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Bemsee season hits halfway point at Snetterton

Wednesday June 12, 2019 at 2:19pm
Bemsee season hits halfway point at Snetterton
The Snetterton 300 circuit hosted the fifth round of the British Motorcycle Racing Club’s season, marking the halfway point of the world-famous club’s 2019 calendar.


Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport

A wet start to the weekend’s proceedings saw Chris Burrage set the fastest time in qualifying for the BMCRC Thunderbike Sport class, setting a lap time half a second quicker than impressive rookie Alex Robinson. The pair were far and away the quickest on track, with no one else within two seconds of Burrage’s pole.


With the Steve Jordan Motorcycles-sponsored category again proving immensely popular with entries, the usual two-group format saw groups A and B lineup for race one, with Burrage at the head of the grid on his Seton Tuning Kawasaki. He was joined by Thomas Watson and Adam Jamison.


However, the early race leader came from the second row, with championship leader Daniel Singleton surging to the front. An astonishing opening lap saw him pull five seconds on the chasing pack. A lap later his lead was over nine seconds. Yet there was an air of inevitability when he crashed out on lap three, handing the lead to Jamison on his AJ Racing Yamaha.


Keeping it fast but keeping it safe, he raced away to victory, some 18 seconds ahead of Burrage. Colin Clune was a further distance back again, and finished third.


Putting the mistake of race one behind him, Singleton returned to the fray and returned to the front in race two, which saw groups B and C take to the track, taking a controlling win by 20 seconds. Meanwhile, the racing was tighter for the final two podium spots, and come the chequered flag less than a second was the difference between Watson and third place Paul Robson, the duo edging away from Wil Green in the end, after he’d held second early on.


While not wet, the track was still damp for the final race of the opening day’s action as groups A and C lined up on the grid, and the tricky conditions caught a number of runners and riders out on the first lap.


Jamison mastered the conditions the quickest, and pulled an early advantage at the front, and while it came down in the closing stages, he managed it to take another win, crossing the line ahead of Ricardo Branco and Shane Beasley.


A drier Sunday saw the pace increase and things tighten up at the front for the day’s opener. Singleton led early in the A and B race, but was immediately shuffled backwards as Beasley took his turn to lead. His lead, too, only lasted a lap, before Jack Sim snatched the advantage away.


Sim held the lead until the final lap, before being mugged by Watson, who led the only that matters to take the win. Sim was second, while Singleton took third.


The day’s second race saw Watson pick up another win, this time by leading from start to finish to cross the line ahead of Singleton and James Seath in the group B and C race.


Groups A and C took to the track for the weekend’s final race, and for the duration Branco and Beasley went toe-to-toe for the win. It went back-and-forth, but in the end Branco set the fastest lap of the race on the final circulation to win by nearly a second, with Beasley the runner-up. Shaun Wallis ended his weekend with a podium in third.


Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme and Thunderbike Ultra

Aiden Patmore conceded ground to Steve Palmer at the top of the Thunderbike Ultra championship standings at Snetterton, while Andy Saunders extended his in the Extreme class with three seconds and a win.


Patmore’s weekend started well, as he took both the overall and the Ultra class win in the opening race. The 25 points were worth even more, as his nearest adversary Steve Palmer tangled with Barry Chamberlain on the final lap, causing them both the crash out as they fought over the finishing order on the podium.


The Extreme win went to David Shelvey. Quickest in qualifying earlier in the day, Shelvey was promoted to second on his Suzuki following Palmer and Chamberlain’s incident, while Saunders took third.


However, after being disqualified after failing to spot a black and orange flag for a problem with his machine, Patmore scored no points for race two, and in turn Palmer clawed some points back in the championship chase.


Finishing second overall and second in class, Palmer picked up 20 points, as Josh Harvey took an excellent win by nearly 16 seconds. Making it an all Ultra class overall podium, Chamberlain was third, as Shelvey, Saunders, and Tony Russo finished fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively and made up the podium in the Extreme class.


Sunday’s opening race took place without Patmore present, and allowed Palmer to reduce the series lead by another 25 points, taking the win ahead of Harvey. He had to work hard for it, however, and only secured victory with a last lap move. Chamberlain collected another third place trophy. Shelvey, Saunders, and Russo picked up where they left off, and covered out the Extreme podium in fourth, fifth, and sixth.


It was another close-run affair at the front of the final race, again with Palmer and Harvey doing battle. Palmer added another win to his tally, and took another nine points out of Patmore’s series lead, with the championship leader finishing third. Palmer’s win came ahead of Harvey by less than a tenth of a second.


After finishing second in class all weekend, Saunders ended his visit to the Norfolk circuit with a victory, taking the flag by two tenths of a second after a last lap pass on Shelvey, who finished second in the Extreme class. Russo was third.


DFDS Yamaha Past Masters

The lead of the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters championship changed hands at Snetterton, with Scott Carson overturning a 30-point deficit to leave with 11 points in hand over Doug Edmondson.


Carson picked up his first win since the second round at Cadwell Park in race one, winning by a colossal half a minute as Edmondson DNF’d for just the second time this season. But while Carson was 30 seconds up the road, less than one second was the gap between Andrew Burscough and Simon Clark in second and third. Clark also secured the honours of top Clubman.


Coming from row seven in race two, Edmondson was amongst the leaders by the second lap. It soon became a two-horse race at the front between Edmondson and Peter Branton, but Carson was ever-present in third, lurking just over a second back ready to collect the pieces should anything happen ahead of him.


Unfortunately for him, it didn’t, and Branton took the victory by less than a second from Edmondson, with Carson third. Simon Clark’s seventh gave him another 25 points in the Clubman championship.


Edmondson went one better in race two, taking victory ahead of Carson and Branton, but it was disaster for the series leader in the last race, as he dropped out of contention when chasing down Carson, who was out front.


That left Carson to take another win, although he wasn’t entirely out of the woods, with Branton giving chase. In the end it was enough, and Branton claimed second ahead of Andy Davies, as Carson assumed the series lead.


A seventh and a sixth from Sunday’s races for Clark saw him clean-sweep the Clubman class.


Team Respro MRO 600 and MSS Performance Clubman 600

It was a weekend to forget for Team Respro MRO 600 championship leader Jamie Kelman at Snetterton, as he recorded three DNFs, only finishing the fourth of four races in sixth place. However, after arriving with 62 points in hand, he still left the Norfolk circuit at the top of the points tables.


Lloyd Collins and Cameron Fraser shared the wins on a wet Saturday. Collins’ victory came ahead of MSS Performance Clubman winner Dawid Kraweicki

 and Fraser. Michael Mills, Kelman’s nearest challenger, finished seventh, before making it onto the podium in third in race two, behind Fraser and Louis Valleley. Kraweicki

 was ninth, and again the Clubman winner.


Race three and it was again Fraser on the top step of the podium, flanked by Valleley and Mills. This time the Clubman spoils went to Cedric Bloch in eighth.


Kelman finally saw the chequered flag in race four, finishing sixth while Mills suffered misfortune and crashed out on lap five.


R&R Racing’s Valleley took the victory, as Fraser and Ewan Potter fought over the runner-up spot. Less than a tenth of a second was the deciding margin in Fraser’s favour. The accolade for Clubman winner went to Nick Whitcher in eighth.


Chilton Motors BMZRC 250

Three winners from four races closed things up at the top of the Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 championship, and also saw a new podium finisher as Alexander Mann improved on his season’s best finish of fourth to take second in race one at Snetterton.


Victory in that outing went to Andrew Wales by half a second, with Mann one the second step of the podium and Robert Dessoy third, while championship leader Chris Rogers failed to make the start.


Rogers was again absent in race two, this time as Peter Woodall took the win. Mann was again second, as Wales denied Dessoy the final podium spot.


Back in action in race three, Rogers was also back to winning ways, albeit by the narrowest of margins, as the former champion pipped Woodall to the flag by less than a tenth of a second. Meanwhile, Mann showed his wet-weather podiums were no fluke, taking third place.


It was a repeat podium for race four, less than one second the gap between the three of them.


G-Force Motorcycles Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP

There were four winners from four races in the G-Force Motorcycles Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP series, as Andrew Burscough, Ben Miles, Phil Ellis, and Andrew Davies tasted victory.


Burscough was untouchable in race one, his win coming 15 seconds ahead of Paul Toland, himself another 15 seconds ahead of third placed Paul Godbold.


By contrast, five hundredths of a second was all that decided the win in race two, as Miles out-dragged Davies to the line to take the chequered flag first. Burscough returned to the podium in third.


A move on the final lap of race three decided the winner, as Ellis bettered Doug Edmondson, as Davies finished third.


Davies finally scored a win in the final race, disappearing out front to take victory ahead of Ellis, as Burscough saw off a last lap charge from Pete Moore.


Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and Clubman 1000

Rick Dickinson set pole position in qualifying for the Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and Clubman 1000 races by half a second from championship leader Michael O’Brien, and was on course to secure his first win of the campaign in race one after battling with O’Brien for much of the race.


O’Brien led, but Dickinson, onboard his Motorcycle Race Parts BMW S1000RR stayed with the former champion before moving into the lead on lap seven of 10. He immediately pulled away, extending his lead to six seconds in just a couple of laps.


He began the final lap in the lead, but was cruelly denied victory when he crashed out, handing the race lead and the win back to O’Brien, who made it four in a row after winning all three races last time out at Donington.


Dan Shailer bettered Glenn Walsh to second, however Walsh still bagged 25 points in the Clubman 1000 championship.


Dickinson, by virtue of setting the fastest lap in race one, started race two from pole, but this time couldn’t match O’Brien at the front, as he raced away from the chasing field to take win number two.


Peter Baker finished second on the Dodfrey Engineering Kawasaki, with Aiden Patmore third, as Dickinson finished fourth. Clubman spoils went to Mark Bridger in fifth on his Moremoto Yamaha.


Baker, who sits second in the championship chase, caught a break in the final race and clawed back 25 points on O’Brien. The race was red-flagged on the opening lap after O’Brien’s machine dropped oil on the racing line, meaning the championship leader was forced to sit out the restart.


Baker took the win, while second went to Patmore, with Clubman winner Bridger third.


L&W Contractors BMCRC Rookie 600 and Rookie 1000

It was frantic at the front of the L&W Contractors Rookie 1000 races at Snetterton, as the weekend’s four races saw four different riders on the top step of the podium and some of the tightest action of the season.


A look at the time sheets would suggest race one, however, bucked the trend, with pole-sitter current championship second placed man Seb Jenkins taking victory by four seconds.


However, it was the lap of his life on the final circulation that saw him pass Daniel Tinsley - who hit the front a lap earlier - and pull away to take the win. It was also the fastest lap of the race.


Tinsley’s second came ahead of Shaun Sugden in third.


A drying track for race two closed things up at the front even more, as only half a second covered the podium, this time with Bradley Williams on the top step. Championship leader Luke Dixon was second and John Dyer third.


Dixon then went one better in race three, extending his championship lead in the process, picking up the victory by a comparatively chasmic one and a half seconds. Jenkins was third and Tinsley back on the podium in third.


The gap covering the podium finishers in the final outing was just a second, but it was Sugden who made it four winners from four races, holding off Dixon and Jenkins.


It was an even tighter battle for fourth place, half a second covering Williams, Tinsley, and Dyer.


By contrast, it was another weekend where the focus was on runaway series leader in the Rookie 600 series, as Cedric Bloch made it seven wins in a row, and 13 for the season so far.


Ben Harrison was second in race one and Tom Vaughn third, before Toby Reynolds collected a second place trophy in race two. Vaughn was again third.


Reynolds was twice second on Sunday, with Matt Venn third in the morning, and Vaughn again on the bottom step of the rostrum in race four.


RKB-F1 and F2 Sidecars

Tommy Philp and Jonny Allum were in dominant fashion in the RKB-F1 and F2 sidecar races, taking all four wins and extending their F1 class championship lead.


On the Powerbiking LCR outfit the pair won race one by three quarters of a minute, taking victory in front of Andy Peach and Adam Geddes. Sean Reeves and Paul Thomas were third and the F2 class winners.


The winning margin stretched to nearly 52 seconds in race two, as Philp and Allum again finished ahead of Peach and Geddes. Shawn and Anthony Hildige made it an all-F1 podium in third, with Charlie Morphet and Paul Halliburton the F2 winners in fourth.


Win three for Philp and Allum came by a relatively paltry 13 seconds in the first of Sunday’s two races, as they led another all-F1 podium ahead of Nick Webb and Rick Lawrence on the Lifesafety Systems LCR Suzuki and Allison Lawrence and Kez Hughes on the Yamaha. Giles and Jen Stainton won the F2 class in fourth.


One minute and 20 seconds was Philp and Allum’s whopping margin of victory in the fourth and final race, while nearest championship challengers Jon Bicknell and Pete Ensor - who had endured a torrid weekend to this point - finished second. Lawrence and Hughes were third, and the F2 victors of the Stainton pairing were fourth. MRO Minitwins

He arrived with a slender 13-point championship lead over his nearest rival, Keith Povah, but Glynn Davies looked like he meant business from the off in the MRO Minitwins, setting a pole time nearly two and a half seconds quicker than anyone else in qualifying.


Yet - while he still managed to extend his series lead - he was unable to convert that pace to a win in race one, losing out to Daniel Singleton. He finished second, with Mark Taylor - who briefly led - a distant third.


Povah was sixth, behind Rookie winner Dan Thomas in fifth.


Race two and Povah recovered some ground, winning an incredibly tight race two which saw the top four covered by a second. Taylor was second with Davies third, forcing Singleton to miss out on the podium by a tenth of a second. Matt Wetherell was fifth and lead Rookie.


If race two was tight at the front, race three was something else, with less than two hundredths of a second denying Povah the win. However, second place behind Singleton, who grabbed it on the run to the line, was enough to pull more championship points back on Davies, as he finished fourth behind Taylor. Wetherell was again top Rookie, this time in sixth.


The final race exhibited more of the same at the front, as again less than one second covered the top four. Singleton made it another win for his efforts, making it a hat-trick as he took the chequered flag by less than a tenth of a second ahead of Davies. Povah was a tenth further back, chased across the line by Taylor. Another sixth gave Wetherell three Rookie wins for the weekend.

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