Brands Hatch

BSB – Shakey takes championship lead after taking double at Brands

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne completed a dream double in front of a huge home crowd at Brands Hatch to take the lead in the BSB championship standings.

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.

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 instantly fought back and regained the position.

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.

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.

The result meant 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 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; he crashed out at Surtees on the ninth lap.

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.

Hickman doubled up on fourth places for the Smiths Racing BMW team and 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.

Byrne said: “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.”

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 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

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

BSB – double delight for Mossey at Brands

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Luke Mossey has claimed his debut BSB win after taking a dream double at Brands Hatch.

The Royston rocket had the pace all weekend, winning both races comfortably. He said: “I was over the moon with the first win and then I was going to be happy coming away with a top five in the second race and keep racking up the points, but to have my first two wins of my Superbike career come at once, I’m so happy.

“I can’t thank the team enough as we really did our homework this weekend, I hope now that we can build on this. I’ve never had such a strong start to a season, so I’m looking forward to Oulton Park now. We finished second there last time behind Leon, so the Kawasaki works really well there and hopefully we can maintain this speed.

The opening race of the day saw Leon Haslam lead the pack on the opening lap ahead of his JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate Mossey and pole-sitter James Ellison, but two laps later the McAMS Yamaha rider had hit the front as Haslam ran wide at Druids. The leading trio were closely followed by Christian Iddon, but Ellison was trying to break the pack.

Ellison had eked out a small advantage, however his hard work ended with a crash at Druids as he slid out of contention on the twelfth lap. That left Mossey leading Haslam and Iddon with the scrap for second place intensifying before Iddon made a move at Paddock Hill Bend.

Reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was closing in on Iddon and Haslam and with four laps to go he was within striking distance. Haslam knew the Ducati was gaining and was desperate to pass Iddon, making a move at Paddock Hill Bend to take second.

It was short lived when the Tyco BMW rider returned the move at Druids, but as they exited Graham Hill Bend, Haslam was back ahead.

At the front Mossey went on to claim the victory with Haslam just having the edge over Iddon and Byrne at the line. The Be Wiser Ducati rider had broken through the pack behind him that featured Dan Linfoot in fifth as the Honda Racing team made big steps forward with Glenn Irwin separating him from the second Fireblade of Jason O’Halloran.

Michael Laverty, Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes completed the top ten with Sylvain Guintoli retiring from the race with a technical problem.

There was more drama for Ellison in race two as the pole sitter didn’t take the start of the race after his race one crash. He had headed out onto the grid, but retired after the warm up lap with a ‘vague feeling’ from the front. No wonder really – the front of his bike had been destroyed in the race one crash and the team had worked miracles to rebuild his machine for race two.

JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Haslam had again taken the lead on the opening lap, but Mossey, Iddon and O’Halloran were ready to try and make a move. Mossey didn’t wait long and a lap later made a dive down the inside at Paddock Hill Bend, however Haslam instantly fought back to regain the position into Druids.

Three laps later and Mossey went for a repeat move on the brakes into Paddock Hill Bend with Haslam again forcing his way back into the lead as the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mates approached Druids for the fifth time.

A lap later and Mossey made the move and defended hard, with a struggling Haslam then coming under attack from Iddon onboard the Tyco BMW, who made a move into Paddock Hill Bend a few laps later and was keeping Haslam at bay.

The leading four were soon being closed again by Byrne and he made a move on Haslam to move into third, however it was a double disappointment for the Be Wiser Ducati team as both the defending champion and Irwin crashed out unhurt at Clearways within just laps of each other, both losing the front.

Mossey had more in the final laps and he began easing ahead of Iddon with Haslam taking evasive action when Byrne had crashed ahead of him to drop off the leading pair, but a double podium means he retained his position at the top of the standings.

Josh Brookes won the battle of the Australians by mugging O’Halloran for fourth place at the line as the Honda Racing rider achieved their best position of the season so far in fifth ahead of his team-mate Dan Linfoot who emerged ahead after an epic scrap with Smiths Racing BMW’s Peter Hickman.
Rookie Bradley Ray claimed his first top ten finish of the season in eighth place with John Hopkins and Sylvain Guintoli in ninth and tenth respectively.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race one result:

Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +3.529s

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +3.802s

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +3.920s

Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +6.352s

Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +7.544s

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.588s

Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +8.775s

Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.775s

Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +10.853s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race two result:

Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.758s

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.851s

Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +4.032s

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +4.188s

Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +8.205s

Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.735s

Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +8.982s

John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +9.234s

Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +10.249s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch:

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 86

Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 81

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 65

Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 48

Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 37

Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 36

BSB – Ellison on pole at Brands Hatch

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James Ellison claimed pole position for the second round of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch as the McAMS Yamaha rider obliterated the lap record, holding off Luke Mossey by 0.203s with Leon Haslam completing the front row.

An incredibly close final session of qualifying started with Leon Haslam coming straight out on track first; the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider setting the first 44 second lap of the weekend to set the benchmark for his rivals.

Luke Mossey had been the fastest rider on circuit this morning and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider then posted his best lap of the weekend; pushing Haslam back into second, but as he crossed the line Ellison was a on a flier and he grabbed the top position.

Ellison said: “I am so happy to be on pole position. We had been struggling a bit in sector one and I knew that was where Luke was strong, but then it was the opposite between us in the final sector.

“We made some changes and I was then able to get closer to Luke. I knew he was the danger man for one lap and race distance and I think we have found a good setting on both tyre combinations now, so I am feeling confident.

“It will be tough and I am going to have to stick my neck out, but that’s how the championship is this year. I don’t want Leon to beat me this time as it was so close last year! I am looking forward to a good battle in the races tomorrow.”

It wasn’t such a good day for reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne who was pushing to put himself on the front row; however despite his best attempts he will head the second row, just 0.097s adrift off Haslam’s time. He will be joined by fellow Ducati rider John Hopkins; the American still overcoming his broken toes from Donington Park to set the fifth fastest time.

Jason O’Halloran fired the Honda Racing Fireblade into the top six as he pushed Christian Iddon back onto row three ahead of Josh Brookes and Michael Laverty.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Datatag Qualifying:

01) James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) 44.728s

02) Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.203s

03) Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.205s

04) Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.302s

05) John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.316s

06) Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.392s

07) Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.454s

08) Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.656s

09) Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +0.755s

BSB – Brookes claims Brands double and gives new R1 maiden win

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Josh Brookes gave the Milwaukee Yamaha team a commanding double victory in the sixth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch, closing the deficit in the overall standings to just five points and claiming the maximum ten Podium Points available.

In the opening race Brookes settled into second on the first lap and was instantly on the attack, claiming the lead by lap four and following two Safety Car interventions kept his cool to bridge the pack to win by 0.507s. Parkes narrowly missed out on the top ten in eleventh place.

In race two Brookes was determined to build on his race one win – the first victory in MCE BSB for the next generation YZF-R1. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider bided his time to hit the front on the eighth lap with a calculated move to hold the position to the finish.

An ecstatic Brookes said: “It’s strange, we’ve gone this far into the season and haven’t been able to win and then we get two in the one day – it’s pretty awesome feeling. It’s a team environment; the guys have worked so hard to make the bike better for me each round and at the start of the season.

“When you wait for something you really appreciate it and the bike worked really well by race day – I couldn’t fault it and I think it’s down to our plan we had in place. We had a ‘Theoretical Thursday’, ‘Effort Friday’ and try whatever we needed to do to get that done, a ‘Sensible Saturday’ where we put settings in that were just sensible to get the job done and ‘Successful Sunday’. We had a plan, we stuck to it, and we achieved.

“It all reflects back on the bike really, I didn’t improve the round or the round before that – the bike did. It’s given me the ability to ride with confidence and you can see in the start of the second race the team had made a small change. From what we could see in the data they thought this would help so I told the team to do what you need to do, and I’ll just ride it.

“The first couple of laps I thought ‘this isn’t right, I’m not turning in, I’m not getting apexes’, and Shakey really seemed to have control of the first couple of laps in his typical style and didn’t seem to be suffering from anything I was hoping to capitalise on. Then about four laps in, it just started to settle into a rhythm and the bike started to feel even better than race one.

“I was able to just watch Shakey for a little while and then had a look in a few places but I couldn’t see the correct place to do it and then an opportunity opened up and I went for it. To get into the lead and to get a gap is such a great feeling – the bike was on rails and it changed direction like a cat, it was just perfect.”

BSB – John Hopkins, time to say goodbye?

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Hopkins is filling in for the injured Jakub Smrz, with the Czech rider ruled out after breaking his thumb during qualifying at Snetterton two weeks ago. The American, who hasn’t raced competitively at all this season, managed three sessions during a trackday as he looks to acclimatise himself to the bike.

Hopkins said: “For sure it’s been frustrating waiting but I looked at my career and decided straight away it couldn’t end as it did in 2014 and because of that I am more motivated than ever to prove I have more.

“I have a lot of memories of Brands Hatch and nobody can forget the famous end to 2011 can they?! It has always been a great circuit for me and I know I can enjoy it – the track knowledge there will definitely help me especially with my limited knowledge of this bike. The team and Kuba have proven that the bike is competitive this season and despite having never ridden a Ducati before, I think it should suit my riding style.

“I am really motivated to go out and do the best job I possibly can and I think that should mean aiming for a result well inside the top ten. I feel excited that I can finally get back on track, especially as the support I have had from the British fans continues to be amazing. I am feeling really positive right now and I want to repay everyone for their faith and support by putting on one hell of a good show at Brands Hatch!”

Hopkins cut a sad figure at the Brands test, red gaffer tape crudely covering the logos on the Suzuki BSB branded leathers he chose to wear. He hardly pulled up any trees during his barren WSBK stint, and he looked massively overweight on his mediocre return to BSB in 2014. Injuries have taken their toll on what was without doubt a racing talent – you don’t get to ride in MotoGP without having talent – but I can’t help thinking that this is the last role of the dice in what is becoming a sad end to a distinguished career. And what does this say about the quality of riders in the UK paddocks, when the Moto Rapido team feel their best course of action is to turn to a has been? Wouldn’t it have been better to give the ride to an up and coming youngster?

BSB – frontrunner Linfoot out after breaking wrist at Brands

R1 MCE British Superbikes Donington Park

Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot will miss this weekend’s BSB round at Brands Hatch after breaking his wrist in free practice one.

Honda confirmed Linfoot suffered a broken wrist in a crash during FP1 at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit and will miss this weekend’s round and the next round in a fortnight’s time at Oulton Park.

 The news will come as a massive blow to the 26-year-old rider, who had got off to dream start after grabbing fourth and second place finishes at the season opener at Donington.
A statement issued by his Honda team said he was to undergo surgery at London’s Kings College Hospital and that after a period of recovery he should be fit enough to race at the fourth round at Snetterton in June.