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Aug 4, 2014

More From The British Superbike Event At Thruxton

Josh Brookes (3).


The Milwaukee Yamaha team celebrated a double victory in the sixth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton today (Sunday) as Josh Brookes claimed a stylish double win at the Hampshire circuit.

In the opening race of the day Brookes instantly fired into winning contention, taking the lead on the seventh lap before edging out his rivals to win the race by just over four seconds in imperious style. Tommy Bridewell had been engaged in a tussle for fifth position which he held on to score valuable championship points.

In the second race Brookes again headed off series leader Shane Byrne to score his first double victory of the season to close on points in the overall standings. Bridewell’s home round ended in disappointment with a technical problem forcing him out of the action, but ready to come out fighting at Oulton Park in just four day’s time.

Brookes said: “I am certainly pleased with the double win and it is a great result for Milwaukee Yamaha. I am really enjoying this moment of being back on the top step of the podium after some rounds where we haven’t been, but I think sometimes you have to remember that racing Superbikes isn’t easy. I kept pushing as hard as I could where I was strong and riding through the areas I didn’t feel as good. I maintained good lap times in the first race and the gap just grew and grew. It has been exciting for me to win and I want to see if we can do the same at Oulton Park now.”

Bridewell said “In the first race I had wanted more than a fifth place but it was some points if you are looking at the positives of it. In the second race I wanted to settle into a rhythm because I had a bit of a plan. I came out of Church and we had a problem with the bike and I knew it was over straight away. It was unfortunate, especially as we have worked so hard again this weekend, but I suppose the Thruxton demons continue to get me here! It is disappointing as I know we have the pace but now we just have to focus on Oulton Park and getting back where we need to be.”

Team co-ordinator Mick Shanley concluded: “Josh and the whole team have worked hard to overcome the problems of the last couple of rounds and so the double win was a fantastic result for everyone. We concentrated on race pace and it has been a phenomenal performance from the team to have won both races. Now we need to keep the ball rolling into Oulton Park, which is the first circuit we have come to that Josh has been too already this season with the Yamaha.

“I think from Tommy’s side he had a strong performance all weekend and had a solid ride to score the points for fifth place in the first race. Unfortunately he couldn’t build on it in the second race with the problem we had, but we know he is capable of scoring podiums so we will be ready for Oulton Park.”

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

Double Podium For Byrne At Thruxton

Triple British Superbike Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne came away from the sixth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at the high speed Thruxton circuit with a pair of second place finishes to maintain his championship lead as the series reached its midway point.

However, after such a dominant start to the 2014 season, it was a tough weekend for Byrne as he struggled aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in qualifying and he had to call upon all of his experience to claim fourth on the grid for the first race.

In the opening race at the fast Hampshire track, the Sittingbourne rider immediately slotted into third place and although it wasn't until the ninth of 20 laps that he was able to find a way past Dan Linfoot, once there he was able to resist all further challenges, particularly from a charging Ryuichi Kiyonari in the closing stages, to claim a hard fought second place behind Josh Brookes who took the win.

It was a similar story in the second race later in the day, which was reduced to 15 laps following a red flag. 37-year-old Shakey got the holeshot and led up until the sixth lap when Brookes edged ahead although the Australian was unable to pull clear like he had done in the opening encounter. There was little to choose between Brookes, Shakey and Kiyonari but in a grandstand finish, they crossed the line in that order allowing Shakey to claim his 11th podium out of the 12 races to date.

For team-mate Stuart Easton it was another tough weekend with the Scot struggling to get on the pace but he battled on gamely and was rewarded with a top seven finish in the second race. After a disappointing qualifying and first race, where he finished 16th, the Hawick rider upped his pace as the second race wore on and charged through the pack to claim a deserved seventh place. The result keeps the 2013 British Supersport Champion in eighth place in the points table as the season enters its crucial point.

After six rounds, the championship table sees Byrne leading Brookes by 82 points, increasing his important Podium Credits tally to 45, a lead of 21 going into next weekend's triple-header at Oulton Park.

Shane Byrne: "In the greater scheme of things, I should be ecstatic with two second place finishes and 40 points given all the problems we had in practice and qualifying but I rode my heart out in both races and I am a bit disappointed not to have grabbed a win. I made a few mistakes in the first race which allowed Josh to make the break and the team did a great job to give me a bike I could challenge for the race win in the second race so I was more confident. I had to work so hard to keep up with Josh though and thought I might be able to nick it on the last lap but it almost ended in tears as I had to scrub off an awful lot of speed so as not to collide with him. It's more points and fair play to Josh as he rode superbly all weekend but we'll see what we can do at Oulton next weekend."

Stuart Easton: "I've struggled all weekend to find a good setting on the bike that's made me feel comfortable and we've tried that many settings it's been untrue but I'm pleased to have finished with a strong result. The first race was poor and I simply wasn't comfortable but we went back to the settings we used in morning warm-up for the second race and although not ideal, the bike was the best it had felt all weekend. In the early laps of race two, I didn't feel good at all but the more the race wore on, the happier I became and although the tyres had gone past their best, I was getting quicker, which is almost unheard of at Thruxton. If the race had been the full 20 laps, it would definitely have been top six so I'm pleased that I gave it everything I had right up until the end and salvaged a positive result from the weekend."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "After his double win here last year, I thought we may have just been a little bit stronger this weekend but I'm not too disappointed. Two more podiums for Shakey sees him edge closer towards The Showdown and he's only effectively dropped four points to Brookes. We know what the problem was so we'll sort it this week and come back stronger at Oulton. I'm particularly pleased with the way Stuart dug in and got a result in race two. He showed real determination after a difficult weekend for him and hopefully he can bounce back at Oulton too where he traditionally goes well at."

MCE British Superbike Championship Race One - 20 laps

1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

2 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)

4 Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki)

5 Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha)

6 Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

16 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race Two - 15 laps

1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

2 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)

4 Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki)

5 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)

6 Jon Kirkham (Kawasaki)

7 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)

Championship Points (after six rounds)

1 Byrne 261pts

2 Brookes 179

3 Kiyonari 139

4 Ellison 124

5 Linfoot 116

= Walker 116

7 Bridewell 112

8 Easton 91

The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki MCE British Superbike Championship Team is running alongside the PBM MotoGP Team with riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes. Additionally, Paul Bird is running 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.

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

Lee Jackson takes his first-ever Superstock 1000 victory, Kiyonari has a double podium finish.

The Buildbase BMW Motorrad team are celebrating leaving Thruxton with their first Pirelli Superstock 1000 win of the year courtesy of Lee Jackson on the BMW S 1000 RR, alongside two podium finishes in the MCE British Superbike Championship from Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Lee Jackson had a challenging and demanding weekend qualifying and racing in both the Superstock 1000 and British Superbike races, as he fills in for James Westmoreland. The young Lincolnshire rider earned a front-row start in Superstock 1000 qualifying, set an outstanding lap record during the race and took his first-ever victory in the hotly-contested class, finishing ahead of championship leader Danny Buchan and Jason O'Halloran.

The thrilling race saw Lee make his way to the front of the pack before losing positions and moving back to fourth, then work his way back up to second place again before a last-lap, last-corner gamble paid off and he crossed the line to take his maiden Superstock 1000 win. The result sees Jackson close to 11 points behind second place in the championship.

Ryuichi Kiyonari consolidated his position in the Showdown spots and moved up to third in the BSB Championship standings with two third-place finishes. Race one saw Kiyo starting on the fourth row after his decision to qualify on a standard race tyre rather than a super-sticky qualifying tyre, which left him 11th on the grid. While some wrote off his chances in the race, the Japanese rider proved he can never be counted outoff and fought through the pack to take his third podium in three race weekends.

A second identical finish followed in the red-flagged and re-run short 15-lap race two, in which Kiyo started fourth and finished third. As the chequered flag fell, Kiyonari was right on the back wheel of Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and closing on both him and eventual double race winner Josh Brookes, with just 0.4 seconds separating the three podium finishers. Kiyo also set the fastest lap the race.

Lee Jackson took his first ever points-scoring finish in BSB race one with a remarkable 15th place and was on track for an even more impressive finish in race two where he was up to 10th place, but was denied the chance. When the safety car was deployed, Jackson mistook the red flag with white cross indicating that the car was deployed for a standard red flag, and returned to pit lane. However, due to an oil spill on track, the race was indeed red flagged just moments later.

Jackson was required to start from the back of the grid in 23rd place, but in a hugely impressive feat of riding had managed to get back up to 13th position in the re-started race. However, he lost the front and crashed out at two thirds race distance, unhurt but disappointed not to take a second point-scoring finish.

Lee Jackson said: “The Superstock race was quite exciting. In lap one I was in third place and I thought ‘this is gonna be hard work’ but I wanted to at least be on the podium, especially after last weekend where I went from leading to finish third. I made a few good passes early on and followed Jason O’Halloran to the front. The rear was spinning up a bit at the end, but I managed that move on the last corner and took the win. I want to thank all my sponsors, Stuart and the team, BMW Motorrad and my family for supporting me, I couldn’t do any of this without them – and this is for you.

“The BSB races were a bit of a mixed bag. Race one was good, and I wanted to improve on that, but I came off when I was running well. I don’t really know what happened in that crash, it just got unsettled and the front washed out on me. I made a bit of an error and thought that the red flag was out, but I take responsibility for that. It gave me a lot of work to do, but I’d caught up to the top ten or so… but it didn’t quite work out.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari said: "That was a tough race! I tried so hard to pass Shakey. I almost did it but his braking was a bit stronger than me and he was really wanted to finish in front of me. I had many chances but I just wasn't strong enough or in some places brave enough! I enjoyed the battle with Josh and Shakey in both races and we have all been fighting for wins and podiums again which makes me happy. The Buildbase BMW S 1000 RR is very fast and I will be more aggressive and try even harder at Oulton Park, which is a circuit I like."

Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: “Once again, I couldn’t have asked for more from my riders or my team. Lee Jackson was phenomenal in both classes and gave us our first Superstock race win of the year and what a race it was. He also took a point-scoring finish in BSB, which is fantastic, and despite a couple of setbacks in race two he was knocking on the door of the top ten – on his second ever weekend riding a BSB bike. Kiyonari was on form, he proved just how fast he can be when he’s happy – and with perhaps two more laps extra on that last race, I don’t think anyone would deny that he’d likely have been on the top step.”

The team will be returning to race at Oulton Park next weekend which is a triple-header race, with one on Saturday and two on Sunday.

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

1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)

2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +4.306s

3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +5.058s

4. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +6.039s

5. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +7.616s

6. Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +11.698s

15. Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW Motorrad)

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, race two result:

1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)

2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.204s

3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +0.467s

4. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +3.343s

5. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +7.734s

6. Jon Kirkham (Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki) +8.481s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Thruxton:

1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 261

2. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 179

3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 139

4. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 124

5. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 116

6. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) 116

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

Best weekend to date for Quattro Plant Kawasaki in 2014 BSB season

The Quattro Plant Kawasaki team enjoyed their best weekend to date at round six of the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship at Thruxton with Dan Linfoot scoring his best ever BSB results to move into fifth place overall and team-mate Howie Mainwaring taking his first top ten finish of the year as he continues his comeback from injury.

A brilliant performance in Saturday’s qualifying session saw Dan post a career best third, which placed him on the front row for the first 20-lap race, and he made it count after a brilliant start saw him grab the lead in a BSB race for the very first time. The Yorkshire rider led for the first six laps of the race and although Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne overhauled him on the seventh and ninth laps respectively, he looked on course for a dream debut podium. However, whilst he and Byrne were locked in battle for second a charging Ryuichi Kiyonari caught the pair of them and ultimately relegated Dan to fourth although it was still a career best finish for the 26-year old.

With the fastest lap of the race, another first for Dan, he started the second race from pole position and although he led initially, the race was soon stopped when Tommy Bridewell’s Yamaha ground to a halt. On the re-start, Dan slotted into second Byrne and although he was nudged out of the podium positions in the final third of the race, he stayed consistent until the end to take his second successive fourth place and ensure he completed his best ever BSB weekend. Crucially, the results have moved him to joint fifth in the Championship table to move into one of the coveted top six Showdown places.

Meanwhile, team-mate Howie Mainwaring bounced back well after a troublesome qualifying session left him back in 21st place and after placing tenth in Sunday morning’s warm-up, the Aylesford-based rider was more upbeat for the two races. Although he finished out of the points in 18th in the first race, his tactic of sacrificing the first race for a better second one, paid off as he tore through the field to take a strong ninth place for his first top ten finish of the season, an exc ellent effort by the 27-year old as he continues to get stronger after his pre-season shoulder injury.

Dan Linfoot: “One of the things I’ve wanted most this season has been to run with the top boys and whilst I did that successfully in both races, I’m a bit disappointed now not have taken at least one podium! It’s been a great weekend though and the boys in the team did a great job, giving me a missile of a bike, and I focused really hard to be on the pace from the very first free practice session. At some of the previous rounds, it’s taken me a while to get up to speed so I made a conscious effort to reverse that trend this weekend and it paid off.”

“I was consistent throughout and ticked a lot of boxes this weekend in terms of qualifying on the front row for the first race, leading a BSB race and taking pole position for the second, all for the first time. I’ve taken my best ever finishes this weekend to grab a haul of points to move into the all-important top six Showdown positions so there’s lots of positives to take away and with the next round only a few days away, I want to do all I can to maintain the momentum.”

Howie Mainwaring: “It was a tough weekend initially but I’m really pleased with how it ended and we essentially sacrificed the first race, after a problematical qualifying, to ensure I was in a better position for the second. I chose the SC0 soft tyre for the first race so that I could put a fast lap in and get a better grid spot for the second and that’s how it panned out. I did all I could in the first race although 18th obviously wasn’t where I wanted to finish but I felt really confident and pushed really hard all the way in the second for a really satisfying result. The shoulder’s still a bit sore but it’s slowly getting there and to grab a top ten finish is great and I can head to Oulton with a lot of confidence and optimism.”

Pete Extance, Team Owner: “It’s been a fantastic weekend for the Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki team at our home round with Dan performing brilliantly all weekend. He gave us our first front row of the season for the first race and got an excellent start to lead a BSB race for the first time. Josh and Shakey overtook him but he still looked good for the podium until Kiyo got the better of him. Nevertheless, fourth was still a superb result and he battled really hard in the second trace o serve up a repeat performance. He didn’t lose touch with the Championship’s major players and to move up to joint fifth for the all-important Showdown was the icing on the cake.”

“Howie had a tough job in the first race, starting from the seventh row but he brought the bike home for a finish and significantly moved himself forward for the second race. Indeed, we saw a very different Howie and he rode superbly to finish ninth and make it two Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s in the top ten, also showing his potential for when he’s fully fit. It’s been a great weekend and the team now heads to the triple header next week at Oulton, eager to maintain the momentum for both riders.”

MCE British Superbike Championship Race One – 20 laps

1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

2 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)

3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)

4 Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

5 Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha)

6 Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

18 Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race Two – 15 laps

1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

2 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)

3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)

4 Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

5 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)

6 Jon Kirkham (Kawasaki)

9 Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki)

Championship Points (after six rounds)

1 Byrne 261pts

2 Brookes 179

3 Kiyonari 139

4 Ellison 124

5 Linfoot 116

= Walker 116

22 Mainwaring 12

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


Alastair Seeley took fifth place in today’s 18-lap Supersport race at Thruxton during the sixth round of championship, where the leading quintet were covered by just six tenths of a second.

The Mar-Train Racing pilot headed the pack across the line on four of the scheduled 18 laps and slotted into second, third and fourth places during the race, but team boss Tim Martin was pragmatic in defeat today – praising Seeley for pulling himself back into championship contention after yesterday’s race win and today’s strong finish.

Alastair said afterwards: “It was an enjoyable race and whilst I’m never happy to settle for anything less than a podium, the pace was hot – and not to make excuses – but I did suffer with a lack of grip in the closing stages. We’re right back in the title hunt after the first half of the season and we can head to Oulton next weekend knowing that we’re in good shape. Thanks as always to the whole team for a big effort.”

Tim and wife Sonya enjoying Saturday's victory spoils

Team Principal Tim Martin added: “Today’s race was British Supersport racing at its very best and proves that when you have a quality field you don’t need a showdown to decide the title race – with four riders leading at various times.

“Alastair is a bit disappointed with the result, as we knew he would be, but two weeks’ ago we looked down and out being 50 points off the championship lead. Now we are just four points off the lead, and if anyone would have offered that at the start of the year, I’d have been very happy.

“We head to Oulton in a positive frame of mind and I think most people will be looking forward to seeing the outcome, as the Supersport class really is producing all the action this season.”

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Thruxton, Feature race:

Graeme Gowland (Smiths Triumph)

Luke Mossey (Techcare Profile Triumph) +0.077s

Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph) +0.167s

Luke Jones (Premier Velocity Triumph) +0.390s

Alastair Seeley (MarTrain Yamaha) +0.685s

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings after Thruxton:

1. Graeme Gowland (Triumph) 192

2. Billy McConnell (Triumph) 191

3. Alastair Seeley (MarTrain Racing) 188

4. Luke Jones (Triumph) 152

5. Luke Stapleford (Triumph) 143

More, from a press release issued by Michael Hill Promotions:

Another Front Running Performance By Uribe At Thruxton

Thruxton in Hampshire is traditionally the fastest race on the BSB Motorstar calendar and today’s sixth round was no exception after the rain showers that plagued qualifying on Saturday cleared overnight to leave beautiful sunny skies and warmer temperatures for racing.

Having ridden at the ultra fast venue in 2013 on a 125cc machine, Jayson was confident of continuing his trend of point scoring BSB Motostar finishes aboard his trusted FPW Honda Moto 3 machine and after ending the opening day in an encouraging 6th overall he posted the 5th fastest time in qualifying, securing himself a second row start in the process.

With slipstreaming playing a huge part in previous outcomes at many prior battles at Thruxton, today’s 14 lap race was expected be one of the closest races of the year.

Race day dawned with a final opportunity to make any last minute tweaks and Jayson ended the short morning warm up session in 4th, a mere tenth of a second behind the fastest Moto 3 rider.

When the race started Jayson slotted into 4th at turn one, which he held across the line at the end of lap one despite being pushed back to 5th at the extremely fast Church corner as the gaggle of tightly bunched riders head out on the fastest part of the track.

As in many of this season’s races it was Ed Rendell on his 125cc machine that took the fight to Jayson with the pair swapping places several times a lap and as the leading two opened up a lead at the front courtesy of a spectacular crash by Bradley Ray, Jayson found himself locked together with the English rider once again, part of a five rider fight for the final podium position that raged until the chequered flag.

By half distance the fighting five couldn’t be separated and as expected an exciting final half of the race in front of a huge crowd ensued.

Jayson went into the final chicane for the final time with a great chance of the final podium spot having used his slipstream to great affect but despite trying valiantly on the brakes, unseated himself on the kerb, eventually finishing 6th at the flag. The result is once again testament to the ever increasing race craft that the youngster from California is learning in the UK and importantly today’s result of 4th position within the Moto 3 category, consolidates his overall championship position of 3rd as the championship moves into the second beginning at Oulton Park in Cheshire next weekend.

Jayson Uribe: FPW Moto 3 Honda – “I had a great weekend. We were in the top 5 of the Moto 3 standings all weekend. I had a huge fight for the whole race and ended up 6th overall but I gave it my all. I was the first Moto 3 Honda so to be the first classified Moto 3 Honda is like a win to me. The battle for 3rd lasted for the whole race. Everyone had their moments including me and in the end it was all down to tactics as I knew it would be because of the effect of the slipstreaming here. Unfortunately today my plan didn’t pan out, but I am looking forward to Oulton Park next weekend and giving it my all once again. Thank you to my team, my sponsors and to everyone that came to support me this weekend.”

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

Gowland Wins, McConnell On Podium For Smiths Triumph At Thruxton

The Gloucester-based Smiths Triumph Racing Team endured a roller-coaster of emotions at the sixth round of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at Thruxton but it ended positively with Graeme Gowland taking a win and the championship lead with team-mate Billy McConnell recording yet another podium to sit just one point behind.

After a wet qualifying session on Saturday morning, conditions cleared for the afternoon's 12 lap Sprint race and it proved to be one of the best races of the season so far as Billy, Graeme, Alastair Seeley, Luke Jones and Glenn Irwin battled for the lead throughout. Positions changed at practically every corner with the quintet never more than a second apart but at the chequered flag Australian ace McConnell took second and Graeme fourth as Seeley took the win.

However, the stewards later deemed that Adelaide rider McConnell had overtaken under a yellow flag approaching the chicane on the final lap and he was relegated to fourth with Gowland, from Allandale near Hexham in Northumberland, promoted to third.

It turned the championship standings around and saw Billy lose his title lead for the first time since he'd hit the front at Oulton Park back in May and added further spice to the second Feature race on Sunday, which saw another ferocious battle, this time involving Seeley, Jones, Luke Mossey and the two factory-supported Smiths Triumph Daytona 675Rs once more.

On this occasion it looked like Billy would take the race win as he led approaching the chicane but the slipstream effect came into play once more and it was Graeme who grabbed his fourth victory of the season, ahead of Mossey and McConnell with Seeley back in fifth. The result meant Gowland took the championship lead for the first time, one point ahead of Billy with Seeley three points further back in third meaning all is to play for at next weekend's round at Oulton Park.

Graeme Gowland: "It's been a good weekend and although I made a mistake on the last lap of Saturday's race, which cost me the win, I learnt from it and put it right on Sunday. Grip is always an issue at Thruxton and I thought it was going to be a long race but everything came together and the team have done a great job again so I can't thank them enough. It's great to be leading the championship at the half way point of the season and although it's only a point, it's still a nice feeling given I was 41 points behind Billy a few rounds ago. There's plenty of racing still to go though so we need to keep up the good work."

Billy McConnell: "My head was a bit down after the first race but I took it on the chin and I'm happy enough with how the weekend ended although I thought I'd timed it right to win the second race. I hit the front at a really good time but for some reason, I struggled all weekend through that final sector with the wind buffeting me and there wasn't much I could do about the other boys coming by. The team have worked really hard all weekend and we've scored some good points what with the racing being close, I think we can all expect every race from now until the end of the season to be like that!"

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: "We were confident when we came here that we were going to have the pace to push for the race wins especially with both of the riders feeling good and the bike having moved on so much since we were here in 2013. Qualifying was a bit of a lottery due to the weather whilst race one summed up how the races have been this year although it was a shame it ended with a bit of controversy for us. The incident had to be followed up and it worked both for and against us with one rider moving onto the podium and another dropping off it! Both riders put it behind them and rode their hearts out today and it could have been anyone's race. Graeme bided his time and took a great win and it's great to see him take the championship lead as he deserves it and it could have happened one or two times earlier this season. Billy regrouped well to take another podium and with just one point between them, there's everything to play for and no doubt more nerve wracking moments for the team in the second half of the season!"

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Race One - 12 laps

1 Alastair Seeley (Yamaha)

2 Luke Jones (Triumph)

3 Graeme Gowland (Smiths Racing Triumph)

4 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph)

5 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki)

6 Luke Mossey (Triumph)

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Race Two - 18 laps

1 Graeme Gowland (Smiths Racing Triumph)

2 Luke Mossey (Triumph)

3 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Trimph)

4 Luke Jones (Triumph)

5 Alastair Seeley (Yamaha)

6 Luke Stapleford (Triumph)

Championship Points (after six rounds)

1 Gowland 192pts

2 McConnell 191

3 Seeley 188pts

4 Jones 152

5 Stapleford 143

6 Irwin 138