September 17, 2010
The young Loïc Léonard surprised everyone when he won the first round of the FMSQ’s Quebec Extreme EnduroCross Championship in Victoriaville last Saturday night. After a riveting 10-lap race where 3 riders successively took the lead in the last lap, the young Kawasaki Les Chutes racer won by a hair, ahead of Quebec’s EnduroCross champion Michel Metcalfe and last year’s event winner, Philippe Chaîné .
Registered as a FMSQ Provincial EnduroCross Intermediate racer this season, the young Laval native also rides with the pros in the Extreme series. He clinched the 2010 FMSQ Extreme Championship before the final round, which will be held at the Monster Energy Supercross. Although he suffered a collarbone fracture at the beginning of the season, Loïc Léonard remains a strong contender in the Provincial FMSQ EnduroCross Intermediate with two rounds to go. He also continues to make a name for himself in the US where he won the SuperMini #1 plate last year in the East EnduroCross National AMA Championship, a first for a Quebec rider. This year, Léonard remains unbeaten in the 7 rounds he participated in South of the border, in the AMA National, GNCC and NEOC series.
Although it is his first season on a full-size bike, young Léonard will not be a rookie at the Monster Energy Supercross. In fact, he took part in last year’s EnduroCross during which he surprised many, when he showed up in the Olympic Stadium with a small Kawasaki Les Chutes KX100, the bike with which he had won his AMA title earlier that season.
Many were smiling, watching young Léonard align his small KX100 on the starting grid, next to the highly modified Kawasaki (a 2-stroke 250 in a KX250F 4-stroke’s chassis) of motocross legend John Dowd’s who is almost 3 times his senior.
In the final, aware of the lack of power of his small 100cc, Léonard tried to take his chances at the start, but remained stuck in the grid and started in last place. Against all odds, he methodically and surprisingly came back to eighth place, to the delight of fans who noticed the “little guy on the little bike”. However, in the last laps, he ended up falling, due to the short wheelbase and the small wheels of his 100cc, and passed the finish line outside of the top ten.
This year, Loïc Léonard will race against the EnduroCross Pros during the Monster Energy Supercross on a Kawasaki Équipements Les Chutes KX250F, sponsored by Lucien Caggiano, Tri-County Stainless Steel and JP Powersports.