Bournemouth-based Quattro Plant Kawasaki were in action at Brands Hatch at the weekend for round seven of the British Superbike and Supersport Championships and whilst riders Luke Mossey, Filip Backlund and Andrew Reid experienced mixed fortunes, Mossey took his third Superbike podium of the season to edge ever closer to the top six Showdown positions.
The Cambridge resident ran in the top four for the majority of the free practice sessions and when it came to qualifying on Saturday afternoon he put in a superb performance. Overcoming a broken throttle cable in Q2, he successfully made it through to Superpole and with a lap of 1m25.383s, he claimed a stunning pole position for Sunday’s opening 20-lap race.
The 23-year old made the perfect start to grab the lead and by the end of lap three, he’d extended his advantage over Leon Haslam and Tommy Bridewell to just over a second. The gap remained constant for the next few laps as Luke controlled the race from the front but gradually the leading pack bunched up and by half race distance just 0.5s separated the leading trio.
A safety car period subsequently followed after team-mate Filip Backlund crashed at Clearways and it became a straight 10-lap race until the end. Luke slipped back to second on lap ten and two laps later this had become fourth with Shane Byrne and Leon Haslam both finding their way past. Try as he might Luke was unable to retake any of the riders in front of him but with Bridewell crashing out on the final lap, he was promoted back up the order to third and thus claim the final podium position.
Lining up in pole position once more the second race, Luke moved into third place on the first lap and this soon became second as he overhauled Haslam. As the race wore on, the close racing saw Luke shuffled back to fifth and another safety car period again worked against him. He ended up taking the chequered flag in seventh place but he’s now moved up to joint seventh overall in the title race, just three points adrift of the top six.
Prior to his first race crash, Backlund had already endured a challenging weekend and his fastest time during practice and qualifying came in the very first session on Friday morning. With a time of 1m27.533s in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, he lined up in 27th place for Sunday’s first race and although he’d moved to 22nd by lap seven, the crash ended his race early. It also meant his day ended early as he was forced to miss the second race due to the effects of the spill.
With three races on the schedule, it was a busy weekend for Dickies British Supersport Championship rider Andrew Reid and having arrived on the back of a double victory at the previous round at Thruxton, hopes were high of a repeat performance. However, Saturday’s two races proved to be extremely challenging as the Northern Irishman took seventh and eighth places.
Championship leader Tarran Mackenzie won both races which put greater emphasis on Sunday’s ‘Feature’ race and a much better start saw Andy slot into fifth place in the early stages. There was little to choose between the leading pack of nine riders and when the safety car came out on the seventh lap, everything closed up even more. However, when the race got back underway, Andy had to contend himself with sixth place at the chequered flag although with Mackenzie crashing out he’s still only 24 points adrift.
Luke Mossey: “I got the perfect start in the first race to grab the holeshot and although I knew the pace wasn’t that quick, I felt comfortable leading and began to pull away a bit. The safety car upset my rhythm though and I dropped back quite quickly to fourth but I was pleased to end up with another podium. The bike was working great and I was able to start race two from pole again but I was a bit disappointed with the end result and after the safety car pulled in I had no grip left for the extra three laps. Overall though, it’s been a good weekend and to be just three points off the Showdown places now is a terrific boost for all of us.”
Pete Extance, Team Owner: “It was a very mixed weekend for the team but Luke took two superb pole positions and then a great third place in race one. It should have been a similar result in race two but the pace car seemed to cost us dearly. However, Luke ended up in a solid seventh place and is now just three points off a Showdown position. Filip struggled this weekend with his pace and then had a big crash coming into Clearways in the first race. Fortunately, he wasn’t too badly hurt and was discharged from hospital this evening. For Andy, it was a case of a lack of mid-range power but he rode incredibly hard for his results so we need to do some work on his engine to ensure we are back on the rostrum at Cadwell.”
The series now takes a three-week break before resuming at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire on August 27-29.
Pictures by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Photography
MCE British Superbike Championship Standings (after seven rounds)
1 Shane Byrne (Ducati) 231pts
2 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 206
3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 175
4 Michael Laverty (BMW) 137
5 Dan Linfoot (Honda) 135
6 Richard Cooper (BMW) 125
7 Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) 122
27 Filip Backlund (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 2
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings (after seven rounds)
1 Tarran Mackenzie (Kawasaki) 204pts
2 James Westmoreland (Yamaha) 198
3 Andrew Reid (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 180
4 Luke Jones (Triumph) 140
5 David Allingham (Yamaha) 122
6 Benjamin Currie (Yamaha) 117