Josh Brookes back on top and under the lap record at Cadwell Park
Josh Brookes asserted his authority during the opening two free practice sessions for the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship by setting the pace under the existing lap record at Cadwell Park.
The Milwaukee Yamaha rider has won the last four races to hold a 12 point advantage in the standings ahead of Sunday’s two races. The Australian saved his best for last with a blistering final lap in the closing minute to hold off the challenge from Danny Buchan with a lap faster than the eight year old record.
Brookes slashed over a second off his times between the two sessions, with a fastest lap of 1m 26.594s and that heaped the pressure onto his main rival, the defending four times champion Shane Byrne who had a challenging opening day in Lincolnshire.
The four-time champion ended the day in tenth place on the time sheets, 1.234s down on Brookes giving him and the PBM Kawasaki team a night of work ahead to be ready to close the gap ready for Datatag Qualifying.
Be Wiser Kawasaki’s Buchan took the fight to Brookes, heading the times into the final ten minutes before having to settle for second.
Bennetts Suzuki rider Christian Iddon held an impressive third position ahead of JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Westmoreland.
Michael Laverty was on the pace throughout the two sessions but had his second free practice session ended prematurely when he crashed the Tyco BMW at Park corner unhurt. He remained ahead of John Hopkins on the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati.
The two riders who were victorious in last year’s corresponding round, Tommy Bridewell, riding the second Tyco BMW and Peter Hickman on the RAF Reserves BMW, split the eighth fastest rider Billy McConnell on the Smiths BMW with five different manufacturers inside the top ten.
Josh Waters was 15th quickest and Jed Metcher 22nd.
The MCE BSB event at Cadwell Park continues with Datatag Qualifying and support races on Saturday 22 August. Main raceday kicks off on Sunday 23 August with a programme of two MCE BSB races plus a further six support classes, including the thrilling Motorpoint British Supersport Championship.
Josh Brookes – (Milwaukee Yamaha) – “The session felt different this morning, even a bit slippery – we did a really fast time at the test just a week ago so we expected to be similar and do much the same. I found it difficult and we thought it might have been a tyre thing, but a different one felt the same so it definitely wasn’t that. We played around with a few settings in the afternoon session and everything seemed to be better.
“We then went back to what we had this morning and it was better again as the track improved. We are going to try something different now tomorrow as we know the setting we have got is comfortably good enough to race tomorrow. Whilst we have that luxury we are going to try something a little more out of the window to see what we can achieve, it might work, it might be a waste, but its all done to trying.”
Free practice one
1: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 1m:27.622s
2: Danny Buchan (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +0.095s
3: Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW) +0.308s
4: Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +0.433s
5: Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.465s
6: Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.693s
Free Practice Two
1: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 1m:26.594s
2: Danny Buchan (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +0.415s
3: Christian Iddon (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.941s
4: James Westmoreland (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.948s
5: Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +1.077s
6: John Hopkins (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +1.121s
Irwin takes Supersport scrap to series leader Stapleford
Glenn Irwin has not given up on the chase for the Motorpoint British Supersport crown and the Gearlink Kawasaki underlined his determination to take the scrap to the series leader Luke Stapleford with consistent hard riding across the opening day.
Stapleford, riding the Profile Triumph, had the edge over him in the morning session, but next time out as the pace increased it was Irwin, third in the title stakes and 69 points down was always in the mix at the sharp-end of the leaderboard.
At one point Irwin pulled out a significant gap but Stapleford responded in the closing minutes with two fast laps that closed him within 0.053s of him but their pace left the rest, led by circuit specialist and local hero Ben Wilson trailing. Aboard the second Gearlink Kawasaki, Wilson was 0.862s down on them.
Sam Hornsey, riding Profile Triumph, put in a late charge, to go fourth fastest, just ahead of James Rispoli who lapped consistently well across the day, to be fifth fastest in both sessions.
Kyle Ryde, currently second in the standings, 28 points down on Stapleford, however was having a difficult time, well off the pace on the PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha, a little over 1.5 seconds down on his main title rival.
Joe Collier, the leader in the chase for the Supersport EVO crown, crashed off his Haribo Starmix Triumph, midway through the second session without injury, leaving him second fastest in class to Jamie Perrin on the Global Doors GO Racing Developments Yamaha.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Cadwell Park, Free practice one
1: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) 1m 30.224s
2: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.206s
3: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) +0.327s
4: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.629s
5: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +1.085s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Cadwell Park, Free practice two
1: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 1m 29.058s
2: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) +0.053s
3: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.826s
4: Sam Hornsey (Profile Triumph) +0.983s
5: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +1.189s