It’s been back to back race weekends at Silverstone and Oulton Park for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and it’s support classes as the heat rises in the premier domestic class. Silverstone was a last chance weekend to take one of the six coveted Showdown places and with three races it was all to play for.
Unfortunately for the #FuelledByXpressCoffee trio, only James Ellison had a mathematical chance of making the final six, however his chances were left in tatters after a machine failure in the first race of the weekend saw his McAMS Yamaha R1 fall at the first hurdle. A second place in race 2 reinforced the pace Ellison clearly has, however in a crash-strewn third race Ellison suffered a broken wrist after falling from his machine in the treacherous conditions.
For Michael Laverty it was frustration as the Northern Irishman continued to make those forward steps aboard the sister R1 to Ellison however two difficult results in race 1 and 2 looked like the old issues had returned, however a calm head while all about were losing theirs saw a welcome return to the BSB podium in race 3 with a brave second place.
Sadly for or merry band of riders, it was Andy Reid who came off worst at the fast Silverstone GP circuit. A DNF in race one was compounded in the first race of Sunday as the Ulsterman slid off his Tyco BMW only to be run over by another rider, bending the rod in his left femur from a 2012 crash and fracturing the bone. Reid has undergone successful surgery to replace the rod and has since returned home to recuperate ahead of a return to action in 2018.
For the STK1000 trio it was Josh Elliott who shone in the gloom of Silverstone as the Northern Irishman took his first podium of the season with a battling second place on his Tyco BMW. Briggs Equipment Lee Hardy Racing’s Jordan Weaving stole 9th place on the last lap to continue his growing stature in the championship with Tom Tunstall bringing his Integro BMW home just outside the points in 17th place.
The typical late-summer weather was in force at Oulton Park as the weekend was blighted with sunshine and heavy showers, a fully dry track was a rare sight in Cheshire for the opening showdown round. James Ellison gave his all across the weekend while still suffering with his injured wrist from the Silverstone crash. A wet race 1 gave the Cumbrian a little respite and rewarded the team with an impressive 5th place finish, just a handful of tenths ahead of a strong-running Michael Laverty. Race 2 was more of a struggle for the former European Superstock Champion, battling the obvious pain to bring his McAMS Yamaha home in 10th place while team mate Laverty once again frustratingly lost ground with a 17th place finish.
It was a second podium in three STK1000 races for Tyco BMW’s Josh Elliott as he showed his undoubted class in race two at Oulton Park on Sunday. The two race weekend for Elliott, Weaving and Tunstall proved fruitful for the Ulsterman with sixth place in race one after an early battle with fellow #FuelledByXpressCoffee rider Weaving, who eventually faded to 14th with grip issues on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR with Integro BMW man Tunstall a handful of places behind in 17th.
Race 2 saw Elliott get a great start, slotting in to third place and remaining there unchallenged for the entire race as he chased the lead duo of Buchan and Cooper. For Weaving it was confirmation of his development in the class as he battled for a top six place, narrowly missing out to James Rispoli
on the final lap to take the flag in 7th place. It was a tough race for Tunstall who couldn’t improve on his 1th place of Saturday, hauling his BMW home to 20th place.
Next up for the BSB riders is Assen, Holland as the paddock makes the annual trip across the North Sea. Two riders are confirmed in action in Ellison and Laverty but it remains to be seen if Josh Elliott will replace Andy Reid for the remainder of the season aboard the full-spec Tyco BMW BSB machine. No STK races in Holland so Messrs Weaving and Tunstall will have to wait until the final round at Brands Hatch in mid-October before they return to domestic action.