Shane Byrne takes Brands Hatch double
Jason O’Halloran 4-3 / Broc Parkes 6-13 / Billy McConnell 12-15 / Josh Hook 20-20
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne celebrated his first double win of the 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season in front of a huge home crowd at Brands Hatch today (Sunday), despite his arch rival Leon Haslam pushing him to the finish in both races.
In the opening race the four-time champion suffered a disastrous start from the front row, dropping back to ninth as pole-sitter Luke Mossey instantly hit the front of the field from Haslam. An inspired Tommy Bridewell on the Sheene liveried Bennetts Suzuki had other ideas though and he charged through into second place.
Jason O’Halloran was also on the attack as he moved into fourth, just ahead of Byrne as the pair continued to duel for fourth position over the opening laps. The championship leader got ahead at Hawthorns, but as the pack completed the lap the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was deployed when Fillip Backlund crashed out at Clearways unhurt.
When the race resumed Mossey was defending hard, but Bridewell had his sights set on the lead and he hit the front with a move at Surtees to put the Bennetts Suzuki into the lead. Haslam was then stalking Mossey and he made a decisive lunge at Paddock Hill Bend to move into second place and then had Bridewell in his sights.
On the 13th lap Haslam hit the lead, proving that the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team had overcome their issues from earlier in the weekend. He pulled a move into Paddock Hill Bend but Bridewell instantly cut back to regain the position. Two laps later and Haslam went for another attack at the same point, but ran wide, allowing Bridewell to get ahead and crucially for Byrne to follow him thorough to take second.
Bridewell and Byrne then traded blows at Druids for the lead and the Bennetts Suzuki rider wasn’t going to give up the lead without a fight. Byrne though made a move that stuck at Hawthorns to take the advantage and on the final lap Bridewell disappointingly crashed out at Surtees unhurt. Byrne held off Haslam to take the win with Mossey able to move into third.
In race two Byrne was determined to make it a double in front of his home crowd but the Be Wiser Ducati rider made another uncharacteristic sluggish start off the line and was swallowed up in the pack to just be inside the top ten.
O’Halloran and Honda Racing led the field from Haslam and Mossey. The third placed Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki rider though was gunning for a podium repeat and he moved ahead of Haslam at Paddock Hill Bend to move to within striking distance of the lead.
Tommy Bridewell was again showing his fierce pace on the Bennetts Suzuki and he was battling in the lead group again until he was forced out of the race with a mechanical problem on the eighth lap.
At the front O’Halloran was holding off Mossey and Glenn Irwin, who had forcefully moved through the pack to be third by the sixth lap and closing in on the pair ahead of him. The Be Wiser Ducati rider then pulled a move on Mossey to move second and he then came under fire from Haslam too.
By lap eleven the battle for supremacy at the front had intensified and Byrne was up to fifth before he dived ahead of Mossey, but at the same time Haslam and Irwin was scrapping for second place with the pair trading places three times within four corners.
Haslam held second though and then hit the front of the field as he struck again at Paddock Hill Bend, before O’Halloran reclaimed the place at Druids. As the fight at the front continued Michael Laverty suffered a technical problem with the Tyco BMW and that caused the Nissan GT-R Safety Car to be deployed.
On the restart Haslam again hit the front with a move at Hawthorns to push O’Halloran back to second with Byrne on the pack in fourth. A lap later and championship leader Byrne, Haslam and O’Halloran were side-by-side as they crossed the line and the Be Wiser Ducati emerged at the front as the trio reached Druids.
Byrne then held on for the final laps to claim the double win, holding off a hard-charging Haslam and O’Halloran – the top three in the championship standings after round seven. Irwin made amends for his race one crash by claiming fourth place ahead of Richard Cooper who moved back into the top six in the standings for Buildbase BMW, and Lee Jackson.
Mossey crossed the line in seventh place with Dan Linfoot, James Ellison and Christian Iddon completing the top ten.
Jason O’Halloran’s 4-3 results made him the top finishing Australian and strengthened his third position in the championship standings.
Broc Parkes scored an excellent sixth place in the opening bout but fell back through the pack in the second stanza to take 13th.
Billy McConnell rode the FS-3 Kawasaki to 12-15 results. Bettering riders such as Jakub Smrz, Michael Laverty, Alastair Seeley and John Hopkins.
Josh Hook struggled with a lack of circuit knowledge around the Brands Hatch GP Circuit layout but managed to finish both races in 20th position. Putting that into perspective, Hook battled in both races with previous top contender Ryuichi Kiyonari in both races, getting the better of the Japanese rider in race two.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race one
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.518s
- Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +2.078s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +4.079s
- Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +7.417s
- Broc Parkes (ePayMe Yamaha) +7.605s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +7.876s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +9.017s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.635s
- James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +12.654s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race two result
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.490s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.496s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +3.794s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +3.859s
- Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +3.903s
- Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +4.252s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +5.549s
- James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.963s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +6.149s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 231
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 206
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 175
- Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 137
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 135
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) 125
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne – Be Wiser Ducati – Brands Hatch double race winner
“I completely fluffed the start in the first race and it gave me plenty of work to do. It was my fault and it made me change my race strategy slightly but after the safety car period, I was lying in fourth and set about the three riders in front of me. I had a good rhythm and grabbed the lead with a few laps to go so concentrated on hitting all my apexes to get the job done.
“It was a similar story in race two in terms of my start but I felt that if I could stay calm, there was still plenty of time for me to fight my way through. After the safety car went in, I decided to make my move straightaway, thinking there was only a couple of laps left so it threw me a bit when my pit board said there were still four laps to go!
“I thought I may have showed my hand too early but it all worked out well. We didn’t quite hit the nail on the head this weekend so to come away with a double shows just how far we’ve come and a massive thank you to everyone in the team for all their work, a double victory is an excellent feeling. I have a Monster Energy King of Brands trophy from 2014 and this one is a really special addition so I am proud of achieving it and I am proud of my team as we worked so hard this weekend.”
Supersport Feature Race
James Westmoreland took full advantage of a mistake from Tarran Mackenzie to close the gap at the top of the Dickies British Supersport Championship. It was Mackenzie who grabbed the Holeshot in the re-run following an earlier red flag, but Luke Jones swiftly demoted the Championship leader at the start of the second lap.
With Jones maintaining the lead at the front three made a slight break from the pursuing pack, with Ray taking the lead just before the safety car was deployed on lap five. As the race got back underway, Ray held the lead but a huge moment on lap nine saw him slip back through the pack and Jones take the lead.
With the top seven riders being covered by less than a second, Mackenzie moved into the lead on lap 11 but tumbled out of contention almost immediately after. The crash left Jones and Westmoreland to battle it out for the lead, with it eventually going the way of Westmoreland, with Mason Law rounding out the podium.
Benjamin Currie recorded the fastest lap of the race on his way to fifth position.
Dickies British Supersport Championship race result
- James Westmoreland (CAME BPT Yamaha)
- Luke Jones (Acumen Industrial Services) +0.076
- Mason Law (Gearlink Kawasaki) +1.310
- David Allingham (EHA Racing) +1.485
- Benjamin Currie (Pacedayz Trackdays) +1.888
Dickies British Supersport Championship standings
- Tarran Mackenzie (Stauff Connect Academy) – 204
- James Westmoreland (CAME BPT Yamaha) – 198
- Andy Reid (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) – 180
- Luke Jones (Acumen Industrial Services) – 140
- David Allingham(EHA Racing) – 122
- Ben Currie (Pacedayz Trackdays) – 117
Championship leader Taylor Mackenzie has extended his lead at the top of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 standings with a dominant win at Brands Hatch. It was pole position rider Michael Rutter who grabbed the holeshot, but Mackenzie soon moved into the lead where he was able to steadily increase his lead, taking the chequered flag by 1.171s ahead of second placed Ian Hutchinson with Fraser Rogers completing the podium – taking the final spot by just 0.044s from Rutter.
Jordan Weaving converted his pole position into a race win, his second in a row, today at Brands Hatch; closing the gap over Championship leader Carl Phillips. It was Taz Taylor who led at the end of the opening lap, however Weaving moved into the lead on the fourth lap and steadily pulled a gap over the pursuing pack. A crash on lap 11 saw the red flag deployed and the result declared, with Taylor taking second and Kurt Wigley in third. Phillips finished eighth.