The superpole session saw Luke Mossey take a surprise pole ahead of Shane Byrne who had been dominant from Free practice 1, Byrne still managed to get 2nd place with what turned out to be a slow puncture on his Superpole lap. Tommy Bridewell set a great lap to go 3rd and was confident he had the race pace to stay with Byrne and challenge for the win.
The rider of the day for me though was Broc Parkes setting the 4th fastest lap time making his full time return to the series and coming off an impressive 4th place in Suzuka where he rode for 4 of the 8 hours. Glen Irwin also showed that all he needed was a bit of confidence getting into the Superpole session for the first time he set the 5th fastest time and was looking more at home on the Ducati. Leon Haslam who had been struggling with his Kawasaki came home 6th with the buildbase BMW’s of Lee Jackson and Richard Cooper behind him. Jason O’Halloran unfortunately crashed on his flying lap he was on pace for 2nd if not 1st but the bike tucked from underneath him leaving him 9th.
Out of the other Championship hopefuls James Ellison qualified 10th,Race winner last time out Michael Laverty qualified 11th after struggling much of the weekend Peter Hickman was just behind him hoping for a good result this weekend to take confidence into the UGP next weekend. Christian Iddon’s fortunes did not improve much the TYCO man still seems to be struggling with feeling on his BMW he qualified 13th. Dan Linfoot crashed in Q2 and didnt set a lap time leaving him 16th on the grid.
1 12 Luke MOSSEY GBR Kawasaki – Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki
2 67 Shane BYRNE GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
3 46 Tommy BRIDEWELL GBR Suzuki – Bennetts Suzuki
4 32 Broc PARKES AUS Yamaha – ePayMe Yamaha
5 2 Glenn IRWIN GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
6 91 Leon HASLAM GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
7 14 Lee JACKSON GBR BMW – Buildbase BMW Motorrad
8 47 Richard COOPER GBR BMW – Buildbase BMW Motorrad
9 22 Jason O’HALLORAN AUS Honda – Honda Racing
10 77 James ELLISON GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Shane Byrne made a terrible start falling back into the pack, Mossey took off at the front with Haslam and Bridwell following him through. Parkes made a good start staying 4th but hanging onto the back of the front 3. Byrne recovered to 6th place behind a charging O’Halloran who made a great start from 9th. Richard Cooper also made a good start moving up to 7th place ahead of Glenn Irwin who didnt seem to get away from the line just like his team mate.
Bridewell moved into 2nd place on lap 2 as it looked like Mossey was starting to break away from him and Haslam they both swapped positions again on lap 3 which allowed Mossey to extend his lead. O’Halloran moved past Parkes to go 4th as it looked like the Honda man had the pace to run at the front Byrne followed him through as he looked to re-group after his bad start.
The TYCO BMW guys continued to struggle as they had done in Qualifying with Iddon running 9th but under real pressure from Ellison and his team mate running 14th. Irwin moved passed Parkes on lap 6 as he looked to hunt down his team mate the Northern Irish man showing real confidence after his podium. Danny Buchan dropped his Ducati the english man really struggling to get to grips with the new Ducati.
Bridewell closed right up on Mossey and in turn was pulling Haslam with him behind them Byrne had closed onto the back wheel of O’Halloran as they both tried to close the gap on the front 3. The safety car came out on lap 8 as Filip Backlund had crashed and caused some damage to the safety barrier this closed up the pack and allowed O’Halloran and Byrne to move onto the back of the front 3. Iddon had lost touch with Ellison just before the safety car and slipped back to 12th just in front of his team mate Laverty in 13th both TYCO BMW’s were now behind the Buildbase BMWs of Cooper and Jackson.
The race restarted the lap after Bridewell made the most of it and passed Mossey as he seemed to have the pace to tear away. Byrne had dropped O’Halloran and was right on the back wheel of Mossey who was now 3rd after being passed by Haslam. Byrne passed Mossey with a harsh pass that cost them both time.Irwin crashed out on lap 12 he had been pushing on chasing down O’Halloran with both of them closing down Mossey. At the front Haslam was really pressuring Bridewell while all the time Byrne looked dangerous sat in 3rd with a re-grouping Mossey in 4th place. The front 4 had broken away leaving O’Halloran alone in 5th place.
Haslam went for a pass on Bridwell but ran wide that allowed Byrne to move past him as it looked like the engine problems that had been plauging him were returning. Byrne almost straight away was sat on the rear wheel of Bridewell pressuring the Suzuki man at every turn. Byrne moved passed Bridewell as the inerbtiable happened and almost straight away the ducati man opened up a gap leaving Haslam and Bridwell to fight it out for the podium behind him. Mossey had a moment during the lap as he dropped off the front 3. Ellison dropped out of the 10 on lap 18 and Laverty was also sturggling running in 14th as it looked like the 2 favourites for the title were fighting it out for the win in race 1.
For all the pace he showed earlier in the weekend Byrne wasnt pulling away from Haslam and Bridewell though they couldnt just get close enough to him to make a pass. Going onto the last lap Bryne and Haslam had dropped Bridewell with Haslam right on the rear wheel now of Bryne. Bridwell crashed out of 3rd place on the last lap handing 3rd place to Mossey,Meanwhile Byrne put the hammer down opening up a gap and taking the win handily from Haslam extending his title lead in the process,Mossey came home 3rd followed by O’Halloran who had a lonely race in 4th place.
Another Dominant performance from Byrne who even after a bad start took the win Haslam fought through his issues to take 2nd place. Mossey moved closer to the top 6 continuing to show the kind of talent everyone knows he has. The other top 6 challengers were all scattered throughout the top 15 as they continued to lose pace with Byrne and Haslam at the top.
Race 2 :
Grid for race 2 :
1.Luke Mossey Kawasaki – Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki
2.Shane Byrne Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
3.Leon Haslam Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
4.Jason O’Halloran Honda – Honda BSB
5.Tommy Bridewell Suzuki – Bennetts Suzuki
6.James Ellison Kawaski – JG Speedfit Kawaski
7.Christian Iddon BMW – Tyco BMW
8.Glenn Irwin Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
9.Dan Linfoot Honda – Honda BSB
Haslam Lead into race one just ahead of a hard charging O’Halloran moving through from the second row to 2nd eventually taking the lead. Mossey slotted into 3rd place ahead of Bridewell,Ellison,Irwin and a much better start for Iddon was running 6th. Byrne made another bad start and was swallowed up in the group eventually recovering to 7th place just behind Iddon.
O’Halloran was looking strong at the front leading the way on turn 3 ahead of Mossey and Ellison who had taken 3rd place from his team mate Haslam he also lost a place to Bridewell and was coming under fire from Irwin. Byrne had slipped back to 10th place on lap 5 while his team mate was making moves forward passing both Haslam and Bridewell at the front Ellison and Mossey had closed down O’Halloran.
Irwin passed Ellison on lap 6 to go 3rd as he looked like the man on the move setting the fastest lap of the race hunting down the front 2 guys and looking very confident. Iddon meanwhile was catching Bridewell the Suzuki man not able to run at the front as he had done in race 1. Byrne was starting to regroup setting the fastest lap in 9th place as he was doing that his team mate moved into 2nd place.
Both Byrne and Iddon managed to pass Bridewell who later pulled out of the race due to a technical difficulties. Ahead of that battle the JG speedfit bikes of Haslam and Ellison battled for 4th and 5th place. Irwin had moved right onto the back wheel of O’Halloran the young man from Carrick proving what he can do on the SBK.
After passing Iddon Byrne had closed right onto the back wheel of Ellison and looked set to do as he had done in race 1 and carve his way through the pack seeting much faster times than the rest of the field. Iddon had got dropped and then proceded to drop 3 more places dropping down to 10th place TYCO BMW not having a great round and losing touch with the top 6 showdown.
Byrne had moved his way up to 4th place by lap 11 with the front 3 all closed up together at the front O’Halloran still leading the way as Haslam passed Irwin knowing that Byrne was coming. Haslam closed back up on O’Halloran after losing a bit of time passing Irwin the Kawasaki man really putting any issues he had been suffering to the side and just using his talent to ride round them.
Byrne passed Irwin on lap 14 and again looked like he had the pace to take the win ahead of him Haslam moved ahead of the Honda of O’Halloran Haslam looking much more confident on the Kawasaki. Laverty who had been struggling all weekend was forced to retire due to his bikes engine letting go a truly shocking weekend again for TYCO they will need to regroup after a weekend of road racing.
O’Halloran moved through to the lead as Haslam made a slight mistake running on the curbs out of turn 1 just as he did that the safery car was sent out due to the possibility of some oil being left on the track after Laverty’s bike blew up. The safety car came in the lap after and as they restarted the race the riders remained in the same positions 2 laps were also added to the race.
Haslam passed O’Halloran as did Byrne who then proceeded to take the lead and looked as dominant as ever in the latter stage of the race opening up a sizable gap almost immediatley. Haslam had a slight advantage over O’halloran in 3rd place Irwin was alone in 4th place. Mossey had Ellison,Jackson and Cooper for company as there was a real scrap on for 5th place.
As they headed onto the final lap the front 4 places looked set the real battle was behind them for 5th place the two Buildbase BMWs passed Ellison and Mossey in quick succession with Cooper ahead of Jackson. Byrne crossed the line taking the double and extending his title lead Haslam took 2nd place from O’Halloran with the impressive Irwin 4th place just ahead of Cooper and Jackson.
Another truly dominant weekend for Shane Byrne each weekend that goes past it almost looks inevitable that he will take the title, Haslam suffering from issues all weekend secured another 2nd place he is at the minute the only hope of someone stopping Byrne in my opinion. The TYCO BMW team had another shocking weekend by their high standards being beaten in all classes by the non Factory supported Buildbase team. O’Halloran showed why he deserves a spot in the top 6 with another podium place Cooper as well picked up more solid points as did Ellison.
Please make sure to keep an eye on my twitter tomorrow for my Ulster Grand Prix preview it should be up around 12 as long as the upload works ok.