British Superbike Championship – Round 5

by Mark Rowe

Brands Hatch GP

Australian Josh Waters took his maiden British Superbike victory, and Tyco Suzuki’s first top step of the season, during a shortened BSB race two at Brands Hatch on the GP circuit. The former Australian Superbike champion forced his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 to the front of field in the opening laps of the 15 lap encounter on a wet and treacherous Brands Hatch GP circuit, and from there the affable Aussie stretched his lead to an unassailable five seconds. A delighted Waters, who heads to Japan tomorrow in preparation for next weekend’s Suzuka 8-hour with the Yoshimura Suzuki team said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to have got my first BSB win and to have done it with Tyco Suzuki is just amazing. The team have shown great faith in me and although it was unexpected, I felt great on the bike in that second race. I did think to myself, ‘they are going to catch me’ but I rode a pretty solid race and the GSX-R1000 was faultless.

“It’s just what we all needed and the win is as much for Philip Neill and the boys in the team and everyone at Suzuki and Tyco; and all our other sponsors, as it is for me. It will certainly make my flight to Japan a lot more pleasurable tomorrow and my lucky Irish Leprechaun charm, that the boys got me, is packed and making the trip to Suzuka!”

His team-mate John Hopkins had an equally impressive ride in the opening 20-lap race. Unfortunately Hopper stalled his bike following the warm-up lap due to a clutch adjustment problem, and when the full grid was forced into an additional warm up lap – the number 21 Tyco Suzuki was left to start from the rear of the grid. Visibly frustrated and fired up, Hopper showed some of his best moves on track this season, lifting himself to ninth at the end of the race. In the second race after a strong start, he drifted back to finish tenth.

Hopkins said: “I’m obviously disappointed and was angry at the time to have to start from the back row of the grid, but also pleased that I was able to pass so many riders. I’m not sure what exactly the problem was with the clutch lever, but it was an encouraging finish, although I do believe we could have been in that front group challenging for a podium had we not had the problem.”

Team Manager Philip Neill said: “What a fantastic ride from Josh today. I can’t express how happy we are for him as a team, as he is one of the nicest guys in racing and his talent is unquestionable. “It’s fair to say we have had a tough start to the year, but I’m confident this is a turning point. We have always been confident in the performance level of the GSX-R and a fighting ninth place for John in race one was also a very respectable result from the back of the grid. In Supersport Taylor is fighting as hard as ever, and again we believe he has the talent to progress further as the season progresses. We have already implemented some additional benefits this weekend off the track, which should help him push closer to where his talent deserves to be in the class.”

Taylor Mackenzie said of his weekend: “It’s a case of trying to qualifying stronger in the coming rounds, but I was a lot happier with today’s performance than Saturday’s race. I had a really good morning warm up which inspired confidence and I wasn’t so far away from the front group in today’s race with some good lap times.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch Grand Prix, race two result:

1. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki)
2. Richard Cooper (Kawasaki) +4.627s
3. Keith Farmer (Kawasaki) +6.082s
4. Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha) +7.253s
5. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) +8.247s
6. Jon Kirkham (Kawasaki) +14.094s
7. Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki) +16.720s
8. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) +19.427s
9. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +24.495s
10. John Hopkins (Suzuki) +37.219s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch GP, race one result:

1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW]
2. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) +0.103s
3. James Ellison (Kawasaki) +0.687s
4. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +3.290s
5. Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki) +4.378s
6. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) +5.160s
7. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) +6.130s
8. Richard Cooper (Kawasaki) +8.956s
9. John Hopkins (Suzuki) +12.055.


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