Josh Brookes takes Thruxton Pole – Jason O’Halloran breaks femur
Josh Brookes continued his momentum in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship by lapping under the existing record to scorch his Milwaukee Yamaha to his second pole position of the season ahead of the seventh round at Thruxton.
Josh Brookes – (Milwaukee Yamaha) – “I didn’t know that I would have that time in me after Q2 seeing John’s lap was impressive as you always leave a little bit to the end as you don’t want to make a mistake and crash in Q2 and miss out. I knew I had a little in reserve but I didn’t know it would be that much. I put everything on the line and did a really good lap time, put my head down and tried to match it again and the first part of the lap was good, then in the final chicane I fell onto the side of the apex a little too aggressively and it interrupted my acceleration onto the straight and fortunately I improved and maintained the pole position.
“I am really happy for the Milwaukee Yamaha team as they have given me a bike to really push for it this weekend and I am confident to ride it how I want. It is good to see a bit of a change at the front having John back and Luke Mossey up into the frame and Cooper at the last round – I am sure the fans are going to enjoy it.
“Shakey is having a so-so weekend and we have had the perfect start – the pole position was the cherry on the top. I thought maybe he was playing a card and was saving it for qualifying but that wasn’t the case. We will see what happens tomorrow but I am feeling confident.”
The Australian bids to continue his winning form from the previous round and he held off American John Hopkins by 0.212s to hold the advantage from the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati rider. His main title rival Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne struggled in qualifying and will start on the sixth row in 16th position.
PBM Kawasaki’s Byrne holds a slender five point lead in the standings ahead of Brookes, but struggled throughout practice and qualifying and now faces an uphill battle after his worst qualifying performance since 2011 at the Hampshire circuit.
MCE BSB rookie Luke Mossey makes his debut on the front row of the grid onboard the Quattro Plant Tec-Care Kawasaki ahead of Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot who leads the second row alongside James Ellison on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki and RAF Reserves BMW rider Peter Hickman.
Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran crashed out of the second stage of Datatag Qualifying at Noble, breaking his right femur in the crash.
Christian Iddon heads the third row on the Bennetts Suzuki ahead of Richard Cooper on the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki and Danny Buchan on the Be Wiser Kawasaki with the top nine riders representing six different manufacturers.
Christian Iddon – “It would have been nice to have had a tow in that last session rather than the other way around, but it’s swings and roundabouts. I’m disappointed with seventh but being disappointed shows where I think we should be this weekend. You have to slow down to go fast here and I just tried a bit too hard in that last session; if the bike’s spinning and sliding you’re not going forward. But our pace is good and I’m confident ahead of the races. Tyre life is key around here and we’ve gained a lot of info from practice on used tyres, and we have more to try in warm-up. I’m looking forward to going racing now.”
Josh Waters, fresh from his time out at the Suzuka 8-Hours also made steady progress with the set-up of his GSX-R1000 and was moving further up the time sheets.
After posting a strong lap in Q1, the team gambled on not setting another lap-time in order to save a tyre for the remaining sessions. However, the double Australian Superbike Champion was shuffled out of the top 20 in the closing stages and it cost him the chance to start further up the grid. Waters will start from 21st but is confident of getting himself up the order in the races.
Josh Waters – “I’m feeling a bit frustrated after qualifying because my pace is better than where we are on the grid. The team took a gamble and unfortunately it didn’t pay off. But I’m feeling loads better on the bike and we’ve made lots of improvements. The races will be tough but we’ve spent a lot of time on used tyres in practice any my times have been good so I’m confident of my race pace.”
Martin Halsall – Team Owner – “We’ve made steady progress this weekend with both riders and we’re starting to see more-and-more examples of what we know we’re capable of as a team. Christian’s lap times speak for themselves and it’s a little frustrating that he inadvertently gave a few riders a tow in the final qualifying session; otherwise we could probably have been on the first two rows of the grid. But his pace is promising for tomorrow’s races.
“Josh has been feeling more comfortable on the bike every time he goes out on it and it’s shown in the improvement in his lap-times. We took a gamble in qualifying to give him a better shot of being further-up the grid tomorrow and unfortunately it didn’t pay off. The times are so close around here and he was just bumped outside the top-20 in the final minute of Q1. But we’re sure he’ll make his way forward in the races.”
1: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 1m:14.464s
2: John Hopkins (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.212s
3: Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +0.435s
4: Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.517s
5: James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.634s
6: Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW) +0.766s
Luke Stapleford powered in a comfortable victory, his seventh of the season, in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Sprint race to stretch his lead in the title chase to thirteen points over Kyle Ryde who snatched second place on the last lap.
Stapleford, starting from pole, led throughout on his Profile Triumph, pulling clear of the fast developing scrap for second place and at one point leading by over five seconds as he blitzed his rivals.
“I didn’t expect it to be quite like that, on a 600 you normally expect to have five or six riders slip-streaming around you but I got a bit of breathing space and then just kept chipping away. We didn’t change much on the bike from the previous round and the team has given me a brilliant package,” said Stapleford after taking the win by 3.944secs.
Ryde kept his title hopes alive as he made a late braking move on the approach to the chicane to grab second on his PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha amid a three way battle for the placing with James Rispoli third on the Team Traction Control Yamaha ahead Sam Hornsey on the second Profile Triumph.
Ryde said: “I got a decent start but messed up a bit through turn one but got second but you make a little mistake at Church and the pack is on you and you are fighting so with Luke clearing off like he did, this second is like a win for me.”
Andy Reid took fifth ahead of Glenn Irwin, Luke Hedger, Ben Wilson, Danny Webb and Jake Dixon while Marshall Neill won the Supersport EVO class.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Sprint race result
1: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph)
2: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) +3.944s
3: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +4.096s
4: Sam Hornsey (Profile Triumph) + 4.176s
5: Andy Reid (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +4.956s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Standings
1: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) 244
2: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) 231
3: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 190
4: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) 146
5: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) 116