BSB Round 2 - Brands Hatch Indy
The returning Michael Laverty stormed to a wet weather podium at Brands Hatch Indy aboard the S 1000 RR, expertly mastering the conditions to take his first podium of the year.
As at Donington, weather remained a hot topic in the paddock at Round 2 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with rain interfering throughout the event. Despite clouds looming in the distance, Race 1 on Sunday took place in dry conditions around the tight Brands Hatch Indy circuit – riders lapping in the 45s throughout the 30-lap race.
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) maintained a steady pace throughout Race 1, riding within his comfort zone and waiting to attack. With ten laps to go he struck and started to wrestle his way up the order, his S 1000 RR propelling him up to fifth place. Tyco BMW teammate Michael Laverty was author to another top ten, collecting good championship points in eighth place.
With clouds quickly closing in as the flag came out, BSB teams and riders began to prepare for a potentially wet second race – the preceding Supersport race red flagged and restarted due to mid-race rain.
Rain hit after just a handful of laps in Race 2, forcing everyone to head for the pits and wait to see if the rain would pass. After several minutes of waiting, it was clear that the rain had no intention of stopping and the entire grid reformed with rain tyres fitted – a decision which would prove wise as the rain fell heavier as the 22-lap restarted race went on. Laverty was immediately strong and grabbed the lead before long, building a considerable lead.
The Tyco BMW returnee would eventually be caught and passed by Haslam and Irwin, but not without attacking in response. Under half a second separated the trio as they crossed the line, Laverty taking his and the S 1000 RR’s first British Superbike Championship podium of the year. Third place moves Laverty up to fifth overall, three points clear of his teammate Iddon in sixth on the championship table.
Dry conditions awaited the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race on Saturday and crowds were treated to another classic battle. Farmer roared to second place, edging out title rival McConnell who finished third. The battle between the two riders looks set to go down to the wire this year, both establishing themselves as the riders to beat in the class. Chrissy Rouse scored fourth place and showed he will be a threat for the podium throughout the remainder of the season.
The feature race for the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race proved to be as exciting as ever, Chrissy Rouse (Quinnstheprinters.com BMW) clinching second place just behind McConnell. It was a race of mixed fortunes for title favourite Keith Farmer (Tyco BMW) who was unable to finish the race due to a technical issue. Despite the problem, Farmer remains in championship contention and is ready to fight back at Round 3.