O’Halloran taken out in Race 1 – Unable to continue weekend
Billy McConnel second in Superstock 1000
Leon Haslam emerged victorious after the BSB Snetterton round, despite Aussie Josh Brookes giving him a run for his money in Race 2, with the two colliding on the drag to the finish line, which allowed Jake Dixon to slip into second.
In the opening race of the day Bradley Ray launched off the pole position and into the lead ahead of Glenn Irwin but as the pack reached Wilson for the first time there was a collision into the corner and Andrew Irwin, Michael Laverty and the Honda Racing pairing of Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran crashed out of the race.
The BMW Safety Car was deployed following the incident and as the pack formed up ready for the race to resume, Ray led Irwin, Jake Dixon and Danny Buchan with Haslam holding sixth place.
On the fourth lap the race continued and Haslam was on the move and he passed Buchan on the sixth lap and was then on a charge to the front, but it didn’t come easily for the championship leader.
And it was a disaster for his teammate when Luke Mossey crashed out at high-speed at the end of the Bentley Straight, and he subsequently sat out the second race.
Haslam was pushing to move ahead of Brookes and he dived ahead at Brundles on the ninth lap to move up the order. At the front Irwin was closing on leader Ray but the Buildbase Suzuki made a mistake and slid out at Agostini.
Irwin then had the advantage from Haslam but Dixon and Brookes were battling for the final podium position which went down to the wire on the final lap; first Dixon made a move on his Australian rival on the brakes into Brundle, but he fought back to regain the advantage at Murrays. The pair were side-by-side on the drag race to the line but it was Dixon who held it.
Danny Buchan was fifth as he held off Tarran Mackenzie, who claimed his best result of the season for McAMS Yamaha with Peter Hickman carving his way up the order to seventh place ahead of James Ellison and Christian Iddon. Richard Cooper completed the top ten on the Buildbase Suzuki.
Race two was another battle to the finish with the top three at the chequered flag covered by just 0.129s! At the start of the race Ray had again hit the front of the pack, but Brookes was instantly on the attack and he made a move on the inside at Agostini to grab the lead for McAMS Yamaha.
James Ellison was running in the top five but a mistake a lap later put the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider out of contention when he crashed at Agostini.
Brookes was holding off Ray and Dixon as Haslam moved ahead of Glenn Irwin and on the seventh lap moved ahead of the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider as the ‘Pocket Rocket’ forged his way through the field.
Haslam was then piling the pressure on Ray and two laps later he made a decisive move at Riches to move into second. However there was more drama for Ray as the Buildbase Suzuki rider was under attack from Irwin. The Be Wiser Ducati rider had moved ahead at Agostini, but Ray fought back as the pair began an intense battle for position.
A lap later and as Ray went for a counter attack he lost the front and crashed out of contention, taking Irwin with him, ending their races prematurely.
The fight for the lead though was raging too and Haslam moved ahead of Brookes on lap 11, but a lap later and Brookes had repaid the move to fire the McAMS Yamaha back to the front. The championship leader was determined and he was pushing hard to get back ahead of the Australian and with two laps to go he pulled another pass heading into Riches.
It all came down to the final lap and Haslam had the edge but a hard-charging Brookes made a lunge at Murrays to grab a slight advantage. The pair though collided on the drag to the finish line and it gave Dixon the chance to split them with an incredible 0.129s covering the top three with Haslam victorious and Brookes in third.
Linfoot delivered a strong performance on his return to finish fourth after he was caught out with a lap one crash in race one, forging ahead of Buchan and Peter Hickman who completed the top six for Smiths Racing BMW.
Cooper was seventh ahead of the Tyco BMW pairing of Iddon and Laverty with Andrew Irwin scoring a top ten finish on his Bennetts BSB debut with Be Wiser Ducati.
“I felt good all weekend and the lap times were good throughout practice and qualifying so it was good to convert that into two good results. It was a bit of a scary moment when I went on to the grass in the first race but I felt that Josh was holding me up so was desperate to get by him. To be honest, I thought I could win the race but it just took too long to get by Josh as he was strong on the brakes but I managed to get by him on the last lap to take third. I started strongly in race two but then got a bit flustered and it wasn’t until Brad and Glenn went down that I was able to get back into it. I’d lost two seconds to Josh and Leon by then but I kept chipping away and got back with them although it was a little bit too late. When they had a bit of a coming together though, I just went for the line and although I maybe should have clicked first gear second place made it a fantastic weekend for the whole team and I’m really happy with how today has gone.”
“That was a fantastic race. I really enjoyed that one and it’s great to finally be back in a position to battle for the lead. The team have done a fantastic job all weekend and although the win would have been nice, I’m happy with third to be honest. We’re looking to carry this momentum forward into the other races.”
“I’m happy enough with the weekend and although qualifying was pretty rubbish, I managed to rectify that in both races. I got a bit lucky in race one with a few riders crashing out and from starting in 17th, I was up into eighth after just a couple of laps! Once there though, my pace was good, and I kept chipping away whilst it was a similar story in race two. Snetterton was our poorest circuit in 2017 so to come away this weekend with two good results is pleasing and whilst I’m still not in the positions I’d like to be in, we’ve made good progress. It hasn’t been easy coming here straight after the TT but the whole team have done well so hopefully this kick starts our season.”
“I started the first race sixth on the grid, but that didn’t last very long! I made a good start, but as I’m rusty on the bike I didn’t brake very well in to turn one, I went into the second turn and had a clatter from behind and that was me down the road, taken out by another rider. I’m disappointed as we had a good qualifying and there was potential there for a good race, but more importantly I needed a race under my belt to get my confidence back. I was 11th on the grid for the second race, we got an average start and I settled into the group I was in; there was an immediate gap at the front to us, so I just settled into the group and set a target that if I was the first rider home in my group I’d be happy. Towards the end of the race I made better pace and found another level; it helps to have a fast bike! We finished fourth, which is more than I expected to be honest on my comeback and we’ve collected good points to start moving up in the standings. What’s positive is that we finished at the front with very little bike time, so with the test at Knockhill then more days on the Fireblade we should be ready for a podium or two at the next round!”
“Most riders opted for the softer rear tyre in the first race, but Bradley was setting a fast pace, so I felt that I had to go with him although he crashed out, it meant I didn’t quite have as much grip left at the end of the race compared to Leon. I tried to respond when he came by but although the Ducati’s good on the tyres, I need to learn how to manage them towards the end of the race although second place was a good way to start the day. I learned a lot in the race and in the second race, I felt really comfortable and could see everyone was using more of the tyre than I was. I felt sure our first race win of 2018 would be coming our way but, unfortunately, Bradley made a mistake and we both ended up crashing out. It’s extremely frustrating to be taken out by someone else’s mistake but we’ve proved we were competitive today and the team have done a great job.”
“It’s been a contrasting day and what had been a really good weekend got interrupted Andrew Irwinby the first race crash which was my mistake and something I immediately apologised for. Tenth place in the second race made up for it and although it was maybe a lucky top ten, you must finish races to score points. I’m really looking forward to Knockhill now and feel that I’m ready to make the next step. Finishing the weekend strongly is very positive so we can hopefully carry the momentum on to the next round and with a full race distance now under my belt, I know what BSB is like and where I can improve. My fitness isn’t in doubt, but I need to increase my strength as muscling a Superbike around is very different to a 600!”
“My weekend at Snetterton hasn’t really gone to plan, with the incident in race one and my race coming to a premature end! Unfortunately I was taken out on the second corner of the first lap and was declared unfit for the second race. I am majorly disappointed, it’s been a crazy five weeks to even get here and then to do what we did yesterday, just missing out on Q3. We had pretty strong pace and I was feeling good coming into the race and hoping to score some points. It’s disappointing not to finish and not to be able to take part in the second race, but sadly this is bike racing and sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan. It’s such a shame as I love Snetterton and I know if I was 100% fit, this weekend would have been a completely different story, but for now I have to focus on the next round – we have three weeks, so it’s back on the rehab train for me and make sure I’m fit and ready to go at Knockhill.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race 1 result
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, standings after Snetterton
Leon Haslam Kawasaki 165
Bradley Ray Suzuki 101
Shane Byrne Ducati 98
Jake Dixon Kawasaki 91
Glenn Irwin Ducati 79
Josh Brookes Yamaha 72
Jason O’Halloran Honda 63
Danny Buchan Kawasaki 63
Christian Iddon BMW 48
Michael Laverty BMW 46
Dan Linfoot Honda 42
Dickies British Supersport
Jack Kennedy continued his dominance of the Dickies British Supersport class, doubling up on wins at Snetterton to extend his series lead. As he did in yesterday’s Sprint race, Ben Currie grabbed the holeshot however teammate James Westmoreland was not so lucky after being involved in an incident on the second corner which saw him crash out of contention.
Kennedy had moved into the lead by lap two, setting a string of fast laps to build a small gap over Currie. Disaster would strike Currie on lap five as the Gearlink Kawasaki rider was forced to retire from second place with a technical problem. With the Kawasaki out, Kennedy’s team mate Brad Jones was promoted to second to make it an Integro Yamaha 1-2.
Proving to be in a class of his own, Kennedy cruised to his sixth consecutive win by 6.2s. It was a dramatic closing third to the race as James Rispoli moved up to second at the start of lap 12, however a fast charging Ross Twyman passed both Rispoli and Jones on the final lap to claim second, with Rispoli third and Jones eventually taking fourth.
Josh Owens was the first of the GP2 machines, working his way through from the back of the grid to finish seventh overall.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Snetterton, Race
Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha)
Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) +6.279s
James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) +6.475s
Bradley Jones (Integro Yamaha) +7.167s
Tommy Philp (Draper Racing Yamaha) +12.553s
Sam Wilford (IDWe Racing Yamaha) +15.740s
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings
Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) 190
Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 146
Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) 97
James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) 85
James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) 75
Bradley Jones (Integro Yamaha) 68
Pirelli National Superstock 1000
Joe Collier claimed his first win in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series at Snetterton, narrowly beating series leader Billy McConnell to the flag.
It was an action packed 14 lap race, as Championship contenders Chrissy Rouse and Andy Reid both crashed out of contention whilst Alex Olson also slipped off whilst running third.
At the front though, McConnell and Collier were able to pull away from the pursuers as they continued to battle for the lead. Moving into the lead on lap 11, Collier was able to fend off a last lap challenge from McConnell to take his first win in the series.
Taking his first podium of the season was Lee Jackson in third. After being outside the top ten, Keith Farmer charged through the field to finish fourth ahead of Luke Hedger.
“Obviously I’m disappointed not to get the win today. We had good pace and led for a fair bit of it. When Joe [Collier] came past me, I saw on the big screen we had a bit of a gap over the guys behind, so I didn’t take any risks, I thought about championship points, and just thought I’d line up a last lap pass if we could. The places I could make up the most time was in the last sector, and I tried to run it round the outside of Coram but I wasn’t quite close enough. But we extended the championship lead and beat some of our other rivals, and the bike was working well. We’ll try and get out again before Knockhill to get some more bike time and keep ourselves sharp, then it’s Knockhill and hopefully we can get back onto the top step.”
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Race
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Standings (after four rounds)
McConnell – 113
Collier – 100
Farmer – 95
Rouse – 68
Reid – 66
Seeley – 54
Ryan Vickers extended his lead at the top of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 series, taking a fourth win of the season at Snetterton. It was not an easy race for the youngster however, facing stiff completion from Aaron Clarke in the closing stages.
Grabbing the holeshot, Vickers was able to build a small gap over the chasing pack however with the safety car deployed on lap seven it closed up at the front, meaning when the race was resumed at the start of lap nine it was four lap dash for the win.
Clarke made his move into the lead on lap ten, however Vickers responded immediately and with the red flag bringing the race to a halt on lap 11, Clarke was unable to try again. Aaron Clifford completed the podium in third.
Pirelli Superstock 600 Standings (after four rounds)
Pirelli Superstock 600 Standings (after four rounds)
The fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Knockhill in Scotland on July 6/8.
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