Thursday May 5, 2016 at 1:47pm
Properly Protected MRO Minitwins
There were four winners from four races in the Properly Protected-sponsored MRO Minitwins at Silverstone, in a series that, so far had only seen two riders take a win from the opening two rounds of the season.
Jake Povah, after qualifying on the front row of the grid in third place, was the first victor of the weekend, but as the lights went out for race one it was pole-sitter Kurtis Butler who hit the front, as he led the pack across the line after the opening lap.
Unfortunately a spill on the second lap saw him surrender the lead to Richard Hickling, who then set about gapping the chasing pack to hold a commanding lead of over three seconds after lap two. Meanwhile, former champion Grant Robertson had progressed through from seventh on the grid to hold second place, with Povah giving chase in third.
Hickling continued to extend his advantage, and started the last lap of the race nearly nine seconds to the good and certain to continue to extend the Hickling / Butler dominance of the class.
However, with a crash on the last lap he threw away the chance to take 25 important championship points, and handed the win to Povah, who bettered Robertson on the penultimate lap to take his first win of the season. Robertson crossed the line in second place, with Mark Williams third.
Povah was back on the podium in race two, but he could do nothing about Tyler Walsh, who took the lead on lap two and disappeared into the distance. He crossed the line to take the win five seconds ahead of the chasing field.
Povah, too, had a lonely ride. He escaped the attentions of Robertson early on, and while he couldn’t match the pace of Walsh out front, he detached himself from the battle for third place. That battle was a far closer call, as three riders took the chequered flag just two tenths of a second apart.
It went the way of Glynn Davies, but another lap may well have seen either Butler or Hickling on the podium, as the duo carved their way through the pack to finish fourth and fifth.
While a more expected victor stood on the top step of the podium in race three, based on the form of the opening two rounds, Hickling’s win or indeed Butler’s second place were assured, as Walsh proved he has the pace to run with the series’ favourites.
Walsh led the way in the opening stages, but surrendered the lead to Butler on the second lap, before Hickling also made a pass. But while he was never quite in a position to make a pass, Walsh was in touch for the duration of the race, ready to pounce should Hickling and Butler have come together.
Unfortunately for Walsh, he couldn’t repeat his performance in the final race of the weekend, and after a poor start from the front row dropped him down to sixth on the opening lap, he crashed out just a lap later.
Instead, Davies got in on the act at the front, and made it a three-way fight for the win with Butler and Hickling.
Davies held the lead for the opening half of the race, before he eventually succumbed to the pressure, first from Butler, and then Hickling. However, he hung in there, and crossed the line in third place, just three tenths off the win. Butler took the win and made it four winners from four races, while Hickling finished second. In the Rookie Minitwin class, Daniel Singleton enjoyed a perfect weekend and took all four wins.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme
Jason Byard enjoyed a dominant weekend at Silverstone in the ELP Racing Thunderbike Extreme class, qualifying on pole and taking all four wins.
It was a close-run thing for pole, with Byard edging out Alan Wood by five thousandths of a second. However, the opening race was anything but close, with Byard setting the fastest lap of the race to take the race win by five and a half seconds.
Matt Hinnells rode to a lonely second place with David Abraham in third, as 10 seconds covered the podium. Ian Costello took the win in the rookie class.
Byard took his second win of the weekend in race two in a closer affair, but he still took the win by over a second, with Hinnells again on the podium in second and Alan Wood third, while Costello took another rookie class win.
The podium was a repeated in Sunday’s opener, as Byard clinched his third win of the weekend, before he completed his rout by taking the final race win by nearly eight seconds, with Hinnells making it four second place finishes from four attempts.
Matt Last came out on top in the battle for the final podium spot, as one and a half seconds covered the four-rider scrap, after making a move for the position on the penultimate lap and holding off the challenge from Denzil Davies, top rookie Costello, and Wood.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport
Oliver Fooks secured a hat-trick of victories in the Thunderbike Sport series, cementing himself as a favourite for the 2016 title.
Fooks took 25 points in the opening encounter with a commanding start-to-finish win, leading every lap from his front row grid spot. However, it was anything but an easy win, as Jake Povah pushed the former National Junior Cup front-runner all the way to the chequered flag, crossing the line just a tenth of a second adrift.
Paul Witherington finished third, with the rookie win going to Benjamin Roswell, as he crossed the line in 12th place and inside the points.
Race two saw another duel at the front behind Fooks and Povah, as less than half a second split the pair at the end of the race.
Fooks took off at the front from the start, stretching out a one second lead on the opening lap alone, as Povah slotted into third. Two laps later and Povah had moved into second place, but was still over two seconds adrift of Fooks.
From there, he set about bridging the gap, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way. He made a move the lead on the penultimate lap, and held off Fooks challenge on the last lap to take the win.
Third went to Mark Trowell, as Roswell took another 12 place finish and the win in the rookie classification.
Sunday’s races saw Fooks complete his hat-trick of victories, as he took a comfortable win in the day’s opener, crossing the line ahead of Trowell and Andrew Gill, as Povah claimed fourth place after a mistake on lap four cost him time.
Fooks then went on to take the spoils in the final race of the weekend, as Gill and Trowell reversed positions on the podium. Richard May took a brace of rookie wins with 12th and 13th place finishes.
RKB-F1 and BMCRC F2 Sidecars
The RKB-F1 and BMCRC F2 Sidecars saw Gary Smith and Ryan Anderson take three of the four overall and F1 class race wins available, as Barry James and Jack Tritton took the other, while Sean Reeves and Andy Winkle shared the F2 class spoils with Simon Gilbert and Carl Morgan.
The opening race of the weekend was a tightly contested affair, as Smith and Anderson recovered from a poor start on the front row to hunt down early race leaders James and Tritton.
Smith and Anderson made a move for the lead on lap three, and pulled out a gap of nearly two seconds. However, James and Tritton regrouped and chased down the new race leaders, reducing the deficit to less than half a second, but couldn’t regain the lead, as Smith and Anderson took their first win of the weekend.
James and Tritton took second overall and second in the F1 class, with third overall going to Reeves and Winkle, the duo securing their first F2 class win of the weekend.
Saturday’s second race ended with a repeat podium from the opening race, with Smith and Anderson taking the overall and F1 win, as Reeves and Winkle’s third gave them the F2 win.
James and Tritton got out of the blocks quickest in the opening race on Sunday, and led the way in the early laps. Smith and Anderson hunted them down and assumed the race lead on lap four, and pulled out over one and a half seconds. But James and Tritton plugged away, and clawed their way back into contention, forcing the leaders into a mistake on the last lap, and pounced to take the win.
Ian Ashley and temporary stand-in passenger, Bob Dawson, finished third overall and third in the F1 class, as the F2 win went to Gilbert and Morgan in fourth.
A race-long fight at the front in the final race between Smith and Anderson and James and Tritton ended with Smith and Anderson taking the win by half a second, with Ashley and Dawson again third and Gilbert and Morgan taking another fourth placed finish and the F2 win.
EDIasia Formula 400s
Gary Smith was the man to beat in the EDIasia Formula 400 series, as he took three wins from four races, while Emma Jarman stood on the top step of the podium to take the other available win.
The first race of the weekend ended with Smith taking his first win, after much of the race had been led by pole-sitter Andrew Gill. Gill held the advantage until he made a mistake on the penultimate lap, handing the lead to Smith. Gill reduced the gap, but was unable to retake the lead and had to settle for second place behind Smith.
Meanwhile, there was another two-horse race going on for third place, with former champion Richie Welsh dicing with Jarman for the final spot on the podium. In the end it was Welsh who prevailed, with three tenths of a second the gap at the chequered flag. Oliver Fooks’ sixth place handed him the Sub-64bhp class win.
Jarman took her win in the second race, after getting to grips with a drying track quicker than anyone else, pulling out a four and a half second lead to take the win ahead of Smith and Gary Henning. Fooks was again the winner in the Sub-64 class in fifth overall.
One second split the podium come the end of the first race on Sunday, as Smith returned to winning ways. Gill took another second place with Henning third, as Fooks’ slipped to eighth place, but still claimed the Sub-64 win.
Smith’s win in the final race came after a titanic five-rider battle at the front of the field. Jarman led the way on the opening circulation, before Welsh made up two places on the second lap to assume the race lead. It didn’t last long, as he was soon demoted back to third as Henning re-passed him, and Smith passed the both for the lead.
From there, Smith was never headed and pulled out a gap of over a second to take the win. But he left the other four to sort out who would finish on the podium.
Henning and Welsh held second and third as the quartet streamed across the line to start the final lap, but in a flurry of lunges the order reshuffled, Jarman and Gill the benefiters, as they finished on the podium to the disappointment of Welsh and Henning, who finished fourth and fifth.
Harry Rowlings prevented an Oliver Fooks clean-sweep in the Sub-64 class, as he finished seventh to take the class win, while Adam Hargrove grabbed all four wins in the rookie 400 class over the course of the weekend.
ACU Team Green Junior Cup & Senior 300s
The ACU Team Green Junior Cup and the Senior 300 series enjoyed its second outing of the season at Silverstone, with three winners standing on top of the overall podium from the four races.
Two went the way of Charlie Farrer, who qualified on pole, ahead of Joey Lambden and Jordan McCord, but he would have to wait until the second race of the weekend, as McCord snatched victory from Farrer’s clutches.
Farrer had led the way for much of the race, as he and McCord separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Sitting close behind the leader, McCord matched his pace until the penultimate lap, when he put the hammer down, grabbed the lead, and pulled out a gap of over a second and a half. On the last lap he extended it to over two seconds, and took his first win of the season.
Farrer crossed the line in second place, with Luke Hopkins coming out on top in the fight for third place. The Senior win went to Gareth Hopkins in fourth place.
But in race two, Farrer went one better and took the win - also his first of the season - in tight finish at the front, this time with Luke Hopkins in second place. Farrer led every lap, with a comfortable margin in the opening laps, but he was hunted down by Hopkins, who took two seconds out of Farrer’s lead. But he was never able to make a move, and had to settle for the runner-up spot.
Lambden took a lonely third with Gareth Hopkins again fourth and again the leading Senior rider.
Sunday’s opening race saw Farrer again on the top step of the podium, again with Luke Hopkins and Lambden on the podium in second and third. Elliot Pinson, who dominated the opening round, finally made his way into the top five after a weekend of mechanical issues.
The Senior class win went to Monica Isaac, as Gareth Hopkins dropped from contention after two laps.
Pinson’s weekend ended on a high, as he became the third rider to take a race win from the weekend and added to his three wins from the opening round at Donington Park. Luke Hopkins crossed the line half a second back of the winner, ending a positive weekend with another podium, with Lambden also back on the podium in third. Ben Hawes sixth place gave him the Senior class win.
BG Products MRO Powerbikes
Close, hard-fought, and exciting action was the order of the weekend in the BG Products-backed MRO Powerbikes, with three riders taking race wins.
It was former champion Baker who started the right way, taking the win in the opening wet race after a duel with Daryl Dance. The pair traded places constantly, but in the end Baker prevailed after a penultimate lap move broke Dance’s resolve.
Dance crossed the line in second place, half a second back, with Colin Parker third. Luke Zuchowski took the Clubman honours in ninth place.
A dry race two saw Dance exact his revenge, as he claimed the win from Parker and John Butler, with Baker just missing out on the podium in fourth place. David Mills’ impressive seventh place saw him pick up 25 points in the Clubman class.
Sunday’s races saw Parker take a brace of victories, his first coming ahead of Baker and Butler. Baker and Butler were back on the podium in the final race, albeit in reverse order, but it was Parker who again stood on the top step. Jamie Tibble also picked up both Clubman wins.
BMCRC Rookie 1000s
Kyle O’Donovan took the win in the opening BMCRC Rookie 1000s’ race, with Chris Creask and Justin Bone second and third. He then followed it up with a commanding victory in race two, this time with Mick Whalley and Mariusz Siemieniuk-Juzwiuk on the rostrum.
Whalley took the win in Sunday’s opening encounter, and was joined on the podium by Bone and Siemieniuk-Juzwiuk, before O’Donovan returned to action and winning ways after missing the first race of the day, as he took the chequered flag first in the final race. Whalley was second and Siemieniuk-Juzwiuk third.
Team Respro MRO 600s
Grant Newstead was on top form in the Team Respro MRO 600s, as he took three wins over the course of the weekend, as Joe Morphett picked up the other victory.
Newstead started his winning weekend from the opening race, as he rode to a comfortable victory, with Morphett three seconds back in second place. Dominic Pettit took third after a close battle with Ross McLurg, and also grabbed the Clubman win.
Morphett showed he was to fight for wins over the weekend though, and took the chequered flag first in race two. McLurg was second and lead Clubman, with Newstead third.
Sunday saw Newstead take a brace of wins, his first by a dominant eight seconds. Morphett and McLurg battled it out for second place, the duo again back on the podium and McLurg again taking the Clubman class honours.
The final race was another comfortable one for Newstead, as Morphett and McLurg again found themselves embroiled in a scrap to settle the order of the bottom steps on the podium. Morphett claimed second in the end, with McLurg third and again the Clubman victor.
BMCRC Rookie 600s
David Shoubridge showed he is going to challenge for the Rookie 600 crown this season and take the fight to early series favourite Callaghn Edser.
Shoubridge took two victories on Saturday, winning both races in comfortable fashion, as Edser crashed out on the opening lap.
His first win came ahead of Callum Hammett and James Seath, before he again bettered Hammett in race two, this time with Edser charging through the pack to finish third.
With Edser staring on the front row in Sunday’s opening race, the fight was on, and it was Shoubridge who came out on top, the gap less than two tenths at the flag as he beat Edser to the win. Hammett was back on the podium in third place.
Edser did mount the top step of the podium in the final race, as he crossed the line one and a half seconds ahead of Shoubridge, who was chased across the line by Hammett.