Success and progress was the theme of the weekend for the #FuelledByXpressCoffee riders at Brands Hatch last weekend as the MCE British Superbike Championship set up camp in the Kent countryside for the second time this season. With a full strength field of riders to support once again, it was a busy weekend for our Events team at the historic former GP circuit.
The STK1000 Holy Trinity of Elliott, Tunstall and Weaving had a hectic weekend as they not only had their standard race on Sunday but also a 100 mile race on the Saturday. The race was run in two parts, with a 10 minute window to refuel and re-shoe the bikes with fresh rubber before heading in to Paddock Hill Bend for the second time. Qualifying was positive for both Tunstall and Weaving with 12th and 11th place, however the Tyco BMW of Elliott suffered an electrical issue which left the Ulsterman in 17th place.
Race 1 was a difficult time for Elliott as, after making his way from 17th to the top ten, a loose gear lever meant an unscheduled pit stop and a subsequent rejoin at the back of the field for the former STK1000 champion. For Weaving and Tunstall it was business as usual battling on the fringes of the top ten before a Red Flag called a halt around half distance. The restart over 8 laps gave a distant Elliot the chance to make places as best he could ahead of race 2, a chance he took with both hands to make up 21 places in 8 laps to finish 14th behind a buoyant Weaving in 8th and a firm 12th for Tunstall.
Race 2 saw all three riders battle together at some point during proceedings with Elliott getting the better of his stable mates in 6th while Weaving and Tunstall were part of an exciting 6 man battle, separated by just 1 second at the flag as Briggs Equipment Kawasaki man Weaving snook home ahead of Integro BMW mounted Tunstall by just 0.3 seconds. Sunday’s race 3 saw the same finishing order with Elliott a solid 6th, Weaving a very creditable 7th and Tom Tunstall an encouraging 10th.
In the British Superbike Championship, our Holy Trinity there of Ellison, Laverty and Reid all made fine progress aboard their respective steeds. Qualifying was cloudy and wet so lap times were understandably slower than the searing pace of Free Practice. Ellison took 7th in Qualifying with McAMS Yamaha team mate Laverty in 16th and class Rookie Andy Reid 20th on his Tyco BMW. While Reid is still learning the essence of a Superbike, and learning quickly, the outright pace of the MCE BSB Championship belies the immense progress the Northern Irishman is making on the BMW S1000RR.
Another man making progress is fellow Ulsterman Michael Laverty. After a season plagued with chatter issues, a recent test at glorious Cadwell Park saw the team experiment with weighting the Yamaha R1 with a great degree of success. Again, the pace of the series belied the steps made by the team and the former GP man this weekend allowing him now to concentrate on outright speed with the chatter dialled out.
Race 1 on Sunday saw Ellison come home sixth after the safety car was deployed late in the race, ahead of Laverty in 13th and Reid a respectable 19th. Race 2 saw Ellison stand proud on the podium with a well-earned second place ahead of a Reid’s team mate Iddon, while Laverty crossed the line in 10th and Reid one place better than Race 1 in 18th and with a lap time of improvement of 0.6 seconds.