A good days racing but the highlight of the meeting for me was the second British Superbike race and that incredible drag to the finish between Josh Brookes, Leon Haslam and Jake Dixon, with Haslam completing the race double. The start finish line isn't my usual vantage point as action shots there are generally confined to boring side on panning shots. However on this occasion nothing could have been further from the truth witnessing one of the most exciting finishes I've seen for some time.
Leon Haslam studies Josh Brookes and his McAMS Yamaha on the grid
Josh Brookes, McAMS Yamaha flat out along the straight
The last corner and Brookes leads Haslam and Dixon
Haslam starts to gain on Brookes closely followed by Dixon
Haslam and Brookes collide on the drag to the line - Jake Dixon hidden behind Haslam
Knees and elbows come into play, with Josh Brookes eventually losing out to Haslam and Dixon.
Linfoot finds himself on the wet grass
To avoid running across the track he lays the bike down and…
Tom Booth-Amos won both Motostar races and left Snetterton 2nd in the championship behind City Lifting teammate, Jake Arthur.
Cameron Horsman, Motostar, currently 5th in the Motostar standard class.
Sam Burman and Edmund Best during warm up.
John Hopkins, Moto Rapido Ducati, got up to third position in the second Superbike race before dropping to 5th due to front tyre problems .
Jason O'Halloran, Honda Racing, scored two third places.
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha, second in both races. Leading from the start of the second race I thought a win was on the cards but Shane Byrne edged him out to win by 0.686 seconds.
Peter Hickman, Smiths Racing BMW, left Snetterton in 6th place of the championship.
Am I the only one who finds Big Ed slightly scary?
Tom Neave and Dan Stamper at the start of the Superstock 600 race. Neave went on to win, Stamper finishing 3rd.
James Ellison pulling a wheelie at the end of morning warm up. Adding to his seemingly endless run of bad luck this season he slid off in Race 1 but finished second in Race 2
Luke Mossey left Knockhill leading the British Superbike Championship on 141 points, Leon Haslam second with 111 points
Josh Brookes in Race 1 just before he slid off at the hairpin.
Jake Dixon after winning his first Superbike race - he was visibly shell shocked.
Scott Swann (45) and Sam Burman (54) pass Thomas Strudwick after falling at the hairpin. Thomas started the round in 2nd place of the championship but dropped to 3rd.
Richard Cooper, Bennets Suzuki
Start line action - Mason Law, STAUFF Connect Academy Kawasaki
Jordan Weaving was another faller at the hairpin. Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship
Anglo Scottish Pro-Am Challenge winner Niall Mackenzie
On my way out I spotted this impressive road going Suzuki Hayabusa outfit with Merlin sidecar.
The Bank Holiday Monday trip to Oulton Park, one of my favourite circuits, was a must and arriving at the circuit quite early it was obvious that this was going to be a big crowd. The day started overcast with some drizzle which left the track in a tricky, slippery condition for the morning warm up sessions. However the weather gradually improved with some good spells of sunshine and a dry track.
Unfortunately Bank Holiday events usually mean that theres going to be some pain leaving any circuit and you have to be prepared for that. I thought that I had a good "escape" strategy for the end of the day but in the end it took an hour to move about 10 car lengths as it had descending into the usual free for all. Fortunately I spotted that an exit route along the circuit itself had been opened behind me and I managed to squeeze thro the surrounding cars to reach it. Progress was steady and I came out the wrong side of the circuit but at least the traffic was moving and civilised.
Both superbike races were excellent, marred only by Leon Haslams spectacular high speed crash when he collided with Ellison whose McAMS Yamaha had developed a fault. Haslam who was following had no time to react and was fortunate to escape the resulting crash unhurt after his bike was destroyed. You also have to feel for Ellison who hasn't had the rub of the green so far this season.
Walking around the paddock Peter Haslers bright 959 Ducati Panigale caught my eye
James Nagy's Superstock Kawasaki 600 after a morning warm-up spill. Damage didn't look too bad and it was fixed in time for the race.
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki ZX10RR
Jake Dixon, Royal Airforce Regular & Reserve Kawasaki ZX10RR
Shaun Winfield, Anvil Hire TAG Racing Yamaha YZF-R1
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire TAG Racing Yamaha YZF-R1
James Ellison. McAMS Yamaha
Superbikes at Brittens
Jason O'Halloran on the improving new Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Sam Burman, Team WNT / Burman Racing KTM250, Hel Performance British Motostar Championship.
Sam followed by Storm Stacey (great name!) and Max Cook
Tom Booth-Amos, Hel Performance British Motostar Championship leader, race winner and fastest lap.
I'd been looking forward to this for some time but the weather forecasts got worse as the day approached and sure enough it was a bitterly cold overcast day, rain developing during the morning. Despite the weather there was a surprisingly high attendance.
The first Superbike practice was a little thin on the ground with many riders missing the session in which defending champion Shakey Byrne was fastest. A number of riders were missing in the remaining two sessions, preferring not to risk the tricky conditions. Christian Iddon and Josh Brookes were fastest in the 2nd and 3rd sessions respectively with Iddon fastest overall with a best time of 1.42.674.
Despite the conditions it was good to see the season get underway but it also meant the times were meaningless and I'm no wiser as to who this years title contenders are likely to be!
Leon Haslam - JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Glen Irwin - Be Wiser Ducati
Shaun Winfield - Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha
Classic Yamaha Livery
Michael Dunlop - Bennetts Suzuki
August Bank Holiday and another round of British Superbikes at Cadwell Park, my local track. It's my favourite race series and track let down only by the scramble to escape the car park at the end of the day. It wasn't too bad this year I managed the 50 yards or so in a little over half an hour.
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW during practice.
Lavertys teammate Christian Iddon crashed out in Q2 - the start of a disastrous weekend for him. He also crashed in both races.
Iddon, shaken but uninjured gets to his feet on the infield……
….. the bike slid outfield picking up lots of turf on its way
Jason O'Halloran who grabbed a third and a second with Jenny Tinmouth in the trade area
The Monster energy drink stand was …
…as popular as ever
Leon Hallam, who set the fastest ever lap of Cadwell to claim pole, James Ellison…
and John Hopkins amongst others signed an awful lot of autographs
The BSB grid is always a busy place
Michael Laverty showing no nerves
Shakey Byrne gives James Haydon his thoughts for the race
Michael Laverty on the Tyco BMW gets ready for the race
A last minute adjustment on the beautifully turned out Be Wiser Ducati
Leon Haslam at the ready.
Dan Linfoot gets all the information he needs
They just seem to get younger and younger!
On display outside Honda hospitality the highly desirable Honda RC213V-S
Conditions improved in the afternoon and it was no surprise to see both Kiyonari and Byrne looking the class of the field. Unfortunately Kiyo crashed near the end of the final session leaving Byrne to top the timing sheets with Danny Buchan on the Be Wiser Kawasaki taking second place. Kiyonari who was bruised but otherwise ok finished in third spot.
1 Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 1m:31.145
2 Danny Buchan (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +0.222s
3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0230s
4 Jakub Smrz (Lloyds British Ducati) +0.243s
5 Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.284s
6 James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.303s
7 Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +0.318s
8 Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +0.380s
9 Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.680s
10 Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +0.890s
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW)
Kiyo in the pit lane walkabout
Over at the MV garage….
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)
The qualifying session saw Shane "Shakey" Byrne smashed the Cadwell Park lap record on his way to claiming pole position by nearly a full second in front of Ryuichi Kiyonari, Buildbase BMW, with Tommy Bridewell completeing the top three positions.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Buildbase BMW
Josh Brookes Milwaukee Yamaha failed to set a time in final qualifying.
Scott Smart, Anvil Hire Kawasaki.
Philip Atkinson was badly shaken but unhurt during the Triumph Triple Challenge race.