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BSB Snetterton 2015 Image Gallery B – Images by Jon Jessop
Shane Byrne doubles Snetterton BSB 2015

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne regained the lead in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings as he blitzed the opposition with a fourth round double victory at Snetterton, leading the double Australian threat of Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran.

Byrne had not won a race since the opening round of the season at Donington Park in April, but he beat off the challenge of Milwaukee Yamaha’s Brookes, who had also been scrapping with fellow countryman O’Halloran for Honda Racing.

Whilst Byrne surged back to the top, triple Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari’s troubles continued and he held 19th after tyre woes during the opening race and James Ellison also was struck by misfortune as he was forced to retire, relinquishing his standings lead.

Meanwhile Tommy Bridewell forged forward to secure fourth for Tyco BMW ahead of Dan Linfoot and Chris Walker aboard the Be Wiser Kawasaki, who scored his best result of the season so far for the Tommy Hill-managed squad.

An incident-packed second race featured early drama for Kiyonari as he crashed out of contention on the third lap before the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was called in to play when Taylor Mackenzie had to eject from his WD40 Kawasaki as it became engulfed in flames.

The race soon resumed and Byrne was not going to take any prisoners, claiming the second win of the day. However behind the chasing pack were scrapping it out and Brookes overcame some earlier electrical gremlins to claim second after a pulling a determined move on O’Halloran at Nelsons.

Laverty equalled his best result of the season in fourth place ahead of Ellison, who salvaged a seventh place which now leaves him third in the standings ahead of Stuart Easton who took seventh and sixth places on the second PBM Kawasaki.

Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) – R1: 1st, R2: 1st Championship position: 1st (151 points) – “The weekend feels pretty good with these two wins. We had a problem in the first race with the bike thinking that it was changing gear when it was not – that race was actually a lot harder than it looked because of that. I had to be careful to keep a good pace and rhythm and bring the bike home to win. The guys fixed the bike and it was faultless in the second race and I never looked back. I anticipated it would be a tougher race with Josh [Brookes] starting alongside me but I chipped away at it then saw Jason [O’Halloran] up there. I watched my pit-boards, rode consistently and did what I had to do. It felt like I was cruising around – the team had worked so hard to hard to get us where we are, so now it is onwards and upwards for us.”

Paul Bird, PBM Kawasaki Team Owner: “It’s been a fantastic weekend for us and Shakey’s been dominant today. He never looked like being beaten and showed what a class act he is. It’s always been Stuart’s bogey track so for him to come away with sixth and seventh is better than we expected too and we’re looking strong in first and fourth overall in the championship. After a busy fortnight at the TT, we’ve shown our class today and got straight back into winning again so well done to the whole Paul Bird Motorsport Team.”

Josh Brookes – R1: 2nd, R2: 2nd “I definitely didn’t get the start I wanted in race one; as I let the clutch out, it was bunny hopping and I lost all my momentum. Going into the first turn, I got bunched up then – there were a lot of different bars bumping. In turn two, it was still a bit squirrelly, and I kind of got stuck in a position behind Stuart Easton for a while. He’s really strong on the brakes, and I struggled to find a way past him. I stayed there far too long, but once I did make the pass I could move forwards and make some passes easier, but we had a strong end to the race and I was happy to be back on the podium. We had a bit of an issue in the second race, we have limited electronics but where they work most is on engine braking and mid-way through that race it kept locking up the tyre, not completely but skidding into the turns and I was missing my apexes and losing power. If I rode in my normal way it would have caused me more problems as I would have gone further backwards as you would have seen, but I figured out a way to ride without using the engine to slow the bike up on the way in to the corners. I was able to come back through the pack to come back to second and I was really fortunate to make the end of the race as at one point I thought I might have to pit. I am really pleased though that we could make it a double podium.”

Broc Parkes – R1: 11th, R2: 11th – “The first race we started in 19th and got off to a good start, but we got hit in the second corner and went back down the pack and had to climb my way through and I was happy with my pace to finish eleventh and to catch up the time. In race two we could be a lot stronger from seventh and I got a blinder of a start and got up to fourth position and was hanging in there and thought I had a good pace. The safety car didn’t really help me and I didn’t get quick enough off the last corner when it came in and then two guys came under me and from there I didn’t quite have the pace and I felt like I lost a lot of rear grip and basically went back. The good thing was I was running near the front and I need to work on that and come back stronger.”

Mick Shanley – Milwaukee Yamaha Team Manager – “It was a really positive weekend to come away second in the championship with Josh and feeling comfortable at the top. I think it is obvious we have the pace to be in contention for winning every weekend now. Broc also had a positive weekend and showed he had the pace and was capable of running up the front too, although he dropped back a bit at the end of the second race. Overall it has been a good weekend for Milwaukee Yamaha and we are looking forward to Knockhill.”

Jason O’Halloran delighted Honda Racing with a double podium – “I am really happy with the progress we have made, the first few rounds we made small steps and then we were closer again at Oulton Park. We have been there all weekend and then to have two podium finishes in fantastic for me and the team. The team have been working hard and we want to be able to chase these boys down in front of us. We are going in the right direction and we can build on this at Knockhill. I am in a really good place so I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Countryman Josh Waters on the Bennetts Suzuki scored 14th and 18th place finishes while Billy McConnell took 17th and 14th place finished on the Smiths BMW.

Josh Waters: “It’s been a frustrating weekend for us. We made progress with the bike through the free practice sessions and qualified on the third row. We put in a lap-time in the first race but as the race progressed we suffered from some bad chatter. The team tried something different for race two but sadly it didn’t pay off and we suffered with the same issues again. I’m disappointed because I know we can be racing against the guys I was racing with last year; and we’ve shown the pace can be there. We’ve just got to get it right for the whole race.”

Jack Valentine – Team Suzuki Manager: “It’s been disappointing in one respect as we had similar issues with both bikes in the first race with bad chatter, which we hadn’t had all weekend, but it got worse as the races went on, which meant both riders couldn’t push to their limits and resulted in only Josh scoring points. The chassis set-up before the chatter started was good, shown by the fast laps both riders put-in and their grid spots for race two. Changes to Christian’s bike resulted in him being able to mix-it a lot more in the second race. Unfortunately the changes to Josh’s didn’t make the same difference and he had the same issues as the first race, so we need to go and look into it in more detail back at base. On the positive side Christian lapped in the mid 1:48s, which is a very competitive lap time, and he was fastest in the second sector, so we know the package is competitive. We’re just going to have to work harder to find the sweet spot.”

Billy McConnell: “It’s been a tough weekend and we’ve struggled for set-up having missed the test here back in May. It left us on the back foot a little bit but the bike felt good and we had good speed. But with just one rider in the team, we don’t have the same amount of data as some of the two rider teams do. We knew our rookie year was going to be tough but there are still positives to take from the weekend and the meetings come thick and fast now so we should be able to get fully dialled in from now on.”

BSB 2015 Snetterton Race One

1: Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)

2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +2.685s

3: Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.013s

4: Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +8.134s

5: Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +14.134s

6: Chris Walker (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +14.592s

BSB 2015 Snetterton Race Two

1: Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki)

2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +4.676s

3: Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.404s

4: Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +5.471s

5: Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +6.323s

6: Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +9.146s

BSB 2015 Championship standings

1: Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 151

2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 134

3: James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 118

4: Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) 99

5: Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 77

6: Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 74

Irwin becomes fourth different Motorpoint British Supersport victor

Glenn Irwin became the fourth different winner in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, scoring Gearlink Kawasaki’s first victory of the season as Kyle Ryde and Luke Stapleford crashed out on the final lap whilst battling for the win.

Ryde had led in the initial stages of the race, but Stapleford was hunting hard as he bid to extend his lead in the standings and he forged ahead onboard the Profile Triumph on the second lap but he still couldn’t shake off the challenges from his rival.

Stapleford was again coming under pressure from Ryde and the PacedayZ Yamaha rider reclaimed the position on the sixth lap and began to try and bridge the advantage, stretching his lead to 1.226s. Stapleford though was on the counter attack and he closed him down to recommence the battle on the penultimate lap.

It was a frantic final two laps with Stapleford closing right in on Ryde, but as he went for a final lap move on his rival at Montreal he went for a dive down the inside, losing the front as Stapleford then crashed out, taking Ryde with him.

Irwin watched it all unfold as he rode through to take the victory on his Gearlink Kawasaki ahead of James Rispoli on the Team Traction Control Yamaha, who celebrated his first podium finish of the season with Luke Hedger third for Gearlink Kawasaki, also a career first for the young gun.

Joe Collier was sixth overall on the Haribo Starmix Triumph and he increased his lead in the Supersport Evo category with another victory ahead of Levi Day, the South Australian also took a podium in Saturday’s opening race of the weekend and is second overall in the EVO sub-category.

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Snetterton, Feature race result

1: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki)

2: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +2.862s

3: Luke Hedger (Gearlink Kawasaki) +6.851s

4: Danny Webb (Appleyard Macadam Doodson Yamaha) +6.899s

5: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) +15.773s

Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race

Morello Racing’s Josh Elliott snatched a last corner last lap victory to win the dash to the line by 0.075secs from Alastair Seeley aboard the Tyco BMW and extend his lead to a dozen points over Hudson Kennaugh who ran a distant third over eleven seconds down on the Trik-Moto BMW. David Johnson had a front row start but crashed out of the race early on. 

Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship race

Victoria’s Ben Currie finally shook off the close attentions of Tarran Mackenzie to take a victory that strengthens his second place in the title stakes, now only 13 points down on Mason Law who crashed while leading the race on the third lap. Mackenzie had snatched the lead late on amid some furious duelling, with only 0.051secs between them going into the final lap but Currie had the edge, pulling clear to win by 1.527seconds. Joe Francis ran third ahead of Jordan Weaving.