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Oct 10, 2011

More From This Past Weekend's Various Races

Alastair Seeley (34) leads the British Supersport race Sunday at Brands Hatch.
Brands Hatch Frustration For Russo And Hunt

The final round of the Metzeler National 600cc and 1000cc Superstock Championships ended in disappointment for AP Kawasaki at Brands Hatch at the weekend with both Freddie Russo and Leon Hunt unable to add any points to their championship totals. Third team member Michael Booth was unable to ride due to the injuries he sustained at the previous round at Silverstone.

After taking a good seventh place in qualifying, Russo was up to sixth on lap two of the Superstock 600cc race only for a five-rider pile-up to bring out the pace car and eventually the red flag. Re-started over just six laps, Freddie made a solid start and swept through the first corner in seventh place but that would be as good as it got for the Brentford rider as, just two corners later, he was taken out by another rider at Surtees, a disappointing end to what had looked like being a good weekend. Uninjured in the fall, it meant he ended the year in eighth place overall in the championship table.

There was further disappointment for the team in the Superstock 1000cc category when a crash on the start and finish straight brought out the red flag on just the second lap. Brighton rider Hunt, who had been fastest in the damp morning warm-up session, was in 11th place at the time and looking good for a top ten finish but outside factors prevented him from getting a good result.

Freddie Russo: "I didn't do myself any favours this weekend with a poor qualifying performance but I still felt good coming into the race having finished second here earlier in the year. We had the pace to get a good result but some desperate riding by another rider put paid to that. I've no idea what he was thinking as there was no room at all for a pass, there couldn't have been more than a foot between myself and the inside kerb, yet he still came flying up the inside and knocked me clean off. I trust all the riders on the grid but this was just plain stupid and whilst I was settling into the race, it was just a desperate move and it totally ruined our weekend."

Leon Hunt: "I had a few problems in practice and qualifying with the gearbox but I felt like I was riding well and morning warm up in the damp confirmed that. The bike was 100% for the race and although I made a poor start, I put in some good passes on the first lap to be on the edge of the top ten so it was all looking good. I felt confident but the crashes and red flag ended our chances so it wasn't a good way to end the season but I hope all the riders involved are ok."

Alan Greig: "It's certainly not the way we would have liked to have ended the year but it's been up and down throughout and plenty for us to build on. Michael was unable to ride due to the injuries picked up at Silverstone and once again, Leon qualified well only for something totally out of his control to prevent him from getting the good result he deserved. Freddie was taken out by a ridiculous overtaking manoeuvre so it hasn't been a good weekend.

"It's all about 2012 now though and making plans for next year. It's exciting times for us regarding the riders and level of support we expect to have so we're looking forward to getting it all finalised and hopefully, all announced at the NEC in November. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the team for their hard work and commitment, the riders for all their efforts and to all the sponsors as without their support, we wouldn't be competing at this level and in this arena."

Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (6 laps)
1 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki) 9m23.228s
2 Ben Burke (Yamaha) +2.874s
3 Deane Brown (Yamaha) +3.164s
4 James East (Yamaha) +3.222s
5 Bjorn Estment (Yamaha) +5.976s
6 Andrew Reid (Suzuki) +6.177s
7 Connor Behan (Kawasaki) +6.224s
8 Cody Nally (Kawasaki) +6.483s
9 Niall Campbell (Yamaha) +13.883s
10 Tom Fisher (Kawasaki) +15.019s
DNF Freddie Russo (AP Kawasaki)

Metzeler Superstock 600cc Final Championship positions (after 12 rounds)
1 Farmer 202 pts
2 Irwin 154
3 Behan 128
4 Brown 127
5 Burke 108
6 East 105
8 Russo 95

Metzeler Superstock 1000cc Final Championship Positions (after 12 rounds)
1 Cooper 190.5 pts
2 Buchan 144
3 Quigley 130
4 Palmer 116
5 Mainwaring 104
6 Jenkinson 93.5
15 Booth 28
21 Hunt 13

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Alastair Seeley and Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing are the 2011 British Supersport champions. It's the third British title in seven seasons for the Northern Ireland based team and undoubtedly the closest finish ever recorded in the class. After 24 races this season, Seeley secured the title by just one point yesterday at Brands Hatch during the final round of 2011.

The Ulsterman entered Sunday's races 11 points down on main rival Ben Wilson and had it all to do after crashing out of the action on Saturday. In the opening encounter in patchy conditions Seeley tip-toed his way to second place and with Wilson fourth, the gap was reduced to just four points.

Starting the final race from the front row Seeley's game plan was to take the race to Ben Wilson, and with both men having accumulated nine wins apiece in the season long duel the large Brands Hatch crowd were always going to be guaranteed a grandstand finish.

Wilson led the early exchanges, but once Seeley got to the front there was only going to be one winner, taking the chequered flag for his 10th victory of the season and putting the all new GSX-R600 top of the pile. The Suzuki rider also took two fastest laps during the weekend and set a new outright track lap record for the Supersport class around the Brands Hatch GP circuit.

Alastair Seeley:

"That's the season over and the British Championship wrapped up. Philip and Hector gave me a job to do for the team this year and the new GSX-R600 was an awesome package just out of the crate. It's an amazing achievement for me, for the team and all the sponsors involved. It's been great racing with Ben all year; very exciting and I'm sure it made good TV for the fans.

"We didn't give each other an inch all year. I'm on top of the world after the win and after a small party tonight it'll be time to get ready for the Sunflower then a break out in Australia.

"When I heard the rain coming down on Sunday morning I knew I was being thrown a lifeline. I had to be smart in that first race and although I had a couple of moments I brought it home safe in second place. In the last race Ben tried to make a break but I managed to stay with him and found out where I was faster, then with the pace we were running all weekend I knew I could break him.

"When I got to the front and saw my board creeping up and up I got into the comfort zone. I was able to run my own lines and hit every apex, so yeah brilliant to take my second Championship with the team and I'd like to thank everyone for their effort this year."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"It was a very eventful season and we have to be extremely pleased to have won the British Supersport title with the new GSX-R600 in its first year. Normally new bikes don't win championships but we have a good team of boys behind us and obviously Alastair Seeley is the final ingredient. He showed us again how great a racing brain he has even though he made it a bit difficult for himself with one small mistake on Saturday.

"I think it was fitting there was only one point between him and Ben at the end, as Ben has also had a fantastic year. We're just very pleased to come out on top. It's very much a team effort and I'd like to thank all the guys in my team for all the hard work this season and obviously Suzuki, Relentless and all our other loyal partners for their continued support."

British Supersport Championship Sunday race one result:

1: Jack Kennedy (Colin Appleyard/ Macadam Racing Yamaha)
2: Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.157s
3: Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) +2.399s
4: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +4.230s
5: Paul Young (Oxford TAG Triumph) +6.714s

British Supersport Championship final race:

1: Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS)
2: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.384s
3: Jack Kennedy (Colin Appleyard/Macadam Racing Yamaha) +5.585s
4: Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) +5.773s
5: Luke Stapleford (Profile Bournemouth Kawasaki) +13.041s

Final British Supersport Championship standings:

1 Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 450
2 Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 449
3 Billy McConnell (Oxford TAG Triumph) 254
4 Paul Young (Oxford TAG Triumph) 237
5 Sam Warren (Seton Interceptor Yamaha) 191
6 Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) 191

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Josh Brookes took two pole positions and the fastest two-wheel lap ever recorded from his weekend at the Brands Hatch GP circuit on his way to securing fifth place in the 2011 British Superbike Championship yesterday.

After taking second place in Saturday's first of three races, Brookes unfortunately crashed out of Sunday's opener whilst challenging for the victory at Paddock Hill in less than perfect conditions. This gave him a sixth-row grid position for the final race of the year, but the Australian excelled on the opening lap making up 10 places.

From there he posted fastest lap after fastest lap to get in amongst the fight for second place, but after pushing so hard in the early stages to make up lost ground, he'd unfortunately used the best of his tyre, eventually finishing sixth.

Josh Brookes:

"In that first race I was full of confidence knowing that I was starting from pole position. We've had an awesome weekend as far as lap times and the pace is concerned, but like a similar pattern to the rest of the year, luck just hasn't been on our side. If that first race had just stayed wet? I love it in the wet as much as I do in the dry, but it didn't stay wet and it wasn't exactly dry either and I caught one water patch in the middle of Paddock Hill bend.

"The spooky thing is I fell off running second at the first round of the year and also in the last race of the year here at Brands - both times chasing Shakey at Paddock Hill. This time I didn't go up so high and just slid off the low side! I damaged the bike pretty bad as it usually does and the last thing the guys want to be doing at the last round is working on motorbikes, but full credit to them. The bike was mint and exactly as it has been all weekend for the final race.

"I had to start from 21st on the grid, so I just put the hat backwards and went as hard as I could. I bridged the gap but by the time I got to the leading group I'd worked that hard my tyre was shot to pieces.

"I was able to pass Michael Laverty and thought I was going to keep going, but I was riding as hard as I could and started to lose ground in certain areas and Michael ended up getting back by me as well. It's a tough way to end the season but I've enjoyed it all the way. Whilst we're putting on a good show and the crowd are cheering for us, it takes all the riders to do that and I think I played my part. I certainly enjoyed racing it this year. Thanks to everyone in the team for their support and also our sponsors."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"Josh has shown signs of brilliance again this year and confirms without doubt that he has the pedigree to win the British Championship. It also proves the pedigree of the TAS Racing GSX-R1000. It would have been nice to come home with a race win and we probably should have won on Saturday, but Michael Laverty did a great job holding Josh off.

"One small error on a damp track on Sunday in the first race was unfortunate and we wouldn't criticise him for that in tough conditions. The new rules didn't allow him a lap time for a decent grid positions, but to ride from 21st to sixth place was one of the highlights of the season for Josh.

"Thanks to every one of the boys in the team and also to Josh. They have all done a great job this year and thanks to our sponsors: Suzuki, Relentless, Worx, Beacon, Motul, Red Torpedo and our trade partners for their support. We wouldn't be here without them and we can now look forward to the Sunflower Trophy in two weeks' time."

British Superbike Championship race two:

1: Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda)
2: Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +1.150s
3: James Ellison ( Honda) +11.994s
4: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +12.825s
5: Chris Walker (Pr1mo Racing Kawasaki) +23.993s
6: Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +27.829s
7: Tommy Bridewell (Motorpoint Yamaha) +29.403s
8: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +40.713s
9: Dan Linfoot (Tyco Honda) +46.981s
10:Karl Harris (Splitlath Aprilia) +49.918s
DNF: Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS)

British Superbike Championship final race:

1: Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda)
2: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +4.434s
3: John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +4.440s
4: James Ellison ( Honda) +4.679s
5: Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +4.782s
6: Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +5.785s
7: Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +12.253s
8: Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +15.963s
9: Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +16.130s
10: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +24.203s

Final British Superbike Championship standings:

1 Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 647
2 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 645
3 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 625
4 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 601
5 Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 598
6 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 526

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Swan Yamaha celebrate BSB Championship title win at Brands Hatch

Tommy Hill snatched his maiden MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship title following a sensational performance in yesterday's final race of the year to beat title rival John Hopkins to the line by just 0.006 seconds and be crowned champion with a two point advantage at the end of the season. Hill also claimed the 2011 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Speedy Fastest lap award at the season showdown.

In Saturday's opening race of the weekend at the final round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch Michael Laverty celebrated his third victory of the season as Tommy Hill just missed out on a podium finish. Laverty took the lead on the opening lap which he held until the chequered flag. Hill had dropped to sixth at the end of the opening lap but a determined performance saw him fight his way through to fourth before he challenged championship leader John Hopkins for the final podium position. Hill had edged ahead on the final lap but Hopkins took the advantage to the line.

Hill missed out on a podium again in yesterday's second race of the weekend which he completed in fourth place and just two points separating him from title rival Hopkins ahead of the last race of the year. In the final race the pair swapped places five times on the final lap, which would decide the outcome of the title. Hill narrowly crossed the line ahead to secure second and with it a maiden championship title for the team.

Michael Laverty was caught out by the drying conditions in the second race but in the season finale he was embroiled in the fight for the final podium positions before ending the race in fifth place. Laverty ended the season fourth in the standings for the Swan Yamaha team.

Thanks to Swan Yamaha rider's impressive display of racing yet again this weekend, Yamaha have claimed the 2011 MCE Insurance British Superbike Manufacturer's title award holding a 13 point lead.

Tommy Hill
Swan Yamaha Team - 2011 BSB Champion
"I am gobsmacked to have won the title for Swan Yamaha; this has been my goal and I was trying to stay as relaxed as possible in that final race. The season has put a lot of pressure on everyone and that reflects on everyone. We have been regularly finishing in the top three and that has therefore been the benchmark and the whole of the Swan Yamaha team have been working so hard all year to make this possible. It has just been a complete shock for me and I feel like we should be having another race next weekend now! It wasn't until the other riders started congratulating me that I even realised I had won as it was so close between myself and Hopper. It has been a long hard season and it came down to that one race. Everyone wanted a Showdown and that is what we have given them; it really was make or break time and I knew I had to do everything possible to beat Hopper. I knew Michael (Laverty) was behind me, but then when I knew it was Josh (Brookes) I had to just go for it. Coming across the line we didn't know who had finished second and with it the title. At the moment I feel like I need someone to punch me or something to bring me back to reality. I just want to go out and race again now! I just want to celebrate now with my family, friends and the whole of the Swan Yamaha team and I need to thank everyone for their support this season."

Michael Laverty
Swan Yamaha Team
"Today has been a great result for the Swan Yamaha team and congratulations have to go to Tommy for winning the title. I rode my hardest to try and protect him and the rest of the hard work he did himself. There is a lot of satisfaction for the team tonight but at the same time I am disappointed that we were not able to come away as the champion. We have been fast all season long and we showed again yesterday with the win that we have the pace. It has been a great year and I need to thank the Swan Yamaha team for all their support."

Shaun Muir - Swan Yamaha Team Owner
"We delivered everything we set out to achieve at the start of the season although we have made life difficult along the way! It didn't start the best for Tommy this weekend but he couldn't have done more in that race. Big thanks also have to go to Michael for his support in the final race as he did a great job of acting as Tommy's wingman. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors, partners and supporters who have made this possible."

More, from a press release issued by CN Racing:

CN Racing dominate at season finale

With all eyes on the British Superbike title fight, the massive Brands Hatch crowds were treated to more than their fair share of top quality racing over the weekend. And the Superstock 600 race was to be no exception.

With second place in the Metzeler Superstock 600 championship still up for grabs, both team and rider knew exactly what was needed to end the season on a high.

Acutely aware that in racing, nothing stands still, the team's ongoing commitment to improving Glenn Irwin's Kawasaki ZX-6R was taken right to the last round, using Friday's test session on the Indy circuit to test a new K-Tech DDS rear shock.

From very early on it became clear that Irwin had the pace to take the win, dominating the qualifying sessions and finishing on pole position over half a second ahead of the rest of the field.

The race started in tricky conditions with several damp patches catching out the unfortunate on the opening laps while Irwin disappeared into a comfortable lead. With more and more riders succumbing to the conditions, the race was red-flagged.

Irwin grabbed the holeshot again in the restart and to all intents and purposes cruised to his third win of the year and second in the championship. Since joining CN Racing in August, Glenn has scored an incredible 90 points from a possible 125, despite crashing out at Cadwell Park.

In the Superstock 1000 class, having made improvements to the ZX-10R after a slipping clutch robbed Taylor Knapp of a decent grid position, Knapp was denied the opportunity to best his recent top five performances with the podium he and the team so richly deserved when the race was cancelled due to a major incident on the Brabham Straight involving Freddie Pett and John Crockford. The team's thoughts are with John and his family and wish him all the best for a full and speedy recovery.

While the British Championship season is now officially over, more hard work for the enthusiastic team has already started as CN Racing now head to Portugal to take part in the final round of the European Superstock Championships, ran as support races to the World Superbike Championship this coming weekend.

Up against some of the best young riders in the world, both Irwin and Knapp have their work cut out to prove their skills on a track neither have visited before but head off to this week with high hopes of a great end to what has been an exciting and successful debut season for CN Racing.

Glenn Irwin, Metzeler National Superstock 600, #2

"The weekend couldn't really have gone any better. The team gave me the perfect bike this weekend; all I had to do was ride it! I knew I could win this weekend and that's the way I wanted to finish the season. I knew I could have played it safe and just made sure I finished ahead of Connor Behan but that's not really the way I work if I went slower I'd have probably started making mistakes and risked crashing. As it was, the bike felt brilliant with the K-Tech suspension and Dwayne and the boys made a brilliant job of setting it up they really did make my life easy! I'm really excited about racing at Portimao this weekend I've never been before but from what I've heard from other riders and seen on the TV it should suit the way I ride. I'll be cramming in plenty of revision on the Playstation in the meantime!"

Taylor Knapp, Metzeler National Superstock 1000, #4

"Man, that was a tough weekend. In qualifying I felt like I was riding really good but was just banging my head against the wall with the lap times we later realised that we had an intermittent fault with the clutch slipping off some of the higher torque turns and it was costing us in speed down the straightaways. The race was looking good and I got away well and knew I could get through to the front I quite like the greasy conditions so for a while it was looking good. When the race was red-flagged I knew it was a big incident I just hope that everyone's okay. The organisers did what they had to do and I respect that but it's a bitter pill to swallow I just hope I can bring some success to the team next weekend at Portimao they really deserve it."

Dwayne McCracken, CN Racing Crew Chief

"What can I say about Glenn? Pole, fastest lap and the race win the gentlemen's set. I can't really ask for any more than that, he's just been phenomenal. Taylor had a few issues with the bike which were unfortunate and I'm a little disappointed that we couldn't give him what he needed in qualifying as it turns out it's all academic and while I'm disappointed that the race was cancelled I can understand the organiser's decision to do so. I'm really proud of how the team have worked together this year and the results we've achieved in such a short space of time is fantastic. We're all ready for the long trip south to Portimao this weekend and hope to end the year on a real high."

Julia Taylor, Team Manager

"A great end to the season with everyone in the team working together for a common goal. Both Glenn and Taylor have settled into our team brilliantly and it's been a pleasure working with them. Same goes for the rest of the team there's a real sense of harmony and professionalism in this team and it's great that the riders have been able to reward them with such solid results. We're looking forward to testing ourselves against the best in Europe before knuckling down in preparation for a full season in 2012 when we intend to carry on where we've left off."

Metzeler Superstock 1000 Championship

Round 12 (Red flagged race cancelled)

Metzeler Superstock 600 Championship

Round 12 (Reduced for restart to 6 laps)

1 Glenn Irwin (CN Racing Kawasaki) 9:23.228
2 Ben Burke (Yamaha) +2.874
3 Deane Brown (Yamaha) +3.164
4 James East (Yamaha) +3.222
5 Bjorn Estment (Yamaha) +5.976
6 Andy Reid (Suzuki) +6.177
7 Connor Behan (Kawasaki) +6.224
8 Cody Nally (Kawasaki) +6.483
9 Niall Campbell (Yamaha) 13.883
10 Tom Fisher (Kawasaki) +15.019

Metzeler Superstock 600
Final championship standings

1. Keith Farmer 202 - 2011 Superstock Champion
2. Glenn Irwin 154
3. Connor Behan 128
4. Deane Brown 127
5. Ben Burke 108
6. James East 105
7. Johnny Blackshaw 96
8. Freddie Russo 95
9. Josh Wainwright 80
10. Cody Nally 66

The next outing for the CN Racing team will be at Portimao, Portugal for the final rounds of the European Superstock 1000 and 600 Championships over the weekend of the 14th-16th of October.

For more information or for hi-resolution images of the CN Racing team in action, contact or log on to
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