The British Superbike Championship and its support classes arrived at Silverstone this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2011 championship. Following the success of Shark riders at the previous round at Donington Park, another championship title was secured.
John Simpson was crowned British Supersport Cup Champion after wining both of Sunday’s races. Simpson took the title with 384 points, 130 ahead of the second place rider David Paton. Fellow Shark rider, Sam Hornsey was hot on Simpson’s heels in race two taking second spot on the podium.
Ben Wilson suffered a disastrous weekend in the British Supersport Championship. The weekend started so well, with Wilson leading the championship and starting on the front row in Saturday’s race. Leading the race, Wilson entered a battle with Seeley who was hot on his heels. Exchanging places throughout the race at nearly every corner, Wilson would lead and then Seeley. On the penultimate lap, Wilson made a move to overtake Seeley, which saw the pair touch causing Wilson to crash out of the race at Stowe.
Uninjured from Saturdays crash Wilson was able to line up for the second race on Sunday. Getting away to a fantastic start, he passed the pole setter on the first lap and held P1 for the first two laps, Seeley then passed him intent on taking another win. Involved in a battle with another rider, Wilson eventually managed to pull away and set his sights on Seeley. But it was not meant to be when Wilson was forced to retire on lap 10 of 12, after encountering problems with his Gearlink Kawasaki. Wilson has lost his championship lead and now needs to win all three races at Brands Hatch to secure the title.
In the British Superbike Championship, Michael Laverty secured a podium, and fourth place in the penultimate showdown of the series. In the opening race of the day, Laverty took the lead before championship leader John Hopkins passed him on the ninth lap. Trying to regain his position Laverty made a mistake, which cost him the chance of victory as he had failed to see the last lap flag or pit board, and had to settle with second place.
In the second race Laverty again took the lead before the title lead fight took hold, eventually securing a respectable fourth place. Laverty leaves Silverstone in fourth place overall, and will now prepare to fight for the title at the deciding finale at Brands Hatch in a few weeks time. On his second outing with the Motorsport Yamaha team, Alex Lowes finished race one in seventh place, and took 12th place in race two.
Keith Farmer added another win to his 2011 British Superstock 600 Championship title, secured at the previous round at Donington Park. In the 125GP, young Kyle Ryde extended his championship lead with another win, and leads with 11 points.
The British Superstock Championship saw a host of Shark riders in the top-10; Howie Mainwaring set the crowd’s pulses racing with a stunning ride to storm from 18th on the grid to lead the race. Charging up through the field, Mainwaring made up 11 places on the first lap to join the leading riders. A bid to break away in the final stage saw Mainwaring led into the final corner, but the Shark-rider had to settle for a respectable third place. Fellow Shark-supported David Johnson took fifth; Danny Buchan finished in seventh, and is still second in the championship, Adam Jenkinson took ninth place with fellow Shark riders taking 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th places respectively.
The championship showdown will take place at Brands Hatch in two weeks time, 7-9 October.
Meanwhile the World Superbike Championship continued from Imola, Italy with two races left of the year, with wins and podiums for Shark’s riders.
In front of a large crowd the Supersport Championship continued with a thrilling race. Fabien Foret got himself back in the championship fight with a gutsy ride through the field, to take his first win of the year, and return to second place in the championship. The race win was up for grabs when Chaz Davies’s machine failed on lap 15, when Foret was in fourth place. Also battling for the race win was fellow Shark supported Sam Lowes. Pushing through the pack from 11th place, Lowes found himself in second place at the end of the first lap.
Lowes took the lead when Davies’ machine failed, and was closely followed by Foret who eventually took the lead from the young-Brit. Despite numerous attempts to pass, Lowes could not match the pace of Foret and secured second place, giving Shark a 1-2 on the podium – Lowes lies in fifth place overall. It was very nearly a complete Shark podium, with Gino Rea who fell on the last lap, but was able to pick his bike up and restart finishing in 11th place.
The World Superbike Championship, saw Shark riders taking top ten spots in both races, Tom Sykes finished fourth in race one and Sylvain Guintoli was sixth and seventh. There are just two rounds left of the World Superbike Championship with the next round at Magny-Cours this coming weekend, and the final round taking place at Portimão 15-16 October.
The fourth round of the FIM World Endurance Championship at Le Mans was also a successful weekend for Shark riders, with two podiums and a top-10 finish. The 24-hour race saw Baptiste Guittet take second place with the S.E.R.T (Suzuki Endurance Racing) team. Loris Baz who was racing in the BSB championship before losing his ride with Motorpoint Yamaha, completed the podium with the Monster Yamaha Yart team, and Damian Cudlin took seventh place with BMW Motorrad France 99. There is just one round remaining of the championship, the 8-hours of Dohar Qatar, 12 November. The S.E.R.T team are currently title contenders, with the BMW Motorsport France 99 team hot on their heels.
Ben Wilson: To say I am gutted would be an understatement. I was on course for the win in the first race and thought I had the line through Stowe. Seeley thought otherwise and moved back on me and we clashed. There was an enquiry after the race but it was deemed to be a racing incident and the result was to stand.
Going into the second race I was determined to claw back some of the 25 points lost and after Warren pulled out I was free to chase Seeley who had got a bit of a lead on me. I was beginning to reel him in and perhaps could have caught him in the last few laps but lady luck wasn’t on my side and I had to pull out with a technical issue.
Michael Laverty: Race one was going to plan and I was feeling comfortable with the pace and I followed John (Hopkins) for a few laps but I made a stupid mistake because I hadn’t seen my pit board or the last lap flag and so I didn’t take a punt to get passed him. I was a bit frustrated with that and I wanted to make amends in the second race. In the second one I took the lead on the first lap, but John Hopkins got passed me and before I knew it I was back to third. I was suffering with some brake issues and the race was getting a bit messy as everyone was making lunges and it was all pretty hectic! I think if I had been able to get to the front I could have controlled the pace but I just didn’t get the chance I needed. We will re-group though and come back for Brands Hatch and the last three races of the season ready to get back on that podium.
Sam Lowes: To be fair it has been a difficult weekend for me after missing most of the first qualifying session because of a crash, but the Parkalgar Honda team did a fantastic job on my bike and improved it enormously in time for the race. I didn’t make the start I wanted and was well behind but got my head down and got into the battle. I am really happy to get second and can’t wait to get to Magny Cours next weekend.
Damian Cudlin: To finish seventh here today, with the potential we showed before the race, is frustrating for everyone. We couldn’t have come here with a better package and the fact that we were able to control the race for almost 12 hours shows that quite clearly. Everyone was working really well, with the riders backing each other up, but then we hit the problems. What was really tough was that we were attacking harder in seventh than we had been when we were leading, but without the reward. But the championship is far from over. We’re only nine points adrift of SERT and the pressure is now on them. We’ve got nothing to lose, so we’ll definitely be heading to Doha looking for a fight!