Josh Waters tastes victory in BSB opener at Assen

Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) claimed victory  when he produced a dramatic MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown opening race starting from 10th spot on the grid. Title Fighters Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne both crashed out of contention to throw the standings wide open.

Josh Waters: “I’m ‘rapt’ to have taken another win for Tyco Suzuki and I really enjoyed the conditions. Coming here for the first time I’d have been happy with solid single figure top-10 finishes but the boys really have perfected a top-class wet-weather set-up on the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 and I just dug in, kept it upright and yeah, I’m really happy to get another BSB win. I made a poor start in race two and got caught-up and maybe was a little frustrated, but I’m satisfied enough with my weekend’s work and we can take away a lot of positives.”

Josh on the podium after his victory in race one.

Shane Byrne took out race two from rival Ryuichi Kiyonari with a last corner move in the second MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Assen with Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) completing the podium.

Race one
The tension started before the riders even reached the grid as Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes failed to leave pitlane before it closed after an eight minute sighting lap period following rainfall just ahead of the start. A dejected Brookes had to start from the back of the grid and then as he made a bid to try and fight his way up the order he crashed out on the opening lap to end his hopes of salvaging vital championship points.

Title Fighter Dan Linfoot initially hit the front of the pack as they tipped into turn one for the first time with pole-sitter Christian Iddon ahead of Tommy Bridewell and Ryuichi Kiyonari. Byrne though had launched himself through the field from his fourth row start to move ahead of the chasing contenders by the start of the second lap.

Josh Waters leads the way from Shayne Byrne (67) and Ryuichi Kiyonari (23).

Byrne held the lead from Linfoot and then Waters as he made his way through the field on the Tyco Suzuki, before the Australian split the Title Fighters on the ninth lap. Filip Backlund was in the mix at the mid-way stage as he worked his way into a potential podium position but a huge crash ended his race although he was able to walk away.

Waters moved ahead of Byrne on the eleventh lap and then Kiyonari made a move on his ‘War for Four’ rival to push the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider back to third. It was all over for Byrne on the penultimate lap as he crashed out unhurt at high-speed, slashing his lead to seven points over Kiyonari who claimed second. The Buildbase BMW rider exchanged positions with Waters on the final lap but it wasn’t enough to add to his winning tally.

No joy this weekend for Josh Brookes.

Stuart Easton claimed the final podium position for the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team ahead of James Ellison who scored his best result since returning from injury. Pole-sitter Christian Iddon claimed fifth place ahead of Linfoot, who dropped to sixth but remained the second of the Title Fighters.

Aussie Jed Metcher claimed a top ten finish on his debut with PR Racing Kawasaki with Howie Mainwaring, Title Fighter Tommy Bridewell and Lee Jackson completing the top ten. Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki’s Title Fighter Chris Walker gambled on an intermediate Pirelli rear tyre that left him 16th.

Jed Metcher rode a great race to finish 7th on debut.

Race one results
1. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki)
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.184s
3. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +23.904s
4. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +24.637s
5. Christian Iddon (Alstare Bimota Junior Team) +29.741s
6. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +37.273s
7. Jed Metcher (PR Racing Kawasaki) +38.068s
8. Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +49.647s
9. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +50.861s
10. Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +52.446s

Race two
In the second race Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes was sidelined with a clutch issue and he leaves Assen holding third in the overall standings ahead of Silverstone.

Josh Brookes: “In race one I had to start from the back of the grid as I entered the pit lane. At the start of the race I felt good and everything was going well until turn four. I thought ‘I can go round people’ and I started to accelerate, until I ran straight in to the back of Kirkham – he just didn’t accelerate and I fell off. I always seem to make things difficult for myself every year, but it is what it is and I couldn’t have done anything different.”

On the podium after race 2, L-R Ryuichi Kiyonari, Shane Byrne and Tommy Bridewell.

On the opening lap John Hopkins held the lead initially from Kiyonari and Stuart Easton, but again the drama started early for the Title Fighters as Chris Walker crashed out and the Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki rider limped away.

At the front Kiyonari pushed ahead of Hopkins but Byrne was attacking hard after the disappointment of his race one crash. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider was up to second by the fourth lap and then he had Kiyonari firmly in his sights.

Byrne was shadowing Kiyonari throughout the race and was within striking distance of his rival. As the laps went by Byrne started to show his front wheel, making attempts at passes but it wasn’t until the final lap that he executed his move.

Byrne made a decisive move into the final chicane and Kiyonari couldn’t out drag his rival to the line. As the pair battled for the win they had been coming under the increasing threat of Milwaukee Yamaha’s Tommy Bridewell who had climbed the order and was waiting in the wings over the closing laps. He claimed a podium finish to move to within five points of team-mate Josh Brookes who was forced to retire with a technical problem after languishing in 25th.

A top 10 finish for Sweden’s Filip Backlund on his FFX Yamaha.

Dan Linfoot narrowly missed out on the podium for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team in fourth place ahead of Hopkins and Stuart Easton. James Ellison returned to the top ten in seventh place ahead of race one winner Josh Waters. Filip Backlund scored FFX Yamaha’s best result to date in ninth place and James Westmoreland completed the top ten.

Race two results
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.152s
3. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.460s
4. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +4.170s
5. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +8.759s
6. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +12.203s
7. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +17.729s
8. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +30.241s
9. Filip Backlund (FFX Yamaha) +32.308s
10. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +33.060s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Assen race two
1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 587
2 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 575
3 Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 536
4 Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 531
5 Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 524
6 Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 505

The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and the second round of the Showdown takes place at Silverstone on 3/4/5 October.

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