NEWS: At the Front at Mosport

Friday, August 28, 2020

I apologize for the delay in sending this newsletter. The plan was to wait until the video of the race was released on youtube so that a link could be included. Since then, CSBK has finalized a deal with TSN to brodcast the race in the coming months and the video will only be posted on youtube after the broadcast. You can read more about the TSN deal here:

The Royal Distributing Superbike Team considers the recent event held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 15-16 a huge success, despite the lack of a podium finish. I qualified in 2nd place, got the holeshot in Race 2, led the first two laps of Race 2 and had the fastest lap of both races.

The team was able to practice on Friday during the track day prior to the event. The setup was good right out of the box and I was able to try out the new pavement around the historic facility. Crew chief Kyle Blakely had consulted with Ohlins expert Jon Cornwell prior to the event to decide on changes to the bike to prepare for Mosport. With the geometry changes that were made to the 2020 BMW S1000RR working well, we were able to focus on which compound tire would be the best option.

Midway during the Saturday qualifying session, I came in for a new rear tire. With the new tire, I put in a lap with a time of 1:23.0521. Good enough for P2 and only 0.059 seconds behind Jordan Szoke on pole.

Sunday was the typical weather chaos that often plagues Mosport. By the time Race One was about to start, the track was damp, still drying after a rainstorm. The team made the call to go out on slicks. Some riders chose rain tires. I rode the opening laps VERY cautiously, trying to avoid the damp patches and puddles. I dropped back as far as ninth position. As the race progressed and the track dried, I was able to pick up the pace and make my way through the field, finishing 4th. During the closing laps, I recorded the fastest lap of the race. To be honest, I just wanted to survive this one. It was a bit sketchy at the start, and I rode way too conservatively. I was glad we had another race later.

A few hours later, the field lined up once again under dry, but overcast conditions. This time I got the holeshot! I led the first two laps. This was the first time leading a National in the dry. On the third lap, the running order changed, with Sam Guerin taking the lead for a few laps with while I dropped back to 4th. On the next lap, Szoke, Reidmann and I made our way past Guerin who dropped off the pace a couple laps later. The running order stayed that way with the leading trio at the front as sprinkles began to fall around the circuit. On lap 10, I made my move with a pass on Reidmann at the entrance to corner 3. I wanted to move up in case the race was called due to the rain. As we three riders headed into corner 4, we could see a wall of heavy rain falling. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through 4 and crashed.

Because my incident brought out the red flag, I was not scored in the official results. When we saw the rain, we all rolled off the throttle. As we ran into the top of 4 the rear end came around. I was able to save it at first. But it sent me wide and I lost it again trying to stay on the track at the bottom of 4. I got VERY lucky. Had I not saved it initially I would have hit the tire wall at a terrible angle. I still hit the tire wall, but was so lucky to just glance off it. I know we don’t have anything to show for results but I’m pretty stoked. I rode well, the new Beemer is really fast even with a stock motor and ECU, my team Kyle and Jaret did and amazing job and we were able to run at the front for all our sponsors. I can’t wait to bring this new confidence forward to 2021! A small consolation was that once again, I managed set the fastest lap of the race.

The whole team would like to send their best wishes to racer Jeff Williams and his family as Jeff recovers from serious injuries sustained during a track day while practicing for the race weekend. We missed you out there, buddy, and hope you have a speedy recovery.

We would never had made it to the grid without the support of our sponsors: Royal Distributing, BMW Motorrad Canada, Pro 6 Cycle, Windmill Motorsports and Machine, Dunlop Roadracing Tires, Hindle Exhaust, Forsaken Motorsports, Bell Helmets, Joe Rocket and Dave Smith.  Thank-you!

Best regards,
Michael Leon #74

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