Thursday June 22, 2017 at 3:48pm
Donington Park marked round five and the halfway point of the season for the British Motorcycle Racing Club and round five for the BG Products MRO Powerbikes. And with the country in the midst of a heat wave, it was a perfect weekend for racing.
Joe Morphett arrived heading the championship but with a lead that was anything but comfortable, with Colin Parker still very much in with a chance of defending his title.
And it was Parker that started the weekend by clawing back some of Morphett’s advantage, as he raced to second place in the weekend’s opener, with Morphett crossing the line in third place. However, they were both forced to chase BMW S1000RR-mounted Billy Mellor across the line, as he took victory by just over half a second.
Parker led the way in the opening laps, but Mellor made a pass for the lead on lap three. Series lead Parker, on the Global Robots Yamaha R1, kept him honest but couldn’t find a way back past, and had to make do with the runner-up spot.
Crossing the line in seventh place was Tom Norton on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, taking the Clubman 1000 win to keep things very tight at the top of that championship.
In race two Parker again led in the early stages, before he was passed by Mellor on lap four. The race one-winner held the advantage until the penultimate lap, when Parker re-took the lead. Unfortunately for the defending class champion he crashed out on the last lap of the race, handing victory to Mellor. It also allowed Morphett to extend his series lead, as the LID365.com Yamaha rider took second place. Third went to Michael O’Brien.
Norton made it two from two in the Clubman class with an excellent fourth place.
It became a trio of wins for Mellor in the third and final race of the weekend, as he led from start to finish to cap a dominant weekend. Morphett was in tow in second place, and started the last lap just two tenths of a second adrift, but a mistake cost him any chance of overhauling Mellor at the front, and he took another second placed finish. Third went to former champion Peter Baker, while reigning champion Parker crossed the line in 12th.
Fifth for Norton also meant he took a hat-trick of wins in the Clubman class.
The BMCRC Rookie 1000 championship standings tightened up over the weekend, with Alex Penrice taking a brace of victories and a second place to close in on James Lyon’s series lead. The other win went to Kristian Whybrow.
Chilton Motors MZ 250 championship
Two victories for Chris Kent meant he continued to pull away at the top of the Chilton Motors MZ championship, and despite there still being four rounds to go, the odds of him lifting the 2017 crown get shorter by the race.
He took a commanding win in race one, disappearing at the front of the field to take victory ahead of Greg Wright and Robert Dessoy, before taking second place in race two in one of the closest finishes of the season.
With positions swapping constantly, it was a lottery as to who would come out on top, as Andrew Wales, Kent, Wright, Christopher Rogers, and Dessoy all battled for supremacy. As the chequered flag was waved, the quintet streamed across the line, just half a second covering all of them.
Wales took the win, less than two hundredths of a second ahead of Kent, who in turn was just less than two hundredths of a second ahead of Wright, the three podium finishers split by 0.035s. Rogers was fourth and less than four tenths adrift of the rostrum, with Dessoy in fifth, a tenth further back.
Kent was back to winning ways in race three, steadily pulling away from Wright, who held Wales off for second place.
DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
Anthony Johnson continued to pull away at the top of the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters, but Neil Macqueen added another win to his tally, after he joined the series at the previous round at Snetterton.
Johnson and Maqueen were glued together at the front of the opening race, with Johnson leading the early stages before Macqueen hit the front. He held his advantage until the flag, taking the win by just over half a second. Manxman Peter Moore, making a wildcard appearance, took third.
Michael Stanley’s sixth place gave him the Clubman class honours, while Barry Hobbs’ 18th gave him the Rookie win.
Johnson upped the pace for race two, determined to get back to the top step of the podium. He pulled away from Macqueen, leaving him to battle with Doug Edmondson for the runner-up spot. Less than a second separated the pair at the flag, with Macqueen holding on to second and Edmondson taking third.
Stanley added another Clubman win, with the Rookie win going to Paul Godbold.
The final race saw Johnson increase the pace further, dipping below the 1:20 mark for the first time this weekend. However, Macqueen went with him, finding the pace to get into the low 1:19s, as the pair pulled a gap of over 17 seconds on the chasing pack.
Johnson had enough in hand to take the win by one and a half seconds, with Macqueen second. Edmondson took another third placed finish, bettering Giles Harwood, who led the opening lap of the race.
It was a full suite of Clubman wins for Stanley, who crossed the line in seventh place, with Paul Godbold in the points in 14th place to take the Rookie win.
EDIasia Formula 400
It was change at the top of the EDIasia Formula 400 standings, as Andy Gill displaced Gary Henning at the top of the leaderboard.
Henning came into the weekend holding a nine-point lead at the top of the championship, but lasted just a lap into the opening race. His DNF allowed Gill to seize the advantage, his comfortable victory installing him as the new series leader.
Behind, a gripping battle for third was decided by just over a tenth of a second, as rookie Aiden Patmore impressed to take the runner-up spot. Third went to Keith Povah, with the Sub-64bhp class win going the way of Bob Masters, in fifth.
Gill extended his series lead further in race two by taking another win, as Henning came through from his 31st place grid spot to finish second. Povah bettered Matthew Scott for third place in another thrilling battle that saw less than a tenth split the pair.
Jeremy Hill’s fifth place gave him the Sub-64 win, with the Rookie win going to Karl Cooney after Patmore retired.
The final race saw Henning recover five points on Gill after taking a commanding win to end the weekend on a high. Starting from second on the grid, the SGT Motorcycles Kawasaki rider led the opening laps, before Gill hit the front on lap three. Two laps later, however, and Henning was back in front, and began pulling away.
From there he was never headed, and took the win, with Gill second and Scott third. Bob Masters’ fifth gave him the Sub-64 win, with Cooney the rookie victor.
ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins
Glynn Davies managed to recover some ground on MRO Minitwin championship leader Ryan Folkes at Donington Park, despite Folkes making a stronger start to the weekend.
Folkes qualified on pole and took victory in the opening race, passing Davies on the last lap and setting the best lap of the race in the process. Davies took second, with Michael Yates in third, leading a four-rider train across the line that was covered by less than a second.
Davies reversed the five-point deficit in race two, narrowly edging Foulkes in the battle for the win, with one hundredth of a second the difference as he chequered flag came out. Hickling was just seven tenths adrift in third place.
But it was the final race that might prove decisive in the championship chase. Folkes led the early laps, but was passed by Davies on lap three, as the two contested the race lead. Heading into lap eight of 10 and Davies led the way, but Folkes was just over a hundredth of a second back, and it was anyone’s guess which way it was going to go. In fact, there were six riders covered by just a second. A lap later however, and Folkes had dropped back to fourth.
On the last lap of the race, as Davies bid to get away, Folkes pushed too hard in his pursuit of victory, and crashed out. Davies held on to take the win, in the end, by nearly a second, with Hickling second and Povah third. It means Folkes saw his points lead reduced from 53 to 28.
RKB-F1 & F2 Sidecars
Fastest in practice and qualifying, it was Barry James and Jack Tritton who dominated the races in the RKB-sponsored F1 and F2 sidecar races. The LCR Kawasaki-mounted pairing, backed by Difuria Contractors, took victory in race one, with Dan Hegarty and Craig Neave second, the pair taking the win in the F2 class. Third went to Simon Gilbert and Carl Morgan, the pair the second across the line in the F2 category.
Race two and James and Tritton took their second with, with Gilbert and Morgan second, taking the F2 win. Marc and Rik Vannieuwenhuyse were third on their F2 Shelbourne Honda.
It was three from three for F1 class championship leaders, with a repeat podium in the final race from the day’s opener, as Gilbert and Morgan took second with Marc and Rik Vannieuwenhuyse back on the podium in third.
Team Green Junior Cup and Senior 300
Charlie Farrer took all three wins in the Team Green championship races, the Junior championship and overall series leader finishing ahead of Ben Hawes - who leads the Senior standings - on each occasion.
Jamie Kelman took third in race one, and was back on the final step of the podium in Sunday’s opening race. He made it a hat-trick of third placed finishes in the final race.
Team Respro MRO 600
David Tinkler took a brace of victories from the first two of the weekend’s three races at Donington Park on his AllTrades Yamaha, but he was denied the hat-trick after a DNF in the final race.
Tinkler won the opening race from Ed Pead, who passed Hartgrove on the penultimate lap to snatch the runner-up spot. Hartgrove had to settle for third. The Clubman win went to Stefan Ellis in sixth.
It was Tinkler who was back on the top step of the podium in race two, with Hartgrove second. The pair were again battling at the front with Pead, who led the way onto the last lap before crashing out. With Tinkler and Hartgrove promoted to first and second, it allowed Cameron Tenzig-Jenkins to get onto the podium in third.
Michael Mill took the honours in the Clubman class, crossing the line in seventh.
But it all turned sour for both Tinkler and Hartgrove in the final race, with neither making it to the chequered flag.
That left Thomas O’Grady to take the win, with Tenzig-Jenkins second and Stuart Wickens third. Mills’ fourth gave him another Clubman win.
It was a double for Tom Newman in the Rookie 600 class, as Charlie Patterson took the spoils in the final race, as he bids to keep in touch with Newman at the top of the championship standings.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme
It was another dominant weekend for Jason Byard in the Thunderbike Extreme class, as he took three wins to further extend his series lead.
The May Construction Suzuki rider took victory ahead of Matt Hinnells in race one, with fellow Suzuki pilot Alan Wood in third. He then held off Moto46 Ducati’s Chris Matthews in race two, with Wood again on the podium in third.
Byard cemented his dominance in the final race, Matthews and Wood again second and third respectively.