British riders have dominated their home round of the Superbike World Championship at Silverstone overnight, led by a flawless performance from Cal Crutchlow.
The factory Yamaha rider won both 18-lap races ahead of Jonathan Rea (Honda), while Troy Corser’s 10th place in the opener was the highlight of an otherwise lean day for the Australian riders at the redesigned 5.902-kilometre British circuit.
Championship leader Max Biaggi (Aprilia) was solid with fifth and sixth places, and he still holds a handy 60 point buffer over Suzuki’s Leon Haslam with three rounds remaining.
Crutchlow stole the show at Silverstone, and was finally able to break his jinx of failing to convert pole positions into race wins.
And he did it in the most emphatic fashion. After securing his sixth pole position of the season on Saturday, Crutchlow battled hard with Rea but was able to pick him off with a couple of laps to go in both races. He also set the fastest laps of both races to take home the full suite of accolades at Silverstone.
Crutchlow is now the 11th Briton to win a WSBK race, breaking the deadlock with Australia.
“We’ve been trying so hard all year to achieve a win,” said Crutchlow. “I’m ecstatic that it’s happened at my home race. It’s been a tough weekend with all the Brits trying hard, but we knew we had the pace.
“We now need to carry on and fight for the rest of the season. It’s been a dream come true today, three Brits on the podium for both races is brilliant.
“The British fans have been fantastic. They came out today and gave us tremendous support all round the circuit, a brilliant day for me, a brilliant day for Yamaha, Sterilgarda and all our other sponsors.”
Crutchlow, who is now the seventh race winner this season, catapulted from ninth to fifth in the standings after his double triumph. He’s on 188pts, behind Biaggi (373), Haslam (313), Rea (243) and Carlos Checa (Ducati, 204).
Meanwhile, Corser’s recent ordinary spell continued at Silverstone, with his lowly 10th in race one followed by a crash in race two.
“I am disappointed. The first race was terrible. I had problems with my tyres and just tried to finish the race,” said Corser. “For the second race we made some changes on the bike in order to improve the mechanical grip. I again had a good start, had good grip and the bike felt well.
“So I started to push straightaway. I could ride as I wanted to ride, and the bike was doing what I wanted. I managed to pass Max Biaggi, but unfortunately I hit some bumps in the first corner and the bike just slid away.”
Sydney’s Josh Brookes (Honda) finished with 16-12 results in his wildcard appearance, and Newcastle’s Broc Parkes (Honda) crashed out of both races.
At the pointy end, Leon Camier (Aprilia) was third in race two to complete the second all-British podium of the day.
Camier only had his own company for most of the race, but the rolling scrum for fourth between Haslam and James Toseland (Yamaha) enjoyed some spice.
Toseland tried to go around the outside of Haslam on the last turn, but they touched and the latter’s tail fairing and exhaust bracket were broken in the process. Haslam just got the honours, with Biaggi the first non-Briton home in sixth.
Eugene Laverty was the long-time leader in world supersport, but a strong charge from Kenan Sofuoglu made the final laps a close contest. Laverty finally re-passed the former champion to take the win, with local rider Gino Rea third and also making it a clean seep for Honda.
Championship contender Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) and Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha) were both injured in a crash that halted the first attempt to race, and caused a complete re-start. Sofuoglu now leads Laverty by 203pts to 186.