Round 1 - Brands Hatch Indy - MCE Insurance British Superbikes

MCE Insurance

Finally the long winter off season is over and the MCE British Superbikes is back! Riders and teams descended on the 1.198 mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit with hopes of glory and early points. The mood was nervous as with most opening meetings with a lot of teams unsure of how their bikes would go due to a lack of official testing because of bad weather conditions during March.

In Fridays first free practice session not many bikes went out due to the track being very cold but conditions improved and the afternoon session was much better. Shane 'Shakey' Byrne was already asserting his dominance with the fastest times closely followed by Alex Lowes.

Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning saw Italian domestic champion Matteo Baiocco have a nasty off which saw him sent to the medical centre with neck problems. Luckily he returned for qualifying later after the Rapido Sport Racing team did a fantastic job fixing the Ducati.

Qualifying saw Shakey again dominating apart from Q2 where he gave Farmer a tow round and the young Northern Irishman ended up putting in a quicker time. The top ten had most big names and teams as expected. James Ellison got 3rd on the grid and looked in great form on the Milwaukee Yamaha. Jenny Tinmouth's weekend was cut short after gearbox trouble and she couldn't afford to get out on track in case it failed, expect her to return at Thruxton.

Race 1 was set to begin and the riders were ready to do their warm up lap but then James Ellison had some visor issues and rolled forward from his starting position. This incurred him a ride through penalty but he still started from 3rd on the grid. When he eventually took the penalty it put him right to the back of the pack. Shakey had a great start but had to settle behind Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki for the first few laps. The returning Kiyonari had a nightmare start and got tangled up with a lot of riders. On the first lap he was back in 19th. Keith Farmer was having a storming race early on and was challenging Alex Lowes for 3rd but as the race developed his rear tyre started to go and he had issues keeping the pace up. About mid race Shakey made his move on Brookes and took the lead. Alex Lowes also made a pass on the Australian cutting in as he rode wide on Paddock Hill bend. Karl 'bomber' Harris crashed out early on in the race and Dan Buchan had to retire due to problems with his Quattro Plant Kawasaki that he'd been dogged by all weekend. On the last lap Keith Farmer who was struggling to keep grip with his worn rear tyre and position with his lowered speeds had a bump with Dan Linfoot. This sent Linfoot and the GBmoto Honda into the Buildbase BMW of James Westmoreland, they both crashed out and were rushed to the medical centre. Linfoot suffered a fractured pelvis and will be missing the next round at Thruxton. Farmer said after the incident, "That's just racing". As the race came to an end, Byrne sailed to victory with Lowes and Brookes in tow.

Race 1 - Results:

  1. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  2. 22 Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  3. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  4. 10 Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW Motorrad
  5. 46 Tommy BRIDEWELL - Bathams Honda
  6. 303 Keith FARMER - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  7. 9 Chris WALKER Quattro Plant Kawasaki
  8. 23 Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda
  9. 99 PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  10. 21 Josh WATERS - Milwaukee Yamaha

James Ellison lined up at the front of the grid for Race 2 having got the fastest lap time from the previous race. Lowes, Byrne and Harris made up the rest of the front row. Ellison had a great start and Shakey got right in behind him from the off. But Ellison was riding very strongly and Byrne on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki had trouble finding a space to pass. In the early laps the leaders started to gap Lowes and Kiyo who sat in 3rd and 4th. Lowes said post race that he didn't realise the pace was going to be so fast early on hence why this gap was created. Tommy Bridewell had to retire after a coolant pipe disconnected from his bike sending out a cloud of mist and leaving him broken down. Chris Walker was having a great race and was moving up through the ranks, the best position he gained was 6th. Ellison was still riding strong out front when with 3 laps to go Shakey made his move. The champ cut up the inside but Ellison closed the door and Byrne couldn't get the bike stopped in time and had to run off. Lowes passed him but the top three were so far ahead, Byrne didn't lose out on a podium position.

Race 2 - Results:

  1. 77 James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha
  2. 22 Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  3. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  4. 23 Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda
  5. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  6. 10 Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW Motorrad
  7. 68 Karl HARRIS - PR Racing Kawasaki
  8. 9 Chris WALKER - Quattro Plant Kawasaki
  9. 27 James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW Motorrad
  10. 303 Keith FARMER - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki

Club MCE members had a great couple of days at Brands enjoying all sorts of benefits and experiences including pillion laps, grid walks and Safety car laps to name a few. A new experience 'Hang out with a rider' launched with Shane Byrne and members got the opportunity to chat with the reigning champ about anything they liked on a beautiful Brands Hatch evening.

Next round is Thruxton on the 12th, 13th and 14th of April, keep up to date with Big Ed's Facebook for all the live updates, news and gossip around the paddock.

Top Six in the Championship:

  1. Shane Byrne - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki - 41
  2. Alex Lowes - Samsung Honda - 40
  3. Josh Brookes - Tyco Suzuki - 27
  4. James Ellison - Milwaukee Yamaha - 25
  5. Jon Kirkham - Buildbase BMW - 23
  6. Ryuichi Kiyonari - Samsung Honda - 21

For Full results visit the MCE BSB website

11.04.13 - James Davey

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