Shane Byrne takes Cadwell pole with lap record | Billy McConnell regains British Supersport series lead

Shane Byrne
Shane Byrne

Shane “Shakey” Byrne smashed the Cadwell Park lap record to put his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki onto pole position for the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The series leader bounced back after a crash this morning at Hall Bends with an inch-perfect lap of the 2.18-miles Lincolnshire circuit in a time of 1m 26.0017s, over half a second inside the record.

Byrne, after powering in his fifth pole start of the campaign, said: “I saw from my pit-board I had 0.9s in front of everyone and was faster than I had been all weekend so I was very happy. But, good as pole is, it is the races that are the more important.”

Byrne is aiming to end a run of seven races without a win but despite his speed in qualifying knows that he will have a fight on his hands as Ryuichi Kiyonari, also chasing a record fourth title, starts his Buildbase BMW alongside him on a front row. Milwaukee Yamaha’s Tommy Bridewell completes the front row as he scored his first top three qualifying result of the season.

Bridewell said: “It is fantastic for us to be on the front row here. I have to thank all of my crew as we had a massive direction change this morning and it has worked wonders. If I am honest seeing the lap time difference I thought we would struggle to get near them the way it went yesterday but  we have turned it around so that’s all credit to the Milwaukee Yamaha team and the effort they have put in. Hopefully we can continue the same way tomorrow now in the races.”

Chris Walker heads the second row on the lone Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki, with local rider Peter Hickman fifth fastest on the RAF Reserves Honda at his home round just ahead of  Aussie Josh Waters riding for Tyco Suzuki.

Jon Kirkham (Halsall Bike Gear Kawasaki) John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) and Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) start from the third row with title-chasing Josh Brookes frustrated as he starts from tenth place on the grid after a problem spoiled his challenge in the third element of the qualifying session.

Brookes said: “We still haven’t got to where we need to be if I am honest yet. I am in the mix with the front three and had I been able to do a lap in Q3 I would have been front row of the grid without a doubt. That makes it quite frustrating to think that I have to come from tenth on the grid now. I have enough pace to win the race tomorrow, but I expected the bike to be working a bit better because I have ridden it in corners harder and faster at other tracks and had more confidence. I think it is just the nature of Cadwell Park, but the potential is there and I will be trying my best.”

Just 35 days after breaking his femur and fracturing his kneecap at Brands Hatch, Ellison returned to action yesterday. Unfortunately, despite making incredible process thanks to intense Hyperbaric chamber and physiotherapy treatment, the extremely physical nature of the 2.18-mile circuit saw him unable to run race-long stints. Ellison and the team have made the tough decision to withdraw from tomorrow’s two races.

Ellison said. “After working so hard to get back here, I’m devastated to not be able to race tomorrow. The weekend started really well and I felt quite comfortable in the first session, but unfortunately things have gotten progressively worse from there and not only am I in a lot of pain from my knee but I’m really struggling to change direction on the bike. It’s for that reason we’ve made the decision not to race tomorrow as I can’t risk another injury.

“Languishing down in 20th isn’t where I should be or where the team should be, so with the Showdown now an unrealistic possibility, I’m going to focus on getting myself fully fit so we can all end the season on a high. I’ll be back trying again a Donington, but I just want to say a massive thank you to all the fans who’ve supported me this weekend – they’ve made a huge difference and I’m just sorry I couldn’t put a show on for them all tomorrow!”

He now looks ahead to Donington Park and his hopes of securing a Showdown position.

Datatag Extreme Qualifying:

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:26.017s
  2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.904s
  3. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.664s
  4. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.700s
  5. Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves Honda) +1.754s
  6. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +1.960s

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British Supersport | Billy McConnell regains series lead

Billy McConnell
British Supersport | Billy McConnell regains series lead

Billy McConnell won an incredible dash to the line by inches, or, officially 0.001secs, ahead of his Smiths Triumph team-mate Graeme Gowland after an epic duel for supremacy throughout the sprit race of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship.

The win was just enough to put McConnell back on top of the title stakes, four points ahead of Gowland.

McConnell said: “We are both going for the title but everything about that was clean with lots of moves.

“I was giving it a real go, but making little mistakes and then pushed on really hard – going into the final corner I ran a bit deep but then I was down hard on the bar down the straight giving it everything, so yes, I am pretty happy with the win,” added McConnell whose victory was confirmed by a photo-finish snap shot.

Gowland said: “I knew we went over the line together at the same time but thought he was just in front – it was a good clean race and we will give it another go tomorrow.”

Luke Stapleford took a distant third almost eight seconds back on the Profile Triumph, after tangling with team-mate Luke Mossey at the Hairpin on the penultimate lap. Stapleford was comfortably clear of Glenn Irwin on the Gearlink Kawasaki with Luke Jones fifth ahead of Alastair Seeley who was defying pain from injuries at the previous round to keep his title challenge on track.

Alex Olsen tightened his grip on the Supersport EVO category with another victory.

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship sprint race:

  1. 1: Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph) 17m 59.996s
  2. 2: Graeme Gowland (Smiths Triumph) +0.001s
  3. 3: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) +7.868s
  4. 4: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +12.596s
  5. 5: Luke Jones (Acumen Industrial Services Triumph) +12.994s

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings:

  1. 1: Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph) 252pts
  2. 2: Graeme Gowland (Smiths Triumph) 248
  3. 3: Alastair Seeley (MarTrain Yamaha) 234
  4. 4: Luke Jones (Acumen Industrial Service Triumph) 186
  5. 5: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 171

Pirelli National Superstock 600 qualifying

Kyle Ryde, the leader in the title stakes, starting his PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha from pole position, though with a lap only 0.045secs up on Joe Collier aboard the Be Wiser Kawasaki. Mason Law on the Trik Moto Kawasaki completes the front row with Andy Reid on the FFX Yamaha fourth fastest ahead of James Lodge and Nick Anderson.  Levi Day was seventh quickest and Benjamin Currie qualified 12th,

Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship qualifying

Danny Buchan is all set to continue his charge to the title having beaten off the challenge of Honda’s  Jason O’Halloran to put his Tsingtao WK Kawasaki onto pole start with local lad Lee Jackson completing the front row on his Buildbase BMW despite a tumble in the second session.  Hudson Kennaugh, Joe Burns and Adam Jenkinson start from the second row. David Johnson qualified 11th.

Josh Brookes spectacular at Cadwell Park but struggling a little for pace
Josh Brookes spectacular at Cadwell Park but struggling a little for pace
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