2018 BSB Round Two Brands Hatch

Byrne and Haslam share the victories in hectic Brands Hatch races

Podium for O’Halloran in race one but DNF in race two
P13 and P5 for Josh Brookes who is now 11th on points
Double podiums for Ben Currie in Supersport
A win and a podium for Billy McConnell in STK1000
Pair of seventh places for Sam Clarke in STK1000
Tough Motostars debut for Sharni Pinfold
No points for Levi Day in Ducati Cup

Three different winners have already celebrated victory in the opening four races of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship as defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and fierce title rival Leon Haslam shared the wins in a hectic second round at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent.

Superbike Race One

Home hero Byrne had been gunning to return to the top step after 20-year-old Bradley Ray completed a double victory at the season opener. The Be Wiser Ducati rider started alongside him on the grid, and the six-time champion became embroiled in a race-long battle with his local rival in the opening clash of the day.

Bradley Ray led the field away at Brands Hatch
Bradley Ray led the field away at Brands Hatch

Ray had produced a lightning start off the line to lead Byrne and Haslam on the opening lap as the Buildbase Suzuki rider led the freight train of riders. The leading pair was soon edging ahead at the front of the pack as the local heroes battled for race one supremacy.

Bradley Ray led the field away at Brands Hatch
Bradley Ray led the field away at Brands Hatch

Meanwhile Haslam in third place was coming under fire from the chasing trio of Jason O’Halloran, Christian Iddon and Michael Laverty, who had all been locked in a grudge match to close the gap on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider in third place.

Michael Laverty and Jason O'Halloran
Michael Laverty and Jason O’Halloran

O’Halloran was able to make a decisive move to edge into third place on lap 14 and the Honda Racing contender held off a counter attack from Haslam in the closing stages with Iddon completing the top five for Tyco BMW.

Jason O'Halloran got the better of Leon Haslam in race one
Jason O’Halloran got the better of Leon Haslam in race one

Jake Dixon moved his way up the order to sixth position, just ahead of Glenn Irwin and Laverty, who dropped to eighth in the closing stages of the race with Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman completing the top ten.

Josh Brookes
Josh Brookes

Josh Brookes could only muster a 13th place finish on the McAms Yamaha after starting from 20th on the grid following a problematic qualifying session for the 2015 BSB Champion. The Aussie does win the mo’ award for the round though!

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race One result: Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.837s Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.412s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race One result:
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.837s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.412s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race One result:
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.837s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.412s
  4. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +2.863s
  5. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.101s
  6. Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +6.673s
  7. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +7.521s
  8. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +8.037s
  9. Tommy Bridewell (Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki) +8.247s
  10. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.383s
  11. Tarran Mackenzie (McAms Yamaha) +12.676s
  12. Danny Buchan (F5-3 Kawasaki) +14.085
  13. Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +14.896
  14. Jakub Smrz (Lloyd BMW) +17.236
  15. Luke Mossey (F5-3 Kawasaki) +19.912

Superbike Race Two

Race two saw the JG Speedfit Kawasaki celebrate their first victory of the season with Haslam, as the ‘Pocket Rocket’ mastered the damp conditions to become the third different race winner, holding off the attack from Irwin and Laverty to have the edge by just 0.367s at the chequered flag.

Ray had taken the advantage at the start of the race, leading the field into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time ahead of Haslam, Dixon, Byrne and Iddon, but the race was red flagged on the seventh lap when rain began to fall.

On the restart Haslam took the advantage off the line from Richard Cooper and Iddon with Dixon in close contention.

Leon Haslam leads Bradley Ray at Brands Hatch
Leon Haslam leads Bradley Ray at Brands Hatch

It wasn’t long before Haslam and Cooper began to trade blows as the pair continued to swap places in their quest to remain at the head of the field.

By lap three Cooper was ahead and Haslam wasn’t giving in, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider was soon under attack from Dixon, who moved ahead before the ‘Pocket Rocket’ repaid the move.

Cooper’s race ended prematurely as he crashed out at Clearways on the seventh lap, ending his hopes of making amends for his race one slide off.

At the front Haslam had the lead, but Laverty closed in and made a move with a dive down the inside into Paddock Hill Bend on the ninth lap to take the advantage for Tyco BMW.

Michael Laverty leads Glenn Irwin and Leon Haslam
Michael Laverty leads Glenn Irwin and Leon Haslam

Dixon was fighting to move up the order, but the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider crashed out unhurt at Graham Hill Bend.

Laverty had the edge, but Irwin was closing in and moved ahead of Haslam. Irwin made a decisive pass at Druids to capture the lead on with two laps to go, but on the final lap he had a moment which gave Haslam the momentum he needed to move into the lead at Surtees and hold off his Be Wiser Ducati rival to the finish line with Laverty claiming third place, to become the fifth different podium finisher of the season.

Byrne had to settle for fourth ahead of Josh Brookes, who had a resurgent race two for McAMS Yamaha as he forced his way ahead of Iddon and championship leader Ray in the closing stages of the race.

Michael Laverty ahead of Josh Brookes
Michael Laverty ahead of Josh Brookes

Tommy Bridewell held off rookie Tarran Mackenzie who scored his first top ten finish in ninth place ahead of another rookie, Carl Phillips on the Gearlink Kawasaki.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race two result
  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
  2. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.367s
  3. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.598s
  4. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +7.733s
  5. Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +12.808s
  6. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +13.570s
  7. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +14.263s
  8. Tommy Bridewell (Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki) +15.248s
  9. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +15.307s
  10. Carl Phillips (Gearlink Kawasaki) +23.240s
  11. James Ellison (Anvil Yamaha) +23.982
  12. Danny Buchan (F5-3 Kawasaki) +24.242
  13. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +24.570
  14. Peter Hickman (Smiths BMW) +25.474
  15. Taylor Mackenzie (Moto Rapido Ducati) +25.646

Leon Haslam

“The rain helped in race two but it’s no secret I’ve not always had the best of results here on the Indy circuit, so the fourth place in race one for me I was quite happy with it. Normally I wouldn’t be, but the pace wasn’t too bad and it was one of those where it was really hard to make passes. We made some good changes to the bike and I was running second before the red flag and I think I got the fastest lap up to that point so the changes did work, so for me we’ve learnt quite a lot in the dry which is nice. And the rain, to be honest with you we just threw a setting in that we thought might work and it was just about feel and pushing and waiting for someone to brake and then I braked a little bit later. It was one of those races that you kind-of never wanted to end so it was so much fun and I had a real good battle with these guys and to make it pay off on that last lap, sometimes it doesn’t work out in your favour so a big thanks to Kawasaki and well done to these guys as well and we’ll move on to Oulton Park.”

Leon Haslam
Leon Haslam

Shane Byrne

“Overall, it’s been a good weekend with a good haul of points and the first race couldn’t have gone any better. Brad and I pulled a bit of a gap over the rest of the field and I had a plan for the closing stages but when he ran wide, I took advantage. I saw the job through though and it was great to get the first win of the season. The conditions for race two were far from ideal and I lost a bit of ground so with a good gap behind me, I settled for a solid fourth. With a first and a fourth place, it hasn’t been a bad day and with Glenn getting a podium too, it’s been a good day for the team.”

Glenn Irwin

“I’ve felt strong all weekend, regardless of the conditions, and whilst seventh in race one Glenn Irwinwas a good result given my starting position on the grid, I knew it could have been so much better. I felt comfortable running at the front in race two and perhaps showed Leon my hand too early, but he was getting a lot more drive out of the corners than me. I gave everything I had, and we’ve improved a lot this weekend, with both the bike and myself so fourth overall after two rounds is a good start and I know there’s still a lot more to come.”

Jason O’Halloran

“Race one was fantastic, we came from the third row and it’s always really tough to pass here. I made some good passes with the Fireblade and moved forward the whole race to finish on the podium. Not only did we catch Haslam, but passed him and held him off. He’s one of the strongest guys in the championship, so to pass him we’re making progress. I felt that I had the same pace as the leaders but starting on the third row hurt us, especially with the battles I had coming through to get to the podium. I’m really pleased with the CBR, we made some adjustments over the weekend which had a really positive effect and I am feeling much more comfortable and happy with the progress we’re making. Race two started well for us in the dry conditions, it was spitting with rain but it wasn’t too bad I didn’t think. I got a bad start and was run wide at turn one, around here the lap time is so close and when you feel that you’ve got more than the people around you, it’s a nice feeling. I passed Shakey, Cooper and got up into fifth and thought ‘I’m in a great place this early, just keep doing your thing and keep moving forward!’ The race was red flagged and we went with a wrong tyre choice in the second part, choosing a rear intermediate tyre. When I rolled out of pit lane I thought ‘great we’re on!’ The track wasn’t too wet, it was damp and I felt like we’d made the right choice, but it just kept raining and the heavier the rain got the worse it got, I had no traction and was spinning hard, I stayed out for as long as I could, but in the end it was safer to pit. I’m now turning my attention to Oulton Park; we have a test coming up so for us that is going to be fantastic, hopefully we get some decent weather. We have some ideas from what we’ve learnt this weekend and a few things we’ve been planning to try over the last few weeks but haven’t been able to with the weather. So yeah, I’m looking forward to the test day and love racing at Oulton!”

Jason O'Halloran
Jason O’Halloran

Josh Brookes

“We obviously started the weekend on the back foot and made a radical change from practice to race day. We went the wrong way slightly before the first race but the changes for race two in the dry, definitely gave me a better feeling on the bike. I think the changes were accentuated in the wet restart and I felt really confident. We’re still not where we need to be but I feel like we have a good direction to go in for the test at Oulton Park.”

Josh Brookes
Josh Brookes

Tarran Mackenzie

“I’ve got to be happy with this weekend, we’ve been there or thereabouts since practice and qualifying, both wet and dry. My targets for the year were top 15 then top 10 and we’ve manged to achieve both of those in three races so I’m really chuffed!”

James Ellison

“It’s frustrating because we’ve been really strong all weekend, I’m gutted for everybody in the team and myself. I had a great grid position for race one, but I had a duff tyres, front and rear, and a couple of guys behind me had the same issue. Both tyres just had no grip, and we hadn’t had that issue all weekend long, which was really frustrating. Because of the issues we had I didn’t get a good lap time in, which set me back for race two on the grid. The heavens then opened, I missed the exit for pit lane because we were setting the bike up for the wet. But I fought my way through to get some solid points from the back of the grid, so I’m fairly happy with that. These last two races aren’t a showing of what we’re really capable of, so we’ll take away the positives and work towards Oulton Park.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings
  1. Bradley Ray (Suzuki) 79
  2. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 69
  3. Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 65
  4. Glenn Irwin (Ducati) 48
  5. Michael Laverty (BMW) 36
  6. Christian Iddon (BMW) 33
  7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 32
  8. Dan Linftoot (Honda) 29
  9. Luke Mossey (Kawasaki) 24
  10. Danny Buchan (Kawasaki) 24
  11. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 23
  12. James Ellison (Yamaha) 21
  13. Jake Dixon (Kawasaki) 19
  14. Tommy Bridewell (Suzuki) 17
  15. Peter Hickman (BMW) 16

British Supersport

Jack Kennedy grabbed the opening Dickies British Supersport race victory at Brands Hatch, beating Ben Currie by just 0.006s on the drag to the line. A red flag on the initial running saw the race restarted over a shortened distance of 16 laps and it was Kennedy who grabbed the holeshot, with Currie in close contention. As the duo pulled away from the pursuing pack, which was headed by Jamie Perrin.

Ben Currie
Ben Currie

With no more than 0.1s splitting the leading duo throughout the 16 laps, Currie waited until the final lap before trying his move on the lead however the Gearlink Kawasaki rider narrowly missed out on out dragging Kennedy to the line, with the Integro Yamaha rider taking the win by 0.006s.

Jack Kennedy and Ben Currie
Jack Kennedy and Ben Currie

Perrin was able to hold on to the final rostrum position with Joe Francis fourth and Bradley Jones completing the top five. Donington Park podium finishers Ross Twyman and Tom Oliver finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

BSB Supersport Sprint Race Brands Hatch
  1. Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha)
  2. Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.006s
  3. Jamie Perrin (Slidecodor/ Yamaha) +4.584
  4. Joe Francis (Tsingtao Racing MV Augusta) +6.447s
  5. Bradley Jones (Integro Yamaha) +6.569s
  6. Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) +6.622s
BSB Supersport Sprint Race Brands Hatch Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.006s Jamie Perrin (Slidecodor/ Yamaha) +4.584
BSB Supersport Sprint Race Brands Hatch
Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha)
Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.006s
Jamie Perrin (Slidecodor/ Yamaha) +4.584

BSB Supersport Feature Race

Jack Kennedy took his second win of the season in the Dickies British Supersport Championship, taking the series lead in the process. The opening half of the Dickies British Junior Supersport Feature race saw Ben Currie grab the holeshot, with Kennedy and Jamie Perrin in close contention, however Perrin received a ride through penalty for jumping the start meaning Rispoli moved up to hold the final rostrum position. With rain starting to fall on lap 14, the race was red flagged and restarted over 12 laps.

Ben Currie
Ben Currie

Forming the grid as per positions on lap 12, it was Rispoli who grabbed the holeshot to lead at the end of the of the opening lap by almost a second over Currie and Kennedy. Setting a string of fast laps, Kennedy moved through on the start of lap five with Currie also in close contention. Less than 0.3s covered the trio over the second half of the race, however Kennedy was able to hold on to claim his second win of the weekend and take the Championship lead, with Rispoli second and Currie third.

Ross Twyman secured fourth place with Robert Kennedy fifth, just ahead of Bradley Perie in sixth. Josh Ownes was the first of the GP2 Cup riders in 10th.

BSB Supersport Feature Race Brands Hatch
  1. Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha)
  2. James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) +0.290s
  3. Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.413s
  4. Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) +5.181s
  5. Robert Kennedy (Team ILR/RK Racing) +7.001s
  6. Bradley Perie (Diamond H Racing) +7.084s
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings
  1. Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) 90
  2. Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 86
  3. Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) 47
  4. James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) 40
  5. Tom Oliver (SGR Racing – Go Racing Developments Yamaha) 38
  6. James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) 35

British Superstock 1000

Superstock rookie Andy Reid cruised to his second victory of the season at Brands Hatch, taking the win by 0.7s ahead of Keith Farmer in the opening STK1000 race of the weekend. It was Farmer who grabbed the early race lead, with Reid just behind in second and pole man Billy McConnell third.

Billy McConnell
Billy McConnell

As the race settled down, the leading trio remained static until lap six when Reid slipped through into first and began to pull away from the chasing pack. Similarly, Farmer was able to build a gap over McConnell in third, who in turn was able to pull away from fourth place Chrissy Rouse. Joe Collier eventually claimed fifth, just ahead of Alastair Seeley whilst Josh Elliott secured seventh on the second Tyco BMW.

BSB Superstock 1000 Race One Results
  1. Andy Reid – Aprilia
  2. Keith Farmer – BMW +0.743
  3. Billy McConnell – Suzuki +2.126
  4. Chrissy Rouse – BMW +7.958
  5. Joe Collier – Aprilia +11.100
  6. Alastair Seeley – Kawasaki +11.817
  7. Sam Clarke – Kawasaki +16.307
  8. Michael Rutter – BMW +16.965
  9. Jordan Weaving – Kawasaki +17.393
  10. Alex Olsen – BMW +17.461

Superstock 1000 Race Two

In the second bout Billy McConnell claimed a dominant victory, beating Chrissy Rouse by 1.439s. It had been Andy Reid who grabbed the holeshot on the Aprilia, but moving through at the start of lap two McConnell edged away from the pursuing Joe Collier and Keith Farmer. Disaster would strike the latter on lap four, when he was forced to retire from third place.

Billy McConnell
Billy McConnell

Chipping away at Collier, Rouse moved into second on lap seven and begun hunting down McConnell, however the Buildbase Suzuki rider was able to respond to take the win with Rouse second and Reid third.  Yesterday’s race victory Collier eventually finished fourth ahead of Alastair Seeley.

Sam Clarke completed his weekend with a pair of seventh placed finishes and the Western Australian is now joint tenth on the championship points table.

South Australia’s Billy McConnell leads the Superstock Championship by 16-points.

Billy McConnell
Billy McConnell

Sam Clarke scored a pair of seventh places and is now equal 10th in the championship.

Sam Clarke
Sam Clarke

Brayden Elliott parted ways with the Mission Racing BMW squad prior to the Brands Hatch round and the young Aussie is currently canvassing other options within BSB to see out the season.

BSB Superstock 1000 Race Two Results
  1. Billy McConnell – Suzuki
  2. Chrissy Rouse – BMW +1.439
  3. Andy Reid – Aprilia +4.170
  4. Joe Collier – Aprilia +12.425
  5. Alastair Seeley – Kawasaki +13.311
  6. Alex Olsen – BMW +13.372
  7. Sam Clarke – Kawasaki +14.414
  8. Josh Elliott – Kawasaki +14.761
  9. Jordan Gilbert – BMW +14.961
  10. Michale Rutter – BMW +15.035
BSB Superstock 1000 Championship Points
  1. Billy McConnell 82
  2. Andy Reid 66
  3. Keith Farmer 57
  4. Joe Collier 55
  5. Chrissy Rouse 52
  6. Josh Elliott 37
  7. Alastair Seeley 35
  8. Michael Rutter 34
  9. Jordan Gilbert 22.5
  10. Fraser Rogers 20
  11. Sam Clarke 20


Sharni Pinfold made her debut with the Tickhill Labour and Plant KTM Moto3 in the Motostar GP class at Brands Hatch but it was a less than auspicious start for the young Western Australian when her machine would not start on the grid for the opening race which left her to watch from the sidelines. In the second bout Pinfold was 28th overall out of 38 starters and gained plenty of valuable experience for the season ahead.

Sharni Pinfold #48
Sharni Pinfold #48

Ducati TriOptions Cup

South Australia’s Levi Day failed to bag any points in the Ducati TriOptions Cup bouts at Brands Hatch.  Levi had won the opening race of the season at Donington but Brands Hatch was a disastrous weekend for Day as his Ducati struck mechanical gremlins all weekend which has seen him slip to ninth in the championship standings.

Images by Dave Yeomans