Wednesday May 3, 2017 at 4:26pm
Just two points separated Paul Wilby and David Shoubridge at the top of the Team Respro MRO 600 championship standings heading into the weekend at Silverstone, with Shoubridge yet to take a win in 2017.
A relatively steady qualifying saw last year’s Rookie 600 champion qualify on the second row, with series leader Wilby on the front row. But it was former MRO Minitwin champion, Grant Robertson, who finally looked to have got to grips with his ZX-6R Kawasaki, who set a pole position time four tenths of a second faster than Ben Cotgrove.
However, Shoubridge’s second row grid spot did little to hamper his challenge for the win, as he charged through to take the lead of the race on the opening lap. Leading the way from start to finish, he took his first win of the campaign to also assume the championship lead.
Robertson took his first podium in the 600 class with a fine second place, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way. Wilby held onto third place by a whisker from Hayden Platton, a tenth of a second splitting the pair at the chequered flag. Wilby also took second place in the Clubman standings, with Shoubridge taking the win. Michael Mills’ sixth place gave him third in class.
Shoubridge doubled up in race two, further extending his newly acquired championship lead. The race one winner slotted into second place early on from his second row grid spot, as Robertson headed off from pole and into the race lead.
He held the advantage until the halfway stage of the race, before Shoubridge muscled his way through to take the lead. Shoubridge went on to win his second race of the weekend, while behind him, Robertson was beaten back to third place by Adam Hartgrove on the Technical Lifting Services Yamaha. Wilby’s fourth place gave him second place in the Clubman class, with James Plummer in seventh completing the class podium.
The first of Sunday’s two races saw Hartgrove go one better to take the win in an eventful affair. Robertson made a poor start from his front row grid spot, and crashed out of contention on lap two, while Shoubridge, who had started on pole, led the opening lap before being levered aside by Hartgrove on lap two.
Hartgrove immediately pulled a second on Shoubridge, but he was unable to drop him entirely. Starting the final lap Shoubridge was a little over a second adrift, but an issue with the fuel pump cost him valuable time and positions, and he dropped down the order to cross the line in seventh, behind the Moremoto Kawasaki of Wilby.
Hartgrove took the win, David Tinkler second and Platton third. Plummer took the Clubman win in fifth, ahead of Wilby and Shoubridge, the pair second and third respectively.
The final race started with Tinkler hitting the front from the start, and leading until the halfway stage of the race, before Shoubridge made a move stick to take the lead. It wasn’t to last, and a lap later Tinkler was back in front.
Shoubridge remained in touch, but another mistake on the penultimate lap cost him time and he lost touch with the race leader, and could only ride to second place, but it was enough to maintain his series lead. It also gave him the Clubman win.
Platton was hot on his heels in third place, while simultaneously holding off the Yamahas of Hartgrove and Ben Cotgrove, just four tenths of a second covering the four riders from second to fifth.
Sixth place gave Plummer second in the Clubman class, with Mason Williams’ eighth place giving him 16 Clubman points.
In the Rookie 600 class, Tom Newmand and Jon Clark took a brace of victories apiece. Newman’s results were enough to give him the lead in the championship standings. Ollie Shotton took two third placed finishes, with Daire Prendergast and Charlie Patterson also taking a third each over the course of the weekend.
Chilton Motors BMZRC 250
A dominant display from Chris Kent in the Chilton Motors supported 250 MZ series saw him pick up all four race wins, and with them extend his series lead over Andrew Wales and Greg Wright.
Kent qualified on the front row, but it was Robert Dessoy who set the pole time. However, when the lights went out for racing, Kent was the man to beat.
At the front of the opening race, Dessoy and Kent were trading blows, Wright, the trio of riders swapping position at will. Sadly for Dessoy, his race came to an end on the penultimate lap, leaving Kent, Wright, and Wales - who had waded into proceedings - to fight it out for the win.
In the end, seven tenths of a second split the podium, with Kent winning ahead of Wales and Wright.
The same three riders stood on the podium in race two, with Kent back on top while Wales and Wright swapped position. Half a second, this time, split the three of them, with Dessoy coming through the finish fourth.
Kent’s win in Sunday’s opening race bucked the trend set on Saturday, as he took off to win by over four and a half seconds. Wales was second, ahead of Wright by a similar margin, before Kent wrapped up his perfect weekend in the fourth race, just holding off Wales by less than two tenths of a second to take another 25 championship points. Wales was second, while Dessoy finally made it onto the podium in third.
EDIasia Formula 400
Andy Gill took a two-point series lead into the weekend at Silverstone at the top of the EDIasia Formula 400 championship standings, and kicked things off the right way with a front row qualifying position and win in the opening race.
The ZX-R400-mounted rider sat behind fellow Kawasaki pilot Gary Henning for the opening lap, before making a move for the lead and breaking away at the front. That left Henning to deal with the attentions of former champion Richie Welsh on the Eden’s Experiences Yamaha.
Henning held onto the position, but he was pushed all the way to the chequered flag. Aiden Patmore’s impressive ride to fourth on the Dorset Bikes Kawasaki gave him the Rookie class win. Hayden Wood’s seventh handed him the win in the sub-64bhp classification.
A poor start from the front row in race two left Gill with work to do, before his race ended prematurely with a crash on lap four. Welsh, who hit the front as the lights went out, rode unchallenged to victory, crossing the line nine seconds ahead of Mark Thompson.
Henning was again forced to fight for his finishing position, this time third, as he was chased across the line by Mathew Scott and Rookie winner Patmore. Sixth for Wood gave him another sub-64 win.
Despite a third row start in race three, Gill was back to winning ways, and after losing his championship lead to Henning, was determined to claw it back. He wasted no time in making his way to the front, assuming the lead on lap three, and went on to take the win by a comfortable margin from Henning and Keith Povah. Patmore was again the Rookie winner in sixth, with Wood the sub-64 winner in eighth.
A barnstorming final race saw Henning finally take a win for his weekend’s work, as he led a six rider train, covered by just one second, across the line to add 25 championship points to his tally and extend his slender series lead.
Gill led the race the entire way, and pulled out an early advantage. But it was steadily eroded, and Henning made a last-lap pass that gave him the win by just a tenth of a second. Another tenth behind was Thompson, with Welsh merely four tenths away from finishing on the podium. He led Patmore, who bagged another Rookie win, and Povah across the line, to complete the top six.
Wood finished as top sub-64 runner for a fourth time, in eighth.
BG Products MRO Powerbikes
Seasoned roads and British championship racer, Steve Mercer, joined the British Motorcycle Racing Club for the third round of the BG Powerbikes championship, as he continued his preparations for this year’s campaign.
And he was immediately up to speed, taking a comfortable win in race one by over three and a half seconds from his front row qualifying position. Series leader finished second after qualifying on pole, while Morphett finished in second place.
However, former Team Traction Control rider, Mercer, didn’t have it all his own way in the second outing, as reigning champion Parker set a blistering first lap to pull out an advantage of nearly a second, which he then set about extending in the following laps.
Mercer got into his rhythm and set the fastest lap of the race as he bid to hunt down the race leader, but the Global Robots Yamaha rider, held on to take the win and extend his championship lead.
Second went to Mercer, with Michael O’Brien third. Two sixth places from two races for Kyle O’Donovan gave him 50 Clubman championship points, and also the lead in that championship.
O’Brien took his first win of the year in the final race, with Morphett second and Clubman Tom Norton third, as Parker failed to complete the opening lap.
In the Rookie 1000s Alex Penrice took the win in the first race, before James Lyon took a hat-trick of victories.
DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
Anthony Johnson enjoyed another 100% weekend in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters championship, it means the championship leader has only not finished on the top step of the podium once this season.
Johnson qualified on pole ahead of Scott Grant and Doug Edmondson, and went on to win race one by seven and a half seconds. Edmondson and Grant swapped positions off the grid to finish second and third. Lee Huff’s 10th place gave him the Clubman class win and Paul Goldbold’s 17th gave him the Rookie win.
Race two saw Johnson take a second win, with Edmondson back on the podium in second. Giles Harwood bettered Grant by a tenth of a second for the final podium spot. Michael Stanley’s 10th place finish was enough to hand him the Clubman win. The final point-scoring position went to Alan Wood, who took the Rookie win.
Johnson made it three from three, as Andy Davies, who is the only rider to beat Johnson this season, finished second. Harwood added another podium to his tally with a second third placed finish.
Seventh for Marc Prentice saw him pick up 25 Clubman championship points, with Wood taking another Rookie win.
It became a 100% weekend for Johnson in the final race, as he took his fourth win ahead of Edmondson and Harwood. Stanley’s seventh place meant he took another Clubman win, as Wood collected another Rookie trophy.
In the Blue Haze GP class reigning Yamaha Past Masters champion, Mark Taylor, took all four wins.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport
The Steve Jordan Motorcycles sponsored BMCRC Thunderbike Sport races gave series leader Andrew Gill the chance to extend his advantage at the top of the standings, as he took two wins and two third placed finishes from the four races.
Gill took a brace of victories from Saturday’s races, as Mark Trowell finished runner-up on both occasions. Jack Wallis finished third in the opening race of the weekend, before he was bettered by Malvern May in race two.
Sunday’s races saw Trowell do the double, with Payne second ahead of Gill at the first time of asking, before David May bettered Gill for second in the final race.
RKB F1 and F2 Sidecars
Barry James and Jack Tritton set the fastest time in qualifying for the RKB F1 and F2 sidecar races at Silverstone, before going on to take the win in the opening encounter. Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle finished second overall and took the F2 win as they prepare for the Isle of Man TT races, with Dan Hegarty and Craig Neave third and second of the F2s.
A dominant win for James and Tritton in race two saw them further extend their series lead, as they headed a repeat podium from race one.
The LCR Kawasaki pairing of James and Tritton made it three from three in the first race on Sunday, with second going the way of Ryan Crowe and Harry Payne. The F2 win and third overall went to Hegarty and Neve.
It was a clean-sweep for James and Tritton in the final outing, with Crowe and Payne back on the podium in second. Bruce Munro and Tom Pettman made it an all F1 podium, with Simon Gilbert and Carl Morgan the leading F2 outfit in fourth.
Team Green Junior Cup and Senior 300
It was an omen of things to come in the Team Green Junior Cup and Senior 300 races, when series leader Charlie Farrer qualified on pole at Silverstone by over a second. The youngster went on to take a commanding win in the opening race by over eight and a half seconds.
Scott Ogden, who arrived holding second in the championship, finished runner-up, with Aditya Singh Behal third. The leading Senior 300 finisher was Ben Hawes, in fifth.
Farrer was back on the top step of the podium in race two, with Ogden again second. It was damage limitation for Ogden, who had no answer to Farrer’s pace. Patrick Byrne finished third, with Hawes taking another Senior 300 win in fourth.
The hat-trick was complete for Farrer in race three, this time with Hawes second on the overall podium, with Ogden third. But Ogden was able to claw some points back in the final race. Hawes lead the early part of the race, before Ogden took over at the front. Farrer had a go at leading in the middle of the race, but Ogden was able to regain the lead with three laps to go and held on to take the win.
Farrer bagged second, with Hawes third, as he extended his lead in the Senior 300 championship standings.
Properly Protected MRO Minitwins
Glyn Davies arrived at Silverstone with a healthy lead at the top of the MRO Minitwin championship, winning six of the seven races he’d finished from the first two rounds of the year.
However, he was to have his work cut out by a competitive field at the Northamptonshire circuit. Six tenths of a second covered the top five in race one, with Davies managing to finish on the podium in third. The win went to Ryan Folkes, with pole-sitter, Daniel Singleton, second on his SDC Suzuki.
It was another podium for Davies in race two, but the win eluded him, as Richard Hickling claimed victory. Davies was second, with the Carl Harrison Motorcycle Services Suzuki of Folkes in third.
The weekend would take a turn for the worse for Davies on Sunday, however, as he fell in the day’s opening race, resulting the in the red flags being waved. Hickling took the win in the restart, ahead of Folkes and Paul Witherington. Hickling then won the final race with Folkes again second, with Chris Kent third, as Davies was forced to sit out.
In the Rookie Minitwin class, Charlie Downes took a brace of wins, with Cameron Harris and Edward Watson picking up another win apiece.