to the fifth placed rider. Michael finished the race in 4th place. “I’m much more pleased with today’s race. We made a change to the front forks and it worked. The bike felt much more planted in corners 2 and 4. My guys, Kyle and Joe, did an awesome job this weekend and gave me a great bike. This track is pretty gnarly but I still have a soft spot for it, I can’t wait to come back next year.
The next event for the Royal Distributing Superbike Team will be rounds 6 and 7 of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship which will be held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, August 10-12th.
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