Dan Linfoot became the ninth different race winner at Silverstone today (Sunday) as he mastered the wet conditions to claim his first victory in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, but at the top six decider it was Jason O’Halloran and Jake Dixon who completed the final line up after the third race.
Defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne had confirmed his place after the opening race on Saturday but tensions were high with the final five places up for the taking in the final two races of the Main Season.
In the second race of the weekend Byrne led the pack from Christian Iddon, but Guintoli was pushing and soon was attempting to make a move on the Be Wiser Ducati rider for the lead after passing his Tyco BMW rival.
There was more drama for Leon Haslam as the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider crashed out at Stowe; he had been fighting his way through the pack from the back of the grid, but despite his second non point score of the weekend after also crashing out of race one yesterday, he was able to confirm his Showdown position.
On the fifth lap Guintoli hit the front of the pack onboard the Bennetts Suzuki, but it was frantically changing as Brookes then stole the position to lead Guintoli and Byrne with a freight train of riders including Iddon and James Ellison, who had carved his way through from the back of the grid.
The positions were chopping and changing at the front, with every point crucial for a place in the Showdown, but for race one winner Glenn Irwin his race was over when he crashed out unhurt.
Andy Reid and Martin Jessopp then also crashed out, bringing out the BMW Safety Car, and just before the race was due to resume Shaun Winfield suffered a blow up, leaving oil on the circuit which then bought out the red flag.
Brookes was declared the race winner for the second time this season to move second in the standings and secure his position in the Showdown ahead of Ellison, who delivered a gritty performance from starting last on the grid. Byrne completed the podium to add to his Podium Point tally.
Guintoli scored his best result of the season in fourth ahead of Showdown Six contender Jason O’Halloran and rookie Bradley Ray. Iddon held on to seventh ahead of Peter Hickman, who confirmed his place in the Showdown with eighth place. Jake Dixon and John Hopkins completed the top ten.
The final two Showdown positions were then up for the taking in the final race of the day at Silverstone with O’Halloran, Luke Mossey, Dixon and Iddon all still in contention.
It all changed in race three with completely wet conditions, but for Haslam his woes continued as he was unable to make the start due to a technical problem. Then the tension heightened again as Honda Racing’s O’Halloran crashed out on the opening lap, leaving himself vulnerable in the Showdown with Dixon, Iddon and Mossey all capable of claiming the positions.
At the front Brookes had hit the front of the field ahead of Byrne and Ellison who were instantly dicing for positions. On the second lap Brookes had a moment which pushed him wide and allowed Byrne and Ellison to carve through. However a lap later there was disaster for Ellison as he crashed out unhurt.
Brookes was then the next rider to crash out of contention as he fought for the lead, leaving Byrne in the lead for the Be Wiser Ducati team with Dan Linfoot in third and Hickman holding fourth after confirming his Showdown position in the earlier race.
On the sixth lap though there was a crash from Byrne and he slid out of contention at Farm leaving Linfoot to master the conditions and edge out an advantage over the chasing pack to claim his first win in the series.
Meanwhile the positions were changing throughout the field as Michael Laverty had moved into third place as Iddon moved into second and potentially securing his position in the Showdown Six for Tyco BMW. However on the eighth lap Iddon had a moment and crashed out at Club, ending his hopes of a position in the top six for the Showdown.
Dixon then had the advantage and he held third place to the finish to secure his place and become the youngest ever rider to line up in the Showdown with O’Halloran still holding enough points despite his non finish to complete the Title Fighter line up as Mossey crashed out.
James Westmoreland secured his best result of the season and Gearlink Kawasaki’s best result in the class in fourth place ahead of Jakub Smrz and rookie Ray for Buildbase Suzuki. Lee Jackson was the final finisher in seventh place.
The 2017 Showdown Six line-up features two riders appearing for the first time with Dixon and Hickman plus three teams will make their Showdown debut next weekend at Oulton Park – Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha, RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki and Smiths Racing BMW.
The final title fight will now be between six different teams and five different manufactures with three rounds remaining.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, race two result:
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha)
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.274s
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.732s
- Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +1.268s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.329s
- Bradley Ray (Bennetts Suzuki) +2.338s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +2.765s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +3.967s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +4.977s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +7.617s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, race three result:
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing)
- Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +4.115s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +20.423s
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) 1 lap
- Jakub Smrz (Lloyd & Jones PR Racing BMW) 1 lap
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 1 lap
- Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW) 1 lap
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown Six:
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 532
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 526
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 522
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 518
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 509
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 503
For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Silverstone Race 3 winner
“I am so happy to finally take my first race win, I was starting to think it was never going to happen with all the times I have been trying and either crashed out of the lead, or gave it to Jason on the last corner at Snetterton last year! But today it was meant to be.
“I haven’t had the easiest of weekends with three crashes and have made some work for the team, but to be rewarded with my first win and the new Fireblades first win feels good. It’s a funny one, the race where everyone else crashes out I stay on!
“We have a good wet setting with the Fireblade so going into the race I knew we could be strong. I started 21st, which wasn’t easy and with the riders crashing in front of me I had to be careful, but once I was settled I was able to make it to the front.
“Thanks to the team, three years of trying and we get that first win today! I am not in the Showdown, but I am happy for Jason as he’s in there, so at least we have a Honda there fighting in the Showdown. But I can still play a part and maybe be a Showdown spoiler over the next few rounds; I want to stand on that podium a few times more this season that’s for sure.”
RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki
Youngest ever Showdown Six contender
“Coming into the weekend we were expecting rain but in Friday’s wet practice sessions, I wasn’t very strong and even in the races I wasn’t that strong. Christian (Iddon) came by me and although I tried to pick up the pace, I couldn’t go with him. Just after half race distance, the tyres suddenly kicked in and I started moving forward. When Christian went down though it really threw me and I was riding like a novice
“It’s so easy to go down in the wet but I managed to stay upright and not only get on the podium but clinch my spot in the Showdown. It’s my first full year in BSB so to make it into the Showdown is an amazing feeling and for the team as it’s their first time also.
“The whole team has worked incredibly hard all year long so now we’ve made it through, I’m ready to take the fight to the other five riders and have a real good go for the title.”