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Sep 26, 2010

Rutter, Ellison Split British Superbike Doubleheader At Silverstone

British Superbike Race Two winner James Ellison celebrates on the podium at Silverstone.
MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
Penultimate round Silverstone 25/26 September

RUTTER AND ELLISON WIN BUT BROOKES CLOSES ON HILL

Results:

Race one:
1.Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) 24m 05.289s
2.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +1.263s
3.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +5.254s
4.James Ellison (Swan Honda) +12.177s
5.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +12.331s
6.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +23.908s

Race two:
1.James Ellison (Swan Honda) 23m 58.750s
2.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +5.850s
3.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +12.865s
4.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +15.293s
5.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +20.264s
6.Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +22.767s

Championship standings:
1.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 589
2.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 578
3.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 574
4.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 570
5.Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) 546
6.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 529

Report

Michael Rutter and James Ellison took the victories in a rain-lashed penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Silverstone that left the title fight on a knife edge going into the Showdown finale at Oulton Park next month.

Tommy Hill emerged from a difficult weekend at the Northamptonshire Grand Prix circuit retaining the advantage in the title stakes, though Josh Brookes, riding consistently in the difficult conditions to take second and third places, cut his lead by five points to 589-578. Ryuichi Kiyonari, eager to add a third British title to his pedigree, moved within four points of Brookes as the Title Fighters showed their determined qualities.

Brookes, riding the HM Plant Honda, made the early running in the opener, ahead of Michael Laverty on the Relentless Suzuki with Kiyonari third from Rutter but light rain fell with the leaders on their fifth lap, bringing out the red flags.

The re-start, over 10 laps, saw Laverty make a superb start to be running ahead of Brookes, Rutter, Kiyonari and Worx Crescent Suzuki rider Hill. Brookes nosed ahead on the fourth lap, but Laverty quickly hit back in fierce duel but it was Rutter, revelling in the wet, who took both of them on the eighth lap and then pulled out a lead of over a second as he took his second victory of the campaign.

"That couldn't be better for me, making up for the tumble at Croft, though it was very difficult out there as the conditions were changing by the lap it was horrible really, but I will take it," said Rutter though his hopes of completing the daily double were soon dashed in the second race.

Ellison had made a storming start, running well clear of the tangle at Copse on the opening lap in which Laverty, Chris Burns and Loris Baz tumbled. The Swan Honda rider was strong and confident despite the ravages of the weather as he ran clear of Kiyonari with Rutter riding hard, only to slide out of third place at Aintree on the fourth lap.

Hill, who had fought back from a scary moment at the start when his bike swerved out of line, was carving through the pack from ninth on the opening lap. Ahead of him, Brookes took third from Gary Mason, while Hill moved ahead of first Dan Linfoot and then Alastair Seeley to be running in fifth place.

Ellison had pulled out a lead of over five seconds as he took his first victory in five months, since his opening round success at Brands Hatch, showing what might have been but for the broken leg sustained in a crash during practice for the second round. "That was unbelievable, there were so many emotions flashing through my mind as I crossed the line and I got a bit excited," explained Ellison.

Kiyonari took second place from Brookes, Seeley, Hill and Linfoot.

Chris Burns took his Splitlath Aprilia to Mirror.co.uk BSB-EVO class victory in the opening race, finishing ahead of his team-mate Hudson Kennaugh but next time out it was Gary Johnson riding the AIM Suzuki who took the victory ahead of Pauli Pekkanen on the 777RR Motorsport Suzuki. Steve Brogan retains the lead in the title standings, though after a day of a sixth place, and then a tumble from his Jentin BMW that has been cut to just eight points by Kennaugh.

The final round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship will take place at Oulton Park (8/9/10 October) and will be the Showdown decider.




More, from a press release issued by Swan Honda:

SWAN HONDA RETURN TO
WINNING WAYS
AT SILVERSTONE

The Swan Honda team returned to the top step of the podium at Silverstone today for the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as James Ellison took a commanding victory in the second race.

Ellison had just missed out on a podium finish in race one with a strong fourth place, but in the wet conditions in the second outing he led from the start of the race to edge out an impressive 5.8 second lead over second placed Ryuichi Kiyonari. Stuart Easton had a difficult day with a seventeenth finish in race one and retired in race two.

Ellison said: "I can't express the emotions I was feeling, not only in the final laps but also now as it feels like it has been a long time coming. The first race we were losing a bit of grip and we were going to make some changes, but then it rained and we knew we were confident with out wet setting. I went out in race two and just got my groove on and knew from my pit board I had a gap over Kiyo, but I have been so unlucky this season that I was waiting for something like a plane to fall out of the sky and hit me! I knew in the last laps I just needed to hold it together and I got a bit excited on the last lap and nearly threw myself off, but fortunately I saved it and it was such a rush of feelings for me when I crossed the line. I need to thank everybody who has supported me this season and also send special thanks to my crew chief Mick Shanley as he missed the race today as his wife is about to have a baby. I now just want to get to OultonPark!"

Easton said: "It has been a disaster for me today with two non-point scores. In the first race I was battling for sixth and there were five or six riders in the group and then the race was red flagged. I was then struggling in the wet conditions and could only finish 17th which is beyond disappointing. In race two I got caught up in the turn one crash and was then well down the order. I was just regrouping and then my visor misted up and I decided that it was safer to come back into the garage. We go on to OultonPark next though and I have won there on the last two visits so I want to end the season on a high for Swan Honda."

Swan Honda team manager Shaun Muir concluded: "I can't express how happy the whole of the Swan Honda team are feeling at the end of that second race. James put in a faultless performance and he really deserved that win after what has been a tough season with his injury. It feels like it has been a long time coming for him, but he got his head down and got on with the job and showed that had it not been for the crash at Thruxton he would have been a serious title contender. For Stuart it hasn't been the best of weekends, but we now go on to the last round at OultonPark feeling confident that we can challenge for the final three wins of the season and I want to thank everybody who is involved with the team."




More, from a press release issued by Tyco Racing:

Bridewell Salvages Twelfth at Silverstone

Tyco Racing rider Tommy Bridewell endured a difficult meeting as the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship was held at Silverstone in wet conditions.

Aboard the Quay Garage Team Honda CBR1000 Fireblade, 22 year old Bridewell from Etchilhampton near Devizes in Wiltshire suffered a big crash during Friday's second free practice session which substantially damaged the machine and left Bridewell nursing a knee injury and bruised ribs.

After an overnight rebuild, Bridewell battled to a fourth row start in the Swan Combi Roll for Pole and was hopeful of a good result, especially as he'd raced at the track as a World Superbike wild card last month.

Changeable conditions in race one saw Tommy challenging for the top ten when a machine problem ended his bid halfway through the race and as conditions deteriorated in race two, he did well to salvage a twelfth place finish in a shortened race.

The result sees Bridewell drop a place to twelfth in the points table but he'll be hoping to end the season in style at the final round of the series which takes place at Oulton Park in two weeks time.

On a more positive note, it was announced at Silverstone that Bridewell will be part of a two-rider team in the 2011 British Superbike Championship aboard this year's ex-HM Plant Honda Fireblades whereby the team will compete under the Tyco Racing banner.

Tommy Bridewell: "Silverstone hasn't been kind to me this weekend and following my World Superbike rides I was hoping for much better. The crash put us back on Friday and whilst things were OK on Saturday, today has been very tough. The mechanical problem that we had in race one was unfortunate for us and then the conditions in race two meant I couldn't get in a good rhythm so a twelfth place finish was the best I could do. Hopefully we can bounce back at Oulton and end the season in style."

Ian Woollacott, Team Owner: "It's been a tough weekend for us as we had to totally rebuild the bike overnight on Friday and from then on we were playing catch up. That's the first engine problem we've had all year but we changed it for race two and Tommy did the best job he could in those conditions. It's been a hectic weekend what with the Tyco announcement about next season, which we're all excited about so I hope we have a good and safe Oulton Park as we get prepared for 2011. It will be a bit emotional for us, however, as we'll be retiring the "old girl" which has served us so well over the past couple of years."

Results - Race One (10 laps)
1, Michael Rutter (Ducati) 24:05.289s
2, Josh Brookes (Honda) +1.263s
3, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) +5.254s
4, James Ellison (Honda) +12.177s
5, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +12.331s
6, Alastair Seeley (Suzuki) +23.908s
7, Simon Andrews (Kawasaki) +25.628
8, Tommy Hill (Suzuki) +26.984s
9, Chris Walker (Honda) +32.611s
10, Dan Linfoot (Yamaha) +37.179s
DNF - Tommy Bridewell (4 laps)

Results - Race Two (10 laps)
1, James Ellison (Honda) 23:58.750s
2, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +5.850s
3, Josh Brookes (Honda) +12.865s
4, Alastair Seeley (Suzuki) +15.293s
5, Tommy Hill (Suzuki) +20.264
6, Dan Linfoot (Yamaha) +22.767s
7, Gary Mason (Kawasaki) +25.308s
8, Chris Walker (Honda) +27.694s
9, John Laverty (Kawasaki) +28.793s
10, Peter Hickman (Yamaha) +39.165s
12, Tommy Bridewell (Honda - Quay Garage Tyco Racing) +40.248s

Championship Positions (after round 11)
1, Tommy Hill (Suzuki) 589pts
2, Josh Brookes (Honda) 578pts
3, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 574pts
4, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 570pts
5, Michael Rutter (Ducati) 546pts
6, Alastair Seeley (Suzuki) 529pts
12, Tommy Bridewell (Honda - Quay Garage Tyco Racing) 95pts




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

British Superbike title challenger Michael Laverty suffered a day of mixed fortunes at Silverstone during the penultimate round of the 2010 Championship at the weekend.

The Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider took third place in race one, which was re-started due to inclement weather conditions. Laverty had led in the opening laps, but having used the best of his rear Pirelli, he settled for a safe third place, closing the gap on series leader Tommy Hill to just eight points.

Starting race two from second place on the front row of the grid, Laverty took the holeshot in treacherous conditions and was confident of taking his third top step of the year. Unfortunately a questionable loss of traction at turn one caused him to crash. He bravely re-mounted, but the damage to his machine was too great to continue for much more than a few corners.

Despite the incident, Laverty still has a fighting chance of taking the title, just 19 points adrift of top spot with three races remaining.

Michael Laverty:

"I can't say I'm anything other than disappointed: Race one was okay; I led for three quarters of the race but my tyre was finished and I had to settle for third place with the Championship in the back of my mind. When the rain really came down for race two I was feeling confident about pulling off the win. I made the start, got into turn one first, but before I knew it the rear just let go and I was thrown over the top and onto the ground. It's not over yet though as I'm only 19 points down on Tommy with 75 still up for grabs. I will rebound at Oulton and give it everything I have to shoot for the title."

Alastair Seeley regained his composure after a high-speed crash on Friday, coming from his fourth row grid slot in race one to take a fine sixth place. In race two Seeley slowed to miss his fallen team-mate at turn one after a solid start from the second row, narrowly missing out on the podium in fourth place after 10 pulsating laps.

Alastair Seeley:

"It turned out to be a decent enough day for me after my crash on Friday and a bad qualifying. The first race was damp and with a drying track my wet tyres chewed up on both sides and the bike was also spinning in a straight line. Michael highsided in front of me at turn one in race two. I had to sit up and get on the anchors which allowed the others to get away. I had a good race with Tommy Hill, Gary Mason and Josh Brookes but I couldn't find a way round Brookes for a podium spot. After a bit of a moment starting the last lap I decided to bring it home for the points. Thanks must go to my crew for getting the bike ready after the spill on Friday afternoon."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"Racing can be the most emotionally-rewarding sport when it all goes your way but can also be soul-destroying when things happen like today. The difference between Michael leaving Silverstone leading the Championship or leaving with a mountain to climb was down to the smallest of errors. The wet conditions are a bit of a lottery for everyone and these things can happen - I'm sure Michael feels a bit hard done by.

"In saying that we have worked so hard to put Relentless and Suzuki at the top of this Championship and we are not giving up without a fight. We may need to win at Oulton to stand a chance of lifting this Championship and that is exactly what we will try to do.

"Alastair is continuing to learn as the season goes on. After a difficult qualifying with a big crash, he rode in a calculated manner in both races scoring good points. It's a shame about his no-score at Croft or he would still be in with a chance. He now needs to concentrate on achieving some more podium finishes to end a great season on a high.

"Overall, a very disappointing weekend in the Championship hunt, but what we do best is work as a team and we will return even stronger for the final round at Oulton in two weeks time."

British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, race one result:

1. Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati)
2.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +1.263s
3.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +5.254s
4.James Ellison (Swan Honda) +12.177s
5.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +12.331s
6.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +23.908s
7.Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +25.628s
8.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +26.984s
9.Chris Walker (Sorrymate.com SMT Honda) +32.611s
10. Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +37.179s


British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, race two result:

1. James Ellison (Swan Honda)
2.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +5.850s
3.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +12.865s
4.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +15.293s
5.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +20.264s
6.Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +22.767s
7.Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +25.308s
8.Chris Walker (Sorrymate.com SMT Honda) +27.694s
9.John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +28.793s
10.Peter Hickman (Ultimate Racing Yamaha) +39.165s

British Superbike Championship standings:

1. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 589
2.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 578
3.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 574
4.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 570
5.Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) 546
6.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 529




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP Penultimate round Silverstone Arena Grand Prix circuit 26 September

BROOKES AND KIYONARI STRONG IN THE RAIN CLOSE IN ON TITLE

Ryuichi Kiyonari and his HM Plant Honda team-mate Josh Brookes moved closer into contention for the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown with hard riding performances in the weather ravaged penultimate round on the Silverstone Arena Grand Prix circuit.

Their performances however were somewhat overshadowed by Swan Honda rider James Ellison who scored a runaway victory as the rain poured down in the second race. It was an emotional moment for the Cumbrian rider who had not tasted the winner's champagne since his opening round victory fifth months earlier at Brands Hatch Ellison, a pre-season favourite for the crown, had his season wrecked by a broken leg sustained during practice for the second round.

Brookes had made the early running in the opener, running ahead of Michael Laverty and Michael Rutter, but on the fifth lap, rain began to fall and the action was red-flagged. On the re-start, Laverty grabbed the lead from Brookes, Rutter and Kiyonari while Ellison was carving through from eighth.

Brookes twice briefly took the lead before Rutter powered his Ducati ahead on the eighth lap to take his second victory of the campaign, finishing ahead of Brookes, Laverty, Ellisom and Ryonari. Stuart Easton, meanwhile was having a problematic ride, finishing back in seventeenth place on the second Swan Honda.

The start of the second race was delayed by rain and delays brought about by the red-flagged British Supersport race in which Ian Hutchinson, the Padgetts Honda rider who had scored five victories during this year's Isle of Man TT Festival, sustained a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula of his left leg. On the re-start Sam Lowes, riding GNS Honda, took his fifth victory of the campaign and with it the championship.

Ellison made a superb start with Kiyonari in close contention in the early stages as Rutter threatened but his hopes of a daily double ended as he slid out on the fourth lap. Brookes meanwhile overtook Gary Mason to be running third, well down on Kiyonari as Ellison comfortably took the victory.

However Suzuki rider Tommy Hill, with eighth and fifth place finishes, retained the lead in the title stakes, though it was cut by five points, 589-578 over Brookes who moved into second place, four points up on Kiyonari ahead of the triple race final round next month at Oulton Park.

Honda British Superbike rider quotes:

Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda): "The first race started dry and everything was going to plan and I knew we had good pace but then it was red flagged for the rain. When the race was restarted Michael Laverty seemed to have a bit of an advantage and I followed him, but then as the track dried it was Michael Rutter who then seemed faster so I pushed as hard as I could and if I had done any more I would have crashed. I was happy enough to take the second place and the points for the championship, especially after Croft.

"That second race was just crazy; I got away and then Michael Laverty went down in front of me. He was on the ground and his bike was spinning around on the track and I did everything I could just to miss it. That really ruined my train of thought and I then got passed by a whole heap of riders and then had to really fight my way back.
I had trouble getting passed a few of them and then there seemed to be oil down on the track as I nearly crashed about ten times; it would have looked pretty dramatic as I had the bars all crossed up and was lucky to stay on to be honest.
I found the speed in the last laps but it was too much to try and close James and Kiyo by then, but I had luck on my side today and it has put me back up there in the championship now."

Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda): "I am happy with the podium in the second race as I was disappointed to finish fifth in race one. We made some changes with the setting after race one and I felt more confident to push harder, but the conditions were very difficult and I really was trying to close the gap to James which was tough as he was fast. You couldn't lose concentration for one second as you would crash and I knew I had a gap to Josh in third so settled into second as I wasn't going to catch James in the final laps. I am third in the championship now so I need to have the break between rounds and come back for Oulton Park faster and ready to fight for the championship."

James Ellison (Swan Honda): "I can't express the emotions I was feeling, not only in the final laps but also now as it feels like it has been a long time coming. The first race we were losing a bit of grip and we were going to make some changes, but then it rained and we knew we were confident with out wet setting. I went out in race two and just got my groove on and knew from my pit board I had a gap over Kiyo, but I have been so unlucky this season that I was waiting for something like a plane to fall out of the sky and hit me! I knew in the last laps I just needed to hold it together and I got a bit excited on the last lap and nearly threw myself off, but fortunately I saved it and it was such a rush of feelings for me when I crossed the line. I need to thank everybody who has supported me this season and also send special thanks to my crew chief Mick Shanley as he missed the race today as his wife is about to have a baby. I now just want to get to Oulton Park!"

Stuart Easton (Swan Honda): "It has been a disaster for me with two non-point scores. In the first race I was battling for sixth and there were five or six riders in the group and then the race was red flagged. I was then struggling in the wet conditions and could only finish 17th which is beyond disappointing. In race two I got caught up in the turn one crash and was then well down the order. I was just regrouping and then my visor misted up and I decided that it was safer to come back into the garage. We go on to Oulton Park next though and I have won there on the last two visits so I want to end the season on a high."




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

Tommy Hill overcame difficult weather conditions and technical set backs at the penultimate round of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone, to retain his lead in the standings.

The Worx Crescent Suzuki rider rode to eighth and fifth in the two wet races and takes an 11-point lead into the final round of Championship at Oulton Park in two weeks time.

The first race started dry but when rain came it had to be restarted with all riders on wet tyres. Hill in the meantime was struggling with an electrical glitch that shut down his dashboard on his GSX-R1000. Although sorted for the re-run it did, however, prevent the installation of the wet settings in time for the start and he found himself racing in 'damage limitation' mode, finishing eighth.

With the electrical gremlin sorted and riding with his preferred wet setting, Hill had a better second outing, but excess wheelspin off the start line meant he had hard work to do in re-passing several non-Title Fighters and time lost here affected his final position of fifth.

Yukio Kagayama struggled with an imperfect set-up for the first wet race, placing 13th. For the second outing he used a revised setting that was far superior and so for the first part of the race was able to battle with the front-runners. However, he then ran into that perennial wet-weather issue of a fogging visor and with limited vision slipped down the order to finish 14th.

Tommy Hill:

"I'm not over the moon with today's performances but I am happy with the outcome. We had a few setbacks today but the job was to keep a level head throughout, bearing in mind my Championship lead, and not take excessive risks. Consequently it was my rivals who were taking the risks and so suffered the worst misfortune.

"So I'm looking forward to Oulton Park, it's probably my favourite track of the Championship. While not everything went to plan this weekend we did again find podium-pace both in the wet and dry so I'm confident that we have everything we need to fight for the title come the final Showdown."

Yukio Kagayama:

"Not an easy day today. I've had very little wet weather riding this year so my setting for the first race was not perfect. My rear tyre consequently shredded and I had to ride carefully to finish. For the second race we revised the setting and it was much better. For a while I thought I might be able to help Tommy by taking points from his rivals, but my visor misted up and without perfect vision I had to slow."

Jack Valentine:

"I was impressed with Tommy today. He may not have taken a starring role in the races but he had some issues forced upon him and to his credit he never panicked, making sure he brought the bike home, taking as many points as it was safe to do.

"In that second race he showed good pace and if he hadn't been slowed by the battle to pass Dan Linfoot in the early stages he may well have been closer to the front and finished higher than the fifth he ended up with. But again, in very difficult conditions he kept his head and in this race it really paid off.

"Yukio rode better today than his results imply: The conditions were difficult and from his position on the grid it was always going to be hard work. We saw some of the old fighting Yukio in that second race, but with his visor misting we're left to wonder what might have been. Hopefully he'll be able to put together strong performances at Oulton Park.

"So to come away with an 11-point lead in the Championship is fair achievement. Tommy came here without the circuit knowledge of his rivals and we saw through free practice that he gave it his all to break down their advantage. Then when the race day turned treacherous he played a calm game when so many issues could have unsettled him and caused a disaster. For me, this says we've got the right guy for the job come Oulton Park. He has the speed and he has the intelligence - and he's heading into the three most important races of his life!"