Shane Byrne doubles up at Donington Park BSB to open up 27-point lead over Haslam
Jason O’Halloran’s title hopes take major hit after DNF in race two after podium score in race one
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne celebrated a double dose of victories in the opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown at Donington Park. The four-time champion fought intensely with his closest rival Leon Haslam, who finished second in race one but crashed out of contention whilst battling to settle the score in race two.
In the opening Showdown race Byrne claimed a storming victory to move back to the top of the standings by just two points from arch rival Haslam who finished second.
At the start of race one Title Fighter James Ellison had taken the initial advantage from his team-mate Haslam, Byrne and Christian Iddon. Byrne was instantly on the attack though and moved into second with a move at the Hairpin on the second lap.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider then waited a lap later to make a pass on Haslam with a dive down the inside at the Esses to hit the front of the pack. It was on the same lap that Title Fighter Luke Mossey run straight on into the Esses before retiring to the pitlane with a brake issue.
Byrne and Haslam then pushed on at the front, with Byrne gradually edging a gap on his main title rival to win the race. The battle for third went down to the final laps and Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran was pushing to move back into the top three. The Australian waited until there were just three laps to go before pulling off a move into the Esses and then fending off the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider.
Peter Hickman was able to fight off Richard Cooper and Dan Linfoot in an intense battle for fifth place with Iddon holding eighth after dropping back down the order with an off track moment at Goddards earlier in the race. John Hopkins and Michael Laverty completed the top ten.
In race two Haslam looked to have the edge off the line as the pack steamed into the Craner Curves for the first time, but Ellison forced his way through with a determined move to take the lead.
O’Halloran was denied the chance to try and make his race one podium a repeat performance when he crashed out at the old Hairpin when the pack concentinered up. The Australian was left clearly frustrated as he now drops to fifth place in the Showdown standings ahead of Assen.
At the front Ellison was holding off Haslam and Byrne, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mates were soon to swap positions when the ‘Pocket Rocket’ moved ahead on the seventh lap. Ellison was then under fire from Byrne, who a lap later forced his way ahead as he focused on Haslam ahead of him.
Haslam and Byrne were then scrapping at the front, but as the pair dived for the Melbourne Loop, Ellison pulled one of the most spectacular moves of the season to ride around the outside of the duelling pair.
Ellison led over the line but Haslam then moved back ahead in one of the most intense races of the season so far between the leading trio. Ellison was dropping down the order as he began to lose grip and Linfoot took the advantage to move into third.
Haslam and Byrne were dicing at the front but then disaster struck the former championship leader when he crashed out at Redgate; frustrated the local hero was forced to watch the remainder of the race from the sidelines and subsequently fall 27 points behind double winner Byrne with still five races of the Showdown remaining.
Haslam’s crash then promoted Tyco BMW’s Iddon to third behind Linfoot as he returned to the podium for the first time since the second round.
The battle for fourth went to JG Speedfit Kawasaki with Peter Hickman leading Richard Cooper and Tommy Bridewell, who had a full-blow battle to the finish after Ellison dropped down the order to seventh. Luke Mossey, Billy McConnell and Glenn Irwin completed the top ten.
Billy McConnell recorded a DNF in the opening race but bounced back with a ninth place finish in race two.
Josh Hook’s fortunes were the other way around of his countryman, a good 14th place finish in the opening bout a DNF in the second race four laps from the end to the Taree youngster.
Byrne leads the Title Fighters to Assen as the championship standings were completely shaken up in Leicestershire. The Be Wiser Ducati rider has a 27 point advantage over Haslam, but Linfoot is now just 26 points adrift of second place with Ellison hot on his heels ahead of O’Halloran. Mossey ended a tough weekend with a single eighth place to hold sixth in the standings.
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) – Double winner and championship leader
“It has been a great weekend. It started not so great when we had the first free practice session in the wet and I flicked myself off the bike on an in lap which wasn’t ideal as I smashed the bike up. Yesterday and Friday afternoon were a lot cooler than today and because of that it was a little bit hit and miss on what tyre to use. I think that the Ducati works the tyre well until I get stuck in a battle, a bit like at Oulton Park. When the track temperature came up today it played into my hands a little bit and I knew I needed to get out the front and control it and the second race was a little bit tougher. I felt comfortable in third but I knew there would be some harsh moves, I am not an idiot – I have been around a long time and raced a lot of strong, fast guys and I wanted to make sure when I got through I really got my head down and make a break. I waited for my moment, got to the front and then pushed on for a few laps and believe it or not, I saw on my board a really weird thing but I don’t tend to look at everything on my board in one go. I thought it said LH out but I wasn’t sure and I thought ‘it can’t be, not Leon at Donington that just wouldn’t happen’. The gap went up then I saw Dan was in second, but the gap came down and I thought I didn’t want to lose any points so I pushed on for the final laps. I am over the moon for the team and it is a great start to the Showdown, but there are still five very tough races to come. Fingers crossed we can stay where we are, but it is never that straight forward as it can all change so quickly.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race one result
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.225s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +9.937s
- James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.567s
- Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +14.441s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +15.381s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +15.596s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +15.952s
- John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +25.374s
- Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +27.102s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race two result
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +2.502s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.475s
- Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +8.418s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +12.122s
- Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +12.335s
- James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +15.888s
- Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +15.904s
- Billy McConnell (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +24.166s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +24.614s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standing after Donington Park
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 593
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 566
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 540
- James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 535
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 529
- Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) 514
Scroll down to bottom of page for full British Superbike race results and championships standings
Bradley Ray has continued his recent imperious form, doubling up on Dickies British Supersport victories with a dominant victory in the feature race at Donington Park. It was David Allingham who took the holeshot to lead at the end of the opening lap, but wasting no time Ray moved through on lap two and setting fastest lap after fastest lap the young rider was able to pull away from the pursuing pack to claim his fifth win of the season.
The battle raged behind him however as Championship rivals James Westmoreland and Tarran Mackenzie swapped positions throughout the closing stages and multiple passes over the final lap saw Mackenzie eventually claim second place with Westy third. Early race leader Allingham claimed fourth whilst Joe Francis finished fifth.
Ray’s fifth win has seen him close to within 32 points of series leader Mackenzie whilst Westmoreland slips back to second, eight points in arrears.
Ben Currie unfortunately failed to finish the opening race but bounced back in the feature race to claim a seventh place result, the Victorian is currently eighth in the championship points standings.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Donington Park, Feature race
- Bradley Ray (FAB-Racing Yamaha)
- Tarran Mackenzie (Stauff Connect Academy Kawasaki) +1.824s
- James Westmoreland (CAME BPT Yamaha) +1.938s
- David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) +5.454s
- Joe Francis (CAME BPT Yamaha) +16.743s
Dickies British Supersport Championship standings
- Tarran Mackenzie (Stauff Connect Academy Kawasaki) 291
- James Westmoreland (CAME BPT Yamaha) 283
- Bradley Ray (FAB-Racing Yamaha) 259
- Mason Law (Gearlink Kawasaki) 193
- David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 188
British Superstock 1000
Taylor Mackenzie romped home to a clear victory over Michael Rutter and Ian Hutchinson in the 10-lap Superstock 1000 contest. Levi Day made his first appearance in the category this season and acquitted himself well with a 14th place finish, 3-seconds behind the race winner.
British Superstock 600
Jordan Weaving dominated the Superstock 600 race ahead of Carl Phillips and Ben Luxton. Australia’s Sam Lambert got in the points with a 15th place result.