British Superbike Championship, Round 9, Donington Park
Tyco Suzuki riders John Hopkins and Josh Waters took a pole position apiece during today’s British Superbike action at Donington Park, with the Australian taking the best of the finishing places with sixth in race one and fifth in race two at the Leicestershire venue.
Waters currently holds ninth place in the British Superbike Championship standings but closed the gap on James Ellison, in eighth, to just thirteen points.
John Hopkins’ cruel misfortune continues to embargo his progress: starting from pole position in race one, he was shuffled down to sixth place before an early Safety Car deployment; after which Hopper crashed at the Melbourne Loop, leaving him to negotiate a seventh row grid position for race two.
Respect where respect is due, Hopkins fought back from 19th place at the end of lap one to finish just inside the top ten in ninth position after 20 tough laps on the 2.4-mile Donington Park circuit.
Josh Waters said afterwards: “I’m disappointed that I didn’t make more of the pole position lap in race two, but I let myself get bashed up a bit on that first lap and had to come back from seventh position. But yeah, overall I’m happy with the weekend. We’re now starting to get inside that top six regularly and today I believe I could have run in the battle for the final podium spot. But it’s coming together and we’re at the sharp end and I’m learning all the time. I’m really enjoying riding the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 and although I’ve never been to Assen before, I’m sure come qualifying we’ll be good.”
“I lost a couple of places early on in race one and was unsettled; then I made some silly mistakes and lost more positions. After that I struggled to get the rhythm going and the pace car came out. I got my head down and got things going again, but I made a stupid mistake going into the Melbourne Loop, lost the front and that ruined our day – as we had to start from the back of grid in race two. I did everything I could but burned my tyre up in the first half of the race, which meant I was just skating around in last five laps. This whole last part of the season takes us to tracks I like, so we’re still on the hunt for that first podium, starting at Assen.”
Taylor Mackenzie also suffered bad luck in today’s second Supersport race getting taken out in a nasty incident on the start/finish straight just after the race had been started. Thankfully only battered and bruised, TMac will look to redeem himself at Assen in two weeks’ time.
“I’m a bit battered and bruised after that incident, but it could have been a lot worse. I made a mistake in Saturday’s race, which cost me an opportunity to be battling for a podium and today – well there was nothing we could do about that. All I can do is regroup and come back stronger at Assen.”
Team Manager Philip Neill added: “There’s no hiding the fact that we were certainly expecting more in terms of results after taking two pole positions this weekend. John got bashed up a bit in the early laps of race one and it unsettled him and he made a mistake as he’s already said. Sadly that ruined his chances in race two having to start from row seven, so the wait continues for that first podium, but his qualifying pace proves he has the ingredients – he just needs to string it all together.
“Josh Waters again did what we asked of him taking points in the top six. To put the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 on pole position for race two was very impressive, but being his first in BSB probably unnerved him a little – although he recovered well and did a solid job.
“Taylor is starting to show glimpses of good form in the Supersport class, but a mix of small mistakes and bad luck have robbed him of also scoring heavily on the points. The second race incident looked a bit nasty, so we’re just glad he’s not injured and ready to reload and go again at Assen, as we try to get him into podium contention.”
British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, race one result:
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)
2. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) +0.184s
3. Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha) +1.188s
4. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) +1.614s
5. Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +4.519s
6. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +5.298s
7. Peter Hickman (Honda) +5.598s
8. Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki) +10.852s
9. Patric Muff (BMW) +15.000s
10. James Westmoreland (BMW) +15.104s
British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, race two result:
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)
2. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) +0.489s
3. Josh Brookes (MYamaha) +1.183s
4. Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +7.438s
5. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +10.874s
6. Julien Da Costa (Honda Racing) +11.764s
7. Peter Hickman (Honda) +15.039s
8. James Westmoreland (BMW) +16.102s
9. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +16.965s
10. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +17.190s
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