Richard Cooper closes 2018 season on a high with win in Race 3
Jason O’Halloran goes 3-8 – Josh Brookes fourth for season
Ben Currie forced to retire in Supersport
Billy McConnell runner-up in STK1000 championship
Leon Haslam signed off his title-winning 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship campaign with a victory on the final day of action at Brands Hatch, winning the second action-packed race of the weekend before Richard Cooper became the seventh different race winner of the year in the finale.
Haslam claimed 15 race wins on his way to lifting his first British title crown in a season where 15 different riders finished on the podium, representing all six manufacturers.
British Superbike Race 2
The opening race of the day saw the ‘Pocket Rocket’ claim his first Kawasaki victory on the Grand Prix circuit, holding off Tommy Bridewell and Jason O’Halloran after an incredible race-long dog fight for the win with the lead changing over 20 times!
At the start of the race Andrew Irwin launched into the lead ahead of O’Halloran and Haslam, as Danny Buchan crashed out unhurt on the opening lap.
The Honda Racing contender had fired into the lead at Stirlings and despite Haslam getting alongside he couldn’t make it stick. As the pack streamed across the line for the first time Haslam went for a move into Paddock Hill Bend on Andrew Irwin, pushing the Be Wiser Ducati back into second, but as they reached Druids for the first time he was back ahead.
On the third lap Andrew Irwin slid out of contention at Graham Hill Bend and at the front O’Halloran was coming under pressure from Haslam, who grabbed the lead into Paddock Hill Bend on lap five. Meanwhile Bridewell and O’Halloran then traded blows for second, switching positions three times within as many corners.
By the sixth lap Bridewell was at the front; forcing his way ahead of Haslam with O’Halloran in third and Jake Dixon and a still injured Christian Iddon giving chase. Haslam made several attempts to make a move back ahead of the Moto Rapido Ducati, but he couldn’t make it stick until he made a slick move at Dingle Dell on lap eight.
Haslam was then trying to make a break but Bridewell and O’Halloran were desperately trying to get back to the front; the Australian moved into second with a move on the ninth lap before grabbing the lead at Druids. A lap later and it was Haslam back out in the lead of the race and on lap 11 the pair diced with the lead changing three times.
O’Halloran was then holding the advantage as James Ellison had joined the leading pack, but he later crashed the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend. Meanwhile Dixon had gone for a big pass to take the lead but the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider crashed a lap later with a high-speed off at Clearways.
That put O’Halloran back in the lead, but on lap 16 Haslam made another move into Paddock Hill Bend to take the advantage, but as the pair hit Stirlings the Honda rider was back ahead. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki contender waited for another lap before he was back in charge, before he managed to edge a minor advantage to the chequered flag over the final three laps.
The battle was then between O’Halloran and Bridewell for the final podium places and the pair scrapped until the finish line with the Moto Rapido Ducati rider eventually getting the better of his Australian rival to score his best finish of the season.
Richard Cooper claimed his strongest result of the season in fourth as he overhauled Iddon with three laps to go with Peter Hickman completing the top six. Glenn Irwin, Bradley Ray and Josh Brookes held on to finish inside the top ten with Josh Elliot rewarding OMG Suzuki with tenth place in only his second round with the team in the Superbike class.
“It’s so nice to finish the year on the podium and I’m so pleased to be back up there after a difficult start to this weekend. I fought as hard as I could in the second race and as soon as I got past, I went back onto the attack, and it was probably one of the most enjoyable races I’ve ever had. To finish the year with another podium and a trophy after the struggle we’ve had since May is just fantastic and a great way to reward Honda Racing and the team for all their hard work and support. It has finished a very difficult season on a high and I’ll go away now, rest and re-charge the batteries for next year!”
British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 2 Result
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati) +2.027s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +3.287s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +8.784s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +11.976s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +22.473s
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +32.279s
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +43.454s
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +44.435s
Josh Elliot (OMG Suzuki) +45.322s
British Superbike Race 3
Then in the final race of the season Richard Cooper became the seventh and final race winner of the season, dominating the final race of the year, winning by 7.493s Cooper led the race from start to finish and controlled the race from the front to score Buildbase Suzuki their third victory of the season.
On the opening lap Cooper led O’Halloran, Haslam in a special edition livery and Bridewell. Haslam was fighting but he had some huge moments to save, including an incredible moment on the exit of Graham Hill Bend and Clearways, but despite dropping him to fifth, he regained his composure to fight back.
Haslam had Iddon ahead of him and after getting back into a rhythm he made a pass at Paddock Hill Bend on the ninth lap, followed by Dixon a few corners later. Cooper and Bridewell were heading the field but by lap ten Haslam was into third as he dived down the inside of O’Halloran.
Dixon was then hunting O’Halloran and he moved into fourth with a move at Graham Hill Bend, with Iddon also pushing the Australian back a further place. Haslam was gaining momentum but on lap 12 he was on the brink of disaster with a massive moment on the run to Graham Hill Bend, which he only just managed to save.
As Cooper held the position at the front Bridewell was still leading Dixon, Haslam and Iddon, but Josh Brookes was closing and he moved ahead of Haslam on the final lap to claim fifth. Gino Rea equalled his season best result to finish in seventh ahead of O’Halloran, Peter Hickman and team-mate Sylvain Barrier.
“I feel like that’s been coming to be honest. We were fast all weekend and I feel like that win is the deserved result of a lot of hard work. Our pace has been really good at the last three rounds though to be fair, but for the win to come in the wet as well shows a really big improvement as that’s where we’ve struggled the most this season. At Oulton we changed the mapping and I couldn’t ride the bike how I needed, and it was a bit of a wake-up call. Today I had full power and just managed it myself as I knew what I had to play with at my right wrist. But I can’t thank the team enough; I was overshadowed a little bit at the start of the year as Brad had a great beginning of the season and has been really fast, but we were working just as hard on my side of the garage and it’s finally been rewarded. It’s also great for the team morale to bookend the season with wins. It’s been pretty emotional to be fair, but we’ve still got the Sunflower Trophy races and Race of the Year at Mallory, and I intend to give the team two more results before the end of the year.”
Leon Haslam – 2018 BSB Champion
“I’m just happy to have stopped on the bike in that last race, I had so many big moments! It’s been an awesome year, to finish every single race, 15 wins, such amazing battles with Jake [Dixon], with Glenn [Irwin], with Jason [O’Halloran], so many people in the mix on any given weekend, and that is BSB. We have had some great races and there are always good last-lap battles. For me it’s big thanks to the team. My second year with the same team has really shown credit, getting the most out of the bike, understanding the bike and just really, really enjoying it. Like I say, it’s a credit to them to get the results that we got.”
Glenn Irwin – Third
“After yesterday’s race win, it’s disappointing to end my term with PBM and Be Wiser Ducati with only a seventh place finish to show for my efforts and it was especially frustrating as we’d made a chassis change which unfortunately didn’t work out in the way that we’d hoped. The positive is that the race win on Saturday gave me enough of a buffer to clinch third place overall, something which I’m over the moon with. Retiring from my final race with PBM was a real shame but a massive thank you to them for everything they’ve done for me over the last three years.”
Josh Brookes finished the season fourth, and will join the Be Wiser Ducati squad for a Panigale V4 powered assault on the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
Josh Brookes – Fourth
“After the double win here in the Summer I had high expectations but it just wasn’t to be, in either wet or dry. I’ve lacked the feel that’s crucial to push hard and it’s frustrating, I really wanted to end my time with the team on a high.”
Peter Hickman – Fifth
“It’s certainly been a mixed weekend weather wise and although we fell one place short of where we finished in 2017, I’m pleased with fifth overall and finishing as the top BMW rider once more. I qualified well, for once, and we were fast in the dry where I had the pace to win, but there was just one part of the circuit where I was losing a bit of time. The two wet races today were very hard work especially on the Indy part of the circuit so I’m happy enough with fifth overall and to be only 11 points adrift of third is a good effort. It was a challenging end to the season but everyone stuck together and we again showed just what a good team we are.”
British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 3 Result
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 551
…8. Jason O’HALLORAN (Honda) 176
Dickies British Supersport Race 2
James Westmoreland took his first win of the season in the final Dickies British Supersport Championship race of the year, while Ben Currie grabbed the holeshot to lead at the end of the opening lap.
Currie would build a lead of over a second after the first few laps, however Seeley chipped away, passing the Gearlink Kawasaki into Paddock Hill on lap six, with Currie soon back past. Equally as fast, Westmoreland had moved up to second by the half way point and set about chasing down his team mate with 2018 Champion Jack Kennedy in close contention.
Drama began unfolding on lap thirteen, when Seeley crashed out at Paddock Hill having just set the fastest lap of the race whilee moments later Currie was forced to retire from the lead; leaving team mate Westmoreland in the lead.
Kennedy moved into the lead on lap 14 and looked to pull a small gap but Westmoreland fought straight back. Starting the last lap, Westy had pulled a 0.6s lead out over Kennedy and held on to claim his first win of the season; clinching third place in the Championship in the process.
Brad Jones secured third place, having run off on the opening lap, with James Rispoli fourth and Tom Oliver fifth.
Supersport Championship, Brands Hatch Race 2
James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki)
Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) +2.868s
Bradley Jones (Integro Yamaha) +41.001s
James Rispoli (Everquip Racing) +41.765s
Tom Oliver (SGR Racing Yamaha) +42.480s
Josh Owen (RS Racing Kalex) +43.575s
Supersport Championship Standings, Brands Hatch
Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) 491
Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 405
James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) 262
James Rispoli (Everquip Racing) 260
Bradley Jones (Integro Yamaha) 203
David Allingham (EHA Racing) 199
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Race 2
Taylor Mackenzie grabbed victory in an action packed Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race, that saw both title contenders Keith Farmer and Billy McConnell crash out of contention.
Mackenzie was the early race leader but Farmer, Mackenzie, Alex Olsen and Lewis Rollo all took turns leading at the front of the pack. Disaster would strike first for Mackenzie, when he crashed out of second place; meaning Farmer would be crowned the 2018 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Champion.
Farmer would crash out from the lead just laps later however, as would Rollo leaving Mackenzie able to control the race from the front. Despite a fast final few laps, Olsen was not able to pass the Bathams BMW rider and took second place whilst Michael Rutter completed the podium in third.
“What can I say, thanks to everyone for the support all season. Not the result we wanted in today’s race I still finished second in the championship and couldn’t of done it with out all my sponsors and team. Thanks again for a amazing season roll on 2019.”
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Race 2 Result
Keith FARMER BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad 1:45.371
Alex OLSEN BMW – ASTRO – JJR Racing 14 1.672
Taylor MACKENZIE BMW – Bathams Racing 4.274
Joe COLLIER Aprilia – EHA / In Competition Racing 4.524
Dean HIPWELL BMW – CDH 14 5.736
Sam COVENTRY BMW – Lloyd & Jones Bowker Motorrad 6.970
Billy MCCONNELL Suzuki – Buildbase Suzuki 18.127
Tim NEAVE Suzuki – NRC / Dales Racing 25.106
Matt TRUELOVE Yamaha – McAMS Yamaha 31.429
Tom WARD Suzuki – Movuno Halsall Racing 38.276
British Motostar Championship
After dominating practice and qualifying, City Lifting by RS Racing’s Jack Scott converted his pole position to victory in the opening Hel Performance British Motostar race of the weekend. Leading from the start, Scott cruised to the win by 3.4s ahead of his team mate Jake Archer. Asher Durham held a podium spot for much of the race before crashing out on lap eight leaving Ed Rendell to secure third place.
Jack Scott doubled up on Hel Performance British Motostar Championship wins at Oulton Park as his team mate Jake Archer secured the 2018 Championship title. Storm Stacey grabbed the holeshot and led for the opening half of the race however Scott took his turn at the front on on lap six. Holding off the pursuing pack, the youngster was able to clinch his fifth win of the season whilst Jack Nixon pushed Stacey back to third on the final lap. Taking fourth place was Archer, which was enough to secure him the 2018 title.
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