The first race of 3 this weekend and it was run in some treacherous conditions with the track half wet and half dry the entire grid was a mix of bike on wet,intermediates and dry tires. Glenn Iriwn a rider who looked set to challenge for a showdown place earlier in the season only to have it ripped away by an unfortunate accident at Knockhill where the handle bar of his Ducati broke making him crash and dislocate both him left shoulder and elbow took the his first ever win in BSB with a masterful ride in the tricky conditions, Early in the race he settled into a good pace getting himself up to pace eventually taking the lead and never looking back eventually breaking away and winning comfortable in the end. Following Iriwn home was title contender Josh Brookes just like Irwin he set a comfortable pace at the front not pushing it over the limit he didnt have an answer for Irwin but he finished well ahead of the other top 6 showdown riders all but securing himself a showdown spot as well as more valuable podium credits, Completing the podium was John Hopkins the American hasnt had the best of seasons showing flashes of pace at times but ultimately not really showing the form that everyone knows he is capable of, He stuck with Brookes and Irwin at the front but he never quite had the ultimate pace to push them despite this it was a great reuslt for him and his team and one he will hope to build off.
The other top 6 contenders had varying races Shane Byrne and Leon Haslam both failed to finish the race with Haslam crashing out on lap 5 and Byrne on the final lap despite this Byrne secured his place in the showdown, Luke Mossey making his return from injury managed to score a 5th place keeping his title hopes alive the man pushing him for that place Jake Dixon finished just ahead of him in 4th keeping that pressure on. Peter Hickman had to make a quick tyre change before the race meaning he had to start at the back of the grid so the fact he came home in 9th place was not a bad effort, Christian Iddon produced one of the rides of the day bringing the TYCO BMW home in 6th place riding the entire race on Slick tires and the final man in the Showdown hunt Jason O’Halloran came home in 11th place solid points but disappointing since he had qualified on pole.
Race 2 :
Race 2 was run under much better conditions than race 1 but was no less dramatic with a good amount of the field crashing out, Josh Brookes went 1 better than his result in race 1 taking the win he started well running in the front group from the start eventually making his move to take the lead on lap 6 with the race being red flagged on lap 12 due to Shaun Winfield’s bike blowing up and leaving oil on the track. James Ellison despite starting at the rear of the grid and being out of Showdown contention brought home his Yamaha in 2nd and looked to have the pace to challenge for the win if not for the red flag he carved his way through the field easily and looked every bit a title contender which given a bit more luck this season he would have been. Completing the podium and much happier than he was yesterday was Shane Byrne starting the race on pole he led the way for the opening laps but slipped behind Brookes and Ellison at just the wrong time but he scored more valuable podium credits which was his most important objective of this weekend.
Leon Haslam had another disaster of a race crashing out on lap 2 luckily for him he wasnt badly injured and also due to other results he confirmed his showdown place, Joining him in that was Brookes as well as Peter Hickman who finished the race in 8th place. Luke Mossey stuggled in the dry conditions his injuries making it difficult for him to muscle his Kawasaki around he could only manage 14th place that result along with Jake Dixon finishing in 9th left both riders joined on 176 points so the battle for the final showdown place is going down to the wire. Christian Iddon started the race well but could only manage 7th he did close the gap on Dixon and Mossey so was still well in contention at this stage, Jason O’Halloran all but confrimed his place coming home in 5th place scoring more solid points and staying out of trouble.
Race 3 was ran under conditions more akin to Jet Ski racing than motorbikes while filled with moments the actual on track action was not overly thrilling unsurprising given then conditions. Dan Linfoot was the man who conquered the wet and took his first ever win in the BSB class with nothing to lose he threw caution to the wind and took the win in impressive fashion, Following him home was Michael Laverty a rider that it could be said despite coming from Northern Ireland is not someone who relishes the wet weather just like Linfoot he managed the conditions well setting steady lap times and not stepping over the limit. And completing the podium and also securing his showdown place was Jake Dixon out of the contenders fighting for the place he was the only rider to finish the race and he rode well to do it an impressive ride for such a young rider.
Christian Iddon had been looking strong to secure the showdown place but unfortunately he crashed out on lap 8 ending his hopes he wasnt the only one to crash out with only 7 finishers in the race itself the entire top 6 showdown contenders failed to finish the race, Luke Mossey who looked so strong at the start of the year unfortunately the injuries suffered in a crash at Thruxton was his ultimate undoing. Despite the incidents this weekend the top 6 are as close as any year I can remember with everyone still well in contention shaping up for a fantastic race to the title.