Anvil Hire Tag Racing’s Richard Cooper also bagged his first podium in the class, after he successfully outpaced PR Racing’s Keith Farmer to take second, with the Northern Irishman rounding off the podium in third to also take his debut rostrum in the championship. But Waters was too strong and ended the final race of the day with a six second advantage.
But the race was filled with yellow and red flags and was re-started a total of three times. Initially it was GBmoto Kawasaki's James Ellison who had the best start and was on fire straight off the line, and led the way from Druids ahead of Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki's Shane Byrne and Buildbase BMW's Ryuichi Kiyonari. But a lap later the Kendal lad went wide on the grass at Westfield and lost the front end and a massive high-side ensued.
The rider appeared OK at the track side but his bike did not come off so well. The 100mph crash meant his Kawasaki was propelled high in the air, somersaulting on to the track - which was cleverly avoided by Byrne.
The yellow flags swiftly came out along with the safety car, but soon the flags changed to a deep scarlet and the race was halted as oil was spilled out on the circuit. At the re-start it was Byrne, Kiyonari and Smrz who made up the newly formed front row, and soon the race got underway once again.
But the safety car was quickly out on the first lap as Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Howie Mainwaring crashed at Westfield as a result of liquid leaking out of his bike which got on the tyre, causing him to crash.
But the dark clouds and rain quickly descended on to the circuit as the umbrellas went out around the track, and the red flags came out once again – and the riders retreated to the pits. The race was then declared wet and a new distance of 15 laps was confirmed.
Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Waters had a stellar start and was up to fifth by lap three behind GBmoto Kawasaki's Chris Walker. Then Cooper seized the chance to go past Kiyo to take the lead, allowing Waters to hop up to second, pushing Kiyo back down to third on lap four.
Waters then led his first Superbike race of the year after Cooper went wide coming out of Druids. But Kiyonari went wide allowing six riders to get ahead of him with ten laps remaining. PR Racing’s Keith Farmer was slowly picking off the riders and over took Byrne to go into fourth, and then had to deal with the duelling bikes of Cooper and Walker who were fighting for second by lap seven.
But Farmer was able to take advantage of a mistake from the pair to go into second, as Walker went wide onto the grass. Meanwhile Kiyonari had to retire at Hailwood after a technical problem – ending his chances of doing the double.
While in ninth place Millsport Ducati’s Jakub Smrz crashed at Surtees, but was able to walk away from the wet track unscathed. Further up the field Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes made move on Linfoot to go into sixth, but ended up going wide on the grass and lost ground – but rejoined in ninth.
At the flag Milwaukee Yamaha’s Tommy Bridewell took fourth, from Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne and Halsall Racing’s Jon Kirkham. Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Dan Linfoot was able to hold off Brookes to snatch seventh, with Walker and Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins rounding of the top ten. Anvil Hire Tag Racing’s substitute rider, Gary Mason rode a solid race, and all his track experience certainly paid off as he ended up 11th.
- Sports & Recreation
- Motor Racing
- Shane Byrne
- Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
- Ryuichi Kiyonari