Race 1 Grid:
46 Tommy BRIDEWELL 1 GBR Suzuki – Bennetts Suzuki
2 24 Christian IDDON 2 GBR BMW – Tyco BMW
3 12 S 1 Luke MOSSEY GBR Kawasaki – Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki
4 22 S 2 Jason O’HALLORAN AUS Honda – Honda Racing
5 67 S 3 Shane BYRNE GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
6 47 Richard COOPER 3 GBR BMW – Buildbase BMW Motorrad
7 77 S 4 James ELLISON GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
8 21 John HOPKINS 4 USA Yamaha – ePayMe Yamaha
9 32 Broc PARKES 5 AUS Yamaha – ePayMe Yamaha
Race 1 :
With Shane Byrne starting fifth and title rival Leon Haslam starting 17th due to a bike malfunction in qualifying we were in for a real fight in race 1. Christian Iddon got the holeshot in race 1 leading from Tommy Bridewell and Jason O’Halloran. Byrne stayed where he qualified sitting in fifth as they finished lap 1 his title rival Haslam had moved his way up to 11th place in one lap.
Byrne moved inside Ellison on lap two to go 4th he also moved his way past into second taking both Bridewell and O’Halloran as once as he set about chasing down Iddon in first place unfortunately at this point in the race the red flag had come out due to a big accident from Filip Backlund and Howie Mainwaring Smart where both collided heavily with the tire wall, At this point in the race Haslam had moved his way up to 8th place making progress through the field quickly.
The race restarted with the grid lining up as they finihsed the lap before the red flag came out that meant Iddon started on pole from Bridewell in second and O’Halloran in third,Byrne started from fourth and title rival Haslam started in 8th a much better position for him to compete for the win.
Iddon again got away well but was passed by O’Halloran into turn one Haslam got a scolding start and was up to third ahead of his team mate Ellison,Byrne and Bridewell both suffered off the start with Byrne dropping down to 8th place. Iddon passed O’Halloran into turn one but was repassed by the Austrailian the next turn he lost out to Haslam to go back to third but again the red flag came out as the rain started to fall on the circuit O’Halloran was leading from Haslam and Iddon at that stage of the race.
The gird lined up as they had for the secnd restart all be it on a wet circuit this time all riders were now on wet tyres and the race had been reduced to 15 laps, Again Iddon got away well leading into turn one from Ellison and Bridewell Haslam crashed out of the race on lap one and looked to have hurt himself futher into the lap O’Halloran crashed out of the race.
At the front of the race it was Iddon leading from Byrne with Ellison third Hickman fourth and Cooper fifth, Hickman made a move on his team mate and was looking to pass Byrne to go second and he did as he started to chase down Iddon in the lead he took the lead off Iddon almost straight away taking off at the front.
Byrne started to drop down the field knowing he didnt have to push it with Haslam out Ellison continued to run in third with Cooper and Linfoot behind him Irwin made his way past his team to go in sixth. Ellison passed Iddon to go into second making it a JG Speedfit one two, Byrne and Irwin were both passed by Bridewell as Ellison took the lead off Hickman and Linfoot attacked Iddon for third place taking it of the Tyco man and looking strong.
On lap 6 of the race Ellison crashed heavily out of the lead leaving Hickman in the lead with Linfoot in second and Iddon in third Ellison’s crash brought the safety car out as the race was turing into a real race of attrition for the riders. The safety car came in on lap 9 and the race wasback on the front six all together now and almost straight away Cooper crashed out of fourth place leaving a bit of a gap between the front three and Irwin now in fourth.
Iddon now moved into second but was a fair ditance back from a hard chargining Hickman at the front of the race Linfoot remained in third just ahead of Irwin in fourth and Bridewell in fifth,Byrne was doing all that he needded riding a safe sensible race in sixth place scoring solid points and extending his lead in the championship.
The NW 200 legend Alistair Seeley was going well and was up to seventh place and set about chasing down Byrne in sixth at the front Iddon had closed up on Hickman both had dropped Linfoot who was in third just holding off Irwin and Bridewell.
Irwin passed Linfoot on lap 13 to go through to third as the young Northern Irish man showed his talent for riding in the wet in front of him Iddon started get a few slides as he lost touch with Hickman at the front, Linfoot was now coming under pressure from Bridewell for his fourth place .
As they went onto the final lap HIckman lead the way from Iddon as it looked like all the riders were just making sure they finished the race and score points, Irwin remained third ahead of Linfoot and Bridewell but the gap remained the same as it was when he passed him Byrne was running in a lonely and settled sixth place.
Hickman won the race ahead of Iddon with Irwin coming home in third place Linfoot held onto fourth place ahead of Bridewell in fifth and Byrne in sixth with only fourteen finishers in the race every rider secured points. This race turned into a true war of attrtition and pontentially secured Byrne his fifth British title with Haslam crashing out and potentially hurting himself.
1. Christian Iddon Tyco BMW
2.Peter Hickman JG Speedfit Kawasaki
3.Dan Linfoot Honda BSB
4.James Ellison JG SPeedfit Kawasaki
5.Glenn Irwin PBM Ducati
6.Tommy Bridewell Bennetts Suzuki
7.John Hopkins Epayme Yamaha
8.Richard Cooper Buildbase BMW
9.Shane Byrne PBM Ducati
After a terrible day on Saturday for Leon Haslam he had a mammoth task having to come through from 23rd on the grid which in a field as deep as the BSB grid is this year is no easy feat. As he did yesterday Iddon got away from pole well but was passed by both Ellison and Hickman into turn one but repassed Hickman to take second, Haslam moved up to 14th place in a couple of corners while Byrne dropped to tenth off the start.
After one lap Ellison lead from Hopkins,Hickman and Iddon at the front but all attention as on Byrne and Haslam, Byrne was running in 10th place and Haslam was right with him but made a mistake and dropped places leaving himself alot of work to do again. On lap 4 Haslam passed Byrne as the 4 time champ made a slight mistake going through turn one losing a couple of places in the process.
Ellison continued to lead at the front from Hopkins and Iddon with Hickman in fourth place Linfoot running in fifth place with the impressive Irwin in sixth all six guys running well at the front showing good pace with Hopkins setting the fastest lap of the race on lap five. Haslam had moved up to 8th place on lap 7 but Byrne was only two places behind him not enough of a difference for Haslam to put a sizable dent in Byrne’s lead.
Hopkins was harassing Ellison at the front of the race now the American showing the sort of pace that everyone knows he has Iddon was still running in 3rd but didnt quite have the pace of the front two, All three of them had dropped Hickman in 5th he in turn had a sizable gap to Linfoot and Irwin behind him.
Haslam was now under pressure from Mossey behind and was having trouble passing Smrz after a moment forced him out of his seat, Byrne meanwhile was continuing to run in 11th but was under a bit of pressure from Seeley who was showing well in the iffy conditions.
The front three had all closed up again as the rain started to fall slighty on lap 13 of the race Hickman remained in an isolated 4th place ahead of Linfoot and Irwin the front six remaining the same since around lap 3 of the race, Byrne was now on the move moving forward and catching Mossey in 10th place a move that if Haslam could only finish one place ahead of Byrne would give Byrne his 5th BSB title.
Byrne made the move on Mossey and moved into 10th right behind Haslam who continued to struggle to pass Smrz, He finally managed to pass him on lap 15 but Byrne looked set to follow him through and he did the corner after as long as he finished right behind Haslam the title would be his.
Haslam and Byrne were now closing in on Irwin and O’Halloran who were really struggling with pace late in the race as the had both dropped off the back of Linfoot in 5th place, Ellison had continued to lead from Hopkins and Iddon on lap 16 as their battle was going on Irwin lost a place to O’Halloran and looked set to lose a place to both Haslam and Byrne as he seemed to be struggling with tyres.
Haslam made the pass on Irwin easily as he set about passing O’Halloran trying to put as many people between himself and Byrne to keep the title challenge alive he made a brilliant pass on O’Halloran. Byrne made a pass on his team mate and went through on O’Halloran to sit behind Haslam.
Iddon unfrotunately had to retire with a bike issue allowing Hickman up to third and leaving Ellison and Hopkins to fight it out for the win on the last lap Linfoot continued to run in a very lonely 4th place, Behind him Haslam had done everything possibly but unfortunately Byrne followed him every step of the way.
Ellison took the win ahead of Hopkins with Hickman taking third place Linfoot came home in fourth place, Behind him Haslam took fifth and Byrne sixth that result meant Byrne took his fifth BSB title unfortunate for Haslam but his unfortunate day on Saturday truly ruined his title chances.
Race 3 :
1. James Ellison JG SPeedfit Kawasaki
2.John Hopkins Epayme Yamaha
3.Christian Iddon Tyco BMW
4.Peter Hickman JG Speedfit Kawasaki
5.Ryucihi Kiyonari Smiths BMW
6.Richard Cooper Buildbase BMW
7. Shane Byrne PBM Ducati
8.Lee Jackson Buildbase BMW
9.Tommy Bridewell Bennetts Suzuki
Ellison got away well with Hopkins following him through Kiyonari moved his way up to third a surprising showing from the three time champion, Iddon came through in fourth place as Cooper was running 5th just ahead of Hickman in 6th. The 2016 champion was running in 12th as the pressure was off he looked happy to let the others fight it out in front of him .
Ellison continued to lead from Hopkins with Iddon and Kiyonari fighting it out behind them for the final place on the podium, Hickman took over 5th place from Cooper as he looked to put in a strong showing as he along with many others is looking for a job next season for not only BSB but also the international road races.
Haslam was running in 7th place as he looked to try and finish his season on a high he was ahead of Byrne but a good distance of the battle for the podium places he set the fastest lap of the race as he set about chasing that leading group down. At the front of the race Ellison was looking comfortable with a steady gap back to Hopkins unfortunately for him though a cbike blow up from James Rispoli left his bike on fire and forced a red flag.
The race restarted with it being cut down to a 10 lap dash due to the lengthy delay to get the track cleared up Ellison again took off from pole well followed again by Hopkins and Kiyonari with Iddon slotting in 4th. The JG speedfit bikes of Hickman and Haslam were running 5th and 6th Linfoot followed them through in 7th and new chmpion Byrne running in 8th.
Iddon moved through on Kiyonari to go 3rd and just behind them Haslam and Linfoot ovetook Hickman at the front Hopkins and Ellison had opened up a sizable gap on the rest. Haslam passed Kiyonari through the final bend and Linfoot passed the Japanese rider through the first corner just behind him Byrne passed Hickman as people desperatley looked for places due to the shortend race.
At the half way point Byrne passed Linfoot not helping his challenge to remain third in the championship needing to finish at least second with Ellison leading the race. Hopkins again was showing great pace hunting down Ellison at the front and harrassing him every lap meanwhile Haslam was right n the back wheel of Iddon with Byrne breathing down his neck in turn.
Haslam moved past Iddon on lap 7 as he was making a charge to the front to end his season on a high Ellison continued to hold off Hopkins at the front but they were both being caught hand over fist by Haslam each lap. On Lap 8 Hopkins started to lose touch with Ellison at the front Byrne moved past Iddon as he to wanted to end his championship season on the podium at the very least.
As they went onto the fianl lap of the season Ellison just lead ahead of Hopkins,Byrne and Haslam with Iddon just off the back of the group. Haslam passed Byrne but ran it ran forcing both men wide and losing touch with the front two of Ellison and Hopkins. Ellison took the final win of the year to take third in the championship Hopkins took second with Byrne taking home thired ahead of Haslam and Iddon. That final race summed up what was a great year of BSB racing a very competive year for the championship and one I throughly enjoyed.
And as I sign off from the blog for the winter I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my posts those who provided photos and to the riders who took the time to do the Q and A’s for me I will see you in 2017 for the preview of what will no doubt be another cracking year in BSB. If you need something to entertain you over the winter follow me on twitter @weephil56 I will be freaking out weekly to the Belfast Giants results.