NEWS: Fifth Place For Leon at Shannonville Opening CSBK Superbike Race

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Michael Leon Shannonville 1

Photo by Heather Bashow

Michael Leon began the 2016 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship with a 5th place finish on Sunday, May 26 at Shannonville Motorsport Park while riding his Royal Distributing / BMW Motorrad Canada S1000RR. The race was won by Jordan Szoke, with Kenny Reidmann, second, and Matt McBride finishing in 3rd. The event had a notable increase in spectators, and in the number of racers on the starting grid, over many recent years. The race will on TSN, check your local listings.

The weekend started off slow for the Royal Distributing team with Michael struggling a little, and completing practice in 12th and then 9th place in the opening sessions. With help from Jon Cornwell, crew chief Kyle Blakely and Michael discovered and corrected some basic setup flaws. With the S1000RR working a better, Michael was able to decrease his lap times during Saturday morning practice. Without this significant improvement, a competitive race pace would have been doubtful.

During the Superpole Qualifying session, Leon was able to drop his lap time to a best of 1:05.7, which although a fast time, was only good enough for 8th on the grid. The fact that only 0.301 seconds separated the 4th place to 8th place qualifiers showed promise of some exciting, close racing.

IMG_20160529_145700Michael launched well off the 3rd row, and ended up holding 8th place during the first lap. As the lead group broke away, he settled in to follow Trevor Daley and Kevin Lacombe, both riding Yamahas. By lap 4, both Daley and Leon had passed Kevin. And that’s the way things stayed, with Michael about a second behind Trevor until lap 16, when Daley encountered some trouble at the end of the back straight had to use the escape road promoting Michael to 6th. A few laps later, Bodhie Edie crashed out, further promoting Michael. In the end, Leon brought the BMW S100RR home in 5th, while under pressure from a pursuing Sebastien Tremblay on his new Kawasaki, less than a half second behind.


Photo by Heather Bashow

“Once we got by Kevin, I tried to make a push to reel Trevor back in but I wasn’t able to make up any ground. I decided to focus on trying to relax and save some energy. That’s the biggest irony in the world isn’t it, trying to push a 200 horsepower bike right to the brink of where it is trying to kill you, yet trying to relax at the same time. I love this sport! I was lucky to benefit from some attrition on Sunday and realize that we’ll need to bring our “A” game to St- Eustache, where we might not be so lucky” commented Michael.

The team is satisfied with the start of the season and looking forward to CSBK Superbike rounds 2&3 which will be held at Michael’s home track, Circuit St-Eustache on June 25 and 26. Please check for schedule and ticket information.

Look for the television coverage of CSBK Rd1 on TSN.

The Royal Distributing Racing Team would like to thank Royal Distributing, BMW Motorrad Canada, Pro 6 Cycle Dunlop, Shoei Helmets, Speed & Strength, Hindle Exhaust, Gianmajor Inc., Armour Bodies, MWR Airfilters, Vortex Racing Spr-ockets, Windmill Motorsports, Bickle Racing and Dave Smith.

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