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Josh Brookes reigns at Silverstone ahead of Brands Hatch season finale

Josh Brookes celebrated a Showdown double win at Silverstone at the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship to maintain the advantage ahead of the triple-header season finale at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time (16-18 October).

The Milwaukee Yamaha rider had to work hard for the two wins at the Northamptonshire circuit; in the opening race he had to overcome the challenges of America’s John Hopkins and then James Ellison in the early stages of the race, before arch rival Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne joined the fray.

Brookes had been holding third place with three laps to go but then he pulled a decisive move on Byrne and then Ellison to hit the front. The pair tried to launch a retaliation but the Australian had the edge to win ahead of Byrne whilst in third place Ellison was mugged on the penultimate lap by Peter Hickman onboard the RAF Reserves BMW and Hopkins, who claimed his best result of the season in fourth place.

Byrne elevated himself up the grid for the second race and he started from pole position for the PBM Kawasaki team. He claimed the lead on the opening lap as Ellison began his charge to hit the front of the field by the third lap with some committed moves on the defending champion, Dan Linfoot and Hickman.

Linfoot had been holding third behind Ellison and Byrne, but Brookes was carving his way up the order after running eighth over the opening laps. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider was up to fourth by the eighth lap and then made a move on both Byrne and Linfoot to move to within striking distance of Ellison.

A lap later and Brookes made the final move on Ellison that would put him back at the front of the field and then he forged a margin to claim his second victory of the day. Meanwhile the intense battle for the final podium positions raged with Linfoot and Laverty trading places with the Tyco BMW rider emerging ahead to score his best result of the season.

On the final lap Byrne and Christian Iddon were dicing for fourth place but the Bennetts Suzuki rider was able to get the better of the defending champion to score his strongest finish of the season.

Christian Iddon – “That was a really enjoyable race. I had some good battles with [Josh] Brookes and everyone was having a go. From about a third to halfway-in I was pushing really hard and losing time, so I was rushing into corners to try and compensate further. But I took stock of the situation a bit and knew tyre wear was going to come into it; they get a lot of hammer at this track as you spend so long driving forward on the side of the tyre. But I waited and as everyone else’s went off was able to make some passes and then it was just a case of following the progress forward. I could see the podium positions. Unfortunately the result wasn’t quite a podium but it’s a nice result, it’s our best this season, but more importantly we were in the mix all race. I really enjoyed it and the bike was even better again this weekend, so big thanks to the team; the guys put a lot of effort in. It feels like everyone’s sat on the bike with me, so it feels good to get a result for them. I’m looking forward to Brands now.”

Ellison meanwhile drastically dropped down the order over the final laps after challenging at the front of the field due to a severe drop in rear tyre grip, finish 17th.

Billy McConnell had qualified in 13th place for the first of the two 14-lap MCE Superbike races, Australian ace McConnell was inside the points for the entirety, but with the competition so strong, making any major advances forward was difficult and he had to settle for 13th place at the chequered flag for three hard earned championship points.

The 28-year-old reigning British Supersport champion from Adelaide started the second race from the fifth row aboard the Smiths Racing BMW and his decision to run the harder compound tyre looked to have paid dividends as he made great strides forward as the race progressed. By lap five, he was up inside the top ten and had moved up to eighth by half race distance with a higher finish well within his grasp. However, having just set his fastest lap of the race, he crashed out at Club on lap eight.

Billy McConnell: “The weekend started off in the worst possible fashion when I crashed in the first practice session wrecking the bike in the process. The team did a superb job in rebuilding it, but in the first race I struggled, so it was definitely hard work for just three points. We changed the setting on the shock for race two and the bike was loads better and I felt really confident. The grip was good and I was moving forward all the time, but sadly I crashed again so it was frustrating to say the least. The team is naturally down, but we’ll try and take away the positives and end the year strongly at Brands Hatch.”

Josh Waters was feeling confident ahead of the races. In a similar fashion to Assen, he found himself involved in a battle on track and crossed the line in 15th place in race one, after some issues with chatter as the race went on.  For race two the team took a gamble on the set-up which unfortunately didn’t pay off, and he crossed the line in 18th place.

Josh Waters – “Unfortunately the results this weekend don’t reflect the potential I thought we had on Friday and Saturday. We struggled with a bit of chatter in the first race which has cost us positions, so the team tried something quite big for race two which was a bit of a gamble. If it had paid off it would have been a great decision to try it. Sadly it didn’t and it’s a case of what could have been this weekend. There’s one more to go at Brands so we’ll have another big push there and hopefully end the season strongly.”

Jed Metcher had a difficult weekend in the MCE British Superbike class but he managed two 20th place finishes after struggling to get out on track for the qualifying session.

Jed Metcher – “We were again plagued with a few niggling issues which reduced our track time over the weekend. We will sit down in the week and discuss everything to try and make further progression at the final round at Brands Hatch.”

Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) – Championship leader: 653 – Silverstone double race winner – “At the start of race one I was trying to find a pace that I felt could last the race distance and then James [Ellison] came passed and I thought that maybe that was a good situation as I could let him do the work. Then when Shakey came by me I sat calmly in third and kept an eye on them. I thought if I could stay smooth and fast and not make any mistakes then they shouldn’t have any extra to give than I have, I felt we were on fairly equal terms.

“I was able to get passed and then the final laps were a real fight with myself, the bike, the tyre and each corner – I was battling the elements in my own environment to keep it together. I had to concentrate and I am really pleased I bought it home.”

“I certainly found it difficult at the start of the second race as I got pushed wide at turn one. Exiting the turn he moved wide and I got squeezed out and I lost momentum and a few positions. I knew right from the start it was then going to be difficult.

“I got momentum going again and I had a great battle with Christian [Iddon] but every time I got in front of him he would slam me back and I was wasting a lot of laps as I needed to make some forward progress. It wasn’t until I was in front of him that I could move forward with confidence and the bike definitely worked better than race one. I moved to the front and then I could ride my own rhythm and I had confidence to keep pushing harder. I am looking forward to returning to Brands Hatch now for the final round.”

Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) – Championship position: 2nd – Race one: 2nd, Race two: 5th – “I think I know exactly what it takes to win championships, I have won two championships in the Showdown format and unfortunately what we had at Assen wasn’t good enough. it took us all weekend to get up to pace here at Silverstone and race one felt really good, another lap or so things could of been different but could’ve, would’ve, should’ve and didn’ts don’t count.

“We got a strong second place in race one and pole position for race two and I was quite confident with a couple of small tweaks to the bike we could sit at the front and run the pace and try to look after the bike and the tyres better for but I think probably two or three laps in a big problem developed with the bike. I think it was pretty obvious to anyone that knows what they are looking at, and there is nothing that myself or PBM could do to change that.

“You know the fighter in me gave 110% until the end of the race but the realistic me wanted to give up after five laps as I knew I wasn’t going forward and that is the frustrating and bitter pill to swallow as we are good enough to win races. We proved that a couple of rounds ago, we got close to doing that again in race one with everything thrown against us.

“It is not where me or PBM want to be but we will get to Brands Hatch now, the pressure is off, try and enjoy it and we will try to win three races, and mother luck can work the rest out.”

Race one result

1 Joshua Brookes Yamaha AUS 29’33.139

2 Shane Byrne Kawasaki GBR 0’00.688

3 Peter Hickman BMW GBR 0’01.923

4 John Hopkins Ducati USA 0’02.745

5 James Ellison Kawasaki GBR 0’03.254

6 Michael Laverty Aprilia GBR 0’03.480

7 Dan Linfoot Honda GBR 0’06.377

8 Christian Iddon Suzuki GBR 0’08.999

9 Thomas Bridewell BMW GBR 0’11.786

10 Jakub Smrz Yamaha CZE 0’12.280

11 Lee Jackson BMW GBR 0’14.029

12 Richard Cooper Kawasaki GBR 0’14.449

13 Billy Mcconnell BMW AUS 0’17.927

14 Howie Mainwaring Smart Kawasaki GBR 0’20.752

15 Josh Waters Suzuki AUS 0’21.175

Race two result

1 Joshua Brookes Yamaha AUS 29’35.464

2 Michael Laverty Aprilia GBR 0’03.568

3 Dan Linfoot Honda GBR 0’03.748

4 Christian Iddon Suzuki GBR 0’05.050

5 Shane Byrne Kawasaki GBR 0’05.463

6 Richard Cooper Kawasaki GBR 0’08.158

7 Thomas Bridewell BMW GBR 0’08.507

8 Peter Hickman BMW GBR 0’09.690

9 Lee Jackson BMW GBR 0’09.884

10 Luke Mossey Kawasaki GBR 0’13.965

11 Howie Mainwaring Smart Kawasaki GBR 0’15.810

12 Luke Stapleford Kawasaki GBR 0’15.979

13 Jakub Smrz Yamaha CZE 0’16.160

14 Danny Buchan Kawasaki GBR 0’17.902

15 Julien Da Costa Honda FRA 0’19.429

Championship standings after Silverstone

1. Joshua Brookes Yamaha AUS 678

2. Shane Byrne Kawasaki GBR 626

3. James Ellison Kawasaki GBR 584

4. Michael Laverty Aprilia GBR 563

5. Dan Linfoot Honda GBR 543

6. Thomas Bridewell BMW GBR 538

7. Richard Cooper Kawasaki GBR 160

8. Peter Hickman BMW GBR 153

9. Luke Mossey Kawasaki GBR 140

10. Stuart Easton Kawasaki GBR 139

11. Christian Iddon Suzuki GBR 122

12. Jason O’Halloran Honda AUS 103

13. Danny Buchan Kawasaki GBR 101

14. Billy Mcconnell BMW AUS 100

15. Lee Jackson BMW GBR 85

Irwin wins Motorpoint British Supersport thriller from Rispoli   

Glenn Irwin overcame the race long challenges of James Rispoli to take the victory in a hard fought thriller of a Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race with Sam Hornsey completing the podium finishers.

Luke Stapleford made the perfect get-away with Irwin outgunning Rispoli but the American was on the charge and it was all change by the end of a hectic first lap with Rispoli snatching the initiative through Luffield, to lead from Irwin and Stapleford.

Then, newly crowned champion Stapleford pulled off with a machine problem on a second lap controlled by the Nissan Safety car after two riders had tangled at Luffield with the bunched five strong pack duelling intensely after the two lap intervention.

Irwin nosed his Gearlink Kawasaki ahead, by 0.239secs, of Rispoli on a fourth lap which saw Jake Dixon crash his Smiths Triumph at Brooklands, but next time round the Team Traction Control Yamaha rider had the edge though the Ulsterman was giving nothing and was back in front on the eighth lap, briefly.

Rispoli was back in front, by a couple of machine lengths, from Irwin with Sam Hornsey in close contention ahead of Ben Wilson and Joe Francis, but Irwin attacked again, snatching a tenth lap lead and pulling a third of a second on the young American.

Rispoli was giving nothing, closing in on the final lap, nosing ahead only for Irwin to bite back and take his third victory of the season by 0.423secs from Rispoli. Hornsey took his first ever podium on the Profile Triumph with Wilson third from Kyle Ryde, Luke Hedger, Danny Webb and Joe Francis.

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship feature race result

1: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki)

2: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +0.423

3: Sam Hornsey (Profile Triumph) +3.791s

4: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +10.999s

5: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) +16.842s

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings

1: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) 421

2: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) 320

3: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 304

4: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) 297

5: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) 233

Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship

Second best was just champion for Morello Kawasaki rider Josh Elliott as he crossed the line just 0.060secs down on Hudson Kennaugh after a dramatic final lap.  Alastair Seeley who had battled through from a third row start on his Tyco BMW to be scrapping for the lead was just ahead on the final lap. Kennaugh wanted the win and nosed inside of Seeley through Brooklands.  Seeley ran wide, dropping back to sixth, the title out of his reach despite his earlier heroics.  Luke Quigley took third ahead of Adam Jenkinson and Joe Burns.

Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship

Mason Law was crowned champion in an incident packed penultimate round as he finished second, 0.639secs down on PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha rider Ben Currie who had led throughout. Riding the NMT No Limits Kawasaki Law fought back from sixth place on the opening lap to claw into contention and was running third after six laps and then inherited second as Jordan Weaving tipped off at Coppice with two laps to go. Tom Ward took third, his best result of the season on the GO Racing Developments Yamaha.

Santander Consumer Finance KTM British Junior Cup/RC Cup World Final

Dijm Ulrich made the decisive move on the final lap and then won the dash to the line, taking the verdict in a photo-finish, by 0.008secs ahead of Braeden Orrt, and that with his second place in Saturday’s race was enough to give the Dutchman the World Cup title. Hayden Schultz ran third from Saturday’s race winner Sean Kelly.  Kevin Keyes was the top British finisher, fifth overall, and just ahead of the champion Cameron Fraser with Lee Hindle third from James Nagy.

Ducati TriOptions Cup

Robbie Brown held off the hard charging Rob Guiver by 0.137secs to take his seventh victory of the campaign and with it a slender three points advantage over Leon Morris who fought back to take third after an early error had dropped him from first to fourth.

HEL Performance British Motostar Championship

Scott Deroue took the crown in style as he powered his Redline KTM to a tenth victory of the season finally overcoming the determined challenges of his nearest rival Taz Taylor who had feared he might miss the race because of an elbow injury.  Deroue had made the early running but Ed Rendell took the lead on the third lap before Taylor came through to lead and looked to have the edge but the Dutch rider hit back decisively at the end to take the title at the first attempt.

Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood completed a penultimate round double to take their victory tally to eleven and with that string of successes the crown. John Holden/Stuart Ramsey took a distant second in the race with Roger Lovelock/Aki Alto third.