Close racing at Snetterton for the BMCRC Championships

Thursday May 25, 2017 at 10:32am
Close racing at Snetterton for the BMCRC Championships
Team Green Championship including Junior Cup and Senior 300

Ben Hawes kept his Team Green Championship challenge alive, taking three wins at Snetterton to narrow the gap to Charlie Farrer and Scott Ogden at the top of the standings.


Hawes started the weekend 57 points off the series lead, which was held by Farrer coming into the fourth round of the season. But it was the Senior 300 runaway series leader who qualified on pole position for the weekend’s opening race around the Snetterton 300 circuit.


Hawes shot off from the line, and had pulled out a lead of over one second on the first lap, and by the end of lap two it was up to nearly three and a half seconds. His pace was unrivalled, as the only rider to lap under 2:20, and he cruised to a commanding win.


He was joined on the podium by Joe Holdsworth, who rode unchallenged to second place and the Junior Cup win, with Joey Lambden third and runner-up in the junior class. Hawes’ mood would have been boosted to see Farrer down in seventh, and Ogden in the non-classified section of the results sheet after a crash on lap two. He walked away unhurt.


The second race was again won by a healthy margin, although this time it was Farrer who put five championship points back into Hawes, the pair finishing first and second. However, Farrer’s race was anything but comfortable, and despite hitting the front on the opening lap, he was chased hard by Holdsworth, who was keen to go one better than his earlier result.


The gap between the two was half a second after the opening circulation, but Holdsworth had whittled it down to just a tenth by the end of lap two. The pair were then nailed together for the remaining laps, until Holdsworth overstepped the mark on the last lap and crashed out of contention.


It handed Hawes a handy second place, and limited his points lost to Farrer, while Michael Stone took third, and was second in the Senior 300 class.


Races three and four saw Hawes return to the top step of the podium, but he was made to work for his 50 championship points. Just half a second separated Hawes and Farrer in Sunday’s first race, and the gap was even less in the final race, when Hawes beat Ogden to the line by less than a tenth of a second.


Ogden was third in race three, while Farrer claimed third place in race four, the pair taking a Junior Cup class win apiece from the two races, but it was Hawes who closed in at the top of the Team Green Championship standings.


Team Respro MRO 600

Three winners graced the top step of the podium in the Team Respro MRO 600 races at Snetterton, with close racing even seeing the top four split by less than a second at the chequered flag in one outing.


The first race set the tone, and after grabbing the holeshot, David Tinkler saw his race lead eroded from 2.8 seconds to just two tenths of a second in one lap. Pushed by James Plummer, he crashed out a lap later.


Plummer inherited the lead, and stretched out enough of a gap over pole-sitter Hayden Platton to take the win by just less than a second. It also gave Plummer the Clubman class win.


The battle for third went down to the wire. Paul Wilby and Grant Robertson had been swapping position throughout the race, but it was Wilby who triumphed, out-dragging Robertson to the line to take the final podium spot by five hundredths of a second.


Robertson responded to missing out on the podium in race one by going on to take the win in race two, as four riders streamed across the line to take the chequered flag, as just one second covered the quartet.


A last-lap-move from Robertson saw him hit the front and lead the way to the line, David Tinkler second after leading every lap apart from the one that mattered. Series leader, Adam Hartgrove, took third, just seeing off Clubman winner Plummer by six hundredths of a second.


David Tinkler went one better in race three to take his first of two race wins from the weekend, Hartgrove took second, ahead of David Shoubridge, who recovered from an earlier crash to take third and the Clubman win.


Tinkler and Hartgrove again finished one-two in the final race, with Wilby back on the podium in third, claiming the Clubman class win.


In the BMCRC Rookie 600 class Tom Newman took all four race wins to further extend his lead at the top of the championship standings.


Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme

Two wins helped Jason Byard extend his lead at the top of the Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme championship, the May Construction Suzuki rider also adding second and third placed finishes to his weekend’s haul.


Byard opened his account for the weekend with a third place, while the win in race one went to Daniel Lawlor, as he tried to keep his championship challenge alive. Alan Wood finished in second place.


In race two Byard turned the tables and bettered Lawlor to the win, with Dave Shelvey third, before taking his second win in Sunday’s opening race. He was followed across the line by Matt Hinnells, in second place, but the Moremoto Aprilia rider was subsequently excluded for failing a post-race technical inspection. That promoted Shelvey to second, with Tony Russo third.


In the final race Hinnells had rectified the issues with his Aprilia, and rode to victory from the back of the grid, with a last lap pass on Byard. Russo followed the pair home to take third.


Carl Tucker took all four Rookie wins with a best finish of seventh.


Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport

In the Thunderbike Sport class, backed by Steve Jordan Motorcycles, Daniel Couzens took a hat-trick of victories in his first outing in the series this season.


Couzens, a former MRO Minitwin champion, took victory in both of Saturday’s races, taking the chequered flag ahead of series leader Andrew Gill on both occasions. Malvern May took third place in race one, with Alan Harland third in race two.


Sunday’s first race saw Harland improve to take victory, with Couzens back on the podium in second, with Chris Burrage making it into the top three in third place. But Couzens was back to winning ways in the final outing, escaping the attentions of Burrage to storm to victory. Burrage held onto second, with May in third place.


DFDS Yamaha Past Masters

It looked as though usual service would be resumed in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters, with series leader Anthony Johnson qualifying on pole position, coming off the back of another dominant weekend at Silverstone.


However, he was challenged by former Rookie champion Scott Grant in race one, with the featherweight youngster hanging on to take the win by six hundredths of a second as the pair drag-raced to the line.


Doug Edmondson came out on top in the battle for third, holding off Neil MacQueen. Michael Stanley’s Prentice’s 12th gave him the Clubman win, with Rookie honours going to Alan Wood in 16th.


A downpour prior to race two made for some last minute decisions on tyre choice, with Edmondson and Paul Toland forced to pull in on the warm-up lap having opted for wets. With the race run on a dry track, Johnson and MacQueen battled at the front, before Johnson began to stretch his advantage. A mistake for MacQueen on the last lap assured Johnson of victory, with MacQueen taking second, as Grant took third.

Stanley picked up another 25 points in the Clubman championship in sixth, with Wood’s 11th enough for the Rookie spoils.


Johnson doubled up with a win in race three ahead of Grant and Giles Harwood, but a DNF in race four left MacQueen to take victory. Edmondson took second, bettering Grant, who took third. There were two more Clubman wins for Stanley, with seventh and eighth placed finishes, with Wood and Paul Godbold taking a Rookie win each.


BG Products MRO Powerbikes

A triple win for Joe Morphett in the BG Products MRO Powerbikes saw him usurp Colin Parker as championship leader.


Parker arrived at the Norfolk circuit holding the series lead, and went on to qualify on pole onboard his Global Robots Yamaha. It was an all Yamaha front row, with Morphett second and Michael O’Brien third on the grid.


Race one looked to be going to plan for the defending champion, with Parker leading the way, and withstanding the pressure of the chasing Morphett. However, he was forced to pull out of the lead on lap seven with an electrical problem, and with it surrendered his position at the top of the championship standings, allowing Morphett to take the win and 25 championship points. Tom Norton’s third place also gave him the Clubman win.


Morphett backed up his race one result with a double win from Sunday’s races, with Parker doing his best to limit the damage to his championship aspirations. He finished third in Sunday’s first race behind Morphett and O’Brien, before taking another third place in the last race, with Morphett winning ahead of Peter Baker.


Norton took two more Clubman wins with two fifth placed finishes.


In the BMCRC Rookie 1000 class races James Lyon took a brace of victories, before Michael Whisker and Kristian Whybrow took a win apiece.


Chilton Motors BMZRC 250

BMZRC championship leader Chris Kent dominated the weekend at Snetterton and extended his series lead, taking all four wins.


He qualified on pole before going on to take the win in the opening race ahead of Greg Wright and Andrew Wales. Wright and Wales were back on the podium in race two, this time with Wales in the runner-up spot and Wright in third.


Both of Sunday’s races again went to Kent, with Wright and Wales sharing a second and a third each.


ProperlyProtected MRO Minitwins

Ryan Folkes held onto his championship lead in the MRO Minitwin class, backed by, despite only taking one win from the weekend’s action.


Folkes’ nearest challenger, Glynn Davies, started the weekend the better of the two, taking victory in race one from his front row grid spot, with Folkes in second place. Chris Kent crossed the line in third place after leading the race at the halfway point.


However, it all started to go wrong in race two, when a downpour prior to the race delayed the start, and resulted in tricky conditions and a tyre-choice lottery.


12 riders didn’t complete the first lap, pulling in with the wrong tyres. Kent took the win with Gary Carlin second and Ben Catt third. Folkes salvaged fourth, with Davies down in 14th.


Things got worse for Davies in Sunday’s opening race, as he crashed out on the penultimate lap, leaving James Larter to take his first podium of the weekend with a win, ahead of Fokles and Kent. However, he recovered in race two to finish second, but he was again behind the Carl Harrison Motorcycle Services Suzuki SV650 of Folkes, who took the win. Larter was third.


The Rookie Minitwin races saw Cameron Harris take three wins and extend his Rookie championship lead, the other going to Charlie Downes.

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