Over the course of the weekend, he proved his consistency with rides of 88, 84.75, 87.75 and 91 points.
In the opening two rounds, he matched up with Anthrax and Newsom before his 87.75 points in Round 3 on Danny Boy secured him the opportunity to take Rising Sun—a bull he had ridden twice before in the 2019 season. In September, he was 90.5 points to win a September event in Anaheim, California, and 91 points at an event in Bismarck, North Dakota, three months earlier in June.
But it was the 8-seconds on Danny Boy that illustrates how much better and how determined Leme is since finishing second in the world standings for the past two consecutive years.
Danny Boy derailed Leme’s title hopes last November when he was called for a slap right after clearing the chute gate. That night, Danny went away from Leme’s riding hand, whereas Sunday, in Sacramento, the bull came out backwards and turned into his hand.
Leme has worked tirelessly on his one perceived weakness—bulls away from his hand. “I’m excited,” said Leme, prior to Round 3 and it served as an indication he does not want there to be any more excuses come November.
In addition to his 4-for-4 performance, Leme, who has coved 66.7 percent of his bulls this season, increased his ‘rider over bull’ score.
In the Championship Round, Leme was marked 47.5 points compared to 43.5 points for Rising Sun—an R.O.B. of 4 points. Leme and last year’s World Champion, Jess Lockwood, have the two highest R.O.B. averages after four elite events this season.
Lockwood, a first-year member of the Monster Energy team, who won last week’s elite event in Manchester, New Hampshire, is averaging 2.17 points above bull scores compared 2.16 for Leme.
Fellow Monster Energy teammate, Marco Eguchi finished Sacramento second in the average – including gritty effort in Round 3 when he gave “all the effort I have” to make the 8-second whistle and is 13th in the world standings right behind Derek Kolbaba.
Leme, Lockwood, Kolbaba, Eguchi and the rest of the Top 35 riders in the world will be in Oklahoma City next weekend for a two-day event beginning Friday night.