News 11 Apr 2016

Laverty and Hickman split Silverstone BSB race wins

O'Halloran makes a consistent start to the new season.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Michael Laverty and Peter Hickman shared the opening two race wins of the 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in an intense season-opener at Silverstone, but with a pair of second place finishes Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne leads the title chase to the second round at Oulton Park.

The opening race of the season got Laverty’s season off to a flying start as he held of Byrne by 0.550s at the finish line to win for Tyco BMW in a top ten which featured all six of the manufactures represented in the 2016 championship.

Australia’s Jason O’Halloran had initially grabbed the lead as the pack streamed into Copse for the first time, but pole-sitter Leon Haslam was instantly on the attack and he forced his JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead on his return to the series. His lead was short lived though as Laverty stormed to the front and then held the pace but the ‘Pocket Rocket’ was later forced to retire with a technical problem.

Laverty was able to fend off the challenges of Byrne in the closing stages to claim the first victory of 2016 as behind Mossey was defending hard from the chasing Iddon, Linfoot and O’Halloran. However it wasn’t enough and on the final lap Iddon made a move at Copse to hold third place and then held on to claim his first ever podium finish in MCE BSB.

A dramatic race two saw the fight for victory go down to the wire as Peter Hickman and Byrne went head-to-head on the final lap in an incredible tussle for the final race win of the day.

Hickman had launched off the line to lead the field on the opening lap from race one winner Michael Laverty, Dan Linfoot, Jason O’Halloran, Danny Buchan and Byrne, but the four-time champion was instantly on the attack and was up to fourth by the third lap.

At the front Laverty had hit the lead on the Tyco BMW, but Hickman wasn’t going to give an inch in his quest for victory and on the sixth lap he launched his attack; making a move to return to the front of the pack.

A lap later though and Laverty appeared to have an issue; he dropped down the order leaving Hickman and Byrne to fight it out for the lead. The pair were inseparable down the Wellington Straight for the final time and at Brooklands Byrne went for a move; a small window of opportunity gave him the chance to push ahead, but Hickman was instantly fighting back to recapture the lead.

A corner later at Luffield, Byrne looked like he had the edge but as the pair exited for the drag to the line the Be Wiser Ducati dramatically drifted sideways as Hickman powered to the finish to claim the victory. The incredible chase saw the pair separated by just 0.099s at the line.

In the battle for third place Iddon had got ahead of O’Halloran as the Honda Racing rider was forced to settle for fourth place. The Australian had been embroiled in a titanic battle with returning Haslam and the pair were switching places all the way to the finish.

Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki rider Andy Reid has taken the first win of the 2016 Dickies British Supersport Championship, finishing ahead of rookies Tarran Mackenzie and Mason Law, while a crash forced Aussie front-runner Benjamin Currie out of the weekend. Levi Day finished eighth, Sam Lambert 25th.

With Supersport returnee James Westmoreland grabbing the holeshot, Andrew Irwin quickly moved into the lead, before Law took his turn at the front. Moving into the lead on lap four, Reid was able to pull away, taking the chequered flag 3.7s ahead of Mackenzie.