Round 2 - Thruxton - MCE Insurance British Superbikes

MCE Insurance

Teams and riders headed down to Thruxton for round 2 of the MCE BSB on the 12th, 13th and 14th of April. Thruxton with its wide open corners is the fastest track in the season so was an exciting prospect for racing.

Fridays free practice sessions were very wet but this didn't stop the riders getting out and putting in some laps. Alex Lowes topped the table with the young American PJ Jacobsen also going well. He said "I like this track, it suits my style".

Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning was again quite a wet affair. Riders and teams had to deal with a track that was damp in some areas and dry in others making tyre choices a nightmare. Chris Walker had an off and after that teams decided to keep their riders safe. As the day continued so did the rain and the track got more and more water logged. The official qualifying time passed and the track underwent a number of inspections until it was finally decided it was not suitable for use. Due to this the combined free practice times were used to decide grid positions for Race 1.

Sunday was much better for conditions and the rain held off for most of the day keeping the track dry and ready for racing. Race 1 after the cancelled qualifying saw Alex Lowes on pole followed by, Jacobsen, Byrne and Brookes. On the second row were Kuba Smrz, Micheal Rutter, Josh Waters and Chris Walker. Off the line Shakey was quickest and took the lead but Alex Lowes was having none of it and cut back in on the inside of the first corner. On the second lap Australian Josh Waters on the Milwaukee Yamaha lost the back end and was sent crashing out, rider was ok. A few laps in there was a real battle developing in the front five. Shakey led followed by Lowes, Brookes, Farmer and Chris Walker who was really pushing his Quattro Plant Kawasaki. Then it began to rain, to the Stalkers advantage it seemed as he moved past Farmer and Brookes up into third. Veteran Michael Rutter was also moving up the ranks in the wet conditions mid table. 3 times Champion Ryiuchi Kiyonari was having a nightmare day and was back in 19th going the wrong way. Tommy Bridewell then lost the front end on his bike and was sent across the tarmac quickly followed by front runner Farmer who touched a white line and was sent flying into the crash barrier. Both got up and walked away. The safety car was then brought out for a couple of laps as marshals cleared up the track. During this time Matteo Baiocco on the Rapido Sport Racing Ducati had to pull into the pits as the Panigale gave up on him. After the safety car was off the track it all kicked off again. Brookes really started to push on the Tyco Suzuki staying with Lowes and Shakey. Kirkham, Rutter, Ellison, Westmoreland, Harris and Chris Walker were all battling it out for fourth when the Stalker had a valve failure and had to pull out. In the final few laps of the race Brookes moved up past Lowes and made his attack on Shakey. In the final lap he set up a beautiful pass that got him in front of the champ but only for a couple of corners as Shakey snuck by him again just before Club chicane and managed to secure the win. This win meant Shane Byrne equalled Kiyonari's all time win record of 43.

Race 1 - Results:

  1. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  2. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  3. 22 Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  4. 27 James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW Motorrad
  5. 10 Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW Motorrad
  6. 77 James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha
  7. 68 Karl HARRIS - PR Racing Kawasaki
  8. 11 Michael RUTTER - Bathams Honda
  9. 99 PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  10. 96 Jakub SMRZ - Padgetts Honda

It was the two Rapid Solictors Kawasakis that lined up in the 1 and 2 spot for Race 2 having gained the fastest lap times in the previous race. Shakey was on pole but Farmer was quick off the line and took the lead from the start. It only took the champ two corners to get the lead back though. As the riders came through Club chicane, Kiyo who was far near the rear of the pack high-sided and was sent crashing down the track. Jenny Tinmouth did a great job dodging him, rider was ok. To the fans disappointment the safety car came out again and the marshals set to work clearing the mess. The top six at this point were Byrne, Lowes, Ellison, Brookes, Farmer and Rutter. The safety car returned in and the battled resumed. Byrne and Lowes out in front, Ellison was riding very defensively keeping Brookes at bay, Farmer and Rutter were also tussling until Farmer ran wide and let the legend through. Then Lee Costello who was mid pack had a nasty crash which left him lying unconscious on the track. The safety car appeared again and the riders rode round for two laps whilst Lee was cared for. During this time Danny Buchan had to retire due to a bike failure. To the joy of the fans the safety car finally went back in and racing continued but only for two laps as back in 6th Karl Harris had a break failure and went crashing into Tommy Bridewell on the Bathams Honda. Tommy and bike were thrown into the air and crashed into the safety barriers. After this incident it was decided to red flag the race and as they were on lap 13, that was the finishing result making Shane Byrne the most successful MCE BSB rider ever!

Race 2 - Results:

  1. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  2. 22 Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  3. 77 James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha
  4. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  5. 11 Michael RUTTER - Bathams Honda
  6. 303 Keith FARMER - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  7. 9 Chris WALKER - Quattro Plant Kawasaki
  8. 10 Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW Motorrad
  9. 27 James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW Motorrad
  10. 60 Peter HICKMAN - Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda

Club MCE members had a great couple of days at Thruxton enjoying all sorts of benefits and experiences including, a day with Eurosport, Official Pit Crew, grid walks and Safety car laps to name a few. 'Hang out with a rider' took place with outspoken Aussie Josh Brookes given a real insight into the mind of a motorcycle racer. The Official Club MCE viewing platform also saw lucky members getting the best view in the house from high on the tower, something no one else gets.

Next round is Oulton Park on the 4th, 5th and 6th of May. 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 - 91
  2. Alex Lowes - Samsung Honda - 76
  3. Josh Brookes - Tyco Suzuki - 66
  4. James Ellison - Milwaukee Yamaha - 51
  5. Jon Kirkham - Buildbase BMW - 42
  6. James Westmoreland - Buildbase BMW - 27

For Full results visit the MCE BSB website

17.04.13 - James Davey

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