Team Suzuki Press Office – April 10 Tyco Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley made an impressive return to the British Superbike Championship with second place in the first race at cut-short wet and windy Brands Hatch season opener on Easter Monday.
Team mate Josh Brookes – who had set the Pole Position time on his GSX-R1000 – finished the race in 10th place after saving what looked like certain crash at Graham Hill Bend in treacherous conditions. In his season track debut in Tyco colours, Manxman Conor Cummins raced to a solid seventh place in the National Superstock 1000cc class.
After a number of incidents on track in the Supersport class, a decision was made to postpone the second BSB race after track contamination made the circuit unsafe to continue. Series Director Stuart Higgs did give the Superbike riders an eight minute free practice session to evaluate the situation but in the end common sense prevailed.
“We made some good changes to the bike overnight and it felt good in warm up and we went quickest. I worked my way through to third place before the pace car came; then I got past Rutter and Kirkham and started to pull a bit of a gap. The conditions were tough and my visor steamed up a bit which made it difficult to see, so at the end I rode a defensive line, but the rear stepped out on me at the final corner and Kirkham got better drive to the line. I’m disappointed not to have taken the win but in the conditions we’ve taken a good haul of points.”
“I did what I could in the conditions. I nearly fell off and made an amazing save to stay on the bike. I came back on the track and made up one or two places before the end. It’s less than satisfying after taking Pole, but I’m also grateful not to have fallen off and I didn’t get hurt and we don’t have a crashed bike to fix. I did get a few points which is better than none. It was the right decision not to run the second race and the riders need to stick together on these things. I wasn’t going to go out as the track wasn’t safe to race on so yeah… it really was the right decision to postpone it.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager:
“It was certainly a tough weekend for everyone in the conditions, so we are grateful that we’ve come away virtually unscathed and hold second place in the Championship. Alastair rode a great race to come through to take second place, but the racer in me is also disappointed that a small mistake at the final turn cost us the win.
“Josh was consistent all weekend in both the wet and the dry and while he will be disappointed with 10th, it was a great save to stay aboard the bike and we can go to Thruxton now and build on this. I was also pleased with Conor. He’s an easy big lad to work with and has already won over the team and our sponsors. He was at Brands purely to get some miles in, so to take seventh place was satisfying for the team and confidence building for him.”
British Superbike Race 1:
1: Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda)
2: Alastair Seeley (Tyco Suzuki) +0.136s
3: Michael Rutter (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) +0.750s
4: Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +3.023s
5: Gary Mason (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +5.191s
6: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +6.155s
7: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +6.284s
8: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +8.813s
9: Freddy Foray (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +9.145s
10: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +9.411s