BSB Cadwell Park: Might As Well Jump!

With a double double win to his name over the last two rounds, the question on everyone’s lips heading to the Party In The Park this last weekend was whether Josh Brookes could do the triple double and take the overall lead in the 2015 British Superbike Championship season.

Domination from Brookes at the #PartyInThePark

Photo: MCE BSB

The Aussie (literally) flew through the practice and qualifying process, landing on top of the time sheets in every session leading up to Sunday’s races. Fellow high flyers over the famous ‘Cadwell Park Mountain’; Danny Buchan, Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman were also regularly challenging the top of the timing screens leading into Sunday lunchtime but were unable to match the Milwaukee Yamaha rider’s lap record breaking pace.

With James Ellison and Stuart Easton sidelined due to injury, Brookes’ closest championship rival this weekend was Shane Byrne who was looking to make amends for a dismal outing at Thruxton just two weeks ago. His action plan for qualifying wasn’t exactly a success, placing the Londoner 11th on the grid…

Race Reports

Race One

As the lights went out for the first time on Sunday, Brookes’ intentions were clear; get out front – stay out of trouble – dazzle fans with some styling over the mountain – win. The only slight issue for the former BSB runner-up came when the safety car was deployed following Danny Buchan’s early departure from the race, the BeWiser Kawasaki rider was ejected from his ZX10R over the mountain while chasing Luke Mossey and Peter Hickman for a podium position.

On resumption of the race, Brookes’ momentum was clearly unphased as he continued out front all the way to the chequered flag with likeable newly-branded Road Racing star Peter Hickman on the RAF Reserves BMW lagging behind in second place. The battle behind the pair for the final podium spot honours was the most interesting part of the race, with Billy McConnell making his way through on Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty to snatch 3rd from the pair. Shane Byrne followed closely behind to finish 6th with Luke Mossey in hot pursuit.

Race Two

Podium delight for Hickman and Bridewell

Photo: MCE BSB

A slight change in order for the grid the second time around, with (unsurprisingly) Brookes on pole, alongside Mossey and Hickman. Despite feeling battered and bruised following his runway incursion over the mountain, Danny Buchan started from 4th ahead of Tommy Bridewell and Shane Byrne.

The Bringelly rider, Brookes, took the holeshot once again from Mossey, Hickman, Byrne, Bridewell, Buchan, Laverty and Cooper as the BSB freight train thundered round the Lincolnshire countryside for the final time this year. By lap four, Shane Byrne had fallen back behind Bridewell as well and eventually found himself be hunted down by a podium-famished Michael Laverty. By lap 7, the top 6 had broken away from the rest of the riders, with Brookes edging further out front sector upon sector. Six became five on lap 12 as Laverty clipped a kerb and rolled out of contention.

While Brookes continued to soar over the mountain out front, the proceeding duel behind between Hickman and Bridewell, provided the entertainment. Shane Byrne caught the pair with 4 laps to go, having left Mossey behind to wallow in fifth, but was unable to break through on either rider in front, being forced to settle for fourth. Hickman, meanwhile, made his daring do-or-die move on Bridewell for 2nd place down into Mansfield, holding off the Devizes rider for the line. Billy McConnell was unable to repeat his stellar race one performance but still managed a solid 6th position.

Results

Race One
1. Josh Brookes
2. Peter Hickman
3. Billy McConnell
4. Tommy Bridewell
5. Michael Laverty
6. Shane Byrne
7. Luke Mossey
8. Richard Cooper
9. Christian Iddon
10. Dan Linfoot

Race Two

1. Josh Brookes
2. Peter Hickman
3. Tommy Bridewell
4. Shane Byrne
5. Luke Mossey
6. Billy McConnell
7. Richard Cooper
8. Danny Buchan
9. James Westmoreland
10. Dan Linfoot

Full results and times can be found courtesy of British Superbikes here.

Rider Reactions

Brookes is now overall series leader

Photo: MCE BSB

While he failed to ensure a close and exciting finish for winner’s honours at Cadwell, you can’t take anything from The King of The Mountain, Josh Brookes, who was decidedly over the moon with his triple-double-win: “I worked really hard at the start of the first race to make a gap and then I saw the Safety Car come out and I knew I had to get back on the gas straight away and make the gap again. I always ride better on my own smooth lines and I just wanted to stay ahead. The bike feels like an extension of my body at the moment – I am sure it appears easy but it isn’t! I just wanted to get out the front in race two and then not let up and keep going. It is easy to make mistakes and lose concentration. I wanted to be smooth and calculated so I kept it pinned and rode it to the flag. I am really pleased for the Milwaukee Yamaha team and everything is all working really well now so we are looking forward to Oulton Park.” 

Since his return to the British series, it’s hard to think of another time when Shane Byrne was as down in the dumps as he was following yet another hugely difficult race weekend. However, the four-time British Superbike champ is still well in contention for the overall victory and has vowed to ‘bounce back’: “It’s really difficult to be positive if I look just at my results but at the same time if I look back to where I was on Friday when I just wanted to go home because I wasn’t feeling it at all, then I have to think that we have made some decent steps forward. The team worked so hard for me this weekend to try and find the solutions but we still aren’t where we should be. If I’m trying to quantify how happy I am on results then obviously I’m not very happy at all, but I feel generally that the progress we’ve made over the course of the weekend has been good and I’m pretty pleased with that. Obviously I don’t go racing for fourth and sixth places and neither does the PBM team, and right now we need a bike that can win again. I’ve been training hard since the last round and I know I’ve worked my nuts off so we need to all go back and look at what we can do to come back at Oulton Park at our best.”

Stellar performance from Smiths BMW’s McConnell

Photo: MCE BSB

Billy McConnell was ecstatic to get the Smiths team’s best ever BSB result in race one, especially given that he managed to fend off the factory supported Tyco BMW’s in order to do so: “The first race was great, it’s always disappointing when you don’t get a podium second time but I’m still really, really happy. To get my first British Superbike podium is something really special and it’s a great way to pay back the team. Everyone has worked so hard and put so much effort into this, so to be able to reward them now with this podium is perfect. Now I’m looking ahead to Oulton Park as there are three races there so I’m hoping to get another taste of standing on the podium. Now I’ve been there, I want to keep going back.” 

Bournemouth Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey continued his fine form in his debut British Superbike season, bagging a 7th and a 5th placed finish. But he’ll be disappointed not to have held on to podium positions on either occasion, he’ll be looking to take the leap onto the box next time out at Oulton Park: “I’m actually really pleased to have come here and leave with two good top ten finishes. It is a track I have struggled at in the past but the Quattro TECcare Kawasaki team provided me with a great bike all weekend, which certainly made my job easier. I was very happy to qualify in fourth and to get the start I did and I was running with Brooksey for a while and felt really comfortable. I lost some grip when the pace car came in but was fighting for a podium. Billy (McConnell) did make quite a harsh move on me and instead of just losing one place to him I lost three, then another as it unsettled my race. I wanted to make amends in the second race as I felt like I had good pace and wanted to get a good result for my team. I got a good start and was away with them, I was locked in a tight battle and really happy to have secured a fifth. I am looking forward to Oulton in a couple of weeks and hope we can continue making good progress like we have up to now. I would like to thank all my sponsors and also my team for all the hours they have put into me, I really appreciate it.”

Tweets Of The Weekend

Championship Standings

Overall
1. Josh Brookes 316
2. Shane Byrne 277
3. James Ellison 147
4. Tommy Bridewell 141
5. Stuart Easton 139
6. Michael Laverty 126
7. Dan Linfoot 105
8. Jason O’Halloran 103
9. Richard Cooper 93
10. Luke Mossey 90

Podium Credits
1. Josh Brookes 45
2. Shane Byrne 41
3. James Ellison 19
4. Stuart Easton 12
5. Dan Linfoot 6
6. Tommy Bridewell 6
7. Peter Hickman 6
8. Richard Cooper 4
9. Jason O’Halloran 2
10. James Westmoreland 1

Next Round

Round 9* – Oulton Park, Cheshire – 4th-6th September 2015

*Final round to confirm Showdown places

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