Jason O’Halloran claimed his fourth pole position of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship in a hectic SUPERPICKS Q2 session at Silverstone, as the front row set a pace under the existing lap record in the battle for pole.
Glenn Irwin set the benchmark early in the session before O’Halloran moved to the top; the pair exchanged positions several times before the final five minutes of the session.
O’Halloran seized the advantage, putting the McAMS Yamaha back ahead and in the final minute Tarran Mackenzie closed on his teammate to set the fastest time, just 0.030s adrift of the championship leader.
Tommy Bridewell will complete the front row for Oxford Products Racing Ducati despite a high-speed crash at Copse in the final three minutes of the session.
Gino Rea will lead the second row from Glenn Irwin and Ryan Vickers in the first clash of the weekend for the riders fighting for their place in the Showdown this afternoon.
Josh Brookes was the fastest of the VisionTrack Ducatis in seventh place, ahead of Peter Hickman and Lee Jackson, who are all also in the Title Fighter battle.
Christian Iddon completed the top ten, meanwhile Andrew Irwin will start 11th on the grid despite crashing the SYNETIQ BMW in Q1 at Copse; the team were able to turn it around to get him back on track for Q2.
Kyle Ryde was another rider to crash out of the session at Becketts; he will start just ahead of his teammate Bradley Ray in 14th place.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, SUPERPICKS Qualifying:
Glenn Irwin became the seventh different race winner in the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, scoring victory in a dramatic BikeSocial race at Silverstone, as the McAMS Yamaha teammates crashed out of the two leading positions.
The race began with Tarran Mackenzie hitting the front of the pack after a rapid start from the front row. However as the pack streamed across the line for the first time, Tommy Bridewell had claimed the advantage on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati.
On the second lap the drama began; Peter Hickman had a high-speed crash at Becketts, but the FHO Racing BMW rider had his Title Fighter position confirmed in the Showdown, having a 70-point advantage over ninth place in the standings ahead of tomorrow’s two races.
The battle for the Title Fighter positions continued to rage throughout the pack. On the same lap, Danny Buchan went for a move on the inside of Ryan Vickers at Woodcote and they collided sending them both crashing out of the action. There was heartbreak for Lee Jackson too as a technical issues forced him to retire his FS-3 Racing Kawasaki; the three riders remain in a position to secure one of the final three places tomorrow.
As Keith Farmer and Takumi Takahashi crashed out, the BMW Safety Car was deployed on lap four. The pack formed up with Bridewell leading Jason O’Halloran, Gino Rea, Glenn Irwin and Andrew Irwin plus Christian Iddon. Mackenzie meanwhile had dropped to seventh ahead of Josh Brookes after the opening laps.
When the race resumed on lap seven, O’Halloran was instantly attacking; making a move at Copse to snatch the lead from Bridewell. The Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider responded instantly to regain the position at the front of the field, as Glenn Irwin moved into third.
Mackenzie was making up ground though, he was up to second by lap 21 and the McAMS Yamaha rider was pushing for a repeat of his Snetterton victories. However on the penultimate lap, Mackenzie had taken the lead and was defending hard from his teammate when he high-sided at Brooklands, collecting O’Halloran and bringing out the red flag.
Mackenzie sustained a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand and is declared unfit tomorrow, whilst O’Halloran will be reviewed by the BSB Medical Team ahead of warm up tomorrow.
That awarded the win to Glenn Irwin, who had been holding third ahead of Iddon before the incident, as the VisionTrack Ducati rider returned to the podium for the first time since Thruxton. Bridewell completed the podium, adding to his Podium Points.
A fourth place for Brookes means he now holds ninth in the standings, just six points adrift of Bradley Ray who now holds the last place in the top eight ahead of tomorrow’s two races following his fifth place finish.
Gino Rea claimed sixth place, but both him and Andrew Irwin are now out of the running for the final Title Fighter positions. Rory Skinner, Kyle Ryde, Xavi Forés and Luke Stapleford completed the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, BikeSocial Race result:
Tarran Mackenzie claimed his fifth win of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship season at Silverstone this afternoon, bouncing back from his huge crash yesterday to snatch victory from Josh Brookes on the final lap of race two at Silverstone.
At the start of the race, Gino Rea launched to the front of the pack from pole position, but a lap later and Brookes had made up three positions to put the VisionTrack Ducati into the lead.
Mackenzie meanwhile was in the mix with the leading contenders with Bradley Ray moving into second ahead of Christian Iddon, Rea and the McAMS Yamaha contender.
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.
Brookes continued to lead the pack ahead of Ray, Tommy Bridewell, Iddon, Rea and Mackenzie, but on lap 14, the pack shuffled as the Iddon was forced to save a huge moment, that dropped him down the order.
At the front, Brookes still had the edge from Ray, but Bridewell was on the move and he dived down the inside 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 Ray bids to secure his position in the Showdown.
Mackenzie though had been regaining ground and by lap 26 had moved back up the pack and into second place ahead of Ray and his teammate Jason O’Halloran, who is 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.
The podium finish in the second race means Brookes is now just three points adrift of eighth in the standings, as three places are still to be confirmed between five riders in the final race of the day at Silverstone.
Ray’s fourth place means he currently holds eighth in the standings and just a three-point buffer over Brookes ahead of race three.
Bridewell completed the top five, fending off the challenges from Rea and Iddon, whilst Ryan Vickers finished in eighth just ahead of Rory Skinner meaning that the pair are now out of contention for a Title Fighter position.
Peter Hickman completed the top ten after confirming his place in the Showdown yesterday, ahead of Lee Jackson, Danny Buchan and Glenn Irwin with the trio remaining in the Title Fighter hunt this afternoon.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, Race 2 result:
Jason O’Halloran was victorious in the final Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Silverstone, holding off his hard-charging teammate Tarran Mackenzie as Josh Brookes completed the podium to steal a Title Fighter position by four points from Bradley Ray.
The race had earlier been red flagged due to track contamination when Luke Stapleford crashed out at Brooklands with a technical problem on the twelfth lap. At the stoppage, Brookes had been leading the pack from Tommy Bridewell, Jason O’Halloran and Mackenzie ahead of an 15-lap restart.
On the restart, Brookes was determined to secure his position, firing himself to the front ahead of Gino 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 a last lap battle with Bridewell and Danny Buchan, who also confirmed his positon in the Showdown for SYNETIQ BMW with fourth place after getting the better of the Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider.
Christian Iddon finished the final race of the Main Season in sixth place ahead of Bradley Ray, who dropped out of eighth place at the final stage. Lee Jackson was able to finish in eighth place, with Glenn Irwin in ninth place to secure his Title Fighter status. Ryan Vickers completed the top ten for the RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki team.
After a hectic 24 races that have seen seven different race winners and a total of 12 different podium finishers the Title Fighters were confirmed: O’Halloran, Mackenzie, Iddon, Bridewell, Hickman, Buchan, Glenn Irwin and Brookes.
The 2021 Showdown will feature six different teams representing four different manufacturers.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, Race 3 result:
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Silverstone: