BSB: Hero to zero for Haslam but Byrne bites back at Oulton Park
May 1st 2017- MCE British Superbike Championship title heavyweights Leon Haslam and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne shared the victories in a dramatic third round of the season at Oulton Park.
Championship leader Haslam had taken the initial advantage with victory in race one, but whilst chasing his Be Wiser Ducati rival he had a huge crash in the second race after a collision with James Ellison.
Byrne had set the pole position but in race one Haslam hit the front of the pack from the start of the race with the five-time champion and Mossey hounding him throughout the race.
The ‘Pocket Rocket’ had been fending off Byrne and Mossey throughout the race and managed to hold them off to the line, but behind the leading trio the chasing freight train of riders were embroiled in an incredible scrap for fourth position.
On the final lap the Honda Racing team emerged ahead in the battle for fourth as O’Halloran made a last lap move on Peter Hickman to claim the position at the line. McAMS Yamaha’s Ellison completed a strong race to move through the order to be in the fight for fourth at the end of the race, finishing in sixth place, pushing Josh Brookes to seventh in the closing stages.
Christian Iddon was the leading BMW in eighth place as he managed to get the better of Glenn Irwin; the Be Wiser Ducati rider had earlier saved a huge moment whilst battling for fourth place. Jake Dixon completed the top ten for RAF Reserves Kawasaki.
The battle for the Podium Points swung back in the favour of Byrne in race two as the defending champion claimed his first win of the season at Oulton Park, as Haslam dramatically crashed out after clipping Ellison, who suffered a technical issue.
Haslam had hit the front of the pack from O’Halloran, Ellison and Byrne on the opening lap, but the Honda Racing rider was on the attack and he moved into the lead on the second lap, but it was short lived as Ellison then had his spell at the front.
The race was over prematurely for Dixon as he crashed out on the third lap unhurt, but at the front Byrne was closing in on Ellison and on the sixth lap he made his move on the run into Shell Oils corner.
Meanwhile Michael Laverty on the second McAMS Yamaha retired from the race just a lap later.
At the front Byrne had snatched the lead from Ellison, but behind the JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Haslam and Mossey were trading blows with O’Halloran, with the trio switching positions consistently over the following laps.
Iddon, Brookes, Irwin and Hickman were then all involved in the battle for the podium spots too, but in second Ellison was coming under fire from Haslam. The championship leader first tried to make a move at Shell, but ran wide and then had to begin a fight back.
However it ended in disaster for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider when he clipped the back of Ellison on the 14th lap when his McAMS Yamaha suddenly slowed. Haslam was down and out of the race and the damage consequently sidelined Ellison too, leaving Byrne to continue edging an advantage at the front of the pack to return to the top step.
A frantic battle then ensued for the final podium place with a five-way scrap for the final podium position. Iddon was bumped down to fourth over the closing laps as Irwin and O’Halloran pushed into the top three.
Mossey was fifth at the chequered flag as he held off Brookes on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha and Smiths Racing BMW’s Hickman. Tommy Bridewell, John Hopkins and Billy McConnell completed the top ten.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race one result:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +2.632s
Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.169s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +9.271s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.343s
James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +9.501s
Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +10.264s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +10.416s
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +11.304s
Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +11.688s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race two result:Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +5.218s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.309s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.574s
Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.881s
Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +6.025s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +19.130s
Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +19.130s
John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +20.293s
Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +20.431s