The British Superbike Championship continued from Brands Hatch this weekend, with fans enjoying a triple-header of BSB action at the picturesque circuit in Kent.
Ben Wilson continued his podium dominance finishing both Supersport races in second place. Taking part in two epic battles with Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley, Wilson twice crossed the line a-tyre-tread behind his rival. Despite leading the championship, Wilson sees his lead reduced to 43 points with four rounds remaining. The “Rider of the Day” award took a new twist with James Whitham unable to separate the Supersport riders and awarded both Wilson and Seeley the award. John Simpson won both of the Cup races within the Supersport championship, whilst fellow SHARK-supported Sam Hornsey finished the second Cup race behind Simpson.
Howie Mainwaring showed a superb display of riding in the Superstock 1000 race, landing his first win of the year with the MSS Kawasaki team. Fellow SHARK-supported Adam Jenkinson finished sixth and Danny Buchan who is lying second in the overall championship, and ahead of Mainwaring finished within the top-ten in ninth place.
In the Superstock 600 class, SHARK-riders Alex Olsen and Keith Farmer finished third and fourth respectively – Farmer currently leads the overall championship. Ashley Beech finished both of the Triumph Triple races in second place. There was another SHARK-win in both the Harley-Davidson XR1200 Trophy races for James Webb, who also heads up the championship by 12 points. In the 125GP class Kyle Ryde placed another SHARK helmet on the podium, securing a win, and Lee Bob Jackson finished in fifth position.
The British Superbike Championship saw some highs and lows for SHARK-supported riders, Michael Laverty finished the first race in eighth position, and fourth in both of Sunday’s races. James Westmoreland came home in a respectable sixth position on Saturday, but struggled to clinch another top-ten finish in the next two races.
Meanwhile, Ryan Farquhar was denied the chance of adding to his haul of Irish National road race wins, after the Mid Antrim 150 races were cancelled. The orgainsers called the event off at 1230hrs due to extensive oil spillages on the circuit, which sabotage is believed to be the likely cause. After a successful practice on Friday night, Farquhar claimed pole position for all his races, but upon arrival at the circuit on Saturday morning they found most of it had been covered in oil, resulting in massive clean-up operation. Rainfall heightened problems, and the orgainisers made the decision to call the meeting off.
MotoGP, BSB and SBK now all have a little break for the summer with BSB returning on the bank holiday weekend at the end of August. Farquhar will now head to the Ulster GP, with the action getting underway on Wednesday.
Ben Wilson, BSS: second: « I am a little disappointed with second place each time. After taking the lead in the sprint race I made a mistake and that let Seeley back through. In the second race I just could not shake him off and we battled on to the end. It was an exciting race and we were just about equal but on the run to the flag he just got the edge on me and took the win. We now move on to Cadwell Park where I will be putting in 100% effort to recoup the 10 points lost to Seeley this weekend and maintain my lead in the run up to the championship finale.
Howie Mainwaring, BSS 1000 – first: “That win has been a long time coming and it was a fantastic race, a great battle with Cooper. We’ve had mega pace all through qualifying and I was really confident for the race. Cooper had loads of straight line speed but I could make it up on the corners, especially coming out of the slower stuff. When I saw a few raindrops on my visor I thought ‘time to start pushing’ as I didn’t want another Thruxton! I got to the front and stayed there this time! That was my first pole of the year and first win so I’d like to thank the team, they have been fantastic and stuck by me all year.”
Michael Laverty, BSB – race one: eighth, race two: fourth, race three: fourth: « It has been a frustrating day for me really and the results don’t really reflect the pace that we have had this weekend. In race two I had to start from the fifth row of the grid and it was hard work to come through the field and by the time I did, the leading three had an advantage. In the races I was able to run a string of consistent fast laps and knew we had the pace to win, but thought we could try in race three starting from the front row. I was behind Shakey and he was strong on the brakes and on the exit of the corner but where the Swan Yamaha was faster was mid corner and I just couldn’t get passed him. I wasn’t prepared for us both to end up in the gravel trap with a bit of an over ambitious move because fourth place kept us inside the top six. »
Alex Lowes, BSB: race one: 21st, race two: 20th, race three: 16th: “All in all it was a bit of a rubbish weekend but I tried 100% and now I know where I need to improve. I’m not that far off the pace, when I was in seventh in the first Sunday race I was feeling good, but I made a mistake. Despite the results I enjoyed the racing this weekend and we have identified what it is about the bike we need to concentrate on to make it better, so I’m confident for Cadwell.”
Ryan Farquhar: “It’s a great shame when an oil spillage results in the meeting being cancelled and if it was deliberate then that makes it even worse. Accidents and weather can disrupt things and we accept that but this was something totally different and it’s not fair to all those people – riders, organisers, fans – who make the meeting happen. Practice had gone well for me and I was happy with the performance of the bikes so I was looking forward to a good day’s racing, as was everyone else but a minority denied the whole paddock that opportunity. It was also a great shame for Jamie as he did an absolutely brilliant job. It was his first ever outing at a National road race so to be on pole and just half a second off the class lap record was superb so it bodes well for the future. All we can do is put this behind us, hope it never happens again and look forward to Dundrod and the Ulster GP next week.”