Josh Brookes wins Thruxton opener then baffled by late fall in second bout while leading
“I’m full of contrasting emotions really, I had great race one and a perfect race two until the crash, I don’t understand it, I can’t tell you why I fell off.I had a gap big enough not to be under pressure and I had a gap small enough not to be complacent, and I still come unstuck. If I had made a clear error and the judgement of error was my own I’d say immediately I’d made a mistake, like I did at Brands, I’m baffled.
“The team worked superbly all weekend, the bike was good enough to win both races, we almost got pole position and it could have been a great weekend, but I just need to build a bridge and get over it. I need to put it behind me, the team do too and we’ve shown what we’re capable of, we can’t dwell on the past. We move onto Cadwell now, it’s a great event, and it’s been a great event for me in the past so hopefully we’ll carry on the good form there.”
Jason O’Halloran cards 6-5 results and leaves Thruxton joint fifth in the series with Brookes
“It’s been an OK weekend with the overall results, finishing sixth and fifth we’re now joint fifth in the championship and not too far from fourth place. So we’re looking positive with the Showdown position, but I know we’re getting some pressure from people behind us, so we need to continue finishing within the points as high as we can. We have struggled this weekend with grip and although we have worked hard with set-ups and trying to maintain tyre life, we just couldn’t get on top of it. It’s something that has caused us issues in the past and I know we’re not alone as other teams have suffered too this weekend. I’m now going to focus on Cadwell Park, which is one of my favorite races of the season, last year we had two podiums and the test there a few weeks ago was really good, so I am confident we can have a good weekend there!”
Poor round for Shakey Byrne but the Ducati man still leads series by 19-points
“I’ve been building up to this weekend ever since Knockhill and it’s probably been the meeting I’ve been looking forward to the most especially after what we achieved here in 2016. The last two meetings have gone really well and we expected more of the same here so I was obviously disappointed with fourth in race one. We made a big change with the bike for the second race and it was the best it had been all weekend. I felt so, so comfortable and was ready to check out but then the rear tyre went downhill rapidly and I couldn’t do anything about it. I had no option but to retire but I’m still leading the championship and have only lost the odd point to my rivals in terms of Podium Points so we’ll roll on to the next round.”
Billy McConnell left severely beaten up with badly dislocated hip after race one tumble
Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman became two new race winners in the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton overnight as they became the fifth and sixth different race victors this year. The pair’s success also marked the first wins for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha and Smiths Racing BMW teams.
Josh Brookes scored his first victory of the season in the opening race, stealing the lead from Hickman in the closing stages in the first high-speed duel of the day.
Pole sitter Jake Dixon had fired himself off the line fastest to lead on the opening lap ahead of Hickman and Brookes as Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne dropped down the order after a mistake at the chicane that caused him to run on.
Two laps later and the BMW Safety Car was deployed when Billy McConnell crashed out, but when the race resumed Dixon was instantly under attack from Hickman. The Lincolnshire ace took the lead on the brakes into the chicane on lap nine, pushing Dixon into the clutches of Brookes.
Brookes though was determined and by lap 15 he was in the lead and with three laps to go he was able to edge out a slight advantage which he held until the chequered flag to give the team their first race victory in the premier class.
Hickman had been embroiled in a battle with Dixon throughout the closing stages but was able to fend off the attack over the final two laps to give the local team a podium finish with Dixon completing the top three.
Byrne had fought his way back into fourth place with Christian Iddon battling to fifth place for Tyco BMW after keeping Jason O’Halloran in his wheel tracks on the leading Honda Fireblade.
Leon Haslam was seventh on the sole JG Speedfit Kawasaki with Bradley Ray equalling his best result of the season in eighth ahead of John Hopkins and Sylvain Guintoli featured in the top ten for the first time this year.
In race two Smiths Racing BMW celebrated their debut race win in the Championship as Hickman delivered a hard-fought victory for the local team.
Dixon had again got off to a lightening start onboard the RAF Reserves Kawasaki to lead Hickman and race one winner Brookes on the opening lap with the pack all lining up to try and gain the early advantage.
Byrne was determined to be back in podium contention and he had moved second by the end of lap two as Bradley Ray ended his race prematurely with a crash whilst running inside the top ten.
Byrne had hit the front of the pack, but Dixon fought back strongly with a determined move at the chicane, but a lap later and the defending champion repaid the move in exactly the same place.
Hickman was then ready to get involved in the fight for the lead and on the eighth lap he nudged his way ahead to capture the lead.
Byrne regained the position but Hickman wasn’t giving up and a lap later he was back at the front of the pack as Brookes had launched himself through to second place on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha.
The Australian was then pushing for the lead, claiming the top spot on lap 14 as Byrne was dropping back dramatically before retiring from the race.
Brookes led until the penultimate lap when he crashed out unhurt, leaving Hickman to hold the advantage with Dixon in second place at the finish. Meanwhile there was an epic scrap for the final podium position as Iddon, Leon Haslam and O’Halloran battled for the valuable points.
Haslam bided his time and waited until the last lap to make a move on the Tyco BMW rider to score the final podium place ahead of Iddon and O’Halloran with Martin Jessopp scoring an impressive sixth place.
Lee Jackson held off Guintoli for seventh place with James Ellison for McAMS Yamaha and Jakub Smrz for the Lloyd and Jones PR Racing BMW team completing the top ten.
Peter Hickman – Smiths Racing BMW
“I’m obviously delighted to have taken my first win and podiums of the season but even more delighted to give the Smiths team their first ever MCE BSB win. It’s absolutely mega for all of us and although it’s a small, family-run team everyone works so hard and it’s brilliant for them to be rewarded for all their efforts. I felt comfortable out front in race one, although it’s never easy setting the pace but I was over the moon with second place. Race two followed a similar pattern and although Jake got by me at one stage, I could see his rear tyre was used more than mine so knew he wouldn’t be a problem although Josh was obviously more of a threat. It’s a shame he crashed out but that’s racing and hats off to my guys, they’ve got the bike set up so well which makes my life a lot easier. A first and second place means it’s been a brilliant day and third place overall now is the icing on the cake.”
“I was obviously delighted with pole position and felt confident for the races but in the first one we were definitely hindered by the safety car. With the Kawasaki, you can’t let the tyres cool down too much but with six laps behind the safety car that’s exactly what happened. When we got going again, they’d cooled down a bit too much and my plan of getting away in the early stages was dashed although I was still pleased with third. It felt really good to go one better in the second race and with 36 points from the weekend I’ve got to be happy. I tried to be strong again at the beginning of the race when the tyre was at its best but the others had that little bit extra towards the end whilst Josh’s crash obviously gifted me a place I wasn’t expecting. Peter rode a great race so hats off to him and a massive thanks to all the team who’ve worked so hard to get both me and the bike all ready for the weekend.”
Danny Buchan climbed back on the top step of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 podium in the Thruxton 50 race on Saturday, his eighth win of the season.
The 17 lapper saw Buchan grab the holeshot, but it was the Bathams SMT BMW Michael Rutter who would slice past to lead at the end of the opening lap.
The opening third of the race saw a freight train of riders at the front, with Richard Cooper third, Carl Phillips fourth and James Rispoli fifth. Cooper took his turn to lead on lap six but Buchan would move through on lap 13 to pull away and take the win by 1.128s ahead of Cooper with Rutter completing the podium in third.
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race one (17 laps)
Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)
Richard Cooper (Suzuki)
Michael Rutter (BMW)
Alex Olsen (Suzuki)
James Rispoli (Kawasaki)
Chrissy Rouse (BMW)
Richard Cooper claimed his sixth win of the season in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship in the second bout at Thruxton overnight, closing in on current series leader Danny Buchan.
After an initial red flag, the restart saw an eight lap sprint where Michael Rutter grabbed the holeshot with Adam Jenkinson in close contention.
Moving through into the lead on lap three, Jenkinson was able to hold on until the final lap when cooper slipped through to take the win.
With his title rival taking the win, Buchan used the final chicane to slip past Rutter to claim the final rostrum position.
Sam Clarke was as high as tenth during the race but unfortunately was caught up in a late incident which saw him taken out of the race, however the young Western Australian’s race pace suggested he had the speed to cement that top-ten finish.
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race two (16 laps)
Richard Cooper (Suzuki)
Adam Jenkinson (BMW)
Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)
Michael Rutter (BMW)
Alex Olsen (Suzuki)
Josh Elliott (BMW)
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship Points Standings (after eight rounds)
Brayden Elliott reflects on Thruxton BSB
CF Motorsport’s Brayden Elliott has walked away from his debut round at Thruxton Circuit with two solid finishes in what can only be described as two hard fought, fast pace races this weekend.
Elliott competed against a 37-rider deep field at the fastest circuit on the BSB calendar, having only just received medical clearance on the Friday of the race meeting, after his previous rounds concussion.
Improving with each lap around the track, Elliott dropped over four seconds from Friday’s first practice session, gaining momentum over the weekend. Battling across two intense races, Elliott was able to finish ahead of his original qualifying position securing 26th in race one, and increasing positions to 22nd in race two.
“It was good to get out on track this weekend and get some solid laps under my belt after such a high speed crash the previous race meeting. It is pretty intimidating coming from such a fast pace collision into BSB’s fastest track on the calendar. I am not content with where I finished today, as I know I need to be getting closer to the front pack, where I can improve and show my talent, but I am happy to gain some confidence back and to have finished both races. Thruxton Circuit is unreal, and definitely a fast track! It is a fairly easy track to learn but a hard track to go fast on, and my inexperience of the layout showed out on track this weekend.
“I’m certainly not looking for any excuses as my package is strong and I have showed that I have the talent to be at the front, my confidence simply wasn’t where it needed to be this weekend. It was important for myself that I finished and can focus on some positives from the meeting. Leaving with a re-fuelled fire of motivation to keep fighting is a good thing to gain back my self-belief. Next on the calendar is Cadwell Park, a track that is going to be tight and technical which is what I enjoy. It’s not the first time in my career I have faced some adversity and I’m sure it won’t be the last however I guarantee I’ll be back, and know that experiences like this will make me stronger in the long run. I am excited that there are still four rounds left for me to continue to work on myself.”
Keith Farmer grabbed the opening Dickies British Supersport victory at Thruxton after a titanic ten lap battle that saw seven riders fighting for the victory. With the initial running of the race being red flagged, it was a shortened ten lap sprint on the restart and despite Alastair Seeley grabbing the holeshot the front seven riders continuously traded places throughout the race.
Joining Farmer and Seeley in the battle was Jack Kennedy, Eemeli Lahti, Jamie Perrin, Andrew Irwin and Ross Twyman. At the start of the penultimate lap, Farmer had edged a slight gap over the pursuing pack but that had disappeared by the time they reached the last corner on the final lap. Coming into the chicane, Farmer was able to fend off the challenge to claim his fifth win of the season and extend his Championship lead.
In second it was Kennedy with Seeley crossing the line in third – however with his Moto2 machine not eligible for points, Lahti claimed the final rostrum position to take his maiden podium of the season.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Thruxton Sprint Race
Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam with Integro Yamaha)
Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) +0.069s
Alastair Seeley (Team Quattro Spirit Moto2) +0.611s
Eemeli Lahti (777RR HRP Suzuki) +0.772s
Jamie Perrin (Slidecodor – GO Racing Developments Yamaha) +1.602s
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.922s
GAC Logistics MV Agusta’s Jack Kennedy claimed an incredible last lap victory in the second Dickies British Supersport Championship race to secure his third win of the season and close to within 33 points of series leader Keith Farmer. It was Kennedy leading the way at the end of the opening lap, but the leading riders were not separated by more than two seconds throughout the 12 lap feature race.
Trading places almost on every corner, Seeley was able to move into the lead and create a small gap on the penultimate lap allowing him to cross the finish line 1.8s ahead of the rest of the field. Behind him however it was an incredible battle with Farmer, Irwin, Eemeli Lahti and Kennedy fighting into the final chicane for the Supersport rostrum.
Leading into the chicane, Kennedy was demoted back to third but driving down the main straight he was able to re-pass to take the win with Farmer eventually securing second and newcomer Lahti rounding out the podium. Irwin secured fifth with Perrin sixth.
Young Victorian Ben Currie recovered from his race one DNF to card a seventh place finish and consolidate his sixth place standing in the British Supersport Championship.
Arthur Sissis made his debut with the McAMS Yamaha squad and bounced back from a race one DNF to claim three points for his 15th place finish in the second bout.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Thruxton Feature race
Alastair Seeley (Team Quattro Spirit Moto2)
Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) +1.873s
Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam with Integro Yamaha) +2.020s
Eemeli Lahti (777RR HRP Suzuki) +2.107s
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.179s
Jamie Perrin (Slidecodor – GO Racing Developments Yamaha)
Benjamin Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +7.050
Dickies British Supersport Championship standings
Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam with Integro Yamaha) 235
Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) 202
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 188
David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 172
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 150
Benjamin Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 147
British Superstock 600
Mission Racing’s Jordan Gilbert has taken his second victory of the season at Thruxton, leading from start to finish ahead of George Stanley and Tom Oliver.
It was Gilbert who grabbed the holeshot and started to pull away from the chasing pack, with the battle behind heating up between five riders.
Lap six saw the safety car deployed, but that didn’t affect the Yamaha man and he kept the chasing Stanley at bay to the flag, with Oliver just fending off Stamper crossing the line in third.
Ducati TriOptions Cup
South Australian Levi Day claimed two podium finishes at Thruxton to move up to fifth in the championship points standings.
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