Shane Byrne well and truly back in BSB Title hunt after Snetterton double
Brookes takes two second places ahead of O’Halloran to strengthen their Title hopes
Bad weekend for Mossey sees his massive series lead whittled back to seven-points
Image by Jon Jessop
Image by Jon Jessop

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne delivered his strongest performance of the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season so far to claim his first double win of the season for the Be Wiser Ducati team, holding off the challenge from arch rival Josh Brookes in both races.

On the opening lap of race one Leon Haslam fired himself to the front on his racing return ahead of James Ellison, but the McAMS Yamaha was instantly on the attack and claimed the lead with a move at Brundle. Pole sitter Byrne had dropped to fourth at the start, but by the second lap he had pushed his way back into third place when he passed Dan Linfoot on the brakes into Riches.

A lap later and Byrne was up to second, out dragging Haslam down the Senna Straight to move ahead. The defending champion then had Ellison in his sight and on the fifth lap a mistake from the race leader gave Byrne the gap he needed to snatch the position and move to the front of the pack.

Byrne was being chased by Ellison but there was further disappointment for the McAMS Yamaha rider when he suffered a technical problem which forced him to retire from the race. Byrne had the advantage but behind there was a battle of the Australians as Jason O’Halloran was fending off the challenge from Brookes.

Image by Jon Jessop
Image by Jon Jessop

Brookes forced the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha ahead and then held off his Honda Racing rival as he bid to close down Byrne, but at the flag it wasn’t enough to make a final strike back; however he showed his rivals he was back in business as he bids for a second crown.

O’Halloran was soon under pressure from a closing Haslam over the final laps but he managed to fend off the closing JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider to return to the podium. Haslam celebrated his return to racing action with a fourth place ahead of the second Honda Racing Fireblade of Dan Linfoot.

Jake Dixon got the better of Peter Hickman in the closing stages with John Hopkins, Bradley Ray and Sylvain Guintoli completing the top ten.

In the second race Byrne again started from the pole position, but it was Brookes that launched off the line fastest at the start to lead the pack into Riches for the first time ahead of Ellison and Byrne with Haslam holding fourth place.

Hopkins and O’Halloran though were moving through the field and the pair were soon on the back of the leading trio of Brookes, Ellison and Byrne. At the front Byrne made a move on Ellison on the ninth lap to close in on his Australian rival, but the McAMS Yamaha wasn’t going to settle behind the five-time champion. However as Ellison bid for podium contention, he crashed out unhurt at Murrays.

At the front Byrne was closing on Brookes and on lap 14 the Be Wiser Ducati rider pushed ahead on the run down to Riches, which O’Halloran repeated on Hopkins as the pair exchanged blows in the battle for third position.

Byrne was able to hold off the counter attack from Brookes to the finish to claim his first double win of the season with O’Halloran completing the first double podium for the Honda Racing team as Hopkins dropped to fifth when Jake Dixon made a last corner move on the final lap.

Hickman claimed sixth place which fired him into the Showdown six in the standings ahead of Linfoot and Haslam. Guintoli and Mossey completed the top ten, with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider still holding the advantage at the top of the standings ahead of Brands Hatch.

South Australia’s Billy McConnell took 11th and 16th place finishes and now lies 17th in the championship points chase.

Shane Byrne – Be Wiser Ducati – 1/1

“It’s been a good weekend and in both races, I used my head and bided my time. I didn’t make the greatest of starts in race one but stayed safe in the first few laps and we’d worked hard over the weekend to make sure we were fast throughout the race. I took my time to get to the front and then at half race distance pushed on a bit and it all panned out perfectly. Race two was Shane Byrnedefinitely tougher as Josh (Brookes) was setting a good pace. He put the hammer down around half race distance so I made my move and obliterated my own lap record to grab the lead soon after. The Be Wiser Ducati team did a great job all weekend and after only getting a couple of thirds at Knockhill and with Glenn getting injured, it’s good to put the smiles back on everyone’s faces.”

Josh Brookes – 2/2

“It’s a reflection of the hard work we’ve done in the previous rounds, it’s like an iceberg, what you see on the TV is only the tip there is a lot of work going on in the background that has brought us to this position. We’ve had what have appeared to be difficult weekends in results but it’s a process, we have all the ingredients to make a winning bike but all the pieces have to go in the right place. I think this weekend is a reflection of all the hard done recently, and I hope now this us breaking through that surface and shows what the potential is for later on down the line. I’ve said it before it’s almost a replay of 2015, I have to learn the process, structure and the people and build on the weaknesses till you make them strengths, but it does feel very much like 2015 and hopefully the pattern continues.  Qualifying seventh was clearly my lack of performance through qualifying, and having to start on the third row I only have myself to blame. But qualifying isn’t always a representation of what your race package is, but we were burning away in the background focussing on a good race pace. To be second to Shakey and the Be Wiser Ducati team is not a bad weekend, they set a very high benchmark and if we compare ourselves to them it’s not so bad.”

Image by Jon Jessop
Image by Jon Jessop

Jason O’Halloran – 3/3

“A double podium, and the first of the year! I’m really pleased; the whole team has been working great this weekend. We turned up to Snetterton after the test and we didn’t really have to change a lot, we worked a lot on race distances and that really paid off for both races. I enjoyed the battle in the end with Hopper, he was riding well and it was hard to pass him, I really had to work for it! The Fireblade is really coming together for us now, we’re consistent and I feel in a good place. In the past the next few rounds have been strong for us, so we need to aim to at least be on the podium and hopefully get a win in there too!”

Jake Dixon – 6/4

“It was a heavy crash in the morning warm-up and after not doing anything wrong it chucked me onto the ground hard so to bounce back from that with a fourth and a sixth is pleasing. The second race was a lot better than the first and we made some big improvements to the bike which definitely helped whilst we also went for the softer tyre. It was hard coming from row three and at one stage the group in front of me had a gap of more than two seconds which made it tricky as I didn’t want to push too hard too soon and use up the tyre. I actually had more grip than I thought and perhaps could have pushed harder a bit sooner so a podium was potentially on the cards. As it was, I came away with a fourth and a sixth and although it would obviously have been nice to have been on the podium again, I got a good haul of points this weekend. It keeps the momentum going and builds on what we achieved at Knockhill so to move to within four points of a Showdown place puts us in good stead going into the next round.”

Dan Linfoot – 5/7

“Race one I used the harder rear tyre and I was worried about going the race distance, but to be fifth and only a few seconds off Jason, I was happy with that. I felt that with a few changes to the front of the CBR and also with the softer rear tyre, we’d be OK for race two. However, my feeling with the front felt worse and I didn’t get the most out it during the race. I don’t feel quite perfect with it all yet, the level is coming but I don’t feel 100% over a race distance, qualifying is OK but not particularly with the race. Taking the positives from today, we’ve got some points this weekend and we will keep working on it to be at the front very soon!”

Peter Hickman – 7/6

“It hasn’t been a bad weekend and if you forget the race positions, one of the major things to come out of the weekend is that we’ve made major improvements to the bike and have learnt an awful lot which should stand us in good stead in the forthcoming rounds. The bike felt a lot more planted and I was really hopeful of a better showing in race two so it was a shame I got duffed up a bit. I made a good start but got pushed wide twice and lost my rhythm which made it tough but I kept pushing until the end and to be back in the top six is pleasing. The team have done a mega job all weekend and we’re looking forward now to pushing on even further.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race one result
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +3.295s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.698s
  4. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.885s
  5. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +11.656s
  6. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.513s
  7. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +14.698s
  8. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +16.596s
  9. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +17.140s
  10. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +21.341s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race two result
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.686s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.701s
  4. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +8.261s
  5. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +8.544s
  6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.576s
  7. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +13.615s
  8. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +17.625s
  9. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +20.022s
  10. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +23.088s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton
  1. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 147
  2. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 140
  3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 132
  4. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 118
  5. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 115
  6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 93

British Supersport

Ben Currie started from 6th position for the Sprint race; he got a fantastic start and was through to third place after the opening lap. He had a battle with Alastair Seeley on the Spirit machine and then with Jack Kennedy. He fought hard and finished fifth over the line but scores points for fourth place.

He was placed in fifth on the grid for race two; another good start saw him lying in second place after lap one. He was passed by Farmer and put back to third, he was in the five bike scrap with his team-mate for the win and they were all fighting extremely hard for those podium positions. Sadly on lap eight he crashed out of the race whilst sitting in fourth place. This has seen Currie slip to sixth place on the championship standings with 116 points to his name. 

Ben Currie

“It was a positive weekend battling for podiums. I’d like to say a huge thanks to the Gearlink Kawasaki team for working relentlessly. We are almost there and just need to keep chipping away and the wins will come. Thank you to all my loyal sponsors for making this happen, there is still a long way to go in the Championship and I’m in reaching distance. I can’t wait for the rest of the season.”

Image by Jon Jessop
Image by Jon Jessop

Countryman Sam Clarke had a weekend to forget when he destroyed his machine during practice, forcing the Western Australian to sit out the remainder of the weekend, despite being uninjured.

Dickies British Supersport Sprint race, Snetterton
  1. Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Yamaha)
  2. Joe Francis (Halsall Racing Yamaha) +3.9.06
  3. Jack Kennedy (Tempus MV Agusta) +5.123
  4. Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +7.373
  5. David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) +12.294
Dickies British Supersport Feature race, Snetterton
  1. Alastair Seeley (Team Quattro Spirit)
  2. Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +1.897s
  3. Jack Kennedy (Tempus MV Agusta) +1.959s
  4. Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) +9.419s
  5. Jamie Perrin (Slidecolour/Go Racing Developments Yamaha) +14.203s
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings after round five, Snetterton
  1. Tarran MacKenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 150 points
  2. Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) 145 points
  3. David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 145 points
  4. Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 140 points
  5. Jack Kennedy (Tempus MV Agusta) 120 points
  6. Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 116 points

British Superstock 1000

Norwich-based Morello Racing Kawasaki were back in action at the weekend for round six of the Pirelli Natioanl Superstock 1000 Championship and, competing at their local Snetterton circuit, Danny Buchan ensured it was another superb meeting for the team as he swept to his seventh victory of the season and fifth in succession.

Buchan signalled his intentions for the weekend during Friday’s two free practice sessions when he set the fastest time in each and he duly converted his form into pole position during Saturday’s qualifying session with his time of 1m50.250s some four tenths of a second inside his own lap record. The Basildon rider was again quickest in the Sunday morning warm-up session and was quietly confident for the 16-lap race.

However, his championship rivals had other ideas and he found himself pushed back to fourth by lap four. He regrouped and on lap seven he moved past Chrissy Rouse to take over third and for the next few laps he was locked in battle with fellow Kawasaki ZX-10R rider Mason Law. The duo swapped positions a number of times but Danny finally took control of second on lap 14.

It looked like second would be the best he could hope for as season-long rival Richard Cooper had opened up a healthy margin but the Suzuki rider dramatically slowed in the closing stages and Danny swept into the lead on the penultimate lap. He pulled away to take the chequered flag for his seventh win of the season which enabled him to extend his Championship lead to 45 points.

Danny Buchan

“My plan was to get away at the start and make a break but I got stuck in the pack a bit and Richard (Cooper) did exactly what I wanted to. When I was down in fourth I didn’t think I was going to make it onto the podium but I kept chipping away and kept pushing and it just shows what can happen when you never give up. Fourth became third and then second and although we had a bit of luck with Richard running into problems, I’m delighted to take another win and keep the good run we’re on intact.”

Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race (16 laps)
  1. Danny Buchan (Morello Racing Kawasaki)
  2. Mason Law (Kawasaki)
  3. Michael Rutter (BMW)
  4. Richard Cooper (Suzuki)
  5. Chrissy Rouse (BMW)
  6. Adam Jenkinson (BMW)
Championship Positions (after six rounds)
  1. Buchan 186pts
  2. Cooper 141
  3. Rutter 111.5
  4. Rouse 104
  5. Law 101
  6. Hedger 73

British Superstock 600

Tom Neave has taken his first victory of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 season ahead of brother Tim Neave, taking the first family 1-2 of the season, after dominating from the start with Championship leader Dan Stamper in third.

It was Tom Neave who made the best of starts, and led from the opening lap, and started to pull a gap on the chasing pack. The battle for second soon heated up between Tim Neave and Ryan Vickers. The pair battled all race long, until Vickers crashed out on the last lap, gifting Championship leader Dam Stamper third place.

Arthur Sissis took no points from Snetterton and has been pushed down the championship table to sixth position. 

Ducati TriOptions Cup

Boast Plumbing’s Joe Collier continues to set the pace in the 2017 Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup, claiming his seventh win of the season in a shortened second race at Snetterton. An action-packed opening lap saw Levi Day grab the holeshot, Collier move through just two corners later before Rob Guiver hit the front by the end of the lap.

Maintaining positions over the opening half, Collier moved through on lap six just as the red flag came out, seeing him take his seventh win. In a mirrored result to Saturday’s race, Levi Day completed the podium in third and the South Australian now lies fourth in the championship standings.

In the 899 category, Louis Dawson took the win ahead of Taryn Skinner and Carl Stevens.