Round 6 - Brands Hatch GP - MCE Insurance British Superbikes

MCE Insurance

Round 6 saw the riders and teams of the MCE Insurance British Superbikes return to Brands Hatch for another exciting weekend of racing! This time on the full GP circuit which offers almost 2 and a half miles of fast paced straights and 9 corners, it was tipped to be the Shane 'Shakey' Byrne show as this is his home track. Shakey has been almost unstoppable this season and the pressure on him going into this round was immense. If he took both wins, he would have 50 MCE BSB race wins under his belt, more than anyone ever before. With the showdown getting closer riders are doing their best to grab as many points as possible to get one of those all important top 6 places. Shakey, Lowes and Brookes look pretty safe as they continue to amass podium credits. The resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari is also stocking up the points, he needs to continue this trend if he wants to keep his spot though. Ellison, who has had a mixed season so far, holds 5th place, but needs to be more consistent over the race weekend. The final place is held by Jon Kirkham on the Buildbase BMW; he really needed to have a good weekend as his teammate James Westmoreland was right on his tail and vying for that final spot. So as always with MCE BSB anything could happen! Here's the view of the weekend through my visor...

Free Practice

Friday was a little different at Brands and was an official test on the Indy circuit. Most riders went out for a few laps but on the whole it wasn't seen as that important because the race weekend was on the full GP circuit. Saturday morning came and Free Practice 1 kicked off. Shakey took the top time followed by Lowes. James Westmoreland on the Buildbase BMW took the third fastest time and seemed to be going well. James Ellison on the Milwaukee Yamaha was also on the gas. Chris the Stalker Walker was also at the sharp end and things looked good for him. Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki was a little off the pace as was Kiyonari but they still made the top ten. Tyco's PJ Jacobsen had bike trouble and he didn't even get out for a lap, the Tyco boys worked hard stripping the bike right down to get it ready for FP2.

The second session saw James Ellison going well again and he topped the times for almost all of FP2 only to have it snatched away in the closing minutes by Shakey on a flying lap. Lowes, Brookes, Westmoreland, Kirkham and Kiyo rounded off the rest of the top times.


Q1 saw the usual suspects at the sharp end, Lowes was fastest followed by Shakey, Ellison and Brookes. Matteo Baiocco on the Rapido Sport Ducati just got pushed out of Q2 and Josh Waters on the Milwaukee Yamaha struggled to put in a good time. The other drops from Q1 were Jessopp, Buchan, Tinmouth and Howarth. Q2 kicked off and once again it was the same guys at the front with the addition of Chris Walker on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki putting in fast times. Howie Mainwairing of MH Kawasaki had a disaster when he was black and orange flagged due to his bike dropping oil. That was his qualifying over. The drops from Q2 were Smrz, Harris, Farmer, Mainwairing, Hickman, Costello, Zanotti and Kirkham. Pete Hickman has been having real trouble keeping on the pace lately whereas his teammate Dan Linfoot seems to be going much better. He'll have to start performing soon or questions may start to be asked. Jon Kirkham on the Buildbase BMW didn't make it out in Q2 due to bike trouble. Q3 began and Shakey had already quoted that it he didn't mind if he didn't get pole as long as he was on the front row. But he put in a blisteringly fast lap and took pole anyway. Michael Rutter also made it into Q3 on the Bathams Honda, they've got a new engine mechanic in their team and whatever he's doing it seems to be working. The front two rows lined up like this, Byrne, Lowes, Brookes, Kiyonari, Ellison, Westmoreland, Walker and Jacobsen who's bike was back together and on the pace.

Race 1

The riders lined up and in a second were off. Shakey had a great start and took the lead initially but Lowes was on him quickly and passed him into turn 3. Within a couple more turns Shakey had lost another spot to Brookes, Kiyo was just behind doing his best to keep up with the front 3. Walker, Westmoreland, PJ and Ellison (who didn't have the best start) made up the second pack. Before long Josh Brookes made a move on Alex and took the lead, his Tyco Suzuki was singing and he looked very comfortable. Matteo Baiocco then retired from the race as his Ducati gave up on him; he wasn't having the best weekend. The battle for 2nd and 3rd really started to hot up with Shakey and Alex tussling to keep the spot and get the chance to have a go at Brookes. Meanwhile in the second pack it looked as though Walker was holding up Westmoreland and Ellison. Ellison passed Westmoreland but made a mistake and slid out into the Stalker, both riders and bikes were wiped out and Chris Walker who's had some terrible luck this season, was left on the grass not knowing what had happened. Shakey managed to get past Lowes and started to make a charge on Brookes. Within a lap Alex was back on him and surprised the champ when he shot up the inside of him. Josh Waters at the back end was having a much better race than qualifying and had made up about 6 places to get into the points bracket. He sat in 15th. Nearing the final laps of the race Shakey knew he had to do something and managed to get past Lowes once again. He then set his sights on Josh. He pinned it up the inside of Brookes at Hawthorns with far too much gusto and couldn't hold it, the champ slipped out and was sent rolling over the gravel as his bike somersaulted through the air, plenty of work for the Rapid Solicitors garage before race 2. Brookes looked over his shoulder in disbelief and then got on with the job at hand. Down the pack Linfoot was on the move, he seems to find pace at half race distance and had moved up from 13th to 8th in just 3 laps. Mainwairing on the MH Kawasaki who was sitting in 9th was challenging the experienced Michael Rutter, it paid off and he passed him to take 8th. In the final lap Lowes had a go at Brookes but just couldn't find a way past and the outspoken Aussie picked up his first win of the season.

Race 1 Results

  1. Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  2. Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  3. Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda
  4. James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW
  5. PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  6. Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW
  7. Dan LINFOOT - Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda
  8. Keith FARMER - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  9. Howie MAINWARING - MH Kawasaki
  10. Michael RUTTER - Bathams Honda

Race 2

The grid lined up for race 2, with Ellison, Lowes, Shakey and Brookes making up the front row. As always in these situations where Shakey has lost the first race you know he's going to be more determined than anyone to take the win. He took the lead from the off followed by Ellison, Lowes, Brookes, Kiyo and Walker. The front end were a bit of a procession from here on in, a few laps down and Kiyo on the Samsung Honda was setting the fastest times. Then it was a disaster for Chris Walker as he started going backwards eventually having to pull up. The bike was dead. A terrible weekend for Quattro Plant Kawasaki and the Stalker, his place in the top 6 seems long gone now. Lee Costello on the Halsall Racing Kawasaki now under the management of MCE BSB legend Jack Valentine was having one of his best weekends so far until he binned it. He slid out and damaged himself and the bike quite badly and was off to the medical centre once again. The safety car came out because of this and the riders bunched up for 3 laps. Back to full pace and Shakey stormed off, no change in positioning at the front apart from Westmoreland who got by his own teammate Kirkham for 7th. Jakub Smrz on the Padgetts Honda had a big off and destroyed his bike, he was ok. The front 3 were now starting to move off and Brookes didn't have the pace to keep with them like he did in race 1. Howie Mainwairing who was sitting in 10th was under observation and then black and orange flagged as his bike started to expel smoke. A real shame for MH Kawasaki as they had such a good result in race 1. Ellison was on Shakey's back wheel for the remainder of the race but the champ didn't make a single mistake so he had to settle for second. Lowes finished a safe 3rd and picked up another podium credit.

  1. Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  2. James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha
  3. Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  4. Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  5. Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda
  6. James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW
  7. Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW
  8. PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  9. Dan LINFOOT - Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda
  10. Keith FARMER - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki

Club MCE members had a great couple of days at Brands enjoying all sorts of benefits and experiences including, a day with Eurosport, Official Pit Crew with Padgetts Honda, grid walks, VIP hospitality, Pillion Laps and Safety car laps to name a few. Some lucky Club members got to make use of the MCE Superview, watching the racing from the commentary tower and from pit wall. 'Hang out with a rider' took place on the grid with Samsung Honda's Alex Lowes, giving club members the chance to ask him about how he's going to stop Shakey, racing, his life, all whilst sitting on the comfy Club MCE beanbags. A fantastic weekend had by all!

Next round we return to Oulton Park for the triple header! It all kicks off again on the 9th of August. Keep up to date with Big Ed's Facebook for all the live updates, news and gossip around the paddock.

Championship Standings

  1. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Soliticitors Kawasaki - 232
  2. 22 Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda - 211
  3. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki - 210
  4. 77 James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha - 120
  5. 23 Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda - 110
  6. 10 Jon Kirkham - Buildbase BMW - 100

For full race results visit the MCE BSB Website

22.07.13 - Big Ed

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