— BSB 2012 – Round Nine – Donington Park
— Brookes doubles Donington
1: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
2: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +1.190s
3: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +1.927s
4: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +7.517s
5: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +7.537s
6: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +7.698s
1: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
2: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.436s
3: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +10.302s
4: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +14.026s
5: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +14.508s
6: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +15.361s
1: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 535
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 525
3: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 523
4: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 514
5: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 502
6: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) 500
Josh Brookes powered his Tyco Suzuki to a winning double in the crucial ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Donington Park which decided the final line up of the six Title Fighters who go forward to the Showdown for the crown which begins at Assen in two weeks time.
Brookes took his first victory since a winning ride at Thruxton in race one as he took charge to head off the threats posed by rivals Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty aboard the Samsung Honda.
Laverty took the fight to Brookes in the second race at the Leicestershire circuit, with an intense duel for supremecy, but the Aussie had the upper hand to complete the double from Laverty with Hill third.
“It is pretty special to take a winning double in this championship,” said Brookes. “From the first session here the bike was perfect and I had a good feeling throughout. Now I am looking forward to getting to Assen and getting to the part that really counts.”
Hill had already confirmed his Title Fighter status before this round and now has a ten point lead over Brookes going into the Showdown. Former two times title winner Shane “Shakey” Byrne also had his place secure but was sidelined at Donington Park as he recovers from a shoulder injury. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider is set to return at Assen and lies third in the standings just two points behind his Australian rival with Laverty fourth.
WFR Honda’s Alex Lowes maintained the form that he had shown in the previous round, taking sixth and fifth placings, to secure his place in the Showdown whilst Supersonic Racing BMW’s Tommy Bridewell with ninth and fourth places also made the cut. That means six different teams representing five different manufactures will fight for the title over the final three rounds.
Ian Lowry saw his hopes ended when he crashed off his Padgetts Honda in the opening race while James Westmoreland on the second WFR Honda, despite strong rides, also missed out. Noriyuki Haga who bravely rode his Swan Yamaha through the pain of a broken collarbone in a vain bid to reach the Showdown failed to make the cut as did local rider Chris Walker and Stuart Easton on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki.
Jack Kennedy regained the lead in the chase for the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship protected by Datatag title following a dramatic pair of races at Donington Park yesterday (Sunday).
Kennedy won the Sprint race on Saturday as title rival Glen Richards crashed disastrously out of the lead on the opening lap at Goddards. Ben Wilson had forged into the lead on his Gearlink Kawasaki in the early stages ahead of Oxford TAG Triumph’ Christian Iddon with Kennedy running third ahead of the Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph double of Billy McConnell and Luke Mossey.
Kennedy was up to second by lap two and leading next time around while a frantic scrap for position was developing adrift of him with Wilson coming under intense pressure, eventually losing out on the final lap as McConnell and Iddon found a way through at the Melbourne Hairpin. Wilson battled back moving into third, but then tipped off at Goddards as Kennedy took the win with McConnell second from Iddon.
Richards then put in a stunning performance to win feature race after fighting through from the sixth row of the grid to fend off title rival Kennedy on the final lap. Richards now trails Kennedy by ten points after his sensational performance. Wilson had led the race in the early stages but he later crashed out of contention as he chased down race leader Mossey. The Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph rider was running in a potential podium position but he also slid off on the final lap.
Kennedy then held the lead but Richards had carved his way up the order and was targeting his MarTrain Yamaha rival on the final lap; snatching the advantage and then defending hard. Christian Iddon on the Oxford TAG Triumph was third ahead of Billy McConnell and Glenn Irwin.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship protected by Datatag Sprint race result:
1. Jack Kennedy (Martrain Yamaha)
2. Billy McConnell (Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph) +0.639s
3. Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) +0.894s
4. Glenn Irwin (Met Healthcare/Megastore 247 Yamaha) +1.297s
5. Luke Mossey (Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph) +1.708s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship protected by Datatag Feature race result:
1. Glen Richards (Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph
2. Jack Kennedy (MarTrain Yamaha)) +0.240s
3. Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) +0.578s
4. Billy McConnell (Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph) +8.667s
5. Glenn Irwin (Met Healthcare Yamaha) +10.686s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship protected by Datatag, standings after Donington Park:
1. Jack Kennedy (MarTrain Yamaha) 31.05
2. Glen Richards (Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph) 300
3. Billy McConnell (Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumph) 261
4. Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) 186.5
5. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 185
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship race (15 laps)
1 PJ Jacobsen (Suzuki)
2 Lee Johnston (Ducati)
3 Victor Cox (Kawasaki)
4 Lee Costello (Kawasaki)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
6 Keith Farmer (Kawasaki)
Championship points (after 11 rounds)
1 Farmer 166pts
2 O’Halloran 157
3 Cox 121
4 Storrar 109
5 Brogan 98
6 Johnson 90
Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (14 laps)
1 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
2 Ben Burke (Yamaha)
3 Josh Wainwright (Kawasaki)
4 Alex Olsen (Triumph)
5 Johnny Blackshaw (Triumph)
6 James Rose (Yamaha)
Championship standings (after 11 rounds)
1 Burke 174pts
2 Rose 156
3 Jackson 154
4 Dixon 110
5 Olsen 89
6 Blackshaw 83
— Samsung Honda
The Samsung Honda team scored a double podium finish at Donington Park, as Michael Laverty claimed a third and second place at the ninth round of the British Superbike Championship.
Laverty finished third in the opening race after working his way up the order from tenth on the grid before challenging for the final podium positions and then following some changes for race two he stormed up the order to fight for the lead before finishing second. Jon Kirkham showed strong once again and took another pair of top ten finishes with a seventh and ninth place.
In the Superstock 1000 Championship, Jason O’Halloran scored a hard fought fifth place to close one point on title leader Keith Farmer with the pair now separated by only nine points. Gary Johnson continued to push hard to score a tenth place finish – after qualifying 20th – with impressive pace during the race.
Michael Laverty: “These have been solid results though I gave myself a lot of work with the tumble and third row start for the first race but after a poor start I was back in the hunt and scoring a podium credit point. In the second race I made a little mistake and that gave Josh Brookes half a second. He rode strongly all weekend but we worked hard and going into the Showdown and I am looking forward to going to Assen.”
Jon Kirkham: “It was good to qualify on the front row of the grid and I had good pace then but in the races, while I was good in the first two sectors, I lost time in the third and that was frustrating as this is my home circuit. I made a mess of the start in the first race and cooked my tyre in the second and I couldn’t stay with the leading pack.”
Jason O’Halloran: “It was a tough race today with a lot of passing going on and with aggressive moves I sometimes lose out a bit in those circumstances. But I got one point back on Keith so it’s not all bad and we will take it to Silverstone and see what we can do there to try and close the gap again.”
Gary Johnson: “It was good being back with the Samsung Honda team again this weekend and I think we can try and keep building now from here. It has been a weekend where we have kept trying to move forward and I think we should be aiming higher again at Silverstone.”
Havier Beltran, Team Manager: “It has been an interesting weekend and of course it was great for Michael to have had two podium finishes. He came back stronger in race two with some improvements between the races but we still have some work to do for Assen. We still need to find some more from JK too; we saw him make some steps forward again but he again had mixed fortunes. The championship is now building for the Showdown and there will be so much for everyone to lose or gain when it gets underway at Assen. We will be ready to take up the challenge.”
“In the Superstock class Jason pulled back a point on Keith Farmer in the standings which could prove crucial over the final two rounds. We have the pace and ability to be back on the podium at Silverstone so we will be ready for that later this month. Gary continued to build on his previous races and I think there is more to come from him at Silverstone.”
— Smiths Racing
The Smiths Racing Triumph team were back in action at Donington Park and it proved to be a weekend of mixed fortunes for the Gloucester-based squad.
In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, both Glen Richards and Billy McConnell recorded podiums and although Richards took a race win in today’s feature race, a spill on the opening lap of Saturday’s sprint race saw him lose his championship lead.
Richards again dominated qualifying and took pole position whilst McConnell and third team member, Luke Mossey, took third and fifth respectively but it all went wrong for Glen on the opening lap of the first race when he crashed uninjured at Goddards. It was a frenetic race with only one second separating the top six but the red flag came out on lap seven due to an oil spill and the race was re-started over five laps, sadly without Richards.
In the re-start, McConnell found himself well placed in the early stages before taking full advantage of a clash between rivals Ben Wilson and Christian Iddon on the final lap to claim a hard earned second place. There was again little to choose between the leading pack and Mossey took another fifth place, only 1.7 seconds adrift of race winner Jack Kennedy.
The results meant that Kennedy regained the series lead whilst the fastest laps saw McConnell and Mossey line up on the front row for the second race but Richards back in 23rd and with it all to do in today’s longer 15-lap race.
It was Mossey who excelled initially as he led for four laps before being nudged back as a remarkable ride by Richards saw him up to second and ahead of his team-mate with just four laps remaining. Mossey’s great ride ended in disaster when he slid off on the penultimate lap but Richards put in a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre on Kennedy to seal a superb win. McConnell, meanwhile, couldn’t match his podium pace of race one and had to settle for a safe fourth to cement his third place in the standings.
After qualifying in a battling fifth, Johnny Blackshaw was looking forward to a strong ride in the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship race and a good start saw him maintain his fifth place at the conclusion of the first lap. However, just as it looked like he’d be in a position to challenge for the podium, he began to suffer with brake problems and subsequently dropped back. Part of a three-man group battling for fourth, Johnny was lying in fifth when the race was ended early due to a crash and he had to settle for the 11 points.
Glen Richards: “I was really down after the first race crash especially as it happened in the most bizarre circumstances. The front tyre ran over a discarded tear-off and just folded on me with no warning so coming from 23rd on the grid was a tall order. I just got my head down and came out fighting and, to be honest, I’d have been happy with a podium so to get the win is brilliant. Apart from the crash, it’s been a faultless weekend and we worked hard to get a decent setting with the bike, which we had. The bike was awesome on the brakes and although I lost the title lead, there’s still nothing in it.”
Billy McConnell: “I’m pleased with a reasonable weekend’s work but obviously I’d like to have taken a win but it wasn’t to be. I’m disappointed I couldn’t help Glen by taking points off Jack Kennedy but Glen did fantastic to win race two. I’m now looking forward to Assen and trying to get back to winning ways.”
Luke Mossey: “I’m obviously gutted to have crashed out of a podium place but there are a lot of positives to be taken from the weekend, not least the fact that I led and showed my potential and what I’m capable of doing. I was only a few inches off line but hit a bump and down I went. I’m not the first to suffer that fate and I won’t be the last! The last three rounds are at my three favourite tracks so, hopefully, the win will come my way at one of them.”
Johnny Blackshaw: “I’m really disappointed with the result today and we should be fighting it out for the wins, not fifth place. The bike set up is spot on and although we’re down a bit on speed, it’s little niggling issues that are holding us back. I was pleased with my start and confident of pushing for the podium but on the third lap the brakes went and I was powerless to do anything and slipped back into the group behind. It’s fifth and it’s a result but it’s not where I want to be so we’ll keep working hard and hope for better at Silverstone.”
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “We’ve had a bit of a mixed weekend this time but we were due a bit of bad luck at some stage and that’s certainly what happened to Glen. Coming off on a tear-off is something that no-one could have done anything about but after taking a superb pole position he deserved a race win and that’s exactly what he got. 23rd to first is phenomenal and although we’ve lost the lead in the championship, it’s still all to play for. Billy’s still right in the hunt too and both he and Luke put in very consistent weekends. All three riders are in the top six of the championship though so we’re happy with how the season’s going. For Johnny, it was a tough weekend and the crash he had here earlier in the year hurt his confidence and it’s taken him a while to come back from that, so for him to finish fifth was brilliant. The championship’s out of reach but he’s enjoying his riding again and getting back in amongst the top six so we’re confident of him having a strong end to the year.”
The Rapid Solicitors Racing Team may have not had the services of Shane Byrne at round nine of the 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Donington Park this weekend but team-mates Stuart Easton and Keith Farmer put on a good show to score a hat-trick of top seven placings between them.
With double British Superbike Champion Byrne ruled out through the shoulder injury sustained at Cadwell Park two weeks ago, it was left to Scotsman Easton to uphold BSB honour for the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport Team and despite a difficult time in qualifying, the Hawick rider came good on race day.
In front of a very good crowd in the Leicestershire sunshine, Easton got a great start in the opening race to run with the leading pack for over half the race only for a red flag to come out due to an oil spillage from Alastair Seeley’s Suzuki. In the re-start over seven laps, Stuart again got a good start and brought the machine home in a fine fourth place, less than eight seconds off the lead.
In the second race, Stuart again got a blistering start and was involved in a dice for the top ten positions and despite closing on the riders in front of him, had to settle for a battling seventh place at the flag to move up to 11th place in the standings.
Ulsterman Keith Farmer suffered a huge crash in qualifying for the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship which meant the machine had to be totally rebuilt but despite this, the ‘Clogher Bullet’ circulated in the leading bunch of a very hectic race. But just as it looked like he would increase his championship lead over main rival Jason O’Halloran, a couple of harsh moves by his fellow competitors saw him cross the line in sixth place, just one place behind O’Halloran which meant he surrendered a point to the Aussie.
With two rounds to go, Farmer leads by nine points and hopes to increase that advantage in the next round at Silverstone.
Stuart Easton: “I’m reasonably happy with a fourth and a seventh but I think it could have been a bit better. I was struggling a little bit with direction changes as Donington is a physical circuit and certain parts of me are still not 100% but I’ll take these results. It was good to have some additional input from Shakey’s side of the garage which helped and I hope we can continue with some more positive results at Assen in two weeks.”
Keith Farmer: “I’m not happy with sixth but it was a bit of damage limitation after the big crash in qualifying. The bike was totally new and took me a while to get used to so we didn’t have a perfect set up. It was getting a little bit crazy out there and some riders were a bit desperate but I guess it could have been worse than losing one point to Jason. Thanks to the boys for a great job and I’m aiming to bounce back at Silverstone.”
— Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki
The Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing team were out in force at Donington Park at the weekend and although Chris Walker was unable to reach the top six Showdown in the British Superbike Championship, he notched up two strong top ten results to ensure he still has a great chance of securing seventh overall and the Rider’s Cup.
Riding at his local circuit, the weekend got off to a steady start for Chris as he, like many other riders, struggled for grip whilst he was also experiencing a few set-up issues but he and the team continued to chip away and move their way up the practice leaderboard. Indeed, by qualifying, they were running similar pace to their Championship rivals and Chris was duly rewarded with 11th on the grid for the opening race 20-lap. A soild start saw him maintain his 11th place but just after half race distance, the red flag came out due to an oil spill and the race was re-started over just 7 laps.
A better start this time around meant that Chris ended the first lap in ninth place and this became eighth when he overhauled Noriyuki Haga. With just two seconds covering eight riders from 4th to 11th, positions were changing hands all the time but Chris successfully kept his position to take eight hard earned points. The second race later in the day went the full 20 laps and again saw big battles throughout the field as the riders lapped at a similar pace. On this occasion, Chris had to settle for tenth place but the 14 points from the weekend saw him maintain his tenth in the Championship table, just 11 points behind seventh placed James Westmoreland
For team-mate Gary Mason, it wasn’t as successful a weekend and he suffered throughout the three days with the set-up of his Kawasaki ZX-10R. Strong starts to both races saw the Lichfield rider running inside the points but as the laps were counted down, he slipped back and finished in 20th in the first race before retiring from the second.
Third team member Kyle Wilks qualified in 22nd place for the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc race and gradually moved his way forward with the youngster working his way up to 16th. He was closing in on the riders battling it out for 12th place and a top 15 finish looked comfortably on the cards only for the red flag to come out and end the race early thus thwarting his valiant efforts.
Speaking afterwards, team owner Pete Extance said; “I don’t want to say it’s been a mixed weekend again but that’s exactly what it’s been! It was very hard going, for both riders, to begin with as we carried on from where we’d left off at Cadwell with both Chris and Gary enduring issues with the front end. After each session, it was a case of two steps forward and one back but Chris dug in well in qualifying and got himself a decent place on the grid. In the first race, the stoppage certainly helped us and he was able to make a few changes to the bike that allowed him to move up the order and claim a good eighth place finish. In the second race, he set his fastest lap of the entire weekend mid way through and to end with two top ten finishes was very pleasing. The Showdown is out of the way now but Chris is only a few points off seventh and the aim between now and the end of the season is to keep improving the bike and take that position.”
“Gary struggled with the set-up too and having missed a few rounds, he’s paying for a lack of time on the bike. He’s been playing catch-up which is never easy to do so we’ll all regroup and come back fighting at Assen. Kyle had a good weekend and made no mistakes at all so was unlucky not to score some points again. He was coming through the field strongly and I’m sure 12th could have been his had it not been for the red flag but we’re all really happy with both his performance and progress this weekend.”
— AP Kawasaki
The AP Kawasaki team endured mixed fortunes at Donington Park today with a brilliant podium position by Josh Wainwright in the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship race countered by crashes for Patrick Medcalf and Colin Lewis in the early stages of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 category.
Thamesmead’s Wainwright was in fine form all weekend and, despite suffering a spill in the first qualifying session, he regrouped well to take third place on the grid and give himself a real shot at the podium. With perfect conditions all weekend around the Leicestershire venue, a solid start saw Josh in fourth place at the end of the first lap and although he dropped back briefly, he was soon back in the slipstream of race leaders Lee Jackson and Ben Burke. Jackson began to edge away as the race entered its final third and Josh was just about to pounce on Burke for second when the race was ended early due to a crash meaning Josh was awarded third for his first podium finish of the season.
Back to full health following a bout of flu at the previous round, Medcalf was on song too around the Donington GP circuit and 10th in qualifying gave him a great chance of scoring some good points. However, his race was over before it had practically started when he was taken out in a three-rider crash at the first corner of the opening lap. Fellow Australian Lewis, having his first ride with the team, fared no better as he crashed not long after at the notorious Craner Curves, both luckily without injury.
Josh Wainwright: “It’s a shame the race was ended early as I’m always stronger at the end of the race and felt confident that second would have been mine but safety’s paramount. Aside from the crash on Friday, it’s been a great weekend and we’ve pretty much been in the top three all the time so to finally convert it into a podium feels great. The bike was superb and the team did a great job all weekend and after the disappointment of the other two boys crashing out, the team needed a lift and I’m delighted to have given them a rostrum.”
Patrick Medcalf: “I’m really disappointed with the outcome of this weekend as a good result was definitely on the cards. I had a decent run in qualifying and although I didn’t get the best jump off the line, I felt confident of getting in the top ten within the first lap. The rider in front of me got tangled up with the rider in front of him and sat up which left me with nowhere to go and down I went. I felt that I had the pace to get right in amongst the top eight this weekend so it’s hugely disappointing and frustrating but that’s how racing goes sometimes. The team worked really hard all weekend so, hopefully, it will be my day next time.”
Alan Greig: “The podium has been a long time coming and having a solid start to the season, the crash Josh suffered at Oulton in May knocked him back and it’s taken him a while to get his confidence back. He had the pace from the very beginning this weekend and we pretty much knew it was going to be between the same riders and that’s how the race panned out. Josh rode perfectly and had it not been for the red flag, we could have had second rather than third but we’re still very happy. It’s been a tough weekend so it was just what we needed.
“Pat was really unfortunate to get mixed up in someone else’s accident and we’re all really disappointed for him as we all had high hopes of a strong top six result. He had the pace for the top five so it’s a massive disappointment but, thankfully, he’s fine. There was double disappointment with Colin going down a lap later and I think his lack of experience with the safety car caught him out and with no temperature in the tyres, down he went. Again, he wasn’t injured so we’re all thankful for that and will hope for better fortune next time at Silverstone.”