Round 9 of Bennetts British Superbike was set to take place at Silverstone GP Circuit over the weekend of 7-9th September. But with the threat of rain making an appearance, BSB racing was shifted to the National Circuit. Although initial fears that using the National Circuit would not provide the right arena for the three-race, Triple Header fight, by the time race one had finished on Saturday, hundreds of race fans were making plans to attend Sunday’s remaining two BSB races simply because the action out on track so far had been a spectator’s dream.
Not taking anything away from the Northants-based circuit, but the main reason for the awesome first race – and hopefully the remaining two next day on Sunday – was the rest of the top ten leaders all vying to make up points to qualify for the season ending Showdown races. Only six go through and while the leading top three were safe, it was all to play for behind them.
Eventual winner of race one was man on form and present BSB leader Leon Haslam on the ballistic JG Speedfit Kawasaki. In fact, Leon is so on top of his game that he went on to win Sunday’s two races as well. Triple Header… triple winner!
Race one also decided second and third place spots for the Showdown. This was good news indeed for us at Evotech Performance because they ride for Evotech supported teams; Glenn Irwin of Be Wiser Ducati (finished second) and Josh Brookes of McAMS Yamaha (fourth). Special mention goes to Tarran Mackenzie of McAMS Yamaha who achieved his first BSB podium with third place. Not bad going considering it’s his rookie year in the premier class.
Race two, the first of the two Sunday BSB races, saw another battle royale across the whole field. Of course, all eyes and mental power were again focussed on who would be clinch vital points to squeeze into the final six lining up for the season-ender Showdown races that kick off with Oulton Park 14-16th September.
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki), a faller in race one, set about trying to make up points and was pushing hard at the front before he got punted off-line by Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki). Ray didn’t fall for a change but ended up finishing down the results. However, he had done enough to secure his place in the Shootout along with Glenn Irwin. Unfortunately, Mackenzie crashed out while trying to capture another podium position. Race two’s results show that despite the intensity and fallers, EP supported teams fared very well: second and third, fifth and ninth.
1 Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
2 Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +1.472s
3 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.863s
4 Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.694s
5 Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +4.988s
6 Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati) +7.467s
7Gino Rea (OMG Suzuki) +7.607s
8 Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.610s
9 Andrew Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +12.695s
10 Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +12.817s
Race three started at an unbelievable pace and finished in the same style – barely a second covered the top four as they crossed the finish line and this was after the race was red flagged on the second lap! But who claimed the last Title Fighter slot for the Showdown? It was a surprise to everyone including the man himself.
Peter Hickman of EP supported Smiths Racing BMW can never be discounted for throwing up a surprise result, but even he must have wondered where Lady Luck was hiding after a technical problem during the sighting lap saw him start from pit lane. He eventually clawed back to tenth but the same technical aggro forced him back to finish 19th.
‘19’ must be Hickman’s lucky number! Even with such a sorry finish position, he’d amassed enough points across the season so far to claim that all-important sixth place in the championship standings – the fact his nearest rivals had a hard weekend also helped him get that all-important last spot.
So, the top six Showdown riders are all known and, hopefully, ready for the final three rounds. It should be good. Come and cheer on one and all, but with a little more volume for the EP supported riders, pretty please. There are three in the top six hard chargers.
1 Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 568
2 Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 523
3 Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) 519
4 Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 519
5 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 516
6 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 504