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Royce Mclean top finishing rookie at Mirabel

Piloting the potent YZF-R6, Royce Mclean stepped up to the plate at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, QC this past weekend claiming a noteworthy seventh place in both Pro Superbike and Pro Sport Bike racing action. His results saw him chalk up top finishing rookie honours in both championship series.

It was only the second Pro Superbike and Pro Sport Bike start for the 14-year-old up and comer from Coaldale, Alberta. Mclean began the weekend in good form by qualifying ninth in Superbike and sixth in Sport Bike on the rough and challenging 2.8 km (1.7 mile) ICAR circuit, putting him on the third and second row of the starting grid respectively.

In the 16 lap Superbike feature, he quickly moved into seventh place to then fight a race-long battle with Alex Welsh for sixth place but the teenager was unable to get by the Ontario native. Although Mclean’s main focus this year is on the Sport Bike Championship, he is contesting the Superbike class on his YZF-R6 in order to get in the extra bike time. In Sport Bike, Mclean basically spent the race on the tail of the veteran Steve Crevier, but as in the Superbike class he was unable to make a pass.

“I’m really excited with my performance today, especially getting my first top ten result in Superbike,” said Mclean. “I felt comfortable in both classes and my R6 was totally awesome. I’d like to thank my team for all their hard work and the confidence they have placed in me.”

Mclean’s Toyota Yamaha OTSFF teammate Kevin Lacombe – who clocked fourth fastest qualifying in Sport Bike to then nail down a fourth place finish in the race – was victimized by a crash on the second lap of the Superbike feature. The Granby, QC native, looking to repeat at his home province national the two podium finishes he carded at the opening round in Calabogie, had secured a front row start on the strength of third fastest qualifying.

Although the feature race started on a positive note for Lacombe, with an explosive start on his YZF-R1that saw him command the holeshot, he was foiled by a crack in the old Mirabel Airport circuit which sent him sprawling while leading the rest of the field. He was able to pick up and quickly restart his bike and get back into the fray but damage to his rear set and the casing saw him retire from the race a few laps later.

“Today was definitely not one of my better days. Fourth in Sport Bike is not exactly what I was looking for but to DNF in Superbike was a lot worse,” said Lacombe. “The crack in the concrete had been sealed with silicone but the area I hit was sticking out a little bit and it caused me to tuck the front end. I tried to continue the race to get some points but there was no way I could make the bike do what I wanted it to do with the damaged rear set.”

Third Toyota Yamaha OTSFF team member Tony Kasper, who recorded 13th place in Sport Bike qualifying, finished ninth in the 14 lap event but was subjected to a five-second jumpstart penalty which relegated him to tenth on the scoreboard. The Becker, MN native does not compete in the Superbike Championship.

“From my point of view, I didn’t jump the start but according to the officials I did and I got bumped one position in the results. That being said, I felt good to actually finish the race and not DNF like at Calabogie,” said Kasper. “It took me a while to come to terms with the track and get up to speed but getting top ten and some championship points is very encouraging. We can build on that at the next round and keep chipping away. It’s a long season.”

Team Toyota Yamaha OTSFF Racing would like to congratulate Royce Mclean for claiming the Top HJC Pro Rookie of the Weekend award and thank the following sponsors for their valuable support: Yamalube, GYTR, West Central, Pirelli, Zox, Joe Rocket, VP, Vortex and ESP. Also a special thanks to the crew, for a great job, and our Yamaha supporting dealers Jack n Jill’s Motorsport (Midland), Gregoire Sport and Powersports Junction (Guelph).

The Parts Canada Superbike Championship resumes for Round 3 of the title chase June 25-28 in Calgary, AB at Race City Motorsport Park.


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