Royal Distributing Racing Team News: Leon Wins The 2016 RACE Pro Superbike Championship at Shannonville
Royal Distributing’s Michael Leon capped off the 2016 season with a perfect weekend of racing at the final round of the RACE Superseries at Shannonville Motorsport Park. He rode the Royal Distributing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Pro 6 Cycle S1000RR Superbike, fitted with Dunlop N-Tec Slick tires, to victory in each of the 5 races that he started during the weekend. In the process, he clinched the Pro Superbike Championship as well as the Open Sprint Championship and earned the RACE number One plate for 2017. Michael previously won the Championship in 2012.
Going into the event, Michael held a 12 point advantage in the Pro Superbike points, over fellow racer Elie Daccache, and a 13 point lead ahead of Jim Proulx. The points were much tighter in Open Sprint, where Jim led Michael by just 2 points.
On Friday morning, the riders were greeted by a wet, cold track. In spite of the September weather, racer turnout was good for the last race of the year. Most opted out of practice for the morning but by afternoon, the sun came out and the riders were able to get some laps in. The Pro Track surface was quite greasy due to a massive oil spill from earlier in the week-stretching from Allen’s corner all the way to the entrance of corner 2.
Conditions improved on Saturday afternoon, and with team supporter Dave Smith there to cheer on the team, the racing got off to a great start for Michael. He won the heat race for both Open Sprint and Pro Superbike. The last race of the day was the additional Pro Superbike race held as a make-up for the cancellation of round one, due to weather. Leon took the lead early and edged out Daccache, who finished second on his Yamaha R6, with Proulx rounding out the podium on his venerable Yamaha R1. Michael ran the new Dunlop soft compound, with success, despite the track temperature being just 35 degrees Celcius, the lower limit for that tire.
The heat race win in Open Sprint allowed Michael to claw back a single point on Proulx, with only 2 points separating the rivals. The Open Sprint Championship would go to the victor of the final on Saturday. In Pro Superbike, Michael now led the points by 16. He would need to finish 6th or better to secure the Championship on Sunday.
Conditions were even better on Sunday, with the sun shining and slightly higher temperatures. Tuner Kyle Blakely, of Windmill Motorsports, arrived to oversee the preparation of the BMW and to not leave anything to chance. Once again, Michael rode the S1000RR to victory in the 8 lap Open Sprint race, clinching the Championship. Jim Proulx was second on the Yamaha R1 with one of Leon’s former Diablo teammates, Jeff Williams, rounding out the podium in third place on a Yamaha R6.
Leon rode a smart race in the 12 lap Pro Superbike final, following Daccache on the R6 for the first ten laps, then taking the lead with two to go, winning the last race of the season. Jim Proulx finished third. With that, Leon clinched the Pro Superbike Championship and #1 plate for next Season at RACE. Daccache was second in points and Proulx third. This season, Leon and the BMW dominated the Pro SBK class winning each of the five Superbike race finals, for a perfect season in that class.
Dunlop (Leon) was the victor of the Shannonville Pro SBK tire rivalry, with Pirelli (Daccache) second and Michelin (Proulx) third.
“I have no doubts about the level of ability that Elie and Jim have as riders. They pushed hard all season and have amazing talent. I realize that the equipment that I have gave me an upper hand. Having the support from Royal Distributing, BMW Motorrad Canada, Pro 6 Cycle, Dunlop, Kyle Blakely from Windmill Motorsports, Jon Cornwell, Sandy and Sean provided a huge advantage. Having the best motorcycle in the field, prepared by some of the top professionals in motorsports, on the best tires is hard to beat. I can’t thank them all enough!” commented Michael.
Everyone involved with the team would like to thank the RACE officials and CRCA Marshals for all of their hard work and for putting on such a great event and season.
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 Sprockets, Windmill Motorsports, Bickle Racing and Dave Smith.
From a press release