Michael Laverty leads the magnificent seven under the Silverstone lap record
Michael Laverty proved he is ready to come out fighting for the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Silverstone, firing his Tyco BMW inside the existing lap record as he fought off the determined challenges of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship leader Josh Brookes by just 0.074 seconds.
The top seven riders on the time sheet had blasted to times within the circuit lap record with a top ten that featured six different manufacturers.
Laverty scored his first podium finish of the season at the opening Showdown round of Assen last time out and admits he is ready to take the fight to his Australian rival in Sunday’s two races to maintain his outside hopes of taking the title.
James Ellison who currently holds third in the title standings was narrowly adrift of Laverty and Brookes in third place on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, just holding off former MotoGP rider John Hopkins by 0.003s. The American contender had set the pace in the morning session aboard the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati.
Their pace pushed the defending four-time champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne back into fifth place on the time-sheets aboard his PBM Kawasaki as he prepares to strike back and bid for victory on Sunday to try and close the 28 points deficit he has on arch rival Brookes in his ‘strive for five’ titles.
Rookie Luke Mossey on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki set the sixth best time ahead of Jakub Smrz aboard the second Milwaukee Yamaha. Danny Buchan, making his debut for the PBM Kawasaki team pushed ahead of Honda Racing’s title outsider Dan Linfoot whilst Bennetts Suzuki rider Christian Iddon completed the top ten, five places ahead of Tyco BMW’s Title Fighter Tommy Bridewell.
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) – Championship leader: 553 points – Friday free practice position: 2nd – “This morning was difficult because the track temperature was so low and we damaged the soft tyre really quickly. This afternoon was a lot better but I think mostly the track temperature was much higher and that made the difference. I rode half the afternoon session on the SC0 and then changed to the SC1 and I did my fastest lap time on the SC1. I was not surprised as the bike is improving as we are setting it for this circuit. But I don’t think the future is in the SC1 as I think we need to persevere with the SC0 and get it to last longer. I think all we have done is seen the threshold quicker today. I think we all have arrived at the point probably quicker as the track was in pretty good condition this afternoon, and the sun was on it and the warm temperatures – and that is why we jumped into the lap times fairly quickly.”
Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) – Second in the standings: 551 – Friday free practice position: 5th – “Today has been a pretty good day – I really enjoy this circuit and always have as it is good fun to ride. We made a bit of progress this afternoon and that has given us a clear direction for tomorrow and I am feeling optimistic. I feel we can close again as this is a circuit where you can make changes and improve a chunk at a time. I can’t wait to get back out tomorrow now!”
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) – Fourth in the standings: 523 – Friday free practice position: 1st – “It has been a good day here and I feel we can go for the wins on Sunday. We have a taken a big step in our performance and now instead of looking for podiums we can go for the top spot. I knew that we had this pace in us after the previous round at Assen where our confidence with a first race podium was given a massive boost. We had some new parts there and have got them dialled in so we were able to stick in a good lap and to get ahead of Josh this early is a really good feeling. We have the pace and I think we can take the fight to Brookesy this weekend, which is a bit of a statement considering how easy he has had it lately. He can top a session and win a race at will, but this weekend I kind of believed I would have something for him and after today I know I will have. It’s nice to be aiming for the top step for the first time this year and I really want that to become a reality on Sunday on the Tyco BMW.”
Free Practice one
1: John Hopkins (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) 2m:06.259s
2: Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.172s
3: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.264s
4: James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.643s
5: Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +1.069s
6: Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW) +1.374s
Free Practice two
1: Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 2:05.370s
2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.074s
3: James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) + 0.473s
4: John Hopkins (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.476s
5: Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +0.533s
6: Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Tec-care Kawasaki) +0.659s
Luke Stapeford can clinch the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship title this weekend at Silverstone and he started the opening day on track by topping the sessions.
He is just eight points away from sealing the title and he bounced back from a crash in free practice to be second fastest in each of the sessions.
American James Rispoli, bidding for a first win in the series, began the weekend strongly, heading the morning session by a little more than a third of a second from Profile Racing’s Stapleford who slipped off at Farm Corner without injury.
Kyle Ryde, the nearest challenger to Stapleford in the title stakes, ran back in seventh place on the PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha while Jake Dixon recovered to fifth fastest despite tipping off his Smiths Triumph.
Glenn Irwin, third fastest in the morning session, upped the tempo in the afternoon, charging his Gearlink Kawasaki to the fastest time of the day, half a second up on Rispoli’s best, but again Stapleford, who in between times had made his Superbike debut with PBM Kawasaki, was on the pace.
Stapleford, second overall, was pressed by his team-mate Sam Hornsey, consistently on the pace through the day, with Ben Wilson just ahead of Ryde while Dixon ran eighth fastest , just ahead of Joe Francis who is continuing aboard the second Team Traction Control Yamaha.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Silverstone, Free practice two
1: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 2:09.487
2: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) +0.204s
3: Sam Hornsey (Profile Triumph) +0.671s
4: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.832s
5: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) +0.928s