Unfortunately, his race came to an abrupt end, on the fifth lap of the second start, when Leon crashed while leading fellow BMW rider Jordan Szoke, with reigning Champ Jodi Christie running in third place.
Michael had qualified on the front row, in fourth place, for the second weekend in a row, with a lap time of 46.956 seconds during Saturday’s timed qualifying session. Up to that point, the team had struggled with setup issues with the powerful BMW S1000RR proving to be quite a handful on the short and bumpy circuit, which is also Michael’s home track.
Family and friends braved the wet conditions on Sunday to cheer on the team. The owner of the team’s weekend feature sponsor, Pierre Bertrand of Multi-Tact Inc., was also on hand with son Justin, and staff members, to lend their support.
Once the race was under way, on a rain soaked track, Michael worked his way from fourth place to take the lead from Jordan Szoke on lap three of the 22 lap final. He led the race until the red flag came out at the end of Lap 8 when Reiner Griese crashed on the front straight.
The race was restarted and shortened to 10 laps. Sebastien Tremblay jumped into the lead with Michael in second and Jordan in third place. On Lap 2, Michael took the lead with a pass into the final corner. Jordan moved up the running order and passed Michael on the brakes at the end of the back straight on the next lap. Michael responded and took the lead again on the front straight. Unfortunately, on Lap 5, Leon lost the rear of the BMW S1000RR and crashed out of the second to last corner, unhurt, but unable to continue.
“I felt really comfortable out there during the race and the Dunlop rain were hooking up. I was kinda surprised to go down where I did. I was more worried about losing the front at two other specific spots where the water was really starting to collect. On Saturday evening, Jon Cornwell gave Kyle and I suggestions for a rain setup. While I was out there, I was thinking about one of the things he said. In the rain, if you have a seventh place bike, you finish in seventh, if you have a first place bike, you go for the win. I was out there thinking, I’ve got a first place bike today! I felt like I could win it and that’s what I tried to do."
"I’d like to thank Kyle, Karl and Corndog for giving me a winning bike and I’m sorry that I didn’t reward them with a win. Aside from that, I’m still pretty excited; I was leading a National SBK race! Thanks to my wife and daughters, Jennifer, Jaimie and Jayden for supporting my school boy dreams. Thanks to Royal Distributing, BMW Motorrad Canada, Pro 6 Cycle and Multi-Tact Inc. for allowing me to race at the highest level in Canada” commented Michael.
The next stop for the team is the double header, Round 3-4, to be held in Edmonton on July 10-12th.
Check out the video of the race at: http://leonracing.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=dcfa8552640ff75c38bac22bc&id=2b9f0981d0&e=34df840936
The Royal Distributing Racing Team would like to thank Royal Distributing, BMW Motorrad Canada, Pro 6 Cycle Dunlop, Multi-Tact, Shoei Helmets, Speed & Strength, Hindle Exhaust, Gianmajor Inc, Armour Bodies, Vortex Racing Sprockets, Foresaken Motorsports, Windmill Motorsports, Dr. Laflamme-Leblanc Dentistes, and MacDuc.