Strong Armoy meeting for Martin
Guy Martin warmed up for next week's Ulster Grand Prix in fine style with three top four finishes at the inaugural Armoy Road Race meeting. Held on the outskirts of the town made famous by the legendary 'Armoy Armada' of Joey and Jim Dunlop, Mervyn Robinson and Frank Kennedy, the Hydrex Honda ace posted a best finish of second in the Open race whilst he also enjoyed a rare 250cc outing.
With the track being new to everyone, practice was untimed and the grid decided by championship positions but this time Guy was placed on the back of the first wave for each race, rather than the second wave like at Kells. First up was the Supersport 600cc race and Guy made a steady start to race day with a solid fourth as he used the race to gain valuable track time. In the Open race, a sluggish start saw him stuck mid-pack and by the time he'd overhauled Michael Dunlop, race leader Ryan Farquhar was too far ahead and although he initially reduced the gap, Farquhar responded and Guy had to settle for second 5 seconds adrift.
Guy then took third in the 250cc race, only 3 seconds behind race winner Michael Dunlop and then with a strong start in the Grand Final, he was sitting right on the tail of Farquhar when the red flag came out on the 2nd lap. Sadly, the meeting was subsequently abandoned as the crash that had occurred resulted in a spectator tragically losing his life.
Speaking later Guy said: "First of all, can I express my sympathy to the family and friends of the spectator who sadly got killed today. We all know the risks of road racing, both riders and spectators, but it's put a real dampener on what had been, up until then, a really good day. The course was absolutely mega, one of the best I've ever ridden, and it has without doubt the fastest corner in road racing - quicker than Gorse Lea at the TT, quicker than Budore at the Ulster, quicker than anywhere!"
"I'd go as far as to say it's the manliest course on the calendar and contains a bit of allsorts, which is what road racing's all about, although the back section is really tricky as you have to time the jumps exactly right otherwise you'll land in a field rather than on the track! I really enjoyed the outing on the 250 Honda and even though the old girl was 11 years old I loved it. In the big bike race, I made a mess of the start and then got stuck behind Michael for too long but in the Grand Final, I was right with Ryan and felt really comfortable so who knows what would have happened. I'm really looking forward to the Ulster now so let's hope the weather holds and we all get a good run this year."
The Ulster Grand Prix is Guy's next meeting with the event taking place from August 12-15.
More, from a press release issued by SMT Honda:
Jenkinson takes strong top five finish at Brands
Manchester's Adam Jenkinson flew the SMT Honda flag valiantly at Brands Hatch on Sunday when he took a strong fifth place in Round 8 of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship. With the team being forced out of the Superbike class, it was down to Jenkinson to salvage a result out of the weekend and this he duly did, being in contention for the podium throughout. The result also consolidated his sixth place in the Championship table.
With fine weather at the Kent venue all weekend, Adam got his weekend off to a great start in first qualifying on Friday when a time of 1m30.314s put him in third place and with warmer conditions on Saturday, improving upon that would prove to be difficult. Indeed, only a handful of riders went quicker in the final 25-minute session but Richard Cooper and John McGuinness did and they bumped Adam off the front row and down to fifth and the second row. However, there was little between the three riders and it promised to be a close race.
The first attempt at running the 18-lap race came to an end on the fifth lap due to an accident involving Dan Stewart at Hawthorn Bend and the race was re-run over 12 laps. As Alastair Seeley again disappeared into the distance, a terrific four-man dice ensued for second place with Adam locked in battle with McGuinness, Cooper and Steve Brogan. Looking strong in fourth, Adam moved up to third on the fifth lap as he overtook McGuinness at Stirling's Bend but a lap later he was pushed back to fifth as he ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend, handing the initiative back to his rivals.
There was still little to choose between the four riders but try as he might Adam was unable to make a pass and he was forced to settle for fifth place at the chequered flag. Nevertheless, he was well in contention for the podium and it was his fifth top-6 finish from the seven races he's finished. The 11 points moved him on to a total of 68 and maintained his sixth place overall.
There's now a three-week break before the next round at Cadwell Park with the meeting taking place on Bank Holiday weekend, August 29-31.
More, from a press release issued by Paul Bird Motorsports:
TRIPLE PODIUM SUCCESS FOR PARKES
Paul Bird Motorsport rider Broc Parkes made the most of his guest appearance ride in round eight of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend by recording a hat trick of runner-up placings aboard the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.
Using the event as extra track time in the mid-summer break of the World Superbike Championship which the team is contesting this year, the Australian rider topped Friday's free practice session before qualifying on the front row of the grid for all three of the weekend's races. Making a good start in all of them, Parkes headed the field in the early stages in all three outings before gradually being overhauled by championship leader Leon Camier who denied him a win but nonetheless, the exercise proved beneficial for the www.supercasino.com, Vent-Axia, Kick Energy and Henleys-backed Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team.
Meanwhile, South African team-mate for the weekend Sheridan Morais, deputising for the injured Makoto Tamada, endured a weekend of mixed fortunes and despite crashing during qualifying he also started all three races from the front row of the grid. After a huge crash in the opening race on Saturday, which saw Morais emerge uninjured, he bounced back in Sunday's two races with a pair of top ten positions amidst some of Britain's best racers.
Broc Parkes: "I was not sure what pace to expect coming into the BSB this weekend as there are a number of top teams and riders this year and the performance at Brno was on an entirely different type of circuit to Brands. However the improvements made recently are really starting to show returns and the bike was the best it has been all year. I was able to battle with the factory Yamaha for the first time and really pushed them all weekend. It was a great result for the team and for Paul Bird to return to BSB and secure three podiums will hopefully address some of the disappointment we all had from Donington."
Sheridan Morais: "I'd have liked to have been a lot further up in all of the races but the big crash we had on Saturday hindered our progress and I only had the one bike left so it was important to bring it home without any further problems. It's been fantastic working with the team once again and I'd like to thank them for the opportunity which has hopefully helped them progress and achieve some better results for the remainder of the year."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "We intended this weekend to be an opportunity to test and confirm many of the recent changes to the bike and the three-race format gave us a great opportunity to try a number of new settings. We expected tough competition and knew we would need to be at the top of our game to get a result but we have to be encouraged by the way the Kawasaki performed around a very technical circuit. Overall, we've made excellent progress and great to be on the rostrum against a number of factory teams."
Paul Bird, Team Owner: ''I think it's been a successful weekend and Broc proved just how competitive our bikes can be and I'm pleased with a hat trick of second places. It's also helped our development and we can now hit the ground running for the remainder of the season. You can't fault Sheridan for his enthusiasm and the couple of big crashes he had is just one of those things. It set him back a little but he bounced back in typical fashion to record a couple of better results on Sunday. It's been a great weekend for our team and I'd like to thank Jonathan Palmer and Stuart Higgs for the opportunity to demonstrate the Kawasaki's potential in the competitive arena of British Superbikes. We came along to add a bit of variety to the show and hopefully we did that so we'd like to be classed as 'The Entertainers' this weekend as I think we did just that!"
Results Race 1 (Saturday)
Broc Parkes 2nd
Sheridan Morais DNF
1, Leon Camier (Yamaha)
2, Broc Parkes (PBM Kawasaki)
3, Stuart Easton (Honda)
4, Karl Muggeridge (Honda)
5, Tommy Hill (Suzuki)
6, James Ellison (Yamaha)
7, John Laverty (Kawasaki)
8, Karl Harris (Honda)
9, Chris Walker (Yamaha)
10, Julien Da Costa (Kawasaki)
Results Race 2
Broc Parkes 2nd
Sheridan Morais 10th
1, Leon Camier (Yamaha)
2, Broc Parkes (PBM Kawasaki)
3, Stuart Easton (Honda)
4, Tommy Hill (Suzuki)
5, James Ellison (Yamaha)
6, Karl Harris (Honda)
7, Karl Muggeridge (Honda)
8, Steve Brogan (Honda)
9, Graeme Gowland (Yamaha)
10, Sheridan Morais (PBM Kawasaki)
Results Race 3
Broc Parkes 2nd
Sheridan Morais 8th
1, Leon Camier (Yamaha)
2, Broc Parkes (PBM Kawasaki)
3, James Ellison (Yamaha)
4, Stuart Easton (Honda)
5, John Laverty (Kawasaki)
6, Karl Muggeridge (Honda)
7, Tommy Hill (Suzuki)
8, Sheridan Morais (PBM Kawasaki)
9, Ian Lowry (Suzuki)
10, Michael Rutter (Kawasaki)
More, from a press release issued by Team Naturally Best:
BRANDS HATCH DISAPPOINTMENT FOR BRIDEWELL
Team NB Suzuki rider Tommy Bridewell's hopes of continuing his recent good run of results in the MCE British Superbike Championship ended with disappointment in round eight of the series at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Following on from victories at Snetterton and Knockhill and his podium success at Mallory Park last time out, Bridewell was hoping to celebrate his 21st birthday in style but a series of problems with the traction control system hindered his progress throughout practice.
In Saturday's first race the rider from Etchilhampton, near Devizes in Wiltshire overcame his problems and was running second in the mirror.co.uk Cup class when an electrical problem forced him out in the later stages but any hopes he had of making amends in race two were scuppered when a blown engine forced him out of another potential podium position late in the race and it also meant he couldn't contest the third and final race of the weekend.
Speaking afterwards, a disappointed Tommy said: "We've had problems with the electronics all weekend and it's been extremely frustrating to have ended with two non finishes and a blown engine. The whole point of me being here this year is to put myself in the shop window and by not finishing races it doesn't allow me to do that. We now have to go away and see exactly what the situation is and hopefully we can get everything sorted out in time for Cadwell as I really do feel I'm riding well enough to be challenging a lot further up the field than I have been this weekend."
The next round takes place at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire over the Bank Holiday weekend (29th-31st August).
More, from a press release issued by Steve Plater's publicist:
Despite completing his race in third place, Steve Plater sees his series lead diminish further and now holds a slender advantage of just eight points over Billy McConnell after round eight of the Fuchs/Silkolene British Supersport championship at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Qualifying was marred by a crash in each of the two sessions but the Woodhall Spa ace overcame his problems and qualified the HM Plant Honda Supersport machine in fifth place for a second row start to Sunday's 18 lap affair.
He said: "I crashed in both qualifying sessions so that prevented me from getting my full session in and I have to make a start from row two. To be honest fifth is actually better than third or fourth as I am right behind the pole setter and if I can get a good start I will be happy enough. Despite the two mistakes resulting in the crashes, my race pace is good whereas some of the others have fired off one fast lap to gain a good grid position and perhaps cannot keep up the pace throughout the race. Westy (James Westmoreland) appears to be the guy to beat as he has been in a class of his own all weekend so I realise its going to be a tough old race."
As the race finally got underway Steve didn't get the start he was hoping for but was left battling for position with a gaggle of riders in eighth place. But as he settled into his race he began to make progress, taking the opportunity to make a pass on each of the riders ahead until he made it up into second position to chase the race leader and eventual winner, James Westmoreland.
But his progress was hindered when the pace car was deployed to allow medics to treat an injured rider who crashed at Hawthorne on lap nine.
This allowed the rest of the field to close up again and once the car left the circuit the race was on, with a hoard of seven riders all chasing the leaders. Plater held off the persistent challenges of Billy McConnell who was the one rider he needed to keep at bay but on the final lap McConnell managed to make a pass at Hawthorne which he held to the chequered flag. Plater crossed the finish line a fraction of a second adrift for third place but in doing so handed McConnell an extra four championship points and saw his series lead reduce to just eight points.
"I just got pipped by Billy on the last lap which was not really what I needed. Before the pace car came out I had a good gap between myself in second and Ben Wilson in third. But unfortunately the pace car allowed them to make up the deficit. After the car went back in I got my head down but it wasn't enough and I knew that someone was very close to me on the last lap and that he would be attacking but wasn't quite sure where. Its just one of those things but it's a bit frustrating when I had done all the hard work to get through to second and was chasing after the leader and then got beat on the last lap. Billy has gained a few points on me but at least Ben Wilson hasn't as he finished behind me so we can go forward and push on to Cadwell and see what happens there."
The next round is at Cadwell Park, just a few miles from the HM Plant Honda base at Louth and racing takes place on August Bank Holiday Monday when Plater will be cheered on by his vast army of local fans, family and friends and will striving for a top result to increase his series lead.
More, from a press release issued by Tom Tunstall Racing:
Tunstall Takes Triple Podium
Hardinge Doodson Motorsport racer Tom Tunstall had a weekend to remember taking three podium finishes as the British Superbike Championship made history holding three races over a weekend for the first time.
The legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit staged the eighth round of this year's British Superbike Championship and for the first time in the championships illustrious history three races were scheduled for the Superbike class.
With free practice, qualifying and race one all held on the Saturday it was a hectic time for the teams. The Huddersfield based Hardinge Doodson Motorsport outfit performed well qualifying 17th on the grid, 3rd of the Superbike Cup contenders, right behind series leaders Gary Mason & Peter Hickman.
Taking place in the late afternoon sun, the 18-lap race proved to be a successful foray for Tunstall as he followed Gary Mason and Martin Jessop home in third place to claim his 5th podium of the season.
Sunshine baked the 2.3mile Kent track once again on Sunday, as the 28 riders took to the grid for the second outing.
In an eventful 20-lap race, which included the safety car being deployed on lap five, Tunstall sliced through to third on the final lap after passing Peter Hickman on the brakes into the ultra fast Hawthorne Bend.
"It's great to be on the podium again... As the race went on the bike was vibrating more and more but I was determined to get third. It's my first double podium of the year and I'll be trying hard to make it three in a row!" The vibration was later traced to the rear tyre which had spun on the wheel rim.
Race three saw Tunstall put in another strong performance. Scything past Hickman on lap six, and sweeping past both Atsushi Wantanabe and Chris Burns on lap 10 - setting the fastest lap on the way.
Tunstall latched onto the back of second placed Jessop but was unable to find a way past crossing the line only half a second behind the fellow Honda rider, and only a handful of seconds behind Cup winner Mason.
After climbing off the podium Tunstall commented:
"I worked very hard for that one...
"It's frustrating not to have got 2nd as it was so close and I proved I had the pace with the fastest lap. But I'm really pleased to have got three rostrums, I love the track I'd be happy to have four races here!
"It has been a busy weekend though and the team have worked really hard, done a great job and they deserve this champagne too"
The next rounds of the British Superbike Championships take place in just under three weeks time at Cadwell Park over the August Bank Holiday weekend 29th-31st.
More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:
Hayes and Bostrom Win Heavyweight Superstock WERA Endurance Race on Pirelli
Rome, Georgia: Professional road racers Josh Hayes and Ben Bostrom teamed up with Sam Gaige and team M3 Racing at the WERA Cycle Jam at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), winning the Heavyweight Superstock class in the 4-Hour WERA National Endurance Series race on a Yamaha YZF R-1, outfitted with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa DOT race tires.
Gaige, of Rochester, New York, said, "Mark Rozema, Melissa Paris' mechanic set this whole thing in motion and I thought that Melissa and Josh were going to share the riding with me. Everyone but me knew that Ben was showing up to ride but I had no idea until I came in from practice and he was standing in our paddock area. Ben came over to me and said 'Hi, Sam. Do you mind if I ride with you guys?' They had set me up; it was pretty funny.
"It was a great experience. My R-1 isn't at all like the ones they race but that didn't matter to them. We did this just for fun and it's the first time I've done a WERA National Endurance race. It was all a last-minute deal. So we didn't have any expectations beyond just having a good time. It was amazing watching those guys ride. Josh is really hard on the brakes and we wore through a set of pads during the race because of that. Ben has a completely different style. But we only used one Pirelli SC3-compound front tire for the entire race, and three rears."
M3 Racing is managed by Sam Gaige and Mike Cerone, whose son Michael III is the basis for the team's name. The team's owner is Mike's mother, known simply as Moms. Gaige said, "She's the best. And personally I also need to thank my lovely wife, my 12-week-old baby, and our two Chihuahuas."
The endurance race at VIR was held on Friday, in 90-degree heat and 90% humidity. Hayes started for the team, Bostrom rode second with Gaige taking the third stint, and Hayes climbed back on the bike to ride out the clock to the finish line. Doing the crew choirs for M3 Racing were Jeff, Bret, Ryan, Rob, and Blake, plus team photographer Jeff Kovack. The Pirelli race tires were handled by regional race vendor Rick Koger, though M3 racing is regularly supported by Rich Cronrath. To learn more about the racing successes of team M3 Racing, log onto: www.m3roadracing.com.
Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets, as well as marketing tires for motorcycles and race cars. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli's Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit: www.us.pirellimoto.com.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:
The Worx Crescent Suzuki team experienced the highs and lows of racing today at Brands Hatch as Tommy Hill battled hard to secure a 4-7 scorecard on this the second day of racing on the Grand Prix circuit.
After placing fifth in yesterday's first race there was a real sense of push to make the podium, however continued grip issues meant this didn't come.
In the first race, Hill put together another strong performance, holding fifth early on before pushing hard in the latter stages to overcome Karl Harris for fourth and then close in on Stuart Easton to finish barely a second off the podium; it was another case of needing just a few more laps. However, in the final race of the weekend, it all went away from Hill as he suffered grip issues right from the start. Despite grabbing third into the first turn, he struggled to make the lap times he'd made in the earlier races and so dropped back to finish seventh.
"This wasn't the worst day, but it wasn't the best either. We made progress in the first race today and being so close to getting the podium really fired me up for that second race. But right from the start I knew it wasn't to be as I'd lost a load of feeling in the front. I knuckled down and I really didn't want to lose places but it was a very difficult race. Definitely, these are not the results we come racing for."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"We were happy with the race one performance today. Tommy made his best time of the weekend and despite still struggling for grip we made progress.
"The momentum didn't carry, though. We made some small changes for that second race but they shouldn't have had the effect we saw. We'll have to make a detailed analysis of the data now and see what's needed to improve. We're a team that expect to challenge for top three, so a result like this is a setback.
"We are all the same very pleased with Tommy's work-rate; he works well with the team and in that first race we again got so close to the podium. So it's a matter of more hard work on all our parts to be ready for the next round at Cadwell Park at the end of the month."
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World Superbike) +4.534s
3. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +7.775s
4. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +8.713s
5. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +10.072s
6. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +12.688s
7. Karl Muggeridge (HM Plant Honda) +15.025s
8. Steve Brogan (HM Plant Honda) +16.575s
9. Graeme Gowland (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +19.466s
10. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki World Superbike) +19.561s
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World Superbike) +2.272s
3. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +11.587s
4. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +13.884s
5. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +21.338s
6. Karl Muggeridge (HM Plant Honda) +21.395s
7. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +21.891s
8. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki World Superbike)
9. Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +26.534s
10. Michael Rutter (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +27.405s
More, from a press release issued by Hydrex Honda:
Strong weekend at Brands for Hydrex Honda
Round eight 8/9 August Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli
Hydrex Honda enjoyed a strong weekend at Brands Hatch with some fine results in the first ever 'triple-header' British Superbike Championship meeting. Stuart Easton led the way with a brace of thirds whilst Karl Harris fought illness to score some valuable points and ensure the team left the Kent venue with third and fourth positions in the Championship table.
The duo were strong throughout the slightly shorter practice sessions and in qualifying Harris took fourth for a front row position and it was only a mechanical problem in the final part of qualifying that stopped Easton joining him. He had to settle for tenth and a third row start.
In the first race, the first ever BSB race to be held on a Saturday, Easton made a brilliant start to move up to 6th and by lap 5 he'd moved up to third. There was little to choose between the leading 3 riders of Leon Camier, Broc Parkes and Easton but as the race wore on the championship leader and World Superbike rider edged away and Stuart settled for a strong third. Team-mate Harris suffered the opposite kind of start and dropped back outside of the top ten but he fought hard and was rewarded with eighth at the chequered flag.
Sunday's opening race saw another brilliant start from Easton and he was already up to third at the end of the first lap whilst Harris made a clean getaway this time and slotted in behind him. The riders maintained station right up until the 17th of 20 laps when Tommy Hill found a way past Karl at Hawthorn Bend. Stuart was comfortable in third for the second successive race and clawed more points back on Championship runner up James Ellison who relegated Karl to sixth two laps from the end.
In the final race, Camier and Parkes again set a ferocious pace and Stuart found himself battling with Ellison for much of the race until the Yamaha rider pulled away in the closing stages. Easton had to settle for fourth on this occasion although the three results meant he took 8 points off Ellison in the race for second in the Championship. Meanwhile, Harris, who had been suffering from a viral infection all weekend, saw his energy reserves completely eaten up and he slipped back from an initial seventh to 14th at the chequered flag.
Talking later, team boss Shaun Muir said: "With two 3rd's and a 4th, I've got to be happy with Stuart's results Leon and Broc were clearly quicker than anyone else this weekend so to finish behind them is no disgrace and I think he proved he was the best of the rest. He's struggling slightly with grip off the corners and we made a slight chassis change for the third race to try and give us that last little bit, which, sadly, didn't quite work as he would have liked and with James getting quicker all weekend, fourth was the end result. Nevertheless, Stuart took 8 points off James over the three races so we're still fighting hard for second place overall."
"For Karl, there was a lot of hard work for little reward. He'd been pretty ill all weekend yet dug deep and we saw a bit of the old Karl in qualifying when he took fourth for a front row start. In the races though, the viral infection he's been suffering with really hurt him and he just ran out of strength and energy in each race. He hung in there as best he could but the strong heat here this weekend didn't help his cause and he slipped back. However, he took three points-scoring finishes and those results have allowed us to take 3rd and 4th overall in the Championship, which is very pleasing."
"It's been the first BSB weekend with three races and I think it's been a very successful weekend. It's been challenging for the team but they worked hard throughout and we'll take the results forward with us to Cadwell and hope to maintain the momentum."
The next round of the British Superbike Championship takes place at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire with the meeting taking place on the weekend of August 29-31.
1 Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2 Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World Superbike Team) +1.901ss
3 Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +11.495s
8 Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +21.033s
1 Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2 Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World Superbike Team) +4.534s
3 Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +7.775s
6 Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +12.688s
1 Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2 Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World Superbike Team) +2.272s
3 James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +11.587s
4 Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +13.884s
14 Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +39.247s
Championship standings (after 8 rounds)
1 Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 374.5pts
2 James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) 261pts
3 Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) 218pts
4 Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) 111.5pts
More, from a press release issued by John McGuinness' publicist:
McGuinness excels again with superb third place
John McGuinness' excellent short circuit form showed no signs of slowing down at the weekend when he took third place in Round 8 of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship. The Padgetts Honda ace was never out of the top five at Brands Hatch all weekend and the third place, his third podium of the year, moved him up to 4th place overall in the Championship table.
The Morecambe rider signalled his intentions for the weekend right from the very off when he placed third in Friday's free practice session and although he slipped back to fifth in first qualifying he was confident of getting on to the front row in the final 25-minute session. Not many riders went quicker in the warmer conditions of early Saturday afternnon but John did and a time 1m30.229s put him back up to fourth place and on the inside of the front row.
With perfect conditions on race day, John made a great start and slotted into second at the beginning of the 18-lap race but the red flag came out on lap 5 after a crash involving John's good friend Dan Stewart, the Cumbrian sustaining a broken leg in the high-speed fall. The race was re-started over 12 laps and John repeated his perfect start to again lie in second at the completion of the first lap. Whilst race and championship leader Alastair Seeley disappeared into the distance, John fought hard with team-mate Steve Brogan, Richard Cooper and Adam Jenkinson for the final two podium places with the battle going right down to the wire.
Positions changed hands on numerous occasions with John yo-yoing between 2nd and 4th places, never dropping lower than that, and although he looked like he was going to make a move on Brogan at any stage, he ultimately ran out of overtaking options and had to settle for third at the end of the hard fought 12 laps, just 0.203s behind his fellow Padgetts Honda rider.
Speaking later, it was a happy John who said: "I'm really enjoying my racing this season and it's so pleasing to be fighting it out at the head of the field. I felt good all weekend and we didn't have to make many changes to the bike, the set-up was excellent and I could just concentrate on racing. I got a great start in both parts of the race and felt stronger than Steve in a number of places but he was really strong on the brakes and it would have been too risky to try anything."
"It's another podium and that's three for the season now so I'm aiming to do more of the same in the final four rounds - if I can get up to 3rd in the Championship that would be great for the team. Like I say, I'm really enjoying my racing at the moment and we're seeing that in the results - there's still plenty of life in the old dog yet!"
John now reverts back to road racing mode as he makes his way to Northern Ireland for the Ulster Grand Prix, the meeting taking place on the high-speed Dundrod circuit from August 12-15.
More, from a press release issued by Ryan Farquhar's publicist:
Farquhar claims a hat-trick at Armoy
Ryan Farquhar took 3 more victories on Saturday when he claimed the Open, Supersport and Supertwins races at the inaugural Armoy Road Races. Home to the famous 'Armoy Armada, Ryan also claimed the lap record in each, to move on to 52 wins for the season with the results also seeing him clinch the Irish Road Race and Ulster Road Race Championships for each class. In addition, he clinched the Duke Road Race Championship but his joy was overshadowed by a tragic accident in the final Grand Final race that claimed the life of a spectator.
With the 3-mile circuit brand new to all competitors, practice was untimed and grid positions determined by Championship position with the Supersport 600cc race kicking things off. The 5-lap race saw Ryan lead from start to finish for his first win of the day and he immediately followed this up with another dominant performance in the Open race. With the fastest lap of the day, 107.897mph, he was able to take the chequred flag by five seconds once more.
Ryan was then due to have another 250cc outing but with a few spots of rain in the air, he opted to take out his Supertwin instead and he finished in a remarkable fifth place! Using the same machine he then blitzed the opposition in the Supertwins race by almost 20 seconds to complete his hat-trick leaving just the Grand Final to go. Ryan led Guy Martin going into the second lap but the race was stopped due to the aforementioned accident, which happened further back in the pack, and the meeting was subsequently abandoned.
Speaking later, Ryan said: "It took a while to get dialled in to the circuit but I followed both Guy and William Dunlop in practice and was able to suss a few lines out so I went away in the evening and really did my homework on how to tackle the course. The left hander after the start and finish is without doubt the fastest corner in road racing - on the big bikes we were going through there flat out in top at about 170mph - and it's a great course to ride. There's a bit of work needed to improve the course further but the club did a great job and it was a very well run meeting. All the riders were made to feel very welcome and even when you were racing you could feel the atmosphere in the village. With all the history of the Armoy Armada it's been a very special day."
"I was really impressed with the circuit and it's definitely one of my favourites out of all the ones we visit. It had been a really good day up until the Grand Final and the accident that happened really marred the day and meeting so my deepest sympathies go out to all the family and friends of the person who lost their life. Up until then I'd taken 3 wins and 3 lap records and the day was going perfectly. I'd got the lead in the Grand Final and with Guy right on my back wheel it was shaping up to be a great race but we'll obviously never know what would have happened. Three more wins for the season is great and to have clinched all the Championships at this stage of the season is simply superb."
Ryan now turns his attention to the Ulster Grand Prix, where he will be hoping his superb National form carries over to the International stage with the meeting taking place on the famous Dundrod circuit from August 12-15.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:
Alastair Seeley's phenomenal run of success continued yesterday in the British National Superstock 1000cc class, taking his eighth consecutive victory for Relentless Suzuki on the 2009 GSX-R1000 at Brands Hatch in Kent.
Seeley's display of dominance started in the opening free practice session and the Carrickfergus man was never headed in any of the qualifying sessions all weekend. In the two-part race that produced two red flags, Seeley led both in prolific style; setting a new Superstock lap record in the first outing; and actually dipping under the European Superstock record by almost a second.
Seeley now leads the National Superstock 1000cc Championship by 53 points with four races remaining on the 2009 calendar.
In the British Superbike Championship, an out-of-sorts Ian Lowry kept the best to last with a battling performance in Sunday's second outing, coming from 18th on the grid to take ninth place at the chequered flag. Lowry also posted a brace of 12th-placed finishes in races one and two, and the Moira man's bravery has pushed him up to sixth place in the Championship standings.
Atsu Watanabe, who was working on a number of new settings over the weekend on his GSX-R1000 Superbike, scored points in race two and eventually finishing 15th.
"I had nothing left in that last race; I was actually seeing double on the last lap. I did get into the mid 27s in race three which was faster than the likes of Tommy Hill and Karl Muggeridge in front of me, but it's hard to come through from 18th on the grid. I must thank everyone in the team this weekend, as they have been very supporting, knowing that I wasn't well. We now have a three-week break so I need to go home and get myself sorted out. We are up to sixth in the Championship and with the strength of the 2009 GSX-R1000; fourth place is certainly not out of our reach."
"Philip and I made a plan this weekend: to check out when the tyres were at their best and that's what I did in the first part of the race. I'm not sure if it will stand, but we posted a 1:28.6s lap that would have been good enough for top 15 in the Superbike class. In the second part I just made sure I was smooth on the throttle and hit every apex. My GSX-R1000 was awesome this weekend again and very stable all around the Brands Hatch circuit. We're closing in on the Championship and we also have a healthy lead at the top of the table, so yes I'm pleased."
Philip Neill - Team Principal:
"That was another phenomenal display from Alastair on the 2009 GSX-R1000. The bike actually looked like it was on rails all weekend. It is almost surreal to still be unbeaten in the class, but Alastair's level of professionalism and focus, to his credit, is at an all time high. It is unrealistic to expect him to remain unbeaten all year and now that we are entering the final run in, winning the Championship is our main priority.
"Ian's results in the opening two BSB races were a little under power from what we have come to expect from the series' top rookie, but given that he was battling with a heavy flu, his race three results was a brave and gutsy display. He showed great maturity and it was very pleasing to see him dig deep for a top ten result. His lap times got consistently better all weekend and he has firmly established himself as the top rookie in the series. We must now ensure he is 100% healthy and in top physical conditions for the remaining rounds of the season.
"Atsu was experimenting all weekend with different settings that will prove beneficial to both Suzuki and our team in the long term, but to his credit he did improve his lap times at Brands over the weekend. He must now keep moving forward in the final few races."
British Superbike Championship points: 1 Leon Camier [Yamaha] 374.5 points; 2 James Ellison [Yamaha] 261; 3 Stuart Easton [Honda] 218; 4 Karl Harris [Honda] 111.5; 5 Glen Richards [Honda] 103; 6 Ian Lowry [Relentless Suzuki] 101.
National 1000cc Superstock: 1 Alastair Seeley [Relentless Suzuki] 200 points; 2 Steve Brogan [Honda] 147; 3 Richard Cooper [Yamaha] 101; 4 John McGuinness [Honda] 83; 5 Luke Quigley [Honda] 81; 6 Adam Jenkinson [Honda] 68.
More, from a press release issued by Marietta Motorsports:
Marietta Motorsports Racing Represents Well With Team Effort at VIR
Marietta, GA - August 10, 2009 - Marietta Motorsports was well represented at Virginia International Raceway with top finishes during WERA's Cycle Jam National Challenge and Sportsman Series. Four riders racing under the Marietta Motorsports banner dominated classes with experienced experts, and novices including a "special guest" provisional novice racing his first weekend.
Lee Acree had a difficult start to the weekend with crashes on both his RoadRacingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R1000 and his Marietta Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R750 in the WERA Sportsman Series races on Saturday. He recovered overnight and came back to finish on the box in 750 Superstock, 5th in Open Superstock and 6th in Formula 1 for the National Challenge races. "Tough weekend with two falls," Acree said from home. "Both bikes were working well and I look forward to getting things repaired and certainly look forward to our next weekend!"
Chris "Opie" Caylor pushed his Dunlops to their limit Saturday and Sunday with wins in B Superbike and 750 Superbike aboard his Marietta Motorsports' tuned Suzuki GSX-R750. Caylor had great battles with other WERA regulars for near-on-the-box finishes in several other classes throughout the weekend. "This was my first National event this year," said Caylor while driving home. "I sincerely thank sponsors like Komodo, Dunlop and VP Fuels allowing me some personal time while my daughter was born and accepting the position as the Service Manager of Marietta Motorsports. I'm thrilled to be back on the track and battling with national experts!"
During his first weekend ever at VIR, Trever Townsend led charge for trophies in the novice classes with multiple first place finishes in the Sportsman Series and National Challenge races aboard his JD Cycle Shed Suzuki GSX-R750. Sean Clarke, General Manager of WERA was quoted on their website saying "Trever Townsend is not being nice to the other novices" in regards to a race that Townsend went on to win by over 30 seconds! "I wouldn't be racing without Marietta Motorsports and JD Cycle Shed," said Townsend "and of course my riding coach Opie Caylor; especially coming to a track I've never seen."
Chad Kagy is normally competing in freestyle and big-air competitions around the world on his BMX bicycle, but he's becoming extremely comfortable with road racing his Pirelli shod Yamaha R6. Coming straight from the X-Games, Provisional Novice Kagy had a great weekend in his first sanctioned race, finishing 8th after starting from the second to the last row! "I didn't know completely what to expect but Opie and Trever helped me tremendously throughout the weekend. Pitting with Marietta Motorsports was huge! Opie helped Trever and I learn areas of the track where we were having problems, immediately lowering our laptimes safely and doing it the right way," reported Kagy after the weekend.
Marietta Motorsports, located in Marietta, GA is a dealer-alternative, maintenance and performance shop specializing in building and tuning late model street and roadrace motorcycles throughout the Southeast.
More, from a press release issued by Conor Cummins' publicist:
Cummins maintains top eight finishing run at Brands
Conor Cummins maintained his strong run of top eight finishes for Team Blackhorse Yamaha in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship when he took eighth place at Brands Hatch on Sunday. Competing in round 8 of the series, the Manxman was in the top ten throughout the weekend and he was rewarded with 8 more Championship points to maintain his ninth place overall in the title table.
After placing ninth in the solitary free practice session on Friday, Conor took two seconds off his time in that afternoon's opening qualifying session and a lap of 1m31.048s saw him jump up seventh place on the provisional grid, less than a tenth of a second adrift off sixth-placed Luke Quigley. Like many other riders, Conor was unable to improve his time during Saturday's second and final session, which was held in significantly higher temperatures but Howie Mainwaring and Sam Warren did manage it and they pushed Conor back to ninth, which meant he would start on the outside of the third row.
However, the outside of the third row meant he would have the ideal line into the first corner, Paddock Hill Bend, and Conor took full advantage jumping up to fifth as they swept round the daunting downhill corner. He was pushed back to sixth a lap later by Adam Jenkinson but on lap 5 the red flag was out and the race stopped, a crash involving Dan Stewart meaning a premature halt to proceedings. When the race did re-start it was cut from its original 18 laps down to 12.
Once again though, Conor made a great start and at the completion of the first 2.3-mile lap, he occupied sixth position. The front five riders proved to have slightly higher pace than Conor and he found himself embroiled in a superb five-man dice for sixth with positions changing on each and every lap. At the end of lap 8, two-thirds race distance, Conor was in eighth place with everything still to play for but the red flag came out once more as another crash saw the trackside safety barriers dislodged. With the safety of the riders paramount, the race was stopped and the result subsequently declared at 8 laps with Conor's 8 points moving him on to a Championship total of 49 points.
The next round of the Superstock series takes place at Cadwell Park on Bank Holiday Monday, August 31st but, prior to that, Conor's next meeting will see him go up against team boss Ian Lougher once more, as he competes for McAdoo Kawasaki at this week's Ulster Grand Prix, the final International road race of the 2009 season.