Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Apr 15, 2018

British Superbike Race Two Results From Brands Hatch (Updated)

The start of a British Superbike race at Brands Hatch. Photo courtesy of MotorSport Vision Racing.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, England

April 15, 2018

Race Two Results (wet conditions, all on Pirelli tires):

1. Leon Haslam, UK (Kawasaki), 22 laps, Total Race Time 19:41.564, Best Lap Time 52.730

2. Glenn Irwin, UK (Ducati), -0.367 second, 52.807

3. Michael Laverty, UK (BMW), -0.598, 52.791

4. Shane Byrne, UK (Ducati), -7.733 seconds, 53.022

5. Josh Brookes, Australia (Yamaha), -12.808, 53.254

6. Christian Iddon, UK (BMW), -13.570, 53.622

7. Bradley Ray, UK (Suzuki), -14.263, 53.666

8. Tommy Bridewell, UK (Suzuki), -15.248, 53.516

9. Tarran Mackenzie, UK (Yamaha), -15.307, 53.446

10. Carl Phillips, UK (Kawasaki), -23.240, 53.733

11. James Ellison, UK (Yamaha), -23.982, 53.847

12. Danny Buchan, UK (Kawasaki), -24.242, 53.733

13. Luke Mossey, UK (Kawasaki), -24.570, 53.629

14. Peter Hickman, UK (BMW), -25.474, 54.040

15. Taylor Mackenzie, UK (Ducati), -25.646, 53.898

16. Jakub Smrz, Czech Republic (BMW), -25.894, 53.866

17. Gino Rea, UK (Suzuki), -49.501, 54.188

18. Mason Law, UK (Kawasaki), -54.669, 54.696

19. Sylvain Barrier, France (BMW), -1 lap, 55.847

20. Kyle Ryde, UK (Yamaha), -1 lap, 55.764

21. Shaun Winfield, UK (Yamaha), -1 lap, 56.429

22. Jake Dixon, UK (Kawasaki), -6 laps, DNF, 52.749

23. Jason O'Halloran, UK (Honda), -11 laps, DNF, 57.638

24. Richard Cooper, UK (Suzuki), -16 laps, DNF, 53.762

Championship Point Standings (after 4 of 26 races):

1. Ray, 79 points

2. Byrne, 69

3. Haslam, 65

4. Irwin, 48

5. Laverty, 36

6. Iddon, 33

7. O'Halloran, 32

8. Dan Linfoot, 29

9. TIE, Mossey/Buchan, 24

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

Byrne and Haslam share the victories in hectic Brands Hatch races

Three different winners have already celebrated victory in the opening four races of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship as defending champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and fierce title rival Leon Haslam shared the wins in a hectic second round at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent.

Home hero Byrne had been gunning to return to the top step after 20-year-old Bradley Ray completed a double victory at the season opener. The Be Wiser Ducati rider started alongside him on the grid, and the six-time champion became embroiled in a race-long battle with his local rival in the opening clash of the day.

Ray had produced a lightning start off the line to lead Byrne and Haslam on the opening lap as the Buildbase Suzuki rider led the freight train of riders. The leading pair was soon edging ahead at the front of the pack as the local heroes battled for race one supremacy.

Meanwhile Haslam in third place was coming under fire from the chasing trio of Jason O'Halloran, Christian Iddon and Michael Laverty, who had all been locked in a grudge match to close the gap on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider in third place.

O’Halloran was able to make a decisive move to edge into third place on lap 14 and the Honda Racing contender held off a counter attack from Haslam in the closing stages with Iddon completing the top five for Tyco BMW.

Jake Dixon moved his way up the order to sixth position, just ahead of Glenn Irwin and Laverty, who dropped to eighth in the closing stages of the race with Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman completing the top ten.

However race two saw the JG Speedfit Kawasaki celebrate their first victory of the season with Haslam, as the ‘Pocket Rocket’ mastered the damp conditions to become the third different race winner, holding off the attack from Irwin and Laverty to have the edge by just 0.367s at the chequered flag.

Ray had taken the advantage at the start of the race, leading the field into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time ahead of Haslam, Dixon, Byrne and Iddon, but the race was red flagged on the seventh lap when rain began to fall.

On the restart Haslam took the advantage off the line from Richard Cooper and Iddon with Dixon in close contention.

It wasn’t long before Haslam and Cooper began to trade blows as the pair continued to swap places in their quest to remain at the head of the field.

By lap three Cooper was ahead and Haslam wasn’t giving in, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider was soon under attack from Dixon, who moved ahead before the ‘Pocket Rocket’ repaid the move.

Cooper’s race ended prematurely as he crashed out at Clearways on the seventh lap, ending his hopes of making amends for his race one slide off.

At the front Haslam had the lead, but Laverty closed in and made a move with a dive down the inside into Paddock Hill Bend on the ninth lap to take the advantage for Tyco BMW.

Dixon was fighting to move up the order, but the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider crashed out unhurt at Graham Hill Bend.

Laverty had the edge, but Irwin was closing in and moved ahead of Haslam. Irwin made a decisive pass at Druids to capture the lead on with two laps to go, but on the final lap he had a moment which gave Haslam the momentum he needed to move into the lead at Surtees and hold off his Be Wiser Ducati rival to the finish line with Laverty claiming third place, to become the fifth different podium finisher of the season.

Byrne had to settle for fourth ahead of Josh Brookes, who had a resurgent race two for McAMS Yamaha as he forced his way ahead of Iddon and championship leader Ray in the closing stages of the race.

Tommy Bridewell held off rookie Tarran Mackenzie who scored his first top ten finish in ninth place ahead of another rookie, Carl Phillips on the Gearlink Kawasaki.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race One result:

1.Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2.Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.837s

3.Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.412s

4.Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +2.863s

5.Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.101s

6.Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +6.673s

7.Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +7.521s

8.Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +8.037s

9.Tommy Bridewell ( Halsall Racing Suzuki) +8.247s

10.Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.383s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race two result:

1.Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

2.Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.367s

3.Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.598s

4.Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +7.733s

5.Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +12.808s

6.Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +13.570s

7.Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +14.263s

8.Tommy Bridewell ( Halsall Racing Suzuki) +15.248s

9.Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +15.307s

10.Carl Phillips (Gearlink Kawasaki) +23.240s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch:

1.Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 79

2.Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 69

3.Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 65

4.Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 48

5.Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 36

6.Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 33

The next round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship take place at Oulton Park on May 5/6/7. For more information visit

Shane Byrne

(Be Wiser Ducati)

Race one winner

"Bradley did such a good job in the beginning of race one. I wanted to have a little bit of a battle with him and for us two to have some fun out front. I was looking at my pit board and could see that he and I were pulling away from the rest of the pack and after maybe 15 or 20 laps I thought ‘should I go now?’

"There was one point on the track where he was particularly strong and I didn’t want it to be a last lap lunge at the last corner so he couldn’t get back past but at the same time I didn’t want to give him too many opportunities to have a stab back at me.

"So when he made his mistake at Paddock I pounced, promptly followed by making a mistake at probably my strongest corner on the track and losing the rear. He did such a good job to be honest that all I had to do was hang on to him without trying to use too much of my tyres and I think towards the end there I was definitely in a slightly stronger position.

"I’m happy with the win – the first win of the year – and he’s been a bit greedy so far! It was a great race. He did a good job and made my race a lot easier."

Leon Haslam

(JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

Race two winner

"The rain helped in race two but it’s no secret I’ve not always had the best of results here on the Indy circuit, so the fourth place in race one for me I was quite happy with it. Normally I wouldn’t be, but the pace wasn’t too bad and it was one of those where it was really hard to make passes.

"We made some good changes to the bike and I was running second before the red flag and I think I got the fastest lap up to that point so the changes did work, so for me we’ve learnt quite a lot in the dry which is nice.

"And the rain, to be honest with you we just threw a setting in that we thought might work and it was just about feel and pushing and waiting for someone to brake and then I braked a little bit later.

"It was one of those races that you kind-of never wanted to end so it was so much fun and I had a real good battle with these guys and to make it pay off on that last lap, sometimes it doesn’t work out in your favour so a big thanks to Kawasaki and well done to these guys as well and we’ll move on to Oulton Park."

More, from a press release issued by Be Wiser Ducati:

 Byrne Wins And Irwin On Podium At Brands Hatch

Round two of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship proved productive for the Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team who enjoyed a pair of strong results at Brands Hatch today with reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne taking his first win of the season in race one and team-mate Glenn Irwin then taking second place in race two.

The Kent venue saw dry conditions for the opening 30-lap race, and six-times champion Byrne made a strong getaway off the line on the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R to tuck in behind early race leader Bradley Ray and the duo remained nose to tail for the majority of the race. Going into the closing stages, Sittingbourne-based Londoner Byrne was ready to make his move and duly grabbed the lead at Paddock Hill Bend on the penultimate lap from where he hung on to take his 85th BSB career victory.

Irwin, meanwhile, put in a strong ride to claim seventh following a poor start which saw the Carrickfergus rider back to 12th on the first lap but steadily moved forward during the race and was duly rewarded with nine championship points for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team.

With Shakey on the front row for the second 30-lap encounter and Glenn in seventh, the team was confident of another strong showing but it was only six laps old before the red flag came out due to rain. Restarted over the shorter distance of 22 laps and in wet conditions, both riders were part of a six-rider group battling for the lead in the early stages of the race.

Byrne slipped back to fourth as the race progressed, but Irwin continued to dispute the lead with Leon Haslam, Michael Laverty and Jake Dixon. Positions between them changed regularly and although Irwin led on the penultimate lap, he ultimately had to settle for second place.

Nevertheless, Irwin’s first podium of the season, along with his earlier seventh place, have moved him up into fourth overall in the championship table with Byrne remaining in second but having closed the gap to Ray to just ten points.

Shane Byrne: “Overall, it’s been a good weekend with a good haul of points and the first race couldn’t have gone any better. Brad and I pulled a bit of a gap over the rest of the field and I had a plan for the closing stages but when he ran wide, I took advantage. I saw the job through though and it was great to get the first win of the season. The conditions for race two were far from ideal and I lost a bit of ground so with a good gap behind me, I settled for a solid fourth. With a first and a fourth place, it hasn’t been a bad day and with Glenn getting a podium too, it’s been a good day for the team.”

Glenn Irwin: “I’ve felt strong all weekend, regardless of the conditions, and whilst seventh in race one was a good result given my starting position on the grid, I knew it could have been so much better. I felt comfortable running at the front in race two and perhaps showed Leon my hand too early, but he was getting a lot more drive out of the corners than me. I gave everything I had, and we’ve improved a lot this weekend, with both the bike and myself so fourth overall after two rounds is a good start and I know there’s still a lot more to come.”

Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-Ordinator: “We were hoping for silverware this weekend and that’s what we got so it’s been a good weekend for the team. It was a shame we couldn’t get both riders onto the podium in race two but with Shakey getting his first win of the season and Glenn his first podium, we can’t complain. It’s early days but we’re sitting in second and fourth overall in the table and picking up some good points and podium credits so it’s all going the right way. Everyone’s in one piece and we can go to our local circuit, Oulton Park, next in a good frame of mind.”

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

Top Ten For Hickman At Brands Hatch

The Smiths Racing BMW team endured another tough weekend at round two of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with Peter Hickman’s tenth place in the opening race at Brands Hatch being their best result.

With mixed conditions during free practice on Friday, Saturday saw warm, dry weather and the team were heading in the right direction as Peter set his quickest ever lap of the Indy circuit during qualifying aboard his Smiths Racing BMW1000RR. His lap of 45.502s was only half a second off pole position but such was the closeness of the field, this was only good enough for 14th on the grid for today’s opening 30-lap race. Team-mate Sylvain Barrier fared even worse and, after a couple of spills, a time of 46.469s left him down in 22nd place.

Race day saw dry but cooler weather at the Kent venue and in race one, both riders maintained good pace throughout and although Frenchman Barrier couldn’t move into the points, crossing the line in 20th, Hickman made some good overtaking moves to claim tenth at the flag for six more championship points.

The 31 year old from Louth started the second race from tenth and was up to eighth when it was stopped on lap seven due to rain. Restarted over the shorter distance of 22 laps and in damp conditions, Hickman initially ran in eighth place but the longer the race went on, the more he struggled and slipped back to an eventual 14th place and two points which leaves him in an unfamiliar 15th overall after the first two rounds.

Former FIM European Superstock 1000 Champion Barrier also struggled to find a good rhythm in the wet but 19th place ensured he completed both races as he continues to adapt to both the Bennetts BSB series and the British circuits.

Peter Hickman: “It’s been another frustrating weekend and whilst our race pace is strong, I just can’t qualify for some reason and it’s really affecting my results in the races as I’m giving myself too much work to do. In the first race, I struggled in the early laps but eventually got into a good rhythm and tenth place was at least points on the board. The changes we made in between races made the bike loads better and I was feeling really good in the early laps before the rain came. I’m usually strong in the wet but no matter what we do, we can’t find a good setting with the bike in the wet conditions. It’s really frustrating and the results aren’t anywhere near where I should be, so we’ll continue to keep working hard and I’m sure we’ll be rewarded for our efforts soon.”

Sylvain Barrier: “Again we have had a tough weekend and my crashes didn’t help with my confidence, so my plan was to bring the bike home for a safe finish in both races this weekend. Conditions in race two were difficult but we managed to do what we planned, and we hope for better results at the next round. Thanks to the team for their hard work once again.”

Darren Jones, Team Co-ordinator: “The weekend started positively and Peter’s pace in the dry was very competitive, but we did ourselves no favours with a lowly qualifying performance. His race pace was very good and the changes we made were a definite step in the right direction and had it not been for the rain, I’m sure the end result would have reflected that. In the restart, things were going OK but the heavier the rain, the worse it got so we need to get our heads together to find a setting where we are struggling. Sylvain has suffered a lot of bad luck this weekend and with him already being on a steep learning curve to the British series and tracks, I think the crashes dented his confidence a bit. We told him to simply go out in the races, get more and more used to the bike and start enjoying riding again. Hopefully, the two finishes today will help, and we’ll be going testing between now and the next round with a view to getting both riders more comfortable and able to challenge more strongly.”

More, from a press release issued by Honda UK Racing:


Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran took his first Bennetts British Superbike Championship podium of the year in race one at Brands Hatch Indy this weekend, aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Lining up on the grid in eighth place The O’Show had a flying start as the lights went out, moving immediately into fifth place. Making strong passes throughout the 30-lap race and moving the Fireblade into the front pack, O’Halloran took third place by mid-race distance, holding onto the spot and crossing the line to celebrate his first podium of 2018.

Starting the second race from the second row of the grid the Aussie was run wide into the first corner, but having made some decisive passes, it wasn’t long until he was running fifth. The race was red flagged on lap seven with rain starting to fall, and a gamble by O’Halloran and the team saw the restart with an intermediate rear tyre. With heavier rain falling and O’Halloran struggling with grip the race ended early for Honda Racing.

Meanwhile teammate Dan Linfoot was forced to miss the races due to an injury picked up in FP2 on Friday. The Yorkshireman crashed out of the practice session sustaining a fracture to his C6 vertebrae. Having been released from hospital today, Linfoot will see a specialist this week. It is likely he’ll miss the next round at Oulton Park, with a plan to return to his Fireblade at the fourth round at Snetterton in June.

The Honda team will now prepare for an official test at Oulton Park on 26 April, ahead of the third round of the championship at the Cheshire circuit on 5-7 May.


Jason O'Halloran

Race one was fantastic, we came from the third row and it’s always really tough to pass here. I made some good passes with the Fireblade and moved forward the whole race to finish on the podium. Not only did we catch Haslam, but passed him and held him off. He’s one of the strongest guys in the championship, so to pass him we’re making progress. I felt that I had the same pace as the leaders but starting on the third row hurt us, especially with the battles I had coming through to get to the podium. I’m really pleased with the CBR, we made some adjustments over the weekend which had a really positive effect and I am feeling much more comfortable and happy with the progress we’re making. Race two started well for us in the dry conditions, it was spitting with rain but it wasn’t too bad I didn’t think. I got a bad start and was run wide at turn one, around here the lap time is so close and when you feel that you’ve got more than the people around you, it’s a nice feeling. I passed Shakey, Cooper and got up into fifth and thought ‘I’m in a great place this early, just keep doing your thing and keep moving forward!’ The race was red flagged and we went with a wrong tyre choice in the second part, choosing a rear intermediate tyre. When I rolled out of pit lane I thought ‘great we’re on!’ The track wasn’t too wet, it was damp and I felt like we’d made the right choice, but it just kept raining and the heavier the rain got the worse it got, I had no traction and was spinning hard, I stayed out for as long as I could, but in the end it was safer to pit. I’m now turning my attention to Oulton Park; we have a test coming up so for us that is going to be fantastic, hopefully we get some decent weather. We have some ideas from what we’ve learnt this weekend and a few things we’ve been planning to try over the last few weeks but haven’t been able to with the weather. So yeah, I’m looking forward to the test day and love racing at Oulton!

Havier Beltran

Team Manager

What a mixed weekend for Honda Racing at Brands Hatch Indy! We had the high with Jason P1 in the first practice; sadly Dan crashed in FP2 and was sidelined with an injury for the rest of the weekend. We then had the drama in qualifying with Jason’s crash and getting the CBR back out for Q3. Then there was race one and Jason on the podium! I’m so pleased for Jason and the team finishing third in the opening race, he fought well and made some great passes so that’s something to take with us and move forward with. Race two was disappointing, we were hoping to build on the podium during that race, but the rain came down and it was red flagged. It didn’t look too bad, but the rain certainly came down and the inter rear was the wrong choice for us. Inevitably Jason returned to the garage under the circumstances and that was end of play for us. We based the tyre choice on the conditions out there, it was greasy and not wet enough, but hindsight is all very well, it was a gamble that sadly didn’t pay off. We now have to build on what we have learnt from this weekend, take the podium positive and move ahead to Oulton Park in a few weeks time.

More, from a press release issued by Buildbase Suzuki:

Superbike and superstock championship lead for Buildbase Suzuki after Brands Hatch success

  • Pole position, podium, and lap record for Bradley Ray.
  • Pole, podium, and race win for Billy McConnell.
  • Corner turned for Richard Cooper despite two crashes.
  • Lead superbike and superstock 1000 championships.
  • The Buildbase Suzuki team heads both the Bennetts British Superbike Championship and National Superstock 1000 points tables, after more podium success at Brands Hatch for round two of the season. Bradley Ray took second in the opening race after qualifying on pole on his GSX-R1000, while Billy McConnell took a win and a third place in the superstock 1000 races. And despite crashing in both of his races, Richard Cooper also led his first superbike race of the season.

    After dominating the opening round with a double win, Ray headed to his home circuit with the championship lead, and after working meticulously with the team through practice, qualified on pole position for the weekend’s opening race. From there he made a strong start, and led for 28 laps of the 30-lap race. He looked set to maintain his 100% record, but made a mistake into Paddock Hill bend on the penultimate lap, locking the front wheel of his GSX-R1000 under braking. He ran wide, relinquishing the lead, and took the chequered flag in second place.

    Again starting from pole in race two – after setting the fastest lap of the race and a new lap record in race one – Ray was leading when the race was stopped as the rain arrived. In the restart he took the time to find his feet in the wet conditions. With one eye very much on the championship standings and struggling for rear grip, he kept it safe, crossing the line in seventh place. He now heads the points table with a 10 point advantage.

    Bradley Ray, “To come away leading the championship is a big thing. We came into this weekend off the back of a really strong round one and the spotlight was on a little bit, but we know we can’t win everything. We had really good pace this weekend, and the pace was there to win race one, I just made a mistake and let Shakey [Byrne] past, and once he came by he had a few bike lengths. I didn’t try to chase, we just took second. In race two we led again and I was feeling good but it rained and we had to go again. In the wet the rear was spinning a lot and in those conditions you can go down at any point. Seventh and nine points was good, good for our championship. We just need a bit more time in the wet to develop our setup. We’ll look at the data and try and improve for our next wet session. But in the dry we have a good setting, good pace, and I feel really comfortable on the bike. We’ll go to Oulton with some good points and it’s nice to come away still leading the championship.”

    Billy McConnell also qualified on pole position for the weekend’s opening superstock race for the second round in a row, and finished in third place in race one. In race two he pulled away at the front to take a commanding win, retaining the championship lead going into round three.

    Billy McConnell, “It was a brilliant weekend for me, and another good one for the team. We got another pole position, and in race one we finished on the podium in third. In that race I was spinning the rear a little bit. The team actually looked at it on the TV screens and we made some changes to the rear suspension. We were back on the pace in warm-up and I wanted to win race two. The bike felt perfect and I pulled out a second lead which is a lot around the Indy circuit and we got the win and still lead the championship. We’ve got a test at Oulton Park next and will try some bits with suspension, but honestly the bike’s so good as it is right now, it might be a case of don’t fix what isn’t broken, keep going as we are and chip away at those championship points.”

    After struggling with chatter at Donington Park Richard Cooper turned a corner with the setup of his GSX-R1000 superbike. Strong showings in practice saw him consistently in and around the top 10. Unfortunately, he crashed while inside the top 10 in race one, losing the front at Graham Hill bend. In the dry start to race two he pushed forward into the top six, again lapping at a quick and consistent pace, and in the wet restart he battled to the front and led the way before being pushed back to fourth. Losing the rear at Clearways he sadly crashed out, but has plenty to be positive about despite the disappointing results.

    Richard Cooper, “Crashing aside I felt good this weekend. Our pace was a lot better; the bike felt completely different to Donington and we were quick all through practice. Sadly no one really watches practice, all they’ll see is that we crashed out of both races. I’m disappointed to be doing that at my age and with my experience. In race one our pace was good. The aim was to get a top-10 under our belt and we were in there. Unfortunately I ran in too hot into Graham Hill and the front went. In second race we made a good start, then in the rain I saw an opportunity and managed to lead. It’s a shame because I didn’t really do anything wrong and lost the rear as I opened the throttle. The bike works well in the dry, but our setup is probably a bit stiff in the wet. Brad struggled with grip and I’m even lighter than he is. So it’s something we need to work on. But this weekend I’ve been the fastest I’ve ever been around Brands Indy, which shows how much progress we’ve made but also how much the championship’s progressed. It’s still going to show two DNFs sadly, and I’ve got to somehow take the positives. We’re trying just as hard.”

    Team manager, Steve Hicken, “It’s been another good weekend. Some disappointments here and there, but we led a load of laps and we’re leading both championships, with more wins and podiums added to the board. Brad was unlucky not to win that first superbike race, but two wins and a second from the first three races of the season isn’t bad going. We probably had the pace to win the second one when it started in dry conditions, too, but unfortunately we never got to see how that would have played out. In the wet, we just need to dial in our setup a bit more. Both suffered from a lack of rear grip, so that will be the focus in the next wet session.

    “We turned a massive corner with Richard this weekend, too, and two DNFs feel really harsh on everyone. His pace was good in practice and after pretty much starting again with the bike after Donington, a top-10 in race one would have been good. In race two he showed his ability and his experience to get to the front and lead the way, but was just caught out by the rear through Clearways. But it shows how strong we are as a team that both of our riders have led superbike races after just the first two rounds.

    “In superstock Billy did another fantastic job. He’s really gelled with the GSX-R1000 and looks really comfortable out there. The third in race one was good, but we noticed something with the rear suspension in the race that probably cost him the pace to win. We rectified it for race two, and to pull over a second around the Indy circuit is impressive, as times are so tight. But we’re heading to Oulton Park leading the championship with confidence and morale in the team very high.”

    Superbike race one: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. Bradley Ray, 3. Jason O’Halloran, DNF. Richard Cooper.

    Superbike race two: 1. Leon Haslam, 2. Glenn Irwin, 3. Michael Laverty, 7. Bradley Ray, DNF. Richard Cooper.

    Superstock race one: 1. Andy Reid, 2. Keith Farmer, 3. Billy McConnell.

    Superstock race two: 1. Billy McConnell, 2. Chrissy Rouse, 3. Andy Reid.

    More, from a press release issued by RAF Reserve & Regular Kawasaki:

    Frustrating weekend at Brands Hatch for Dixon and Weaving

    Jake Dixon and the RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki team came away from the second round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch wondering what might have been with their strong pace and form unfortunately not borne out with the results they deserved.

    With mixed weather conditions during free practice, Jake was down in 16th place overall albeit only half a second off the quickest time but both he and the team made good strides forward in qualifying which gave a truer reflection of their capabilities. Improving his lap time by over three tenths of a second, the 21-year old subsequently lined up in seventh on the grid for the opening race and a good start saw him immediately slot into sixth spot.

    Here he remained until lap eight when he got pushed back a place to seventh but in the final third of the race, he moved back ahead of Michael Laverty to climb back up to sixth and this was where he finished to pick up ten hard earned points and his best result of the season so far. The Ashby resident started the second race from the slightly higher position of sixth and with a brilliant start he immediately moved up to third which was where he was when the race was stopped early on lap six due to rain.

    Restarted over the shorter distance of 22 laps and in damp, tricky conditions, the race soon developed into a five-rider fight for the win with Jake in the midst of the action. Consistently in the top three places, Dixon looked set to claim his first podium of the season but on lap 17 he got on the throttle a little bit early exiting Graham Hill Bend and unfortunately crashed out, a cruel end to a weekend that promised so much.

    Weaving was also in action on the Briggs Equipment Kawasaki ZX-10R in the two Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship races and he qualified in an excellent fifth place for Saturday’s opening 24-lap encounter. The South African made a strong start and ran in the same position in the early stages before suffering a brake issue on lap eight. It dropped him down to 11th but he battled back to claim tenth at the chequered flag.

    However, this became ninth as Josh Elliott was excluded from the results due to a technical infringement thus losing his seventh place finish. Starting Sunday’s race from fifth place on the grid once more, Jordan completed the first lap in the same position but that was as good as it got as the gremlins that had plagued him the day before returned thus ending his race ended early.

    Jake Dixon: “It’s been a tough and disappointing weekend and to have picked up just ten points from the two races is nowhere near what I feel it should have been. We chipped away all weekend and the bike was working really well in the dry and sixth was a solid result in the opening race and I felt really confident in race two when I was running in third. It was a shame the rain came but in the restart I felt equally comfortable in the wet and put myself right in contention for the race win. When Leon (Haslam) came by, I got squeezed a bit and tapped the power on that little bit early and I got highsided. It just hasn’t fallen for us in the first two rounds but we’ve good pace in both the wet and dry so fingers crossed our luck will turn at round three.”

    Lee Hardy, Team Owner: "It’s definitely been a frustrating weekend and one where we’ve been left to ponder what might have been. Both riders showed a lot of promise but it just didn’t go our way. Jake struggled a bit with set-up during practice and qualifying, particularly onto the start and finish, but we continually improved and had good pace in both the wet and dry which could be seen in his sixth place in race one. We were in a lot better position compared to this meeting twelve months ago and we were well on course for our first podium in the second race. Jake was putting together a strong ride but you need to bide your time when conditions are tricky and he was just that little bit eager on the throttle after Leon passed him. It caused him to crash out but we know we can run with the front boys and will do everything to get two good results next time out so we can start climbing the table.”

    “Jordan was flying in qualifying and a possible podium was on the cards so it was a real shame he suffered the problem with the front brake in race one. It was more brake fade than anything else but he had to slow right down to make an adjustment before getting going again but it at least meant he was back amongst the top ten. With another good starting spot for race two, we were hopeful of some good points but it wasn’t to be so we need to get to the bottom of the brake issues he’s been having so that he can finally be rewarded with the results his pace deserves.”

    More, from a press release issued by Tyco BMW:


    Michael Laverty and Tyco BMW returned to the podium today (Sunday) at the second round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch, delivering a superb ride in difficult conditions at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. The Northern Irish rider had masterfully carved his way through the field from his P12 starting position on the grid for the 22 lap race that had been restarted due to rain in the opening part.

    Christian Iddon also had a strong consistent weekend, which now moves him up to sixth within the overall championship standings just three points behind team-mate Laverty who now holds fifth place.

    In the National Superstock 1000 class Keith Farmer continued to show excellent form, securing his fourth podium of the Championship in race one despite switching his bike into ‘rain mode’ mid-race and losing valuable time on the 1.2-mile circuit. Despite an early retirement on lap four of race two, the 31-year-old Irishman heads to Oulton Park sitting third in the Championship with 57 points.

    Dan Kneen clocked up plenty of track time with consistent lap times all weekend, in an incredibly close weekend for the series at the unfamiliar short Kent circuit. The Manxman now looks forward to Tandragee 100 Road Races in Northern Ireland on 4th - 5th May 2018.

    Philip Neill - Team Manager: “‘The Brands Indy circuit can be tricky and it’s always difficult to be on the right side of a 1-2 10ths lap time difference but that was a positive weekend overall. It really is great to see Michael back on the podium and hopefully he will build on that result.

    Christian has been competitive all weekend and probably deserved even better than 5th and 6th places however it was another solid weekend and that is exactly what we need at this point from a Championship perspective.

    It was a shame to see Keith suffer a DNF after a rare Tyco BMW technical problem however it’s a long season and I’m certain we will bounce back. Dan gained more experience and although this weekend did not go quite as well as the opening round at Donington the racing track time will prove beneficial ahead of our road race campaign. Thanks as always to Tyco, BMW Motorrad and each of our associate partners for their support.”

    Michael Laverty #7: “I’m delighted to be back on the podium, full credit has the go to the team. In the short timeframe they managed to change numerous components to achieve a great wet set up for me. I was perhaps a little bit too cautious during the last 5 laps, otherwise I feel we should have taken the win today, I wanted to bring it home for solid points rather than ending up in the gravel and it was justified as we have moved up to 5th place in the Championship. We are moving in the right direction with the S1000RR every time we go on track, I’m excited for the season ahead. Thank you to the whole team and all our sponsors"

    Christian Iddon #21: “It’s been a fairly solid weekend, I had good pace and felt pretty good. We didn’t place quite where we wanted to be in qualifying which made race one more difficult than it needed to be but we ended up fifth which is a strong finish. In race two we had really good pace, I felt comfortable and was running in third until the rain got heavier. We didn’t have enough of a wet setting in the bike so I was a little weak on entry to corner and dropped back which is unfortunate, but we know what the small issue was so this isn’t a problem moving forward. The team has really gelled well this weekend and we have come away from Brands in the top six, so now I’m excited to get to Oulton Park in two weeks time."

    Keith Farmer #33: “This weekend has proved that we have good pace to run at the front after Saturday’s race, where despite me making a small mistake and putting the bike into rain mode we still managed to get a second place podium. Today we had made a few small changes and finished quickest in warm-up. I had a good feeling from my hand to the rear tyre with the throttle and knew I had a good bike under me so was confident going into race two. After running in third for the first few laps we had a technical error which was frustrating, but that is sometimes how racing goes. We know that we have good pace so all we need to do now is look forward and concentrate on Oulton. Big thanks to the whole team, the guys have done a mega job all weekend."

    Top 5 This Week