Shakey crowned Monster Energy King of Brands Hatch to take championship lead

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne completed a dream double in front of a huge home crowd at Brands Hatch today (Sunday) to be crowned the Monster Energy King of Brands and with it take the lead in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings.

Shane Byrne - Image by Jon Jessop
Shane Byrne – Image by Jon Jessop

The two races on the legendary Grand Prix circuit produced five different podium finishers, representing five different manufacturers and five different teams with just seven races now remaining before the Showdown.

Jason O’Halloran leaves Brands Hatch with two solid seventh place finishes under his belt. Collecting all-important Showdown points, The O’Show has moved up in the championship standings and is now fourth overall ahead of Josh Brookes, with just three rounds left (Thruxton, Cadwell Park and Silverstone) until the Showdown decider.

Josh Brookes salvaged a fifth place in race one on Sunday, after experiencing tyre issues and unfortunately crashed out in race two as he chased down Shane Byrne.

Billy McConnell carded 17-16 place finishes on the FS3 Kawasaki. 


Superbike Race One

An incredible battle opened the day as Byrne denied Dan Linfoot his first ever MCE BSB victory as the Be Wiser Ducati rider stole the lead at Surtees with two laps to go before the race had a premature end due to changing conditions.

At the start of race one Luke Mossey had fired the JG Speedfit Kawasaki off the line to take the lead from pole sitter Josh Brookes and Linfoot. However a hectic opening few laps saw Brookes try and attack, but Mossey was keeping his cool as Byrne held station in sixth place.

On the fifth lap Byrne went for a move on Haslam at Surtees, but ran out wide and dropped back three places, giving himself more work to do. At the front Brookes had hit the lead, but Mossey was instantly fighting back and regained the position.

Josh Brookes - Image by Jon Jessop
Josh Brookes – Image by Jon Jessop

A big crash for Shaun Winfield caused the first BMW Safety Car deployment of the season, but the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider was able to walk away from the incident.

When the race resumed Peter Hickman instantly went for a move as did Linfoot and by the end of the next lap it was Linfoot leading the way from Mossey, Hickman, Leon Haslam and Brookes with Christian Iddon also in close contention.

Dan Linfoot - Image by Jon Jessop
Dan Linfoot – Image by Jon Jessop

Hickman waited two more laps before he got his opportunity to snatch the lead; moving ahead at Surtees to push Linfoot back into second place.

Linfoot was coming under pressure from Mossey as he dived down the inside at Paddock Hill Bend on the twelfth lap but the Honda Racing rider fought back and repaid the move into Druids to regain the position.

Hickman was still leading the pack for the Smiths Racing BMW team with Linfoot, Mossey, Haslam and Iddon hot on their heels as Brookes dropped back and was fighting off James Ellison and Byrne.

Linfoot regained the lead on lap 16 with a decisive move at Paddock Hill Bend, but the defending champion was on the move and he had worked his way up the order to take the lead at Surtees with two laps remaining. The red flag was then bought out when light rain began to fall, but it was enough for Byrne to claim the win.

Linfoot celebrated his first podium of the season for Honda Racing with Haslam returning to the podium for the first time since Oulton Park as he held off Hickman and Brookes, the Australian complaining of a bad tyre after the race. 

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MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race one result
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.365s
  3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.737s
  4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.795s
  5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +1.535s
  6. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.717s
  7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.102s
  8. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +3.631s
  9. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +3.708s
  10. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +3.792s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race one result Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.365s Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.737s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race one result
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.365s
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.737s

Superbike Race Two

The second race was shaping up to be a dogfight between the defending champion and Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Brookes with the pair hitting the front of the pack, and as the Australian hounded down his rival.  Brookes set a new lap record on his way forward but then crashed out after losing the front at Surtees on the ninth lap.

Josh Brookes - Image by Jon Jessop
Josh Brookes – Image by Jon Jessop

As Byrne edged ahead the battle behind was intensifying for third position as Ellison, Iddon, Haslam and Hickman traded blows in their quest for a podium finish. Ellison was upping the pace on the McAMS Yamaha and was able to hold off Iddon as the pair returned to the podium.

Image by Jon Jessop
Image by Jon Jessop

Hickman doubled up on fourth places for the Smiths Racing BMW team as he continues to hold the final place in the top six with three rounds remaining before the Showdown. Hicky had battled intensely with Haslam during the earlier stage of the race, but was able to forge ahead to leave the JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders battling for fifth with Haslam holding off Mossey and Jason O’Halloran.

Rookie Bradley Ray, Michael Laverty on the second of the McAMS Yamahas, and Jake Dixon completed the top ten.

Billy McConnell - Image by Jon Jessop
Billy McConnell – Image by Jon Jessop

Billy McConnell carded a 16th place finish on the FS3 Kawasaki. 

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race two result Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +5.787s Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +6.167s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race two result
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +5.787s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +6.167s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race two result
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +5.787s
  3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +6.167s
  4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.039s
  5. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.079s
  6. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.530s
  7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +10.866s
  8. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.246s
  9. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +14.002s
  10. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.983s

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne – Be Wiser Ducati

“The first race was a lot tougher than what I was hoping for but the safety car coming out did me a favour and I got going straightaway again. The bike had felt really good all weekend in the dry and we were able to prove that in the race so a big thank you to the team. The pace was even hotter in the second race and with a good start decided I had to get to the front as quickly as possible and go for it. Once I’d got the lead, I just tried to stay as consistent as possible and watched my pit board. I just kept my rhythm and concentration so to get the double is brilliant and we’re achieving just what we wanted to at our strong circuits.”

Shane Byrne - Image by Jon Jessop
Shane Byrne – Image by Jon Jessop

Josh Brookes

“There aren’t words to describe how I feel at the moment, call it a bitter pill or whatever you want it’s not the weekend I set out to do. We had a bad tyre in race one, it happens from time to time you get a tyre that doesn’t perform like the rest. They are a mass-produced item and every so often there is one that doesn’t perform like you’d expect.  But then race two everyone saw the tyre worked perfectly, I was able to run the pace and set a new lap record and I was the only one really on the track with Shakey but it just wasn’t enough this weekend.  It will take a few hours for me to calm down after the emotions, I feel a little bit like a woman at the moment, I’m going from being angry to nervous then upset, but in a couple of hours it will all clear off, I’ll gather my thoughts then I’ll have a clearer opinion of the weekend. The team are trying as hard as they can, they’ve come a long way from last year to what we’re achieving this year to be able to fight each weekend in a winning direction is a huge step for the team, I’m pleased with how things are going, but at this moment it’s difficult to process.”

Josh Brookes - Image by Jon Jessop
Josh Brookes – Image by Jon Jessop

Jason O’Halloran

“It has been a tough weekend, I crashed early in FP2 and missed most of the session, so have struggled to gain momentum from there really. I have had three front-end crashes this week, with two at Cadwell during the test and then one again here, unfortunately when you go down three times in a week you lose a bit of confidence. So we have been working on the feeling to get my confidence back. In the second race I finished seventh again, but my race time was better, towards the end I started to close down on the two Kawasaki’s but I didn’t have enough tyre left to really push. When you’re having a tough weekend it’s key to gain points, which we have done and we’re now fourth in the standings – so you have to take the positives, sometimes you have good days and others are bad days, but you’ve got to take the positives and come back stronger, which I am sure we can do at Thruxton.”

Jason O'Halloran - Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran – Image by Jon Jessop

Dan Linfoot

“Well the weekend didn’t really turn out the way I wanted it to in the end. Race one was great, I scored my first podium of the season and felt really good with the Fireblade and my confidence was up. Also setting the fastest lap and starting from pole was positive, so we have that under our belts now. Race two, well there’s not much to say really, of course I am disappointed. I was trying to chase Josh and Shakey, they passed me and I tried to continue my pace and thought if these are the faster guys, I’ll settle here and keep my pace as much as I can. But as I entered Druids I lost the front and went down, I didn’t think I did anything massively different to what I had before, but it’s just one of those things. In hindsight maybe I shouldn’t have tried to push and just settled with fourth or fifth to get some more points, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! But onto Thruxton now, I’ve got the taste of the podium now, so will be keen to get back there soon.”

Dan Linfoot - Image by Jon Jessop
Dan Linfoot – Image by Jon Jessop

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MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 190
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161
  3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 159
  4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 133
  5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 129
  6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 119

British Superstock 1000
British Superstock 1000 - Image by Jon Jessop
British Superstock 1000 – Image by Jon Jessop

Richard Cooper took another win in the National Superstock 1000 Championship at Brands Hatch onboard his Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000, leading today’s race from start-to-finish to make it a perfect weekend after qualifying on pole and winning both legs of yesterday’s two-part race.

Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper

In Sunday’s 16-lap affair, Cooper led into turn one off the line and steadily built a comfortable advantage – setting a new lap record along the way – to take another win to bring his championship-challenge back on track.

After arriving at Brands Hatch with a 45-point deficit at the top of the standings, Cooper now heads to Thruxton and round seven of the MCE British Superbike championship just 24 points adrift.

Richard Cooper

“We’re in a good run of form which, to be honest, started at Snetterton. We led just about every lap there until it was outside of my control and we started to run low on fuel, and that, plus the bad luck and DNF from Knockhill, is what’s put us on the back foot in the championship. But we know our pace is good and I have the confidence, and to be honest the bike just gave me that confidence all weekend. I knew I could control today’s race from the start and that we could do the lap times out front on our own, and that was always the plan today. I managed to pull a comfortable lead and to see +3 on the pit board starting the last lap was nice.”

Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper

Young Western Australian Sam Clarke completed his debut weekend in the Superstock 1000 category with a 19th place finish on the PacedayZ Yamaha YZF-R1.

Sam Clarke - Image by Jon Jessop
Sam Clarke – Image by Jon Jessop
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship Race
  1. Richard Cooper (Suzuki)
  2. Michael Rutter (BMW)
  3. Chrissy Rouse (BMW)
  4. Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)
  5. Luke Hedger (Aprilia)
  6. Josh Elliott (BMW)
  7. Fraser Rogers (Kawasaki)
British Superstock 1000 - Image by Jon Jessop
British Superstock 1000 – Image by Jon Jessop

Championship Positions (after seven rounds)

  1. Buchan 220pts
  2. Cooper 196
  3. Rutter 148
  4. Rouse 134.5
  5. Law 101
  6. Hedger 94.5
  7. Rogers 83.5

British Supersport Feature Race

Profile Racing’s Luke Stapleford took victory on the track in the second Dickies British Supersport race at Brands Hatch, but with the Triumph not eligible for points it was Jack Kennedy who claimed maximum points. Stapleford grabbed the holeshot, edging away from Alastair Seeley on the Team Quattro Spirit Moto 2 machine to cross the line at the end of the race with a 3.114s over Seeley.

Alastair Seeley rides one of three Moto2 machines in the Supersport category that are understandably not eligible for Supersport points
Alastair Seeley rides one of three Moto2 machines in the Supersport category that are understandably not eligible for Supersport points

Behind them however it was a race long scrap for the Supersport win, with Andrew Irwin, Keith Farmer and Kennedy trading places throughout the 18 laps of the Brands Hatch circuit. It came down to the final corner on the last lap, as Kennedy was able to drag his MV Agusta past Farmer and Irwin to claim the Supersport victory.

Jack Kennedy - Image by Jon Jessop
Jack Kennedy – Image by Jon Jessop

Ben Currie had finished sixth in Saturday’s Sprint Race which meant he started from fourth on the grid for race two, but was not able to push forward for that overdue podium position. He was pushing hard in the opening laps and was locked in a battle with David Allingham, his lap times were strong but he had to settle for fifth at the end of the 18-lap race.

Ben Currie

“Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to the Gearlink Kawasaki team for always sticking by me. Even through times where no matter what I do I can’t seem to find the top steps. We are at the half way point in the season now and we have learnt so much. I’m confident we can turn it around and start to win races. This weekend we had the pace but couldn’t convert it into race results. I can’t wait for Thruxton and to get back out there again! I’d like to say a huge thank you to my sponsors and everyone in my personal team that makes this happen for me.”

Ben Currie - Image by Jon Jessop
Ben Currie – Image by Jon Jessop

With Farmer securing second place, ahead of Irwin in third, he was able to extend his Championship lead to 26 points. Currie is currently sixth on points just behind Tarran Mackenzie.

Dickies British Supersport Championship, Brands Hatch, Feature Race
  1. Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) +3.716s
  2. Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) +3.800s
  3. Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +3.849s
  4. Joe Francis (Movuno.com Halsall Racing Yamaha) +11.957s
  5. Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +14.735
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings, Brands Hatch
  1. Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) 190
  2. Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 164
  3. Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) 157
  4. David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 155
  5. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 150
  6. Benjamin Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 137

British Superstock 600

Tom Neave has picked up his second victory in a row in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship, after dominating from the opening lap, taking the win ahead of Brad Jones and Tom Oliver.

It was Jones who grabbed the holeshot, but Neave instantly bit back, taking the lead at Druids hairpin. The Kawasaki man started to pull away from the chasing pack, with a five way battle for third after Gilbert crashed out on lap 8.

Neave pulled a manageable gap on Jones in second, who held his place comfortably. Oliver made his move on the final lap to pick up the final podium spot, as Neave crossed the line to pick up his second win on the bounce.

British Superstock 600 Podioum - Neave, Jones, Oliver - Image by Jon Jessop
British Superstock 600 Podioum – Neave, Jones, Oliver – Image by Jon Jessop

Ducati Tri-Options Cup

Joe Collier returned to the top step of the podium in the second Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race at Brands Hatch, narrowly beating Sean Neary.

Boast Plumbing’s Jonathan Railton was the early race leader, but Collier had soon moved into the lead, going on to secure his eighth win of the season.

A string of fast laps from Neary saw him close up to within a tenth of a second but he was unable to make a move whilst Railton went on to secure third ahead of South Australia’s Levi Day.