Leon Haslam claims BSB Silverstone opening race
Seeley wins Supersport – Ben Currie third
Billy McConnell goes 9-4 in Superstock 1000
Images by David Yeomans
Leon Haslam clinched the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race win at Silverstone in a high-speed duel with six different riders sharing the lead during the 30-lap thriller on the National circuit.
The race result also secured Glenn Irwin and Josh Brookes their places alongside Haslam and Jake Dixon in the Showdown, with the fight for the final two places inside the top six going down to the wire in tomorrow’s two races. Bradley Ray and Peter Hickman hold fifth and sixth currently with Danny Buchan, Christian Iddon and Jason O’Halloran still in with a shot of displacing them with a maximum 50 points still up for grabs.
At the start of the race Ray launched off the pole position to lead the pack from Dixon, Brookes and Glenn Irwin, but the Buildbase Suzuki rider crashed out unhurt at Becketts on the fourth lap which ended his hopes of securing his Showdown place early. The 21-year-old holds a 37 point margin over Buchan in seventh in the standings who could only finish 13th in today’s opening contest for FS-3 Racing Kawasaki.
Dixon had meanwhile resumed the lead from Brookes and Glenn Irwin, but soon the 2015 champion had moved into the lead for McAMS Yamaha and he had the edge with a decisive move at Brooklands.
He was soon under fire again though but it was from his McAMS Yamaha team-mate Tarran Mackenzie who proved he had the pace to match his more experienced rivals as he claimed the lead at the mid-stage of the race as the pair traded blows for the advantage.
Glenn Irwin was on the move and he then grabbed the lead on the Be Wiser Ducati as Haslam moved into third behind Mackenzie with Brookes dropped to fourth.
The positions were changing constantly in the leading pack and it was a raging battle between Glenn Irwin and Mackenzie for several laps with the pair changing positions every lap for the lead as Haslam closed in.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider waited until the closing stages to make his move and he hit the front of the leading pack, but Glenn Irwin came back to regain the position, but on the final lap it was Haslam who held it to the chequered flag just 0.171s ahead of the Be Wiser Ducati despite his huge crash in free practice yesterday.
“There weren’t many places to make the move as I was really struggling getting out on to the straights so that penalised me quite a bit as I didn’t get the drive. There were two or three places I felt really confident with the bike, but it wasn’t a matter of planning the move it was a case of taking it when I could.”
“It’s been a bit of a scrappy weekend, but I felt pretty comfortable in the race and although second’s a good result, I obviously want to win. We’d all used most of our tyres by the end of the race and although I didn’t miss a gear going onto the straight on the last lap, it wasn’t the cleanest of shifts and that gave Leon his chance. I didn’t brake maybe as late as I could have done but I didn’t want to lose the podium either, so we’ll take second place today. I was only a fraction off the win again so hopefully we’ll get one soon and the main thing today was qualifying for the Showdown.”I had a big moment going into Brooklands trying to pass Glenn the lap before, so I was a bit unsure but made it stick. It was such a fun race. Honestly I didn’t know where the moves were going to come from – it felt like backstreet racing, pulling moves wherever you could!”
Mackenzie held on to third to celebrate his first podium in the premier class in only his rookie season ahead of his team-mate Brookes and Dixon who completed the top five for RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki.
“I didn’t expect to lead at all! I didn’t get the best of starts, dropped back to sixth or seventh and had to come through them all. Once I got to third and was behind Jake and Brookes I felt really comfortable, so I made some moves and thought if I could lead one lap I’d be happy! The laps kept coming around and nobody was passing me so I just kept my head down. I got stuck in and tried to stay in the podium battle, when Josh passed me on the second to last lap I thought it was the last lap so when I came across the line I thought ‘thank goodness for that’ and made sure I got that podium!”
Jason O’Halloran kept his Showdown hopes alive with a sixth place after holding off Luke Mossey on the second of the JG Speedfit Kawasakis and Peter Hickman, who held on to sixth place in the standings for Smiths Racing BMW, with a 12 point advantage over Buchan.
“Today’s been a pretty good day really the race was good; we’ve got 30 laps under our belt and closed the gap to the Showdown top-six. I lost quite a bit of time at the start and had a bad feeling with grip over the first five-to-ten laps then it started to come back to me at the end. I was 3.5 seconds down at one point but came home 1.6 seconds behind, so we have the pace when I’ve got a good feeling, we’ve just got to improve that pace at the start so I’m not playing catch up. I think we can be very competitive tomorrow if we’re with the front guys at the start and not having to chase them towards the end. I think we’re not far away, we’re just missing something at the first part of the race, but if we can fix that then tomorrow we can be stronger again.”
Gino Rea scored his best result of the season for the OMG Suzuki team in ninth ahead of Moto Rapido Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell.
Christian Iddon overcame a fractured collarbone in Datatag Qualifying to finish in 15th place in race one, with 22 points separating the Tyco BMW rider from sixth placed Hickman ahead oftomorrow’s decisive two races.
Superbikes Silverstone, Race 1
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.171s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.608s
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +0.651s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +1.067s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.624s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +3.118s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +3.131s
- Gino Rea (OMG Suzuki) +7.701s
- Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati) +8.367s
Championship standings after Silverstone Race 1
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 355
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 241
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 207
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) 187
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 159
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 134
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 122
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 112
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 104
Alastair Seeley took his first win of the season in an epic opening Dickies British Supersport race at Silverstone by just 0.062s. Ben Currie grabbed the holeshot on his Gearlink Kawasaki, however Currie, Seeley, Jack Kennedy, James Rispoli and Josh Owens were never separated by more than a second throughout the 18 lap race.
Constantly trading places, all five riders held podium positions at some point during the battle meaning it would come down to a last lap showdown to decide the rostrum. Waiting until the final corner, Seeley slipped through to the front to take the win; narrowly holding off Kennedy. Currie secured third, just 0.093s behind Seeley.
Josh Owens eventually took fourth to be the first of the GP2 machines ahead of Rispoli and James Westmoreland.
Supersport Championship, Silverstone, Sprint Race
- Alastair Seeley (EHA Racing Yamaha)
- Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) +0.062s
- Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.093s
- Josh Owens (RS Racing Kalex GP2) +0.390s
- James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) +0.658s
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) +7.563s
Supersport Championship Standings after Silverstone
- Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) 350
- Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 310
- James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) 191
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) 176
- Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) 143
- David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 141
Josh Elliott and Alex Olsen took a win apiece in the Pirelli National Superstock 100 mile race at Silverstone, as the Championship battle heats up. The opening 24 laps saw Elliott claim the victory after a race long battle with Alex Olsen and Keith Farmer.
Moving into the lead for the first time on lap 11, Elliott was then pushed back to second as Olsen carved his way through the field. Biding his time however, the OMG Racing Suzuki rider moved back into the lead at the end of lap 22 and was able to pull an impressive 1.6s to take the win with Farmer securing third.
Taylor Mackenzie had a storming ride through the field, moving from 14th on the grid to fourth at the flag.
In the second part, Elliott grabbed the holeshot but Olsen had moved through by lap three and was able to steadily pull away to take the win by 2.777s. Elliot eventually secured second with Collier third.
Billy McConnell secured fourth place whilst it was a disaster for Farmer who made a mistake off the line leaving him in last place, climbing up to ninth by the flag.
Race 1 Results
- Josh ELLIOTT Suzuki – 22:26.917
- Alex OLSEN BMW +1.627
- Keith FARMER BMW +2.819
- Taylor MACKENZIE BMW +6.174
- Joe COLLIER Aprilia +6.664
- Claudio CORTI Kawasaki +8.789
- Lee JACKSON Kawasaki +9.925
- Leon JEACOCK Suzuki +10.062
- Billy MCCONNELL Suzuki +13.008
- Tim NEAVE Suzuki – +20.772
Race 2 Results
- Alex OLSEN BMW 22:22.263
- Josh ELLIOTT Suzuki +2.777
- Joe COLLIER Aprilia +4.420
- Billy MCCONNELL Suzuki +7.317
- Claudio CORTI Kawasaki +9.509
- Taylor MACKENZIE BMW +10.454
- Lee JACKSON Kawasaki +13.156
- Matt TRUELOVE Yamaha +13.388
- Keith FARMER BMW +18.550
- Kevin MANFREDI Kawasaki +19.475
- Billy Mcconnell 201
- Keith Farmer 197.5
- Joe Collier 197.5
- Josh Elliott 147.5
- Lee Jackson 138
Ducati Tri-options Cup
Championship leader Rob Guiver picked the opening Ducati Tri-options Cup victory at Silverstone in a thrilling encounter, with Lewis Rollo second and Levi Day third.
Guiver grabbed the holeshot and began to battle with Levi Day and Lewis Rollo. The trio swapped places until the final few laps where Guiver held the lead until the flag, with Rollo fighting off Day for second.
Race 1 Result
- Rob GUIVER Ducati – Ducati 14:29.644
- Lewis ROLLO Ducati +0.118
- Levi DAY Ducati +2.854
- Josh WAINWRIGHT Ducati +4.110
- Phil ATKINSON Ducati
- Sean NEARY Ducati +6.387
- Sam MIDDLEMAS Ducati +12.218
- Mark CHEETHAM Ducati +23.568
- David SHOUBRIDGE Ducati +26.652
- Paul SLADE Ducati +28.401