Just where will Michael Leib be racing for the rest of 2013? Apparently is still hasn’t been decided
despite the impressions given over Easter weekend!
The saga started last year when Leib thought he was going to CLS Pro Circuit Kawasaki only to be
ousted at the last minute by Arnaud Tonus.
The friendly Leib was undeservedly left without a ride but rode successfully as a privateer on a
Honda for Rocket Exhausts in West coast supercross. Injury at Anahiem 2 wrecked what was a good
season and the Californian is still recovering from the broken wrist he sustained at that event.
However in anticipation of a comeback, Leib has been looking around for rides and during the Easter
weekend it looked like he had one.
At Valkenswaard it appeared Leib was going to ride for the Beursfoon Suzuki team for the rest of the
season and also in 2014. Although still injured and unable to compete in Valkenswaard ( the team
had him entered), Leib was there in the Beursfoon truck and the team where happy for Michael to
talk to the media under the Beursfoon tent about his deal with them.
When MX Vice asked if riding in the US Nationals was something he wanted to do at some point,
Leib said: “It is but only when it’s time. I have this year and next year to do something in the GP’s
and I want to do it. I want to do everything possible that I can next year to really chase it and go
The interview was also on pulpmx.com but it was taken down suddenly at Leib’s fathers request
when he claimed nothing was signed which appeared to contradict what Michael said in the
It was also claimed in Racerhead on Racer X that Leib had a two year deal with the Dutch team.
Then, speaking on Vitalmx in response to the Racer x information, Leib’s father said: “Michael is not
committed to going to Europe – although he is considering it. He was in Valkensward last weekend
talking to Beursfoon Suzuki and CLS. CLS chose Jimmy D. We are in full prep for AMA outdoors.”
What is confusing about this statement is that always well turned out Beursfoon Suzuki squad had
a Michael Leib banner, a bike with Leib’s name and number on it as well as Leib there in person
wearing a Beursfoon jacket during the GP weekend. Clearly the deal had been brewing for a while.
Speaking to the team they were excited to have Leib on board and were keen to make him part of
the family so he would feel comfortable. There was no suggestion at that time that the deal was
not completed and the team kindly allowed us to take photos of Leib with the bike and to do the
It is also no surprise that CLS chose Jimmy DeCotis because Leib is not able to ride right now whereas
DeCotis is already testing the bike and will be racing for CLS in Italy this weekend.
But the unanswered questions remain. Specifically, why was Leib wearing a Beursfoon Suzuki
jacket if he hadn’t signed and, according to his dad, talking to CLS on the same weekend? Why did
Beursfoon Suzuki have Leib’s bike there and why did they have him on the entry list for the last
couple of Dutch races and the Dutch GP? They must have been pretty confident they had him.
Clearly wires have been crossed at some point and it isn’t ideal for either party.
The team are very professional and deserve to have a good rider. Leib is a nice guy, a good rider and
he deserves to ride for a good team in a long term deal.
It seemed the perfect fit and maybe it still will be.
But right now it seems everything is up in there air again although, according to Michael’s dad, Leib
is getting ready for the US Nationals which indicates that racing GPs is not the likeliest option despite
how it appeared last weekend.
Don’t forget Leib has never raced an outdoor national in the US, so it is understandable that if he has
the opportunity that he may prefer to ride in his own country.
Wherever Leib races I just hope he gets a bike that allows him to show his potential, but just what
machine that is no-one knows. And if they do, they aren’t saying – well not this week anyway!
Contract negotiations eh?
Article by Jonathan McCready
Picture by Nigel McKinstry