The British Superbike Championship and its support classes arrived at Donington Park this weekend and spectators were not disappointed by the dramatic on-track action. It was a very successful event for Shark, with two of its supported riders securing their respective championship titles.
Rookie Keith Farmer was crowned Superstock 600 champion as he took a hard earned sixth place in Sunday’s race on the back of his victory during Saturday’s action. Meanwhile in the Harley-Davidson XR1200 Trophy, James Webb crossed the line in second place in both races to take a well-deserved championship win.
The British Superbike Championship entered the Showdown stage, where the top six riders compete on almost equal footing for the title. Shark-supported Michael Laverty qualified second to start from the front row and after an epic battle with his teammate and fellow title fighter Tommy Hill, he finished race one in second place to take Shark to the podium.
Race two almost ended prematurely for Laverty when he crashed on the opening lap and ended up in the gravel. He picked up his bike and carried on, finishing in 14th to salvage two points. Ian Lowry made his debut for MSS Kawasaki with a credible 12th in race one but a DNF in race two. Alex Lowes debuted for Motorpoint Yamaha, finishing 16th in race one but unfortunately he was also unable to finish race two. James Westmoreland managed 11th overall and second in the Evo class for WFR Honda.
Despite rain and red flags in the British Supersport races, Ben Wilson secured a second and fourth for Gearlink Kawasaki to maintain his lead in the championship with a 36-point gap. In the Cup class, John Simpson visited the podium with two second-place finishes and still leads the series by a comfortable margin. Sam Hornsey was victorious in Cup race one while Emmett O Grady came third in Cup race two.
It was a tough weekend for the Shark riders in the Superstock 1000 Championship with Howie Mainwaring finishing in 23rd and Adam Jenkinson and Danny Buchan both with DNFs. In the Triumph Triple races, the Shark riders faired well with Phil Atkinson in third, Ashley Beech in fourth and Tom Hayward in sixth.
In the 125GP Championship, 14-year-old sensation Kyle Ryde took a runaway victory to take the lead in the title stakes. He dominated the race, crossing the line a staggering 16.122secs clear of Bradley Ray in second. The BSB action continues at Silverstone on 24/25 September.
Over in Ireland, John Burrows clinched the Irish Supertwins Championship yesterday in a class that is dominated by Shark-supported riders. Ryan Farquhar came second, Andy Farrell was in third and Ronan Pentony was in fourth. Pentony won the Irish Junior Support Championship by half a point, while Garry Miller secured the Irish Senior Support Championship ahead of Pentony in second and fellow Shark rider Derek Magee in third.
Michael Laverty: I was happy to be on the podium again in the first race. I got to the front but to be honest I was surprised when Shakey came passed me as I wasn’t sure he would have the pace after the way the weekend had gone for him. I let him run the pace and then I knew I had to get my finger out and make a move to get back in the lead. I passed Shakey with the melee at Goddards but then it was all a bit busy as we went into Redgate! I was on the outside but then I saw John Hopkins went for the same line so I took a chance on the inside and it paid off. I held John off for a few laps but I didn’t want to do something risky and end up in the gravel; there will be fairing bashing to come but I didn’t want to risk it in the first Showdown race! I was feeling confident for the second race and I wanted to get to the front as soon as possible. Shakey had done the same move in race one and we went for the apex but he hadn’t seen me. It is frustrating but it was a racing incident. It will be an uphill task now but we knew we had the pace which makes it even more disappointing. The pressure is slightly off me now as I can just try for wins rather than being too conservative but anything can still happen and I will fight until the bitter end for the title.
Ben Wilson: We just couldn’t get the bike to do what we wanted this weekend. It’s not an ideal result for us but at least we didn’t crash and we picked up another 33 points. We have to put this behind us and move on to Silverstone where we will try to set the record straight and get back to winning races.
Ian Lowry: I’ve jumped into the deep end this weekend and I’ve been making all sorts of changes to try and get the bike to work well for me. Initially I was struggling a little bit, but eventually we found some good settings that totally transformed the machine. The start of the first race wasn’t great and I ended up on the grass as a few riders in front of me crashed. Twelfth really isn’t a true reflection of how race one went and a wee mechanical issue stopped me in race two. Overall it has been a really positive weekend and I’m happy with the amount of progress we’ve made.
Danny Buchan: Yeah I’m really disappointed with this weekend. I couldn’t find a good pace during qualifying and ended up with a bad placing but made some changes and got a good start in the race. I just pushed too hard and ended up in the gravel.
Howie Mainwaring: We were trying to settle the bike during practice and we found a good setting for the race. Unfortunately the pace car kept coming out and I just couldn’t keep the temperature in the tyres. Obviously I’m really disappointed with my result, but we’ve proved that we have the pace and we just need a little luck.