BSB

BSB – Dixon propels himself into BSB premier league with Knockhill victories

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Jake Dixon propelled himself into the premier league of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill as the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider followed up his debut win in the opening race to make it a double after an epic second contest in Scotland.

Dixon got his day off to a flying start in the opening race, celebrating a classy debut win in race one as the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider hit the front of the chasing pack and held off Luke Mossey to seal an emotional victory.

On the opening lap Dixon fired off the front row of the grid to lead the pack as Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Jason O’Halloran clipped on the run into turn one for the first time, pushing them down the order.

At the front James Ellison was tucked in behind Dixon with Mossey in close contention, but O’Halloran had made back some places and he was soon on the attack and by the start of lap four, the pair had pushed Ellison back to fourth.

Ellison fought back a lap later at the Hairpin to pass O’Halloran, but on lap six the McAMS Yamaha rider slid out of contention at turn three. O’Halloran was soon coming under pressure from his Honda Racing team-mate Dan Linfoot; the Australian was pushed back a place at the Hairpin, but Linfoot lost the front end on the brakes and tipped out of contention.

The leading pair of Dixon and Mossey had edged an advantage but the battle for third then became a three-way fight between O’Halloran, Byrne and home hero Taylor Mackenzie who was having his strongest performance of the season for Bennetts Suzuki.

Byrne was pushing to make a move and on lap 16 the Be Wiser Ducati rider emerged ahead after a decisive move at the Hairpin. The defending champion was able to hold off O’Halloran to the chequered flag to cross the line third behind Dixon and Mossey.

Josh Brookes had been pushing to bag the points for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team, but the Australian was another rider to crash out at the Hairpin unhurt.

Mackenzie scored his best result in fifth place with Peter Hickman moving to sixth for Smiths Racing BMW after Bradley Ray crashed out unhurt on the Buildbase Suzuki. John Hopkins ended the race in seventh place for Moto Rapido Ducati with Sylvain Guintoli, Lee Jackson and Michael Laverty completing the top ten.

Dixon then further cemented himself as a Showdown contender by following up his debut win in the opening race to make it a double after an epic second contest in Scotland.

Dixon had hit the front of the field on the opening lap to stake his claim from the start, holding off Mossey and Ellison with Linfoot and Byrne in the hunt. The opening laps saw an incredible dice between the leading group with Mossey and Ellison exchanging blows five times in one lap as they battled for the advantage at the front.

As the lead continued to change Dixon then made his move and he was defending hard until the seventh lap when Mossey then reclaimed the position at the front of the field. As the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider bid to make a counter attack, Ellison then fired his McAMS Yamaha into second place with Byrne stalking in fourth.

Byrne and Dixon were then inseparable and the defending champion made a move to put himself back into a podium position and relegate the race one winner into fourth place. At the front Mossey had edged a marginal lead but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki lost the ground with a mistake and it allowed his rivals to return to striking distance.

Ellison was first to take the advantage as the McAMS Yamaha hit the front to push Mossey back to second as Dixon moved to third to push Byrne back into fourth as the final five lap sprint beckoned.

Dixon then made a decisive move on Mossey to push the new championship leader back into third and into the clutches of Byrne, who waited until the final two laps to make his move and return to the podium for the second time today.

Dixon stalked Ellison and a last gasp attempt to make a move for the win put the young gun ahead which he held to the chequered flag to claim his second win ahead of Ellison and Byrne. Mossey narrowly missed out on the podium with Brookes returning to the top five for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team.

Linfoot was the leading Honda Racing contender in sixth place, just ahead of his team-mate O’Halloran with Michael Laverty, Hickman and Billy McConnell completing the top ten.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, race one result:

  1. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki)
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +3.740s
  3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +6.159s
  4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +6.670s
  5. Taylor Mackenzie (Bennetts Suzuki) +9.907s
  6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.730s
  7. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +15.038s
  8. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +17.152s
  9. Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW) +17.481s
  10. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +21.952s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, Race two result:

  1. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki)
  2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.437s
  3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.473s
  4. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +2.201s
  5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +4.610s
  6. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +5.502s
  7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.571s
  8. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +6.995s
  9. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.341s
  10. Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +10.022s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Knockhill:

  1. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 141
  2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 111
  3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 90
  4. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 86
  5. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 83
  6. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 78

BSB – spectacular race meet for Haslam at Oulton

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It was a mixed weekend for BSB contender Leon Haslam at Oulton Park, with the championship leader winning Race One, but suffering a huge crash in the second race after a collision with James Ellison.

The weekend began with Ducati’s Shakey Byrne grabbing pole position but Race One saw Haslam hit the front of the pack from the start of the race with the five-time champion and team-mate Mossey hounding him throughout the race.

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ had been fending off Byrne and Mossey throughout the race and managed to hold them off to the line, but behind the leading trio the chasing freight train of riders were embroiled in an incredible scrap for fourth position.

On the final lap the Honda Racing team emerged ahead in the battle for fourth as O’Halloran made a last lap move on Peter Hickman to claim the position at the line. McAMS Yamaha’s Ellison completed a strong race to move through the order to be in the fight for fourth at the end of the race, finishing in sixth place, pushing Josh Brookes to seventh in the closing stages.

Christian Iddon was the leading BMW in eighth place as he managed to get the better of Glenn Irwin; the Be Wiser Ducati rider had earlier saved a huge moment while battling for fourth place. Jake Dixon completed the top ten for RAF Reserves Kawasaki.

The battle for the Podium Points swung back in the favour of Byrne in Race Two as the defending champion claimed his first win of the season at Oulton Park, as Haslam dramatically crashed out after clipping Ellison, who suffered a technical issue.

Haslam had hit the front of the pack from O’Halloran, Ellison and Byrne on the opening lap, but the Honda Racing rider was on the attack and he moved into the lead on the second lap, but it was short lived as Ellison then had his spell at the front.

The race was over prematurely for Dixon as he crashed out on the third lap unhurt, but at the front Byrne was closing in on Ellison and on the sixth lap he made his move on the run into Shell Oils corner.

Meanwhile Michael Laverty on the second McAMS Yamaha retired from the race just a lap later.
At the front Byrne had snatched the lead from Ellison, but behind the JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Haslam and Mossey were trading blows with O’Halloran, with the trio switching positions consistently over the following laps.

Iddon, Brookes, Irwin and Hickman were then all involved in the battle for the podium spots too, but in second Ellison was coming under fire from Haslam. The championship leader first tried to make a move at Shell, but ran wide and then had to begin a fight back.

However it ended in disaster for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider when he clipped the back of Ellison on the 14th lap when his McAMS Yamaha suddenly slowed. Haslam was down and out of the race and the damage consequently sidelined Ellison too, leaving Byrne to continue edging an advantage at the front of the pack to return to the top step.

A frantic battle then ensued for the final podium place with a five-way scrap for the final podium position. Iddon was bumped down to fourth over the closing laps as Irwin and O’Halloran pushed into the top three.

Mossey was fifth at the chequered flag as he held off Brookes on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha and Smiths Racing BMW’s Hickman. Tommy Bridewell, John Hopkins and Billy McConnell completed the top ten.

Haslam said: “We always have a theoretical game plan and we had been working all weekend to make the tyre work over trace distance. I had a good start in Race One and then at the end I pushed on a little more and we had those few tenths so that was nice as it wasn’t an easy job!

 

“Race Two was definitely not the best way to finish the day! We had a big crash as James Ellison’s bike cut out at about 160mph right in front of me so I ended up going over the handlebars and luckily I am ok, but disappointed.

 

“We had the fastest lap of the race and was closing on Shakey, so frustrated as I felt like we could have challenged for another win there but that is racing. I just need to thank the team for all their hard work this weekend.”

 
   
   

 

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race one result:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
  2. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +2.632s
  3. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.169s
  4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +9.271s
  5. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.343s
  6. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +9.501s
  7. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +10.264s
  8. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +10.416s
  9. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +11.304s
  • Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +11.688s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race two result:

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +5.218s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.309s
  4. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.574s
  5. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.881s
  6. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +6.025s
  7. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +19.130s
  8. Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +19.130s
  9. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +20.293s
  • Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +20.431s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 111
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 108
  3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 86
  4. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 67
  5. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 63
  6. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 61

 

 

Twenty years of Stalking

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Thousands of fans flocked to Grantham this weekend to take in 20 years of BSB history.

Chris Walker Kawasaki hosted its annual day, and as well as the usual array of Kawasaki bikes and demonstrators, this year saw a never-seen-before collection of Stalker’s trophies, leathers, helmets and race bikes.

As well as every set of leathers he’s worn since 1996, there was also the F1 sidecar he’s currently racing, as well as guest appearances by racing stars Peter Hickman, Richard Cooper, James Hillier, Luke Stapbleford and Tommy Bridewell.

Other highlights included a ‘Run what you brung’ dyno and the Arai race truck.

BSB – Haslam under lap record to top test times at Oulton Park

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Leon Haslam heads into the third round of the BSB champonship at Oulton Park next weekend gunning to add to his winning tally after setting the pace in the official test at the Cheshire circuit.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider saved his best until the final session of the day to dip under the lap record with his final run of the day, holding off defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne on the Be Wiser Ducati who leapt to second in the closing 15 minutes of the session.

There was an also last run improvement from the McAMS Yamaha team as James Ellison moved third fastest in the final five minutes of the day to become the top Yamaha by just 0.113s from Josh Brookes on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha.

New race winner Luke Mossey completed the top five at the end of the test as he remained ahead of Smiths Racing BMW’s Peter Hickman in sixth place and the leading Honda Racing Fireblade of Dan Linfoot.

Jake Dixon marked his return to Oulton Park with a strong eighth place on the timesheets for the RAF Reserves Kawasaki team with Tommy Bridewell and Jason O’Halloran completing the top ten ahead of next weekend’s third round of the season.

Haslam said: “For me this has been a really positive test. We had a real tough weekend at Brands Hatch and we felt that we didn’t have the right set-up and that compared to some of the other riders we were lacking in a few areas, but my base setting here has been working perfectly.

“We were under the lap record and I felt confident running over race distance. We have re-evaluated and now I feel that we go into the races next weekend positive that we can come out fighting again.”

Oulton Park, Official Test, combined times:

1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 1m:34.134s

2. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.473s

3. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.605s

4. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.718s

5. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.845s

6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +1.007s

7. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +1.049s

8. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +1.292s

9. Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +1.434s

10.Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.447s

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 – clean sweep for Haslam at Donington opener

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Leon Haslam had the perfect start to his 2017 BSB campaign, claiming a double race win for JG Speedfit Kawasaki at his home circuit of Donington Park, but he was pushed all the way by Luke Mossey and Josh Brookes on his return to the series.

The competition proved to be fierce from the opening races of the season with five different riders representing four teams and four different manufacturers featuring on the two podiums at the Leicestershire circuit.

The first raceday of the year started dramatically with a crash in warm up for defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne at Craner Curves. The Be Wiser Ducati rider suffered concussion in the crash and was forced to sit out the opening two races, returning at the next round of Brands Hatch this Easter weekend.

In the opening race Haslam claimed his first race win at Donington Park since 2006, holding off his JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate Luke Mossey and Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon.

As race one got underway James Ellison fired himself straight to the front of the pack as they reaches Redgate for the first time ahead of Haslam, Mossey and Brookes on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha.

As the pack reached the Old Hairpin Mossey and Brookes touched, pushing the Australian down to ninth on the opening lap. At the front Ellison was holding the lead but Haslam was piling on the pressure and on the seventh lap the ‘Pocket Rocket’ made his move.

Mossey was also shadowing the pair and followed his team-mate into second place, nudging Ellison back into third.  The JG Speedfit Kawasaki pairing held the leading two positions but the battle was intensifying for third as Ellison dropped back into the clutches of Peter Hickman, Iddon, Brookes and Michael Laverty.

Hickman was the first to make an attack at Melbourne on Ellison, giving Iddon the chance to also move ahead. The Tyco BMW rider was stalking Hickman for third, leaving it until the closing stages to make a lunge into the Esses to move third and claim the final podium position.

Hickman held off Ellison as Glenn Irwin got the better of Brookes on the final lap to claim sixth with Laverty, Jake Dixon and Jason O’Halloran completed the top ten.

As Race Two got underway Brookes fired off the pole position into the lead on the opening lap and as the pack streamed down Craner Curves for the first time the Australian was fighting off Haslam, Mossey and Laverty.

Laverty was attacking Mossey, moving to third on the second lap, but the race ended prematurely for the leading McAMS Yamaha when he suffered a technical problem and was forced to retire.

At the front Ellison had moved into third behind the battling Brookes and Haslam but on the eighth lap the local hero took a look over his shoulder as he crossed the start line, giving Ellison the chance to make a pass into Redgate.

A lap later Haslam was on the counterattack; jamming his way ahead of his former team-mate as the leading pair of Brookes and Haslam began to edge an advantage.

Haslam was shadowing Brookes and with five laps to go he made his move at the Esses and was able to hold off the Yamaha to the finish. However, behind the battle for third had intensified with Glenn Irwin storming his way through the pack to close in on the trio of Mossey, Iddon and Ellison.

Haslam said: “This is my third ever win at the track and my win in 2006 was the last time I won here. To win at my home round at Donington and to get a 1-2 for the team – it couldn’t have gone any better and thanks to all the boys for the effort.”

Irwin saved his best for last, making his moves count over the final two laps and despite a huge last lap duel with race one podium finisher Iddon, he was able to claim his first podium finish of the season to the jubilation of the Be Wiser Ducati team.

Iddon was forced to settle for fourth ahead of Mossey and Ellison as Sylvain Guintoli bounced back from a Race One crash to finish seventh after getting the better of Peter Hickman. Davide Giugliano and Jason O’Halloran completed the top ten.

 

BSB – Haslam to start from pole position on combined Donington Park practice times

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Leon Haslam will start from pole position for the opening race of the 2017 BSB season at Donington Park after the qualifying session was cancelled and the grid was formed by combined free practice session times.

Haslam will head the front row onboard the JG Speedfit Kawasaki at his home round ahead of his team-mate Luke Mossey and returning champion Josh Brookes who fired his Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha into third place.

Row two will be headed by Peter Hickman onboard the Smiths Racing BMW who edged out defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne by just 0.091s and James Ellison completes the second row of the grid for McAMS Yamaha.

John Hopkins, despite two crashes will head the third row of the grid onboard the Moto Rapido Ducati ahead of 2014 World champion Sylvain Guintoli who makes his race debut with Bennetts Suzuki and Glenn Irwin.

Christian Iddon completes the top ten for Tyco BMW after he narrowly edged out rookie Bradley Ray.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, grid for race one:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 1m:29.323s
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.132s
  3. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.168s
  4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.420s
  5. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.511s
  6. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.521s
  7. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.603s
  8. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.633s
  9. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.641s
  10. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.689s

 

BSB – Haslam sets the pace at Donington

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Leon Haslam topped the times after the opening day of the 2017 BSB championship as the home hero set the pace in the afternoon free practice session as defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne ended his practice prematurely with a technical problem.

Haslam had finished second to Byrne in the morning session, but in the afternoon the times began to tumble and he surged to the top of the times, just holding off his team-mate Luke Mossey by 0.132s at the chequered flag.

Haslam said: “The opening day here has gone really well. We have done a full race run on both the soft and harder tyre options. We are looking good for the weekend and I think we just need to carry the momentum into the sessions tomorrow.”

It wasn’t the perfect start to his title defence for Byrne; the five-time champion had topped the times in the opening session, but in the afternoon a technical problem ended his track time with just over 20 minutes remaining on the clock.

Byrne said: “That was a little bit frustrating really for us. Where the sessions are closer together now, for the second session the silicone we used to seal the casing didn’t have enough time and I went out and rode, but basically it started to seep and that was the problem.”

It was a strong start to his return for Josh Brookes; the 2015 champion instantly running inside the top three on his debut with the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team and holding third position ahead of Peter Hickman on the Smiths Racing BMW.

James Ellison leapt up the order in the closing stages of the session to move fourth for McAMS Yamaha ahead of John Hopkins, who had run inside the top four before a crash at Craner Curves ended his session early in the final ten minutes of second practice.

Sylvain Guintoli had a welcome return to the championship holding seventh place for the Bennetts Suzuki team ahead of Glenn Irwin and Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon in ninth after he also crashed unhurt at Craner Curves.

Byrne completed the top ten as he dropped down the order in the final stages of the session ahead of rookie Bradley Ray, who had been running inside the top ten, finishing ahead of Davide Giugliano and Michael Laverty. The top Honda Racing contender was Jason O’Halloran in 14th position.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, free practice one:

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:29.834s
  2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.287s
  3. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.340s
  4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.408s
  5. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.547s
  6. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.686s
  7. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.749s
  8. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.837s
  9. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.846s
  10. Jake Dixon (RAF Kawasaki) +1.100s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, free practice two:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 1m:29.323s
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.132s
  3. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.168s
  4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.420s
  5. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.521s
  6. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.603s
  7. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.633s
  8. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.641s
  9. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.689s
  10. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.738s

BSB – Hodgson 2017 preview

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Neil Hodgson is a BSB and WSBK champion
 and a commentator
 for BT Sport. He’s got his finger on the pulse
 in the MotoGP, WSBK, and BSB paddocks and his encyclopedic knowledge of bike racing make him perfectly placed to preview the season ahead. 

“I love BSB for the sheer enjoyment of watching close racing. There are a handful of riders who are capable of fighting for a win, and there will be five or six riders who will win at least one race, but Shakey Byrne will start as the title favourite for many. He’s experienced, the bike is quick and the PBM team is experienced and proven. 

“However, Leon Haslam will also be there. He ran Shakey close last year, and may even have won the title if it wasn’t for the technical gremlins which plagued his season. He’s fit, he has a point to prove and he’s hungry for success. He’s never won a title, which for a rider with his talent is unbelievable, and I really feel this year will be his year.