Posted: 31 May 2011
RACE ONE – Swan Yamaha wins in the wet
Just as first race proceedings were under way, the UK’s finest in wet weather made an appearance to cause a delayed start and much confusion about tyre choice in the declared wet race.
It was Irishman Michael Laverty onboard a Swan Yamaha who made the most of treacherous conditions by taking the lead at half race distance and never looking back. Indeed, it was a resounding win take his tally of BSB career wins to three so far.
Meanwhile, the old hands of the BSB championship were hunting for second and third places with many of the other challengers suffering from degrading tyres. Byrne and Michael Rutter showed a remarkable display of heroics and skill right to the end, where Rutter pulled off the unthinkable and took second spot from Byrne. Byrne wasn’t upset with his race place because he originally started the race in last place following a qualifying crash.
John Hopkins again showed why he should never be discounted with a solid performance to take fourth ahead of Hickman in fifth – his best ever result in BSB.
RACE TWO – From zero to hero as Byrne takes third win
Although placed 33rd and last on the opening race grid, HM Plant Honda man Shane Byrne started race two on pole after securing the fastest race lap in the previous race. Byrne capitalised on this head position to end lap 1 in first place and never let the lead slip away when the finish flag was finally waved.
Meanwhile a battle royale ensued in Byrne’s wake made up of a group six riders. Alex Lowes looked to be in the mood to climb the podium as he charged through the field from tenth to second place by the fifth lap before the MSS Colchester Kawasaki ejected him coming out of Club Chicane.
|Michael Rutter on the Ducati then moved close to the front and looked to be on for a top three finish before he too crashed out at high speed – but apparently uninjured. Hickman secured his maiden podium finish with second, while the American added more points to a growing tally with third on the podium.
Dan Linfoot came good on the day to take what looked a secure fourth place but was pipped on the last lap by a revitalised Tommy Hill on the Swan Yamaha.
At the front of the championship Bryne and Hopkins rule the roost going into round five at Knockhill.