Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne made it a double victory to remember during the MCE British Superbike race weekend at the Snetterton 300 circuit. It was a case of déjà vu for the five-time champ as he was able to once again make his way to the front and this time snatch the win from Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes.
Byrne also broke his own lap record as he lapped a 1’47.143 and was able to out-pace Brookes to bag maximum points this afternoon. The podium was also exactly the same as the opening race, with Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran fighting off stiff competition to hold on to third, to take home his first double rostrum of the season.
Initially it was Brookes who got the hole-shot from Byrne and O’Halloran, but Ellison soared up the pack to challenge Brookes for the lead on only the first lap. Another rider who had a solid start was Hopkins. He was the fastest rider on lap three and was sandwiched between Byrne and O’Halloran out on track. Once again Brookes and Byrne opted for the softer Pirelli’s rear and back, as did Ellison. Once again the JG Speedfit Kawasaki guys went for their usually harder front and rear compounds.
But on lap nine there was a slight change at the top as Byrne went into second at the Wilson hairpin, and then he pulled away from the McAMS backed bike. But once again Ellison was blighted by severe bad luck as he crashed with only five laps remaining. The R1 rider was unhurt, but obviously very frustrated as he was on course for a podium finish.
With Ellison out of contention it pushed Hopkins and O’Halloran further up the field and the fight for the last remaining rostrum position ensued out on the 300 circuit, with the Australian getting the better of the American.
But as all that drama was going on Byrne was not giving up on doing the double and at Riches made a move that stuck with only three laps left. Meanwhile Hopkins had to contend with the attack from Knockhill double race victor, Jake Dixon and on the last lap at Murrays Dixon overtook the former MotoGP man to snatch fourth, with the Panigale getting fifth.
Leon Haslam is still recovering from a nasty injury sustained at Knockhill, but he was passed fit and just missed out on a podium in race one, and with 11 laps to go the Smalley man was down to ninth, after an initially strong start. But at the chequered flag he gained one place to secure eighth, just behind Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman and Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot.
Haslam’s team-mate Luke Mossey was just coming to terms with his newly built Kawasaki after a massive warm up crash. In race one he had to retire due to brake issues and in race two he was able to salvage some points to finish in tenth, just behind ex World Superbike champ, Sylvain Guintoli.
It was not the best of race weekend’s for Bennetts Suzuki’s Taylor Mackenzie, as he retired with a technical issue before the race had even begun. The youngster smashed his bike to smithereens in race one and his team were literally in a race against time to get it fixed for race two.
Tyco BMW’s substitute rider, Josh Elliott bagged his first points of his BSB career in the opening race, but the Northern Irishman was unable to finish the race as he swiftly retreated back to the pits with a technical problem. Elliott is riding in place of the crocked Christian Iddon.
It was a rather youthful Tyco BMW garage as their newest recruit, Andy Reid made his debut in the blue riband class this weekend. The former Supersport rider finished his second career BSB race in 18th today. Ray, Smrz, Jackson, Bridewell and McAMS Yamaha’s Michael Laverty were the last of the points finishers.