LeClair brothers go one-two in final Lightweight tune-up at SMP

The final non-championship National warm-up Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike race was won in dominant fashion on Sunday, as Jake LeClair took the victory by nearly 18 seconds at Shannonville Motorsport Park. 

The 17 year-old was forced to start from row three aboard his Yamaha YZF-R3 after electing not to participate in Saturday's race, but that did little to stop him as he led from the opening lap and never looked back. His younger brother, Ben, came out on top of a hectic three-way battle for second, which resulted in fellow teenager Matthew Simpson rounding out the podium after a pair of crashes late in the race. 

Jake is widely considered one of the premier contenders for the inaugural Lightweight Sport Bike championship at this year's Mopar CSBK National series, and it doesn't appear he is lacking confidence heading into the season opener in just two weeks. 

"I saw Ben get the holeshot, but I got a pretty good start too, so I was able to get past him in [corner two]," Jake said. "After that, I just tried to pull out a lead and save as much fuel as we could. Now we're all just looking forward to the National."

The top finishers went to mandatory post-race Technical Inspection following the podium presentation. The winner's Yamaha weighted in at 324 pounds, four over the minimum. On the Dynojet rear-wheel Dynomometer, LeClair's winning R3 "spun the drum" to register 39.12 horsepower, safely under the 42 HP posted maximum.

The older of the two brothers from Blackstock, ON was at the top of the timesheets for much of the weekend, and even qualified on pole for the first of the two non-championship races on Saturday. Though he ultimately elected not to participate, the podium still featured the family name, after Ben finished second behind race winner John Sharrard. The result – combined with Sunday's finish – gave the 15-year old two second-place finishes in as many days. 

"I'm still working on my starts," Ben joked, after nearly being assessed a jump-start penalty. "But I had a really good battle with Connor [Campbell] and it was a really fun race."

The younger LeClair was involved in a tight contest with Richard Lee and Connor Campbell that went on for over half the race, before Lee appeared to have distanced himself from the other two in second. However, the Mississauga, ON native crashed out on lap eight, promoting Ben to second and Campbell to third. The latter attempted to pull off a last-lap pass, but lost control of his Kawasaki Ninja 300 and also crashed out, giving the final podium spot to Simpson. 

"I started off in a bit of a battle, but after a while I got pretty lonely out there," Simpson said. "I had a good ride but unfortunately I just couldn't catch Ben at the end."

Coincidentally, all three of the podium finishers attend Courtice Secondary School together, just west of Simpson's hometown of Bowmanville, ON. 

Behind the three teenagers, John Taverner took fourth place aboard his Yamaha YZF-R3, while Jacob Black was promoted to fifth aboard the only Kawasaki Ninja 400 on the grid. Recently unretired female racing legend Toni Sharpless finished sixth for the second consecutive day, while Tyler Moore, Kirk Shergold, Adolfo Silva, and Graeme Jones completed the top ten.

Though Campbell was unable to record back-to-back podiums after his third-place finish on Saturday, Simpson still managed to represent Kawasaki aboard his Ninja 300. The LeClair brothers picked up the second and third podiums of the weekend for Yamaha, while the highest finishing Honda was Shergold and his CBR500R in eighth place after Sharrard won Saturday's race aboard the same machine. 

The class will now prepare for its first official point-scoring race at the CSBK season opener, which runs from May 25-27 at Shannonville Motorsport Park.