Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Apr 21, 2014

Byrne Sweeps MCE British Superbike Races At Brands Hatch (Updated)

Shane Byrne (67). Photo by Jon Jessop, courtesy of Paul Bird Motorsport.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit

Kent, England

April 21, 2014

Race Results:

Superbike Race One (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Shane Byrne, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), 12 laps, 9:20.872

2. Chris Walker, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -1.615 seconds

3. James Ellison, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -1.672

4. Ben Wilson, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -5.639

5. John Hopkins, USA (Suz GSX-R1000), -6.007

6. Stuart Easton, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -6.235

7. Tommy Bridewell, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -6.365

8. Richard Cooper, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -7.328

9. Jakub Smrz, Czech Republic (Duc 1199 Panigale), -7.398

10. James Westmoreland, UK (BMW S1000RR), -7.735

11. Dan Linfoot, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -8.814

12.  Michael Rutter, UK (BMW S1000RR), -8.871

13. Martin Jessopp, UK (BMW S1000RR), -9.999

14. Patric Muff, Switzerland (BMW S1000RR), -10.692

15. Josh Waters, Australia (Suz GSX-R1000), -10.910

16. Ryuichi Kiyonari, Japan (BMW S1000RR), -12.113

17. Lee Costello, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -12.536

18. Harry Hartley, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -13.021

19. Keith Farmer, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -13.577

20. Mitchell Carr, Australia (Kaw ZX-10R), -14.341

21. Jon Kirkham, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -17.920

22.  Aaron Zanotti, UK (Suz GSX-R1000), -18.118

23. Ian Hutchinson, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -18.342

24. Michael Dunlop, UK (BMW S1000RR), -18.712

25. Josh Wainwright, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -24.805

26. Peter Baker, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -26.521

27. Jenny Tinmouth, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), -26.734

28.  Rhalf Lo Turco, Brazil (Kaw ZX-10R), -30.688

29. Barry Burrell, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -8 laps, DNF

30. Simon Andrews, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), -12 laps, DNF

Superbike Race Two (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Shane Byrne, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), 30 laps, 23:17.781

2. Josh Brookes, Australia (Yam YZF-R1), -0.138 second

3. James Ellison, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -1.785 seconds

4. Ryuichi Kiyonari, Japan (BMW S1000RR), -3.694

5. Chris Walker, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -5.376

6. Stuart Easton, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -5.724

7. James Westmoreland, UK (BMW S1000RR), -10.826

8. Dan Linfoot, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -11.488

9. Tommy Bridewell, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -11.678

10. Ben Wilson, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -11.908

11. John Hopkins, USA (Suz GSX-R1000), -12.580

12. Martin Jessopp, UK (BMW S1000RR), -18.952

13. Harry Hartley, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -18.986

14. Patric Muff, Switzerland (BMW S1000RR), -19.539

15. Richard Cooper, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -20.097

16. Josh Waters, Australia (Suz GSX-R1000), -20.670

17. Michael Rutter, UK (BMW S1000RR), -21.279

18. Lee Costello, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -21.342

19. Keith Farmer, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -23.352

20. Barry Burrell, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -33.880

21. Aaron Zanotti, UK (Suz GSX-R1000), -34.331

22. Peter Baker, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -1 lap

23. Jenny Tinmouth, UK (Hon CBR1000RR), -1 lap, 2.615 seconds

24. Rhalf Lo Turco, Brazil (Kaw ZX-10R), -1 lap, 19.221 seconds

25. Mitchell Carr, Australia (Kaw ZX-10R), -7 laps, DNF

26. Josh Wainwright, UK (Kaw ZX-10R), -17 laps, DNF

27. Jakub Smrz, Czech Republic (Duc 1199 Panigale), -22 laps, DNF

28. Michael Dunlop, UK (BMW S1000RR), -25 laps, DNF

29. Ian Hutchinson, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -28 laps, DNF

Motorpoint Supersport Race One (wet conditions):

1. Glenn Irwin (Yam YZF-R6), 18 laps, 16:24.873

2. Luke Jones (Tri Daytona 675R), -0.173 second

3. Alastair Seeley (Yam YZF-R6), -6.339 seconds

4. Alex Olsen (Tri Daytona 675R), -7.643, EVO

5. Luke Hedger (Kaw ZX-6R), -9.216

6. Billy McConnell (Tri Daytona 675R), -22.556

7. Callan Cooper (Yam YZF-R6), -22.624

8. Bjorn Estment (Yam YZF-R6), -26.028

9. Samuel Hornsey (Tri Daytona 675R), -35.811

10. Daniel Cooper (Kaw ZX-6R), -36.858

11. James Rispoli (Suz GSX-R600), -39.400

Motorpoint Supersport Race Two:

1. Alastair Seeley (Yam YZF-R6), 20 laps, 15:49.719

2. Graeme Gowland (Tri Daytona 675R), -2.904 seconds

3. Billy McConnell (Tri Daytona 675R), -2.975

4. Luke Stapleford (Tri Daytona 675R), -7.562

5. Glenn Irwin (Kaw ZX-6R), -9.492

6. Luke Jones (Tri Daytona 675R), -10.481

7. Jake Dixon (Yam YZF-R6), -13.238

8. Taylor Mackenzie (Suz GSX-R600), -19.468

9. Bjorn Estment (Yam YZF-R6), -19.655

10. Samuel Hornsey (Tri Daytona 675R), -19.846

13. James Rispoli (Suz GSX-R600), -21.744

Other Americans competing at Brands Hatch:

Jayson Uribe finished fourth overall and third in the Moto3 class in the Motul British Motostar race. Uribe was 3.017 seconds behind race winner Joe Irving (KTM) after 16 laps. Daniel Costilla placed eighth overall and fourth in the Moto3 class, crossing the finish line 8.581 seconds after Irving. 

Danny Eslick was eighth in his Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc race debut. After 20 laps, Eslick and his ILR Kawasaki ZX-10R, were 14.572 seconds behind race winner Danny Buchan, who rode a Kawasaki ZX-10R. A total of 35 riders started the 1000cc Superstock race.

AMA Pro regular Ben Young, a resident of Canada, took 16th in the 24-rider 1000cc Superstock Last Chance Qualifier race but did not make it into the Superstock 1000 main event.

More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision Racing:

Round 1 Brands Hatch Indy Circuit 21 April



Race one:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.615s
3: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.672s
4: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +5.639s
5: John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +6.007s
6: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +6.235s
7: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +6.365s
8: Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +7.328s
9: Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +7.735s
10: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +7.735s

Race two:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.138s
3: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.785s
4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +3.694s
5: Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +5.376s
6: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +5.724s
7: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +10.826s
8: Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +11.488s
9: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +11.678s
10: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +11.908s

Championship standings:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 50
2: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 32
3: Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 31
4: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 20
5: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 20
6: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 19
7: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 16
8: John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) 16
9: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 15
10: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 13


Shane “Shakey” Byrne kicked off his bid to take the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown for a record fourth time in stunning style as he held off the opposition to win both races in the opening round at his home circuit of Brands Hatch.

The Rapid Solicitors rider had bounced back after starting from the fifth row of the grid for the opening race after crashing in qualifying yesterday, but he was up for the challenge and remarkably was running seventh on the opening lap as Chris Walker aboard the Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki forged ahead at the front.

Byrne was carving through the pack though and soon had moved to second, closing down Walker at half distance when the race was halted after James Hillier’s Quattro Plant Kawasaki suffered a technical problem dropping oil on the track. On the re-start Walker led briefly before Byrne forced his way ahead to win by 1.615s whilst James Ellison aboard the second Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki ran solidly in third to give the team their first podium finishes in MCE BSB ahead of Gearlink Kawasaki’s Ben Wilson.

Byrne took charge from the start in race two, running ahead of his team-mate Stuart Easton with Walker in third and Ellison in fourth, whilst behind them Josh Brookes was powering his Milwaukee Yamaha into contention. The Aussie who had crashed three times in qualifying had also slid out in the opening race and he was keen to set the record straight.

Brookes was riding hard to be in third place at two thirds distance and attacking Ellison whilst Byrne continued to lead. However the Milwaukee Yamaha rider hadn’t given up on his chance of victory and Brookes passed Ellison to go second and then closed in on Byrne. On the final lap Byrne had the narrow edge to complete the double, taking his victory tally to 53 in the series and taking the lead in the overall standings.

Byrne said: “This is the perfect start to the championship for me and it really has been a great team effort and I am proud of the boys for the work they’ve done to turn the bike around after the crashes. I’m feeling a bit second hand after two crashes but winning is a wonderful drug, although I’m ready for a day or two off now before Oulton Park!”

Ellison scored his second podium finish of the day in third, this time ahead of former three times title winner Ryuichi Kiyonari who was making his race debut with the Buildbase BMW team. Walker held on to fifth from reigning Motorpoint British Supersport champion Easton in the closing stages.

Byrne leads the championship standings from Ellison and Walker as the action now moves to Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend (3/4/5 May).

For more information please visit

More, from a press release issued by Quattro Plant Kawasaki:

Linfoot starts BSB season with solid points haul

The Quattro Plant Kawasaki team got their 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship campaign underway at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend and whilst it proved to be a challenging weekend, Dan Linfoot ensured they came away with some solid points on the board after claiming eighth and 11th in the two races.

The Knaresborough rider had run strongly inside the top ten for the majority of the free practice sessions, but an extremely wet qualifying session on Easter Sunday meant he lined up in a lowly 24th place for Monday’s opening 30-lap race. However, he soon advanced forward and was running on the edge of the top ten when the red flag came out on the sixteenth lap. It all meant the race was re-run over the shorter distance of 12 laps and with a much better grid position he was able to claim a hard earned 11th at the chequered flag.

Lining up on the fourth row for the second race later in the afternoon, Dan was determined to make it count and was soon running inside the top ten. Battling with James Westmoreland, who took a Showdown finish in 2013, and podium finisher Tommy Bridewell, there was never more than a second between the trio and Dan put in a pass on Bridewell at the end to secure a strong eighth place and move himself into the top ten of the early Championship table.

For second team member James Hillier, deputising for the injured Howie Mainwaring-Smart, it was a tough weekend. A heavy crash on Saturday, caused by a mechanical problem, meant he missed out on valuable track time and whilst the team worked wonders to get him back amongst the action, a further technical issue in Monday’s opening race brought his weekend to a premature end.

Dan Linfoot: “It’s not been a bad start to the year and I was particularly pleased with the second race as it was a good eighth place and I was running with some good company. I’ve moved forward all weekend with the bike and whilst the weather in qualifying hit our plans, we fought back well and scored some solid points. I’m not far off the pace of the front group and the bike’s got a really strong engine so I know that’s going to put me in good positions on the track. There are plenty of positives to take from the weekend and we’ve a good base to build upon.”

James Hillier: “When I got the call last week to deputise for Howie, I was more than pleased to help the team out plus it also gave me the opportunity to get some good track time prior to the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT. Unfortunately, and through no-ones fault, factors conspired against us and it ended up being a tough few days but I managed to come away unscathed and that’s the main thing.”

Pete Extance: “Coming into the weekend at Brands, we had high hopes that Dan would end the two races in a top six position in the Championship and whilst he ran very strongly in the dry, free practice sessions, the wet weather in qualifying caught him out a bit. However, he bounced back well on race day and after a professional ride into 11th in the first race, he utilised his better starting position in the second to finish in a strong eighth place.”

“For James, it was a really tough weekend and an unfortunate mechanical problem led to him having a big crash in free practice. Fortunately, he was uninjured but then suffered further disappointment with an engine failure in the opening race, which led to him being unable to start race two. It’s been a very testing first round for the team but it’s ended positively with Dan's results and given us all a good platform to build on so we’re very much looking forward to round two at Oulton Park in two weeks’ time.”

MCE British Superbike Championship Race One – 12 laps

1 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)

2 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)

3 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

4 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)

5 John Hopkins (Suzuki)

6 Stuart Easton (Kawasaki)

11 Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

DNF James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race Two – 30 laps

1 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)

2 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

3 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)

5 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)

6 Stuart Easton (Kawasaki)

8 Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

DNS James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

Round two of the MCE British Superbike Championship takes place in two weeks time atOultonPark, Cheshire on May 3-5.

More, from a press release issued by Paul Bird Motorsport:

Byrne At The Double At Brands Hatch MCE BSB Opener

The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki Team got their 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season off to a perfect start this Easter weekend at Brands Hatch in Kent with triple MCE BSB champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne taking a double victory and team-mate Stuart Easton grabbing a pair of sixth place finishes.

After a strong showing in the dry free practice sessions, Byrne had to fight his way through from an unfamiliar 13th on the grid in today's opening race after heavy rain in Sunday's Datatag Extreme qualifying session left his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja back on row five but a superb start saw him up to seventh place at the end of the opening lap. Steadily advancing forward, Shakey was up to second at half race distance and rapidly closing on race leader Chris Walker when the red flag came out due to an oil spillage on lap 17.

Restarted over the shorter distance of 12 laps, Byrne lined up on the front row of the grid and whilst it was Walker who again led in the early stages, Shakey seized the lead on the fourth lap and extended his lead each lap to eventually cross the line 1.6 seconds clear to record his 52nd MCE BSB win of his career.

Starting from the front row of the grid for the second 30-lap race, once again held in the fine and sunny conditions, the 37-year-old Londoner made the perfect start and although he led from start to finish he was under pressure throughout and had to call upon all his experience to keep rivals Josh Brookes and James Ellison at bay as he claimed an 11th career double.

Team-mate Easton marked his return to the series with two strong rides after a disappointing qualifying which saw him way down the grid. Back in 23rd place initially, the 30-year-old had moved up to 12th when the first race was stopped and in the re-run he advanced further eventually taking a fine sixth place aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.

In the second race, the Hawick rider started from the second row of the grid and was subsequently challenging for the podium from the outset as he slotted into second place behind Byrne. The race for the three podium positions was extremely fraught with only one second covering the top six and as the race wore on, arm pump caused the reigning Motorpoint British Supersport champion to slip back and he had to settle for his second sixth place of the day.

Shane Byrne: "It's been the perfect start to the year and a massive team effort and I'm really proud of all the guys in the team. Conditions in qualifying were very difficult and starting on row five wasn't where we wanted to be but I knew we were strong in the dry and I'd moved up to second when the first race was stopped. It made things slightly easier in the re-run and I knew it was important to get going early as Chris would be fast again, especially as he was on a different tyre, but once I took the lead I just chipped away each lap and kept it clean and tidy.

"Starting from the front row for the second race was the ideal place to be and I had a bit of a strategy in that I wanted to get away from the start as I knew Josh Brookes would be able to come through the pack. At mid-race distance the guys reeled me in a bit so I just rode as hard as I could and tried not to make any mistakes. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja is working really well for me and I like the way I'm able to ride it so hopefully I'll have a similar feeling next time out at Oulton Park."

Stuart Easton: "It's been a solid start to the season and two sixths is a good way to start on my return to the class although it would have been nice if I could have held on for a podium in the second race. The more it went on though the more my arm tightened up and I was hanging on a bit towards the end, particularly on the brakes, otherwise I think a podium could have been on the cards. It felt really good to be sitting behind Shakey and it felt fairly comfortable so I think that bodes well for the rest of the season. The bike feels really good and I've shown I've got the pace so I'm only going to go forward from here and get stronger and stronger."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "What a fantastic way to start the season with Shakey taking a double victory at his home track, especially after we had some problems in qualifying in the wet. The team worked brilliantly and proved that we are serious about wanting our title back. Stuart made things difficult for himself in qualifying but once again proved what he could do in the dry and now he's got a meeting on a Superbike under his belt, he'll come stronger. A great day and once again, my team and riders have done me proud, roll on our local round at Oulton Park in two weeks' time."

The results see Byrne lead the title race for the Penrith-based team on a maximum 50 points, 18 ahead of James Ellison with the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki of Easton in joint fourth. It was the first time since 2001 that a rider has won the opening two races in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, the last being John Reynolds in 2001 who went on to take the title that year.

MCE British Superbike Championship Race One (12 laps)

1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

2 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)

3 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

4 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)

5 John Hopkins (Suzuki)

6 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race Two (30 laps)

1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

2 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

3 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)

5 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)

6 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

MCE BSB Championship standings (after one round)

1 Byrne 50pts

2 Ellison 32

3 Walker 31

4 Easton 20

= Brookes 20

6 Wilson 19

The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki MCE British Superbike Championship Team runs alongside the PBM MotoGP Team with riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes. Additionally, Paul Bird plans a full campaign in the REIS BTRDA Rally Series as well as selected International events in his Ford Focus WRC07. Both bike racing teams are sporting the colours of British Racing Green in deference to the team's proud British heritage.

The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Oulton Park over the weekend of May 3/5th. For more information, please visit and

More, from a press release issued by MAr-Train Racing:


Following third place in yesterday’s treacherous conditions from row five of the grid and today’s dominant race two victory, Mar-Train Racing’s Alastair Seeley leads the 2014 British Supersport Championship coming out of round one at Brands Hatch. Seeley also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 [46.775sec], which is also a new class lap record.

Seeley’s results keep the reigning British Supersport champions at summit of the middleweight division as the championship now heads to Oulton Park in Cheshire for the May Day showdown on May 5th.

Alastair Seeley:

“After positive tests in Spain and also at Snetterton we knew we would be coming here with good pace, but the weather yesterday really threw us. It was the first time we’ve ridden the Mar-Train Yamaha in the wet and we didn’t want to take any chances and ruin our championship. Even though we didn’t qualify too well it was just a matter of damage limitation, so third place we were happy with.

“Today I knew it would be a dogfight as it always is at Brands Indy in this class. I sat back and watched for a while but at half distance I could see the Triumphs were starting to lose a little rear grip. It’s tight in this class and there was a bit of a rub when I made the pass at Paddock Hill but there was nothing malicious. After that I just watched my boards and it was quite comfortable. The Mar-Train Yamaha worked superbly well and I’m delighted to be leaving Brands leading the championship for the whole team.”

Tim Martin – Team Principal:

“Yesterday Alastair and the team did a great job to pull off a podium, but today he showed all his class to take the win on the Mar-Train Yamaha. It’s a very encouraging start for us as the reigning British Supersport champions with a new rider and proves how well Alastair has gelled with the R6 Yamaha and the whole Mar-Train Racing crew.”

Championship Points posted on team website later -

More, from a press release issued by Smiths Racing Team:

Double Podium For Smiths Triumph At Brands Hatch

The Smiths Triumph Racing Team overcame a tough first day of the 2014 Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch this Easter weekend to end up with Graeme Gowland and Billy McConnell taking hard earned podium places in today's second race.

Easter Sunday was extremely difficult for the Gloucester-based former British Supersport champions with wet qualifying conditions seeing both riders suffer tumbles on the factory-supported Triumph Daytona 675Rs but Gowland, from Allendale in Northumberland, fared better to take second place on the grid whilst 27-year-old Aussie McConnell lined up in a lowly 16th place for the 'Sprint' race held later in the day.

After a delayed start, the 18-lap race got underway and 28-year-old Gowland, riding with an injured shoulder, immediately slotted into second behind pole setter Glenn Irwin with Adelaide rider McConnell up to sixth. However, conditions proved difficult and at half race distance, Graeme fell uninjured on the exit of Graham Hill Bend and it was left to Billy to get a result for the team, eventually crossing the line in a well-deserved sixth place after a race long battle.

Easter Monday's 20-lap race was held in much more favourable conditions and a brilliant start from the pairing saw Gowland in third and McConnell in fifth at the completion of the opening lap. By lap five they had hit the front with Alastair Seeley on their tails in third as a thrilling battle ensued in front of the bumper bank holiday crowd at the Kent track.

The trio were never more than a few metres apart for the first half of the race with positions changing frequently and although it was Seeley who ultimately made a small break to take the win, Gowland and McConnell battled all the way until the chequered flag. On the run in to the line, it was Graeme who got the better of Billy by just 0.071 seconds thus ensuring both they and the team were able to celebrate their first podiums of the season.

Graeme Gowland: "It was certainly a hard opening day of the season and I damaged my shoulder in Sunday's crash and lost a bit of movement so it's nice to end the weekend with a podium. We caught a backmarker at the worst part of the track which allowed Alastair to make a break and after that it was a straight fight between Billy and me all the way to the end. It was a great battle and I'm pleased to come out on top so hopefully this podium is the first of many. The bike's working really well so massive thanks to the team for everything they've done for me since I've come on board."

Billy McConnell: "We come here to race but I've battled with Graeme and Alastair for the last couple of seasons now and we trust and respect each other so it was all good clean stuff. The bike was sliding a lot and I'd obviously have preferred to have finished second rather than third but Graeme just edged me so third it was. After a difficult qualifying session, we've scored some solid points this weekend and the big testing plan the Smiths Triumph team put into place over the winter has certainly paid off but we need to ensure we keep the foot on the gas and not let Alastair open up any kind of gap over us."

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: "After a really positive pre-season testing programme we were hoping to hit the ground running this weekend but, obviously, with what happened in qualifying and in the first race that didn't happen! Sunday was the first time the boys had ridden the bike in the wet and we've got a bit of work to do to find a good wet setting so a solitary sixth place from the first race wasn't the kind of outcome we'd hoped for.

"We've done a lot of work with K-Tech Suspension over the winter and knew we would be strong in the dry and both Graeme and Billy showed what they were capable of. Two podiums is a good way to end the first weekend of the year and with both riders getting some good points on the board, we've plenty to build on next time out. It's important to keep pushing and ensure we get the most out of each race and today more than makes up for Sunday."

The result sees McConnell holding fourth in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship with Gowland in fifth going into the second round which takes place at Oulton Park over the May bank holiday weekend (May 3/5).

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Race One (18 laps)

1 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki)

2 Luke Jones (Triumph)

3 Alastair Seeley (Yamaha)

4 Alex Olsen (Triumph)

5 Luke Hedger (Kawasaki)

6 Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph)

DNF Graeme Gowland (Smiths Triumph)

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Race Two (20 laps)

1 Alastair Seeley (Yamaha)

2 Graeme Gowland (Smiths Triumph)

3 Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph)

4 Luke Stapleford (Triumph)

5 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki)

6 Luke Jones (Triumph)

Championship standings (after one round)

1 Seeley 41pts

2 Irwin 36

3 Jones 30

4 McConnell 26

5 Gowland 20

6 Olsen 18

More, from a press release issued by Buildbase BMW Motorrad:

Resurgent race two gives Buildbase BMW Motorrad a promising start to the season.

The Buildbase BMW Motorrad team are heading home from an action-packed and unpredictable Brands Hatch season opener with a fourth place, three top-ten finishes and proof that the BMW S 1000 RR is a formidable package.

The first British Superbike race of the 2014 season proved to be dramatic and challenging as a number of crashes, near-misses and a red-flag and restart interrupted proceedings. Buildbase BMW Motorrad rider Ryuichi Kiyonari had qualified on the front row, but narrowly avoided an accident as his bike stalled as the race started.

Thankfully the riders behind managed to avoid the Japanese racer, who re-joined the field in last place. Team mate James Westmoreland, who had qualified on the second row, had a better start – however the race was red-flagged due to a huge spillage on lap 16.

Some 40 minutes later, the track was declared safe after an extra six-minute sighting session and a short 12-lap sprint race got underway. Westmoreland finished in tenth position, with Kiyoi reaching 16th place after clawing back 12 places by the chequered flag.

Kiyonari’s best lap time in race one secured him a spot on row two for the second BSB race, with Westmoreland on the fifth.

The second race was thankfully largely incident-free, with the Buildbase riders able to make good starts and push on up the field. Westmoreland fought his way up from 15th to finish seventh, pulling back eight places. Kiyonari battled with the front-runners from flag to flag, securing fourth place – and matching BMW Motorrad’s best BSB result so far.

Michael Dunlop, taking part in the first two rounds as part of his preparation to race the Isle of Man TT this summer, suffered a fall in a rain-lashed Qualifying session while running in second place and landed on his arm. The tough road racer completed race one, finishing 24th in his first-ever race at Brands Hatch, and set off in race two, but pulled in to the pits after a few laps deciding to rest his arm to be ready for Oulton Park in early May.

In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race, young rider Lee Jackson qualified in fourth place on the BMW HP4, going on to finish in sixth place in a dramatic race, which saw two riders crash out and engage in a small scuffle in the gravel trap before being calmed by the race marshals. Jackson’s top-six pace throughout qualifying continued into the race, with the team pleased by the results and targeting more silverware to add to Lee's collection from his debut season on the HP4 in 2013.

Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I have a very good feeling now, because we’ve had really promising results in the wet and dry and I’ve been in the top ten for every session. The second race today was really good, I was catching the lead riders. With a few more laps, I think I’d have had them. In practice we managed over 40 laps on one race tyre, so we have great life. In the first race, I have to say, sorry to all the other riders! I stalled the engine on the line, and I was very lucky not to get hit. It hasn’t happened before – but race two was much better!”

James Westmoreland said: “The first race was very disappointing. I wasn’t happy to finish tenth, not so much the position but my pace – I just wasn’t fast enough. We’ve shown a lot of promise this weekend and it was frustrating. But – for the second race to come from 15th to seventh was really good, and the pace was very promising. We’re leaving here with a good weekend under our belts ready for Oulton Park.”

Michael Dunlop said: "Well, we had a good time in qualifying and the bike is going great. I was up in second place in Q1, but I came off and injured my shoulder. It's a bit of a shame not to do too much in the races, but no matter, we'll be ready for the next event now."

Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: ”Ending the day on a bonus was great. I was a bit low before that second race, because we’d shown so much promise and it didn’t happen in race one. But race two I really enjoyed; I enjoyed seeing James coming through the pack and I enjoyed Kiyo catching the front runners and giving them a run for their money. So, yes, happy for the day and really pleased with the pace of both Lee and Michael. Roll on Oulton Park.”

The next round is at Oulton Park on 3-5 May 2014.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race one:

1.Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

2.Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.615s

3.James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.672s

4.Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +5.639s

5.John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +6.007s

6.Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +6.235s

7.Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +6.365s

8.Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +7.328s

9.Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +7.735s

10.James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +7.735s

16. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +3.694s

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

1.Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

2.Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.138s

3.James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +1.785s

4.Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +3.694s

5.Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +5.376s

6.Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +5.724s

7.James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +10.826s

8.Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +11.488s

9.Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +11.678s

10.Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +11.908s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch:

1.Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 50

2.James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 32

3.Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 31

4.Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 20

5.Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 20

6.Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 19

7.Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 16

8.John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) 16

9.James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) 15

10.Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) 13

More, from a press release issued by Milwaukee Yamaha:


Josh Brookes claimed his first podium finish of the 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with the Milwaukee Yamaha team at Brands Hatch today after fighting back from his fourth row start in the second race.

In the opening race of the day Brookes was pushing at the front of the pack and crashed unhurt at Druids, ending his race and putting him back on row four for the second race. However a hard-fought race two saw the Australian charge through the field to close in on race leader Shane Byrne over the final laps to claim second place. Tommy Bridewell had a challenging weekend as he pushed to find a setting for the two races, however he was able to finish both races in the top ten scoring a seventh and ninth place result in the two races.

Brookes said: “I was really happy with how the second race went. Over the weekend Milwaukee Yamaha have given me everything I needed to do the job and all the mistakes have been mine so I can’t blame anyone but myself. Starting from tenth in race two wasn’t ideal but I didn’t know where I could finish so I wasn’t sure how it was all going to pan out. My focus was on whoever was in front of me, that might sound stupid, but I was looking at one rider at a time and nothing else. As I made passes I built confidence and caught Shane but it was too late and I wasn’t in a position to make a pass. I am not over the moon with second because we started the weekend with the potential to win races, but it wasn’t to be. We will take the second place and see what we can do at Oulton Park because in the past that has been a superb track for the Milwaukee Yamaha.”

Bridewell said: “We didn’t have the pace to be up there fighting in the races today and we need to have a look at our settings so that we can come back stronger at Oulton Park. We made a good start in the races but then we just couldn’t match the leaders and that was disappointing for me. I couldn’t have ridden any harder today and I am now ready to focus with the team on how we can rectify the pace we had here ready for the next round. Seventh place in the standings is still points towards our championship, so it could have been worse, but I have my goals and winning is one of them.”

Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: “Overall it has been quite a frustrating weekend for Milwaukee Yamaha after our strong pre-season testing campaign and also our good start in free practice. Before qualifying both riders had the pace to be fighting for podiums but four crashes put us on the back foot. Josh tried to dominate from the start in race one and just lost the front and crashed however he showed his real strength in character to be fighting again in race two for the podium finish. Today Tommy had two difficult races but we know that he will come back stronger.”

For more information visit

Top 5 This Week