Archive for May, 2010
The Swan Honda team returned to the top step of the podium at Oulton Park as Stuart Easton took the opening victory of the day at the third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
Easton took a characteristic lightening start off the line to lead the pack into Old Hall on the opening lap and despite coming under pressure from championship leader Tommy Hill on the Worx Crescent Suzuki he was able to maintain the advantage to the finish.
It was a challenging second race for the team though as Easton struggled in the opening laps and believing he had an issue with his rear tyre he pitted before rejoining the race. The problem reoccurred when Easton went back out on track and he was forced to retire, however the impressive performance in the opening race has elevated him to second in the overall championship standings.
Easton said: “The whole weekend we have been up there on top, apart from qualifying where we were second so I felt that we would be able to challenge for both race wins today. In the first race we had edged out a lead and there was nothing really between us, so I just kept fighting and was able to hold on for the win. It was a great feeling to win the first race as it was my first one of the season and I was feeling really fired up to do the same in the second.
“In the second race it didn’t really work out as we had hoped. I thought that I had a problem with the rear tyre so I came in to the garage but we later found out it was just a setting that didn’t work out with the electronics. It was disappointing as it had worked unbelievably in the first race, but we really went into the second one blind as we had only had a handful of laps to practice in the wet. We have moved up to second in the standings now though after the win so we have come away in a better position overall so now we are looking forward to Cadwell Park.”
Team Manager Shaun Muir concluded: “It was great for Stuart to have won the opening race for the Swan Honda team. He likes to lead from the front and we knew Tommy (Hill) was going to be strong and they were quite evenly paced so it was an impressive and controlled race from Stuart. In the second race it was obviously disappointing to have not finished, but we are now second in the championship and we are looking forward to building on that at the next round in three weeks’ time at Cadwell Park.”
In the opening race of the day Josh was running in the top four early in the race, but as the race progressed he continued to suffer with chatter which inevitably dropped him down the field to finish sixth. Kiyonari also suffered disappointment when he was challenging for the final podium position, but on the ninth lap he was forced wide by Alastair Seeley which dropped him down the order before he retired with a technical issue.
In the second race, Kiyo led the pack on the opening lap having started from pole, before he was passed by Michael Laverty. A battle then ensued between Kiyo and Michael Rutter for the advantage, before he was nudged back to fourth after John Laverty made his move although a determined effort saw him remain in the position to the chequered flag. Josh was struggling for rear grip during the second race as the conditions continued to change, leaving him eighth at the end of the shortened second race.
Steve Plater powered the HM Plant Honda Fireblade to a third consecutive podium finish in the National Superstock 1000 Championship with a hard-fought second place, to keep a 19 point advantage in the overall standings. Steve had dropped back to eighth on the opening laps but a determined performance saw him carve his way through the field as the race progressed. On the final lap he was able to close Kirkham’s advantage from just over two seconds to just 0.200 seconds at the chequered flag showing, the pace of the Honda CBR1000RR.
Josh said: “It has been a difficult and frustrating day for me. I think that somewhere along the line we made the wrong decision on the setting and I was desperate to go out and make amends for it in race two, but that didn’t happen. In the second race it was difficult as we were on a wet tyre on a drying track and by the end everyone’s tyres were destroyed as expected, but ours went off very quickly. I feel annoyed that I couldn’t get back up there in the second race, despite the whole team putting in a huge amount of effort and hard work. The reality is that these things happen sometimes though, so we just need to learn from today so it doesn’t happen again and get back up there at Cadwell Park.”
Kiyo said: “It has been a tough weekend for me and I am disappointed to have not finished on the podium today. In the first race Alastair Seeley passed me into Shell Oils corner really hard and it pushed me wide which lost me positions and my momentum. I then had a technical problem so I had to retire, but I was happy to be starting from the pole position in the second race. In race two I was really pushing hard as I wanted to make up for not finishing the first race but there was a big gap to close. I then got pushed wide again by John Laverty and he leant on me and it was impossible to hold the line. I now just want to go to Cadwell Park and fight again for the podium.”
Steve said: “For sure that was a tough race as I dropped back a bit in the opening laps but I came through. It was hard work and busy in the opening laps but I just kept my head and stayed out of trouble and that did the trick. I really wanted to catch Jon for the win and I thought if there were backmarkers then I might be able to just do it, but I really needed another lap as I wasn’t close enough to make the move. I am happy to be back on the podium though and still have the championship lead for HM Plant Honda.”
Team Manager, Havier Beltran concluded: “It has been a tough day for the team and it has been disappointing for Josh and Kiyo that we didn’t get the results we thought we could achieve. Both riders struggled; for Kiyo he got beaten up in both races whilst Josh really struggled with rear tyre deterioration in the second race. However for Steve he had another podium finish and put on another great show for the HM Plant Honda team and to show the pace of the Fireblade, to keep his championship advantage. The whole team is now looking forward to our home race at Cadwell Park in a few weeks.”
British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race one:
1.Stuart Easton (Honda)
2.Tommy Hill +0.058s
3.John Laverty +10.399s
4.Alastair Seeley +10.843s
5.Michael Laverty +10.849s
6.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +11.073s
DNF Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) – technical fault
British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race two:
2.Michael Rutter +6.00s
3.Tommy Hill +11.333s
4.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +16.029s
5.John Laverty +23.590s
6.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +30.283s
British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:
1.Tommy Hill 126
2.Stuart Easton 75
3.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 74
4.Michael Laverty 65
5.Alastair Seeley 63
8. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 53
National Superstock 1000 Championship, Oulton Park, result:
2.Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) +0.200s
3.Tristan Palmer +1.264s
4.Ian Hutchinson (Padgetts Honda) +1.480s
5.Howie Mainwaring +2.578s
National Superstock 1000 Championship standings after Oulton Park:
1.Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) 70
2.Howie Mainwaring 51
3.Jon Kirkham 50
4.Tristan Palmer 35
5.Ian Hutchinson (Padgetts Honda) 29