McAMS Yamaha rider Tarran Mackenzie got his 2017 campaign off to a perfect start as he claimed victory in an enthralling Dickies British Supersport race. It was pole man Alastair Seeley who led into the opening corner but the Gearlink Kawasaki duo of Andrew Irwin and Ben Currie quickly made their way through to lead at the end of lap one.
The two Gearlink riders and Moto2 entrant Seeley continued to swap places throughout the race, with Mackenzie and David Allingham also in the leading pack. Having worked his way through from ninth on the grid, Mackenzie took to the front at the start on the penultimate lap and was able to pull away to kick-start his title defence with a win.
Seeley was second on the track, but with the Moto2 machine not eligible for points it was Irwin who took second with Ben Currie completing the podium.
“I forgot what a Supersport race is like! The last few rounds last year I raced around on my own really so it was a good way to start the season by getting a win. I had to start from ninth so I knew it would be tough coming through and I got to about third or fourth and I just sat there for a bit. I couldn’t get passed Andrew or Ben as they were so strong on the brakes. I had some moments everywhere so I thought sit behind them for one or two laps and then on the last three laps try and get by them. On the second to last lap I got into the lead and got my head down and put the perfect lap together. I am happy to get my first win for the Yamaha and my first with the team so hopefully we can continue!”
Andrew Irwin – 2nd Supersport
“The weekend was really positive, we weren’t out of the top four in the wet or the dry conditions. I believe there is still more to come in the season ahead, the Gearlink Kawasaki team have done a fantastic job over the winter with the new bike and improved it a lot from last year to suit me better. I can’t thank Michael and Norma enough for that and also my mechanic Andy, crew chief Arron and Ben Wilson coming on board has been a huge help to me. The race was good I felt confident, I made a mistake and I got a little frustrated and I lost some time with two laps to go. However, my first Supersport podium at the first round is a great starting point for the year and something really positive to build on, I can’t wait to get to Brands Hatch now. I would like to say a huge thank you to all my personal sponsors and the whole Gearlink Kawasaki team. I’d just like to dedicate todays podium to Mick Whalley who sadly passed away yesterday in the Ducati race.”
Ben Currie – 3rd Supersport
“It has been a solid start to the season for me with a podium finish. I am really happy with how the Gearlink Kawasaki team worked all weekend to make me feel comfortable for the race. We come away with a good wet set-up and a good dry race set-up.
“I did suffer a little bit with arm pump in the closing stages of the race but next time I hope it is a different story. I would like to say a special thanks to Ben Wilson this weekend for his guidance and I can’t wait to get to Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks.”
Western Australia’s Sam Clarke took four championship points from his 12th place finish. (Seeley was on a Moto2 machine thus scores no points)
Sam Clarke – 12th Supersport
“I’m really happy with my finish of P11 in my first race in BSB, and after coming off track and making my way through the field from 20th I couldn’t be hungrier for more at Brands Hatch in just two week’s time.”
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Donington Park Feature race
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
Alastair Seeley (Spirit Moto2 – Team Quattro Spirit) +0.944s
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +1.328s
Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.106s
David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) +2.346s
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings, Donington Park
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 25
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 20
Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 16
David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 13
Jack Kennedy (MV Augusta Clienti Corse) 11
British Superstock 1000
After a red flag halted initial proceedings, Sunday’s Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race became a 12 lap sprint for the restart and it was Bennetts Suzuki rider Richard Cooper who claimed the first victory for the new GSX-R1000.
It was veteran racer Michael Rutter who grabbed the holeshot, with Danny Buchan, Cooper and Ian Hutchinson in close contention. Buchan moved into the lead on lap five, but with no one able to break away it came down to the final lap and a mistake from Buchan into the Melbourne Hairpin saw Cooper slide through to claim the first victory for the all-new Suzuki GSX-R1000. Hutchinson rounded out the podium in third.
“Obviously, it would have been nice to have won all three races and taken a hat-trick but Donington’s my bogey circuit so I’m chuffed to bits to come away with two firsts and a second. It’s never easy leading from the front and I just ran ever so wide at the Melbourne Loop which allowed Coops to edge by. The new Kawasaki is working mega so it’s great to have started the season so strongly so I’ll keep building and hopefully we’ll be there at the end of the season.”
“It’s been a really good start to the season albeit a bit hectic but the Superstock bike was on rails all weekend. Naturally, it would have been nice to have taken a win but Saturday’s first race was really tricky with the constantly changing weather conditions and when the rain came it was lethal. I had to tip toe round until it stopped and as soon as the track dried out, I could get going again. In the second race, I felt comfortable sitting behind Danny and Richard but in the closing laps, I caught a false neutral and lost my rhythm. I was still right with them but it was enough for them to open up ever such a small gap which prevented me from mounting a challenge. It felt great to lead the third and final race and I felt comfortable at the front but I suffered with wheelspin quite a bit and lacked a bit of grip in the closing stages but, overall, I’ve got to be pleased with how the weekend’s gone.”
“Not a perfect weekend by any means but I probably passed more riders in that race on Saturday than I have done in the best part of a season before. In Sunday’s race we grabbed a podium, which is always my goal for a weekend, but we want to be winning races and pushing hard with a championship challenge. The Tyco BMW S 1000 RR has plenty of potential again this year and I’m looking forward to the next few rounds before the road racing season starts.”
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the weekend after such a great day yesterday in qualifying, and my first endurance race. I got caught out in a high side on the second lap, which saw my weekend end. The race was red flagged because of oil from another bike. I was sent to medical but apart from a scraped chin and bruised ribs I got the all clear.
“Today has shown just how quickly things can change, but that is racing. We will not dwell on the weekend’s dealings, instead turning out attention to more testing and round two, which is in only two weeks away at Brands Hatch. Thank you all for the well wishes from friends, fans and family.”
Dan Stamper took the opening Pirelli National Superstock 600 race of the season, after a race long scrap for the lead. It was pole man Tom Oliver who grabbed the holeshot, holding on to the lead for the opening five laps before Davey Todd slipped into lead with Stamper in close contention in third.
Trading places over the next few laps, Stamper moved up to second on lap ten before taking the lead one lap later.
The Allied Racing rider was able to fend off the advances of Oliver to take his maiden Pirelli Superstock 600 victory on his local circuit with Todd completing the podium in third.
Arthur Sissis rounded out the top ten in his return to road racing and scores six points from the opening round.
Ducati TriOptions Cup
Joe Collier took a dramatic second win of the weekend in the Ducati Cup on the final lap of the race, after taking the lead from Sean Neary in the final few corners, with Jonathan Railton taking third.
“Firstly I would like to send my thoughts and condolenses to the friends and family of Mick (Whalley) and dedicate my wins to him. The weekend has had many ups and downs but it has been relatively good overall. It has been a strong first weekend for the Boast Plumbing (Moto Rapido) Ducati team and we have learnt a lot about the bike and how it works. My first time riding the bike in the dry was on Friday so we had a lot to learn and change to get things right for me. The team worked really hard over the weekend to get everything feeling comfortable. I am looking forward to Brands and making the Ducati feel a little more like my own. Thank you to all my personal sponsors for once again making it possible for me to be here racing.”
Railton grabbed the lead from the start, and after a bad start for both Neary and Collier they started to work their way forward towards the leader.
Neary grabbed the lead with five laps to go, but then Collier continued to chase him, putting in the fastest lap of the race in process, snatching the win of Neary in the final few laps.
South Australia’s Levi Day earned 9.5 points across the weekend to position himself ninth in the championship standings.
“I started today’s Ducati Tri Options race from 15th, going from our lap time set yesterday. We have had some brake issues all weekend, which has hampered my pace slightly. I made some good progress to finish eighth in the race and the top 899, which I even snagged a trophy for. The 959s seem to have a bit of an edge, but I feel I can make my way forward on the 899 and be further up the field. We may look at getting a 959 in the near future if that is what is needed. Thanks to all the crew at BPS Racing for the hard work all weekend, Darren Jones for his help, Katie as always and my sponsors and supporters.”
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