Posted: 16 May 2011
RACE 1 – Another maiden victory
Jon Kirkham played a blinder at the Teesside circuit today, which played host to damp conditions – racing conditions that only served well for people that made the right decision not to use wet tyres but slicks. Because, as sod’s law should have it, anyone who opted for racing slicks at the start came home as victors after the racing line dried.
Jon Kirkham was one of the many who opted for slicks from the start and bravely charged from mid-pack up to third place when the safety car made an entrance after pole-taker and front runners Shane Byrne’s HM Plant Honda blew its engine to leave oil on the circuit.
Following the enforce slow down, Hopkins, winner of Oulton Park, showed his form and went with Kirkham to set up a last quarter battle. Hopkins and his Suzuki did take the lead until a crucial mistake by the American led to Kirkham retaking the lead and on to his first win in BSB.
The changing weather conditions also aided previously quiet runners in the shape of Gary Mason, who came home in third on the second MSS Colchester Kawasaki, and Frenchman Loris Baz, fourth. Early front runner and Evo Class rider Alex Lowes managed to hang onto fifth place.
Even though placed second, Hopkins now leads the championship into the second race.
RACE 2 – Byrne bounces back to victory
Frustration at his first race DNF, Bryne stamped his authority on the second Croft race by taking an early lead without anyone mounting a serious challenge to race end.
Fighting for the next podium placing saw a hectic battle between the two MSS Kawasaki’s of Easton and Mason. Easton won the duel to claim a deserved second place.
Josh Brookes again came to the fore in the closing stages to claim the third step of the podium, but only after seeing of a challenge by his team-mate Josh Brookes. Further back an unfortunate collision between Laverty and race one winner Kirkham spoiled what was meant to be a perfect day.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Kyonari compounded his first race misery of DNF with 15th place and one solitary point for a weekend’s work.