Round 1 - MCE British Superbikes - Donington Park
After months of rider announcements and livery's, the MCE British Superbike series is back! The biggest ever MCE BSB kicked off at Donington Park for the bank holiday weekend and racing fans descended on the racetrack for the first round, eager to see their heroes battling it out in the glorious sunshine.Qualifying got underway on Sunday, with Kiyonari claiming pole position from James Ellison by just 0.029s. With Shane 'Shakey' Byrne having lead the final free practice, the paddock was full of speculation on whether it was going to be the four time Champion's day. However, Kiyo demonstrated his determination, displacing Ellison in the closing minutes of qualification and going into the first race in pole position. The Buildbase BMW rider secured the fastest lap in the warm up session of race day, followed by Milwaukee Yamaha's Joshua Brookes, Shakey Burne and James Ellison. In 5th spot was National Superstock 1000 Champion Danny Buchan, who performed consistently throughout the weekend. The first race got underway, and from the very first corner Kiyonari seemed out of sorts, gradually dropping back and finishing in a surprising 14th position. The race was won by JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider James Ellison, trumping defending champion Shane Byrne who finished in second. Individual battles were present across the grid - be it Ellison beating Byrne by a margin of 0.131s - or Brookes gaining a 3rd place finish by narrowly beating Linfoot by only 0.058 seconds. The defending champion Byrne also managed to secure a lap record of 1.29.512, but to his evident disappointment, not the overall victory. The second race was certainly not without its drama - the majority of it before the race even got underway. Ellison had to start from the back of the grid due to a battery problem, and overall managed to get to an impressive 12th place finish despite the hindrance. The overall victory went to Shakey Byrne who had an outstanding battle with Dan Linfoot, the PBM Kawasaki Champ compared the battle with the Honda rider as reminiscent of the battles he had with Alex Lowes way back when. Stuart Easton made up the podium joining his PBM teammate. The highly anticipated round met every expectation and even more, it was full of thrills, spills and surprises. Shakey is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, yet with the size of the grid and the talent that has been shown over the weekend it appears that this could be the makings of an extraordinary season, and we at MCE Insurance can't wait!
07.04.2015 - Big Ed