Shane Byrne wins BSB season opener with two second places at Silverstone
Michael Laverty and Peter Hickman shared the opening two race wins of the 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in an intense season-opener at Silverstone, but with a pair of second place finishes Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne leads the title chase to the second round at Oulton Park (30 April – 2 May).
The opening race of the season got Laverty’s season off to a flying start as he held of Byrne by 0.550s at the finish line to win for Tyco BMW in a top ten which featured all six of the manufactures represented in the 2016 championship.
Jason O’Halloran had initially grabbed the lead as the pack streamed into Copse for the first time, but pole-sitter Leon Haslam was instantly on the attack and he forced his JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead on his return to the series. His lead was short lived though as Laverty stormed to the front and then held the pace but the ‘Pocket Rocket’ was later forced to retire with a technical problem.
Laverty was able to fend off the challenges of Byrne in the closing stages to claim the first victory of 2016 as behind Mossey was defending hard from the chasing Iddon, Linfoot and O’Halloran. However it wasn’t enough and on the final lap Iddon made a move at Copse to hold third place and then held on to claim his first ever podium finish in MCE BSB.
A dramatic race two saw the fight for victory go down to the wire as Peter Hickman and Byrne went head-to-head on the final lap in an incredible tussle for the final race win of the day.
Hickman had launched off the line to lead the field on the opening lap from race one winner Michael Laverty, Dan Linfoot, Jason O’Halloran, Danny Buchan and Byrne, but the four-time champion was instantly on the attack and was up to fourth by the third lap.
At the front Laverty had hit the lead on the Tyco BMW, but Hickman wasn’t going to give an inch in his quest for victory and on the sixth lap he launched his attack; making a move to return to the front of the pack.
A lap later though and Laverty appeared to have an issue; he dropped down the order leaving Hickman and Byrne to fight it out for the lead. The pair were inseparable downthe Wellington Straight for the final time and at Brooklands Byrne went for a move; a small window of opportunity gave him the chance to push ahead, but Hickman was instantly fighting back to recapture the lead.
A corner later at Luffield, Byrne looked like he had the edge but as the pair exited for the drag to the line the Be Wiser Ducati dramatically drifted sideways as Hickman powered to the finish to claim the victory. The incredible chase saw the pair separated by just 0.099s at the line.
In the battle for third place Iddon had got ahead of O’Halloran as the Honda Racing rider was forced to settle for fourth place. The Australian had been embroiled in a titanic battle with returning Haslam and the pair were switching places all the way to the finish.
Billy McConnell had made a last minute switch of teams in the week leading up to Silverstone thus was making his debut on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki and the South Australian carded a 16th place finish in the opening race but suffered a DNF in race two.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship 2016 Round One, Silverstone, race one result
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW)
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.550s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.394s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +1.560s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +4.155s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +4.281s
Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +6.354s
Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +7.681s
John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +8.598s
Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +8.739s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship 2016 Round One, Silverstone, race two result
Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.009s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.005s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.395s
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +3.142s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +3.369s
Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +5.685s
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.554s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +7.679s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +8.045s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Round One at Silverstone
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 40
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 35
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 32
Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 25
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 23
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) 19
“It is difficult to just run out front and look at your lap timer. I only looked at my pitboard once as I just wanted to concentrate on being as smooth as I could and not making any mistakes and the toughest thing was mid-race as my hands went a bit numb –perhaps as it was a bit cold out there! I didn’t feel as comfortable as I wanted to be and I was losing time in a few areas and then I pushed on and it was enough to bring it home. We have worked hard over the winter so it was a perfect start for me and the team so thanks to everyone at Tyco BMW.”
“It feels like a big relief to have won the second race today. I was disappointed that we didn’t finish the first race with a technical issue and I was surprised at how fast I could be from the start of the race. The weekend started steady and we built up throughout the three days. I got a really good start and tried to get my head down and not make any mistakes. When Michael came through I thought I would follow him for a few laps, and then he had a bit of a problem so I got in front of him. Over the last few laps the Ducati is so loud that I knew it was Shakey behind me. I did run a bit deep into Brooklands which gave him a bit of a shot at it and then that made me too tight into Luffield, so he snuck underneath. There was no way that I was doing all that work and not winning though. I just pinned it and pretty much closed my eyes and it was enough to take it.”
“I think the most important thing we can take away from this weekend is that we had a brand new motorcycle and it’s in its infancy. I think the results we have achieved today are a testament to the team and I rode it as hard as I could – I couldn’t have done any more. I actually thought I might have had the race won at the end as Pete ran a tiny bit deep into the final complex and I thought that was my chance. I tried to be nice and smooth and then he shot back underneath me and I thought ‘no way’! I tried to outdrive him to the line like I had done with Alex Lowes a few years’ ago and I think Tai Woffinden would have been proud of that slide! It was pretty big and I think realistically we have to walk before we can run, so to come away from here with two second places and the championship lead is wonderful. I am not happy because I haven’t won but I am happy all the same!”
Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki rider Andy Reid has taken the first win of the 2016 Dickies British Supersport Championship, finishing ahead of rookies Tarran Mackenzie and Mason Law. With Supersport returnee James Westmoreland grabbing the holeshot, Andrew Irwin quickly moved into the lead, before Law took his turn at the front. Moving into the lead on lap four, Reid was able to pull away, taking the chequered flag 3.7s ahead of Mackenzie.
Levi Day took 12th place on the C P E Motorsport Kawasaki.
Sam Lambert was 25th on a Moto-Breakers Kawasaki.
Ben Currie had a massive crash on the Saturday thus did not make the start of the race on Sunday but is fine and will be raring to go for Oulton Park.
Converting his pole position into maximum points, C P E Motorsport rider Bradley Jones took the opening Pirelli National Superstock 600 race of 2016. Lewis Rollo grabbed the holeshot in the ten lap race, with Jones and Jordan Weaving in close contention. Making his move into the lead on lap four, a seven rider scrap began with no one able to break away. As Rollo and Weaving began trading places, it allowed Jones to break the slipstream and ease away to the win. Carl Phillips worked his way through the pack to take second whilst George Stanley took the final podium position after setting the fastest lap of the race.
British Superstock 1000
Taylor Mackenzie backed up his maiden pole position by securing his first ever Pirelli National Superstock 1000 win, setting the fastest lap of the race too. Mackenzie led home a gaggle of BMW riders, with the Tyco duo of reigning champion Josh Elliot and Ian Hutchinson finishing second and third, Hudson Kennaugh fourth and former British Superbike rider Michael Rutter taking fifth.
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