RD8 - Cadwell Park - MCE Insurance British Superbikes
The riders and teams of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship headed to the beautiful Cadwell Park for round 8 of the series this weekend. The stunning Lincolnshire circuit has remained unchanged for many years and offers some of the best race viewing for fans so as usual the crowds swelled on the hillsides as they watched their heroes do battle. With Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Josh Brookes confirmed in the showdown after Oulton it was down to Ryuichi Kiyonari, Tommy Bridewell, Dan Linfoot, Chris Walker, Stuart Easton and the injured James Ellison to fight out for the final spots, with Cadwell looking like it could decide the top six early.
Qualifying saw championship leader Shakey Byrne dominate the times with some incredibly fast lap times. He took pole followed by one of his closest rivals Kiyo and also Tommy Bridewell who was having an excellent weekend on the Milwaukee Yamaha. His teammate Josh Brookes on the other hand had a disastrous qualifying session after a mechanical fault in Q3 meaning he couldn't post a lap time leaving him in tenth on the grid. James Ellison who returned from injury (fractured femur) this weekend after only 33 days tried his best to qualify in a decent position to keep his showdown hopes alive, but it was not to be. The sheer physicality of riding a superbike was too much for him and his injuries, the doctors did tell him not to put weight on his leg for 3 months! Still he tried and that shows his true racer spirit, he'll be back at Donington I expect ready to cause some upsets.
Raceday came and from about 12 noon the rain began to fall but in stops and starts. As the riders assembled on the grid for race 1, overhead dark clouds threatened, but after a number of delays it was declared a dry race. The race began and Shakey streamed off the line but he wasn't alone, Walker, Krikham and Kiyo all followed closely. It wasn't long before Kiyo was carving his way past Walker and Kirkham manoeuvring himself behind Shakey. We've become used to this over the last few meetings and it looked set to be another epic battle between the two 3 times champions. It wasn't long before Kiyo had made a move on Shakey and was leading yet another MCE BSB race. The rain continued to threaten and all of a sudden Kiyo thrust his hand in the air. The other riders following carried on and the commentators believed he'd pulled up due to the rain; he later retired with what turned out to be a mechanical failure. Shakey now had clear track in front of him and began to clear off, Tommy Bridewell was having none of it though and gave chase. Within a few laps Tommy was battling with Shakey for the lead, on lap ten they crossed the line side by side with Bridewell just holding advantage. On the next lap the rain suddenly began to pour and the race was red flagged. Due to 2/3 race distance being completed and the fact Tommy led the race when they last crossed the line, it turned out that he had won the race from Shkey by just 0.005 seconds. Chris Walker completed the podium building more points and podium credits into his showdown spot, which looked a lot more secure now with Ellison out and Easton finishing down in 9th. Brookes did his best to come back from his poor qualifying but at the tricky Cadwell Park he only managed to secure 4th.
Race 2 and it was more extreme wet conditions. This time it was clearly raining so the decision was made that it would be a full wet race. The riders headed out on their sighting lap and it was disaster for Brookes as he lost the back end on the mountain and slowly laid his Milwaukee Yamaha down. Sadly for him he left the seat of the bike and as per MCE BSB rules would not be allowed to continue with the race. He still took up his place in third on the grid as he was unsure if he could continue or not, but it wasn't long before he was black flagged and sent to the pits, ending his chances at any points or podium credits. Meanwhile Shakey and Bridewell were once again battling at the front with Kiyo close behind. Local lad Peter Hickman on the RAF reserves Honda surprised them all though and took the lead in under a lap. The MCE BSB regular has been on excellent form this year after a number of debuts on the roads and also since picking up the RAF ride after the sad loss of their rider Simon Andrews at the Northwest 200. Hickman powered the Honda Fireblade to victory in style leading the whole race and keeping even Shakey at bay; he dedicated his first win to Simon Andrews in a touching post-race interview. Bridewell finished off the podium behind Shakey making him the most successful rider of the weekend as Kiyo crashed out meaning he left with nothing to show from Cadwell. Stuart Easton also retried from race 2 with mechanical issues probably putting an end to his showdown hopes.
In amongst all the racing Club MCE members took part in fantastic VIP experiences including pillion laps, safety car laps in the Nissan GTR, hang out with Shakey Byrne, Official Pit Crew with Quattro Plant Kawasaki, Grid walks and more! To be part of Club MCE all you need is an MCE policy and to sign up here on the Club MCE app.
Now only one round sits between us and the showdown. With Shakey, Brookes, Kiyo and Bridewell secured and locked in as title fighters it falls to Easton and Ellison to cause any sort of upset for Linfoot and Walker who also look pretty safe. This is MCE BSB though so as usual, anything could happen! Keep up to date with Big Ed's Facebook or Twitter or Google+ for all the live updates, news and gossip around the paddock.
For more information on the series visit MCE Insurance British superbikes.
27.08.2014 - Big Ed