The eight Title Fighters who will battle to be crowned the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike champion were decided at Silverstone this afternoon, as it went down to the wire in the final race of the Main Season as five riders duelled for the final three positions ahead of the Showdown.
After 24 races in the Main Season, which has seen seven different race winners and a total of 12 podium finishers, the leading contenders in Bennetts BSB battled to join Jason O’Halloran, Tarran Mackenzie, Christian Iddon and Tommy Bridewell at Silverstone.
Peter Hickman had guaranteed his position following yesterday’s opening race for the FHO Racing BMW team, whilst Glenn Irwin had edged closer to securing Title Fighter status with his first victory of the season in yesterday’s BikeSocial Race.
In the second race of the weekend, Mackenzie claimed his fifth win of the season, bouncing back from his huge crash yesterday to snatch victory from a resurgent Brookes on the final lap.
Mackenzie had undergone further rigorous assessments by the BSB Medical Team this morning after sustaining a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand in yesterday’s crash, and was passed fit to ride.
At the start of race two, Gino Rea launched to the front of the pack from pole position, but a lap later Brookes had made up three positions to put the VisionTrack Ducati into the lead.
Mackenzie was in the mix with the leading contenders as Bradley Ray moved into second to fight for his position in the Showdown.
Bridewell was soon on the move and he dived down the inside of Ray at Copse to claim second position for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team. The pair traded blows for several laps in the battle for second, as the Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW rider fought to remain in the top eight.
Mackenzie though had moved back up the pack and into second place ahead of Ray and his teammate O’Halloran, who was also still battered and bruised after yesterday’s crash.
On the final lap Mackenzie lunged down the inside of Brookes at Copse to take the lead, but the defending champion also had O’Halloran for company, and he made his move at Luffield to push their VisionTrack Ducati rival back into third at the chequered flag.
Ray ended the race fourth to keep himself in contention ahead of the final race as Bridewell completed the top five, fending off the challenges from Rea and Iddon.
The final three Title Fighter positions would be decided in the final race and Glenn Irwin, Danny Buchan, Ray, Brookes and Jackson prepared for one last bid for Title Fighter status.
Whilst O’Halloran became the third different race winner of the weekend, Brookes battled to a hard-fought podium in race three to secure his position in the Showdown by just four points, knocking Ray out of contention.
The race had earlier been red flagged due to track contamination when Luke Stapleford crashed out at Brooklands. At the stoppage, Brookes had been leading the pack from Bridewell, O’Halloran and Mackenzie ahead of an 11-lap restart.
On the restart, Brookes was determined to secure his position, firing himself to the front ahead of Rea, Bridewell and O’Halloran. However, there was disappointment on lap two when he crashed the Buildbase Suzuki out of second place.
O’Halloran had moved into second before grabbing the lead on the seventh lap as Mackenzie also pulled a pass on Brookes to push the defending champion into third.
By lap 12 the McAMS Yamaha pairing were dicing for the lead again with the pair trading blows until the chequered flag, with O’Halloran holding the advantage by just 0.124s following a last lap scrap.
Brookes held onto third following an intense last lap battle with Bridewell and Buchan, who also confirmed his position in the Showdown for SYNETIQ BMW with fourth place after getting the better of the Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider.
Iddon finished the final race of the Main Season in sixth place ahead of Ray, who dropped out of a Showdown position at the final stage. Jackson finished in eighth place, with Glenn Irwin in ninth to secure his Title Fighter status.
The Title Fighters are confirmed: O’Halloran, Mackenzie, Iddon, Bridewell, Hickman, Buchan, Glenn Irwin and Brookes.
Six different teams will line up to battle for the title over the final three round Showdown representing four different manufacturers, with the first round taking place at Oulton Park on 24-26 September.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, Race 2 result:
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.083s
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.370s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +0.456s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +1.313s
- Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +1.469s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +5.908s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +6.330s
- Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +7.020s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +7.589s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, Race 3 result:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.124s
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +2.188s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +2.357s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +2.713s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +2.749s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +4.840s
- Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +5.062s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +5.453s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +5.720s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings ahead of the Showdown:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1071
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 1041
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 1026
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 1024
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 1015
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW 1014
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 1012
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 1002
Tarran Mackenzie – McAMS Yamaha
Race 2 winner
“I got some physio this morning and was re-assessed in the medical centre and they said I could ride in warm up. I gritted my teeth and was fastest!
“I got into a bit of a rhythm in race two and as the race went on I felt a lot better, I was able to pick them off one by one and it was incredible to take the win.
“I was close to the win in the final race but we didn’t quite have enough on that last lap, but I am really happy with today’s work and looking forward to Oulton Park.”
Jason O’Halloran – McAMS Yamaha
Race 3 winner and Championship leader
“After yesterday, to walk away with the same championship gap we had when we came here is a good result.
“To win in that final race means a lot, it wasn’t easy but I was determined to get to the front and keep out of the battles and that’s what we did.
“Taz tried at the end but we were straight back at him so I’m really happy with that as I’m quite second hand. Thanks to everyone at the medical centre and McAMS Yamaha.
“We’ve had a great year, so it would have been a shame to lose our advantage going into the Showdown so to stay ahead is really good. I can’t wait to get stuck in at Oulton Park.”
Josh Brookes – VisionTrack Ducati
Double podium finisher, Title Fighter for the Showdown
“That third race was a lot more hard fought so I’m proud of our efforts today. In the earlier race this afternoon, to get mugged at the end was a bit of a downer.
“I ended up in the same position in race three, but I feel a lot better about it. I raced from a position, we had the stoppage and then in the restart I got a good start for once! I had a good battle with Tommy as well. All around it’s been positive.
“I actually didn’t know Danny was there too on the last lap, I just saw Tommy come past and I didn’t want to give up the position. I didn’t know where other people were in the race and potentially losing another place would’ve meant I may have been out of the Showdown.
“I had a couple of motivating factors to be sure I got back. The point where I wanted to get back past him I couldn’t actually do the move. Tommy outbroke himself, so we eventually achieved the same result. I’m just pleased for the VisionTrack Ducati team, the sponsors and everyone that supports me.
“Last time we were at Oulton Park I had a lot of problems getting performance, but we seemed to make some good changes to get the bike up to the speed we’re at now, so if Silverstone is a gauge, this is a track we’ve normally, not sucked at, but not particularly gone good at. So if this is an example, then maybe we’ll go good at Oulton Park too. I’m as curious as anyone to find out so we’ll see what happens in the Showdown.”
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