This weekend saw the British Superbike Championship and its support classes come to a close for the 2012 season, at Brands Hatch. SHARK riders celebrated a successful season with one Champion and high championship finishes throughout the classes. The MotoGP championship also continued from Motegi, Japan with last minute championship points collected.
In the Metzeler National Superstock 600 class Lee Bob Jackson (Chris Walker Race School), was crowned Champion. Jackson was fastest in all of the weekend sessions, started on pole, won the race and racked up the fastest lap time. Fellow SHARK supported James Rose (Moto-Breakers) finished the season third overall.
The Monster Energy British Motostar race and overall standings were dominated by SHARK riders; Bradley Ray (FAB-Racing) took the race win, and finished second in the championship. While, Joe Francis (Banks Racing) finished third in the race, fifth overall, Jordan Weaving (Jordan Racing) fifth, seventh overall, Kyle Ryde (Metmachex SHR Wilson Craig Honda) sixth in the race and overall, while Joe Irving (e3 motorsport) finished seventh and fourth.
SHARK riders were prominent again in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 overall standings with five riders in the top-ten – Victor Cox (ILR Kawasaki) was in the top-three in third. Lee Costello (Halshall Racing Team) fifth, Howie Mainwaring (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) sixth, Dave Johnson (Carbontek Racing) eighth, and Danny Buchan tenth – who has been taking part in the superbike class for the last seven rounds.
The British Superbike races saw again SHARK riders in the high placings, Alex Lowes (WRF Honda) was fourth overall after a disappointing weekend of DNFs. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) was fifth, James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) seventh and Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) just outside the top-ten in 11th.
There was further success in the Triumph Triple Challenge with Philip Atkinson (Jack Lily Triumph) finishing both races in second place, and the overall championship in third. Ben Wilson, completed his British Supersport campaign in fifth place after finishing in seventh and fifth at the weekend.
Meanwhile in Japan, the MotoGP championship continued nearer the end of its season. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) continued his rookie year in style with another sixth place finish, he is sitting eighth overall. In Moto2, Scott Redding (Marc VDS) finished fourth, with fellow SHARK man Johann Zarco (jIR Team) in eighth – both riders are in the top-ten overall standings with Redding fifth and Zarco ninth.
The MotoGP Championship has three rounds left, before coming to and end in Valencia, Spain on 10-11 November.
Michael Laverty: « It was nice to be back up on the podium but it was a hard second race. I struggled to get passed Alex Lowes; I put a couple of moves on him and he shut the door quite aggressively and nearly took us both down. Once he was out of the way I got into a good rhythm, but the two safety cars did make it hard work, but we pushed hard. The crash in the last race was not the way I wanted to end the season. My pace was a bit stronger and I was able to catch the leaders but I didn’t want to do anything rash out of respect for their championship fight. I knew that Alex was close to me, but didn’t realise how close till I saw his front wheel and then his bike took me down; he apologised, he wanted the podium as much as I did. It was been a bit of frustrating weekend but that’s racing. »
Ben Wilson: “Things havent gone my way this year,” said Ben. “I would have liked to have ended the season with a win but it wasn’t to be. But I am happy with fifth place overall and also pleased I managed to win at least one race this season. My team has been fantastic all season and I have to thank Norma and Michael de Bidaph, my pit crew plus my personal sponsors and family and friends for their support.”
Scott Redding: « It was a hard race today, especially with my wrist, which took a bit of a beating with the hard braking here at Motegi. I couldn’t stay with Rabat and Espargaro when they went past me, as I was having a few problems getting my foot under the gear lever in the final sector and then the rear started spinning up. I thought I might be able to reel them back in, but then Elias started lunging up the inside at every turn and pushing us both wide on exit. It was inevitable that he was going to crash and then it was just a case of holding off Lüthi to the flag. It’s another fourth place, which is good for the championship, but I want to be back on the podium again, and soon. »
Johann Zarco: « We can say that there were many positive points from the race. Firstly, I had good start and was fighting for seventh position and my pace was not so bad but other riders in front were at a different pace and it was hard to stay behind them and they pulled a gap. When I wanted to recover this time on them, I made a mistake on a braking point and almost went off the track. With this, I lost quite a few positions and was 15th or 14th so from there I was almost alone with Anthony West, but I wanted to hit a good pace behind him and finally we came back on the leading group. Thankfully in the last two laps I could overtake four riders. This was good, but I wished I could stay with the front riders from the start of the race. We need to work on consistency during the race I think. To finish in eighth means I’m still in the top ten in the championship. I will never give up and will work hard to try and move up in the standings. »