It was a busy Bank Holiday weekend for Shark-riders racing in various series’ at Cadwell Park, Indianapolis and the Manx Grand Prix. Sadly, there was a black cloud over the BSB and Manx GP paddocks after the tragic news of the deaths of two rising stars; Ben Gautrey in the National Superstock 600 race at Cadwell Park and Shark-supported Wayne Hamilton at the Manx GP.
Hamilton, 20, was involved in a crash in the Junior Manx Grand Prix race. He had won the newcomers race on Saturday. Dubbed as a future superstar in the sport, the young Shark-rider was involved in an incident at the 13th milestone section of the course.
Through the sad news, Shark riders battled on and managed a host of podium and top-ten finishes.
At Cadwell Park Ben Wilson took a double victory at his home race and extended his title lead over Seeley back to 53 points with seven races remaining. Wilson dedicated his wins to Gautrey who was a close friend.
Kyle Ryde, 14, secured another Shark win in the Sunco British 125GP championship. Ryde is third in the overall championship, just six points behind the title leader. Ryan Watson was also on the podium in third place, giving a 1-3 podium to Shark.
Michael Laverty started his weekend off in style with a win in the first British Superbike race on Sunday. Race two and three were equally successful, with Laverty making an appearance on each step of the podium – race two: second, race three: third.
In the National Superstock 1000 class the top-ten places were full with Shark-supported riders in second, fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth places. Stepping onto the second step of the podium, Adam Jenkinson secured second place just 0.213 seconds behind the race winner. Teammates Danny Buchan and Howie Mainwaring came home in fifth and seventh places. Completing the top-ten was Victor Cox, Billy Mellor and David Johnson.
There was more podium success for Shark-riders in the Triumph Triple Challenge with Philip Atkinson finishing second and third in both races. Keith Farmer and James East completed the tragic Superstock 600 podium in second and third places.
The Moto2 Championship continued from Indianapolis, where Brit, Scott Redding equalled his best result of 2011 this weekend making a brilliant challenge for the podium finishing in fifth position. Launching his attack from 11th on the grid, Redding stormed through the pack forcing his way into the top six by the fourth lap. Championship leader, Stefan Bradl finished the weekend in sixth position and still holds his title lead ahead of Marquez by 28 points, 193 to 165.
The 125 race mirrored the Moto2 position finishes with Johann Zarco and Efren Vazquez claiming fifth and sixth places. Zarco still holds second place in the championship and is just 26 points behind the leader.
Randy de Puniet managed a top-ten finish in MotoGP, securing his best position of the year in eighth place. The Shark-rider didn’t get the best start off the grid, but managed to fight his way up overtaking a whole host of riders including Crutchlow, Hayden and Rossi.
The Manx Grand Prix saw Ryan Farquhar continue his 2011 success, claiming the 350cc Motorsport Merchandise race with a winning time of 1:32.36.10 (97.787mph). Fellow Shark-supported Andrew Brady won the Manngo.im Junior Manx Grand Prix race.
Ben Wilson, Supersport – race one: first, race two: first: “I didn’t get the best of starts in race one and Alastair got a bit of a break on me on the first lap. I soon got past McConnell and chased after Seeley passing him on the second lap. Then it was just a case of getting my head down, get into a rhythm and pull away from him. I didn’t really want to get into a situation where he was right up with me and trying to dive past at every corner. On the last lap I had a look behind me as I didn’t realise how much of a lead I had. Race two went much the same way and obviously I am very pleased with the results, it is really special to get a double win in front of the home crowd and it’s a fantastic feeling but all this fades into insignificance after the accident involving my teammate Ben Gautrey. I want to dedicate this win to him and God bless him.”
Michael Laverty, BSB – race one: first, race two: second, race three: third: « There wasn’t any more I could have done in the second race to try and get the win. I just tried to adjust the traction during the race as I was struggling a bit with side grip in places and that meant I was unable to catch him again. It was a pity not to have won but I think we should be getting our share in the Showdown. I think this weekend has shown that I am a title contender and I won’t be giving up without a fight.”
Scott Redding, Moto2: fifth: “That was a very difficult race but I’m really happy. Firstly, challenging for the podium is where we should have been all season, and it feels great to have been in a battle at the right end of the field. Secondly, conditions were very hot again and in the past I’ve struggled in extremely hot weather. But I got through the race with no problems and I still felt strong at the end, so that’s a big bonus for me. This result has given me a lot of confidence for the final part of the season and I’ve got to say a big thanks to the Marc VDS Racing Team because today is a good reward for all their hard work. »