NEWS: On The Box Out East!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

On the Box!

That’s right, we did it! We got on the podium out East!

Since I started travelling to Atlantic Motorsports Park in the 1990s, I have had a love / hate relationship with the place. We either have great results: in the past I have scored a pole position, a win and 2 second place finishes in Canadian Thunder, I qualified on the front row and finished in the top five multiple times in Pro Superbike. Or bad results: like an blowing my shoulder apart or fracturing my wrist and foot. Shubie can be wonderful and also very cruel.

Sometimes, like this year, we have a bit of both.

Kyle and I made the long drive from Montreal to Shubenacadie Tuesday evening and Wednesday during the day. This was our first visit back since 2019. We were on track for the practice on Thursday. Despite preparing mentally, I was in shock during my first few laps. When I came in Kyle asked, “How is it?” I replied, “It’s like having a fist fight!” It happens to me every year we come out East. The deep nostalgia that I have for Shubie helps block out just how bumpy, tight, and incredibly dangerous it is. They paved the corner 3 section, which is much better now, but the rest of the track continues to get bumpier with every winter. On a superbike, we are at full throttle for less than a few seconds over the entire lap! It is a crazy place to ride a superbike.

Jaret flew in to join us on Thursday afternoon. He and Kyle worked hard on the setup with some chassis changes. Quickly, the big focus became the electronics. Kyle’s experience with the Motec system is growing and he is getting better adjusting it. After reviewing the data each session, he was able to remove power, increase the wheelie control and tweak the TC to make the bike easier to ride in measured amounts. His changes made the bike less powerful in key parts of the track and made the throttle less aggressive to open.

By Friday morning, we got to the point where I was comfortable in the 1:09s and I asked him to start putting torque back in. We made more chassis changes to try to settle the bike on the roller coaster section, from turn 6 and up the hill through corner 8.

Qualifying didn’t go exactly to plan but was still a success. The goal was a top five and a second row start. During the first Q session, to determine the top ten for superpole, we didn’t do many laps. We were already thinking about conserving energy for the forecasted 32 degree heat and 22-lap races on Saturday and Sunday. During the 15 minute Superpole session, I put in my fastest time on the second flying lap and came in for a sip of water. I headed back out hoping to get a tow, but the rider I ended up behind pulled in. As I put my head down to start my flying lap, I noticed that I was now giving a different rider a tow, so I decided to pull in. I didn’t want to help bump anyone ahead of me on the grid. After that, we ran out of time for another flying lap. My time was 1:09.338 good enough for 4th place and 0.652 ahead of 5th place. Mission accomplished. With another shot, I feel like I could have got into the 8s, but was very happy with the second row start.

It was sweltering on Saturday afternoon. In the race, I had a good start and was running in forth into corner 2, behind Daley. At the front Dumas and Young immediately started to pull away. During the first 5 laps, I was able to match Daley’s pace in the mid/high 9s. We steadily increased the distance to the pursuing group behind us. By the lap 7 point, Daley stared to pull a gap and I settled in for the difficult last half of the race in the 32 degree heat. At the hallway point, I was seconds behind Daley and struggled to keep him in sight. I had an 11 second advantage to 5th place behind me when Dumas crashed out of the lead. Suddenly, I was in 3rd and racing for the podium. I was able to manage the gap to the riders behind and focused on finishing the race during the last half. Those lonely last laps felt like some of the longest ever. My fastest lap of the race was on lap six, a time of 1:09.138, which was the third fastest lap of the race.

Standing on the podium, representing Royal Distributing and all our sponsors means a lot to me. I rode well and was very excited to be on a National Superbike podium again. The last time, in 2020, we didn’t have a podium celebration, due to Covid restrictions. Kyle and Jaret did an amazing job and deserve good results too.

Sunday morning, in practice, things continued to go well. I was third fastest and almost matched my best race lap from the day before on well worn tires. We had a very well setup BMW S1000RR Superbike.

Sunday afternoon all the fun ended. I got a poor start and headed into corner 2 in sixth place. I took a line around the outside of the rider in front of me. I was hoping to accelerate beside him on the way out of corner two and up the hill toward corner 3 to set him up for an inside pass. I got out a little wide onto some of the poor pavement. That mixed with a too ambitious throttle application resulted in a huge highside. I landed square on my left hip and my race was over.

Fortunately, the bike was barely damaged. Unfortunately, I injured my hip and groin.

I was able to make the long drive home but am still in a fair bit of pain. I will be unable to compete in this weekend’s Pro 6 GP. I will be consulting with medical specialists in the coming days to figure out the extent of the injuries and to form a plan on when I can hop back on the bike.

At first, I was pretty upset and disappointed about the crash. But after reflecting on it, the excitement and pride for our podium finish is what stands out about the weekend. I am super proud of the way I rode, the way my team executed our race weekend, and the way we represented our sponsors.

And most importantly….at least I’m still fast…. even after all these years!

Yours truly,
Michael Leon

About Royal Distributing:
Since 1990, Royal Distributing has built a reputation as Canada’s Powersports leader. Royal carries all the gear and aftermarket parts and accessories for Motorcycle, Snowmobile, MX, ATV, Bicycle, Ebike and Marine. Royal offers great product selection at everyday low prices and ships orders coast to coast within Canada for free on orders over $39*. For all your powersport needs, you can check them out at, call them at 1-800-265-2970 or visit one of their four “superstores” located in Guelph, Innisfil, Whitby and Sudbury, ON.

The Royal Distributing Racing Team would like to thank Royal Distributing, Pro 6 Cycle, Dunlop USA, BMW Motorrad Canada, Windmill Motorsports, Joe Rocket Canada, Hindle Exhaust,DP Brakes, GianMajor Inc., MWR Air Filters, Vortex Sprockets and Dave Smith.
For more information, please visit or contact Michael Leon via cell 514-608-6747 or

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