The second half of the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike doubleheader brought vindication for championship leader Trevor Dion, as he led almost from start-to-finish for his second victory of the campaign in Atlantic Motorsport Park.
Dion threw away a sure win on Saturday after crashing out of the lead, ultimately salvaging third, but he wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice as he went almost unchallenged to score a crucial victory on Sunday.
The LDS Consultants Kawasaki rider trailed for all of one corner after briefly ceding the holeshot to race one winner Jake LeClair, but Dion again wrestled the lead right back in turn two and proceeded to dominate the grid the rest of the way as he stretches his championship lead to 21 points.
“After yesterday we were really eager for the win today, so I managed to hang it around the outside of Jake in turn two and make it stick, but it was pretty sketchy,” Dion joked. “I knew we had the pace all weekend, so I just put my head down and tried not to make the same mistake as yesterday.”
LeClair’s challenge for a second consecutive win was quickly put aside by Dion, but his brief battle with David MacKay was still influential in deciding the race. MacKay struggled to get by the late-breaking 20-year-old early on, and by the time he did the Fast Company Kawasaki rider had already seen his title rival escape out front.
“I got caught up a bit at the start battling with Jake, and by the time I broke free Trevor was already gone,” MacKay said. “We improved a lot over the weekend, but the gap was just too big in the end.”
No other rider saw as much action across the 18-lap race as LeClair, who followed up his battle with MacKay by entering another epic duel with Elliot Vieira. The two waged war for majority of the race, with a persistent Vieira holding off the bLU cRU Yamaha right up to the final lap, before he nearly crashed out and allowed LeClair to steal the final podium spot.
“I had a great start, but then Trevor got by me in two, and then so did David and Elliot right after,” LeClair said. “I tried to just stay with him but then he got all out of shape on the final lap and I was able to sneak by.”
Vieira nearly out-dragged LeClair to the line but ultimately came up just 0.063 seconds short, settling for fourth aboard his Snow City Yamaha. The result will leave him 39 points adrift in the championship fight, though he remains comfortably third overall.
Rookie Matt Simpson rounded out the top-five for the second consecutive day, running a solid race aboard his Evans Racing Yamaha to move himself closer to a top-five spot in the final standings.
The second race of the feature Pro Superbike class is scheduled to get underway at roughly 3 pm AT (2 pm ET) this afternoon at Atlantic Motorsport Park.
Atlantic Motorsport Park
Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Race 2 Results - 18 laps
1. Trevor Dion, Kawasaki
2. David MacKay, Kawasaki
3. Jake LeClair, Yamaha
4. Elliot Vieira, Yamaha
5. Matthew Simpson, Yamaha