Shakey crowned champion for a fifth time
Peter Hickman mastered the damp conditions to claim his second victory of the 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, holding off Christian Iddon and Glenn Irwin over the closing stages as title contender Leon Haslam crashed out of the opening race at Brands Hatch. At the start Iddon had launched himself into the lead for Tyco BMW as Tommy Bridewell and Jason O'Halloran tucked in behind, however the start of the race was incident packed, firstly when Broc Parkes crashed and collected James Rispoli on the second lap, however both riders were able to walk away. A lap later and the race was halted after a high-speed crash for Filip Backlund, who later walked away, and Howie Mainwaring-Smart who suffered a broken wrist and has been taken to hospital for a full assessment. When the race resumed O’Halloran was the rider that instantly took the advantage from Iddon and Haslam who had carved his way up the order to run in third position. The race was then halted as rain began to fall and then was restarted in wet conditions.
The race was all over for Haslam on the opening lap when he crashed on the exit of Druids, despite being sore the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider has vowed to fight back tomorrow in the final two races. Iddon had been holding the lead but soon Hickman and Ellison charged through to take the advantages at the front of the field. Ellison then captured the lead but he was another rider to get caught out by the conditions as he slid off at Graham Hill Bend a few laps later. The Nissan GT-R Safety Car was deployed and when the race resumed Hickman made a lightening getaway to try and break Iddon, which he only executed over the final laps. Glenn Irwin meanwhile celebrated his second podium finish of the season as he made a move on Dan Linfoot with two laps to go to put the Be Wiser Ducati into third place.
James Ellison has won his first race of 2016 on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki from ePayMe Yamaha's John Hopkins as Shane Byrne finished sixth to seal a fifth MCE British Superbike title. In a drying race Ellison bolted to the front by grabbing the holeshot despite being bumped by team-mate Peter Hickman and quickly built a lead over the chasing Hopkins in second. Despite all riders suffering heart-in-mouth moments on the wet patches Ellison held off Hopkins in the closing stages to secure a first win since April 2015, while Hopkins claimed Tommy Hills' ePayMe Yamaha's maiden BSB rostrum and the manufacturer's first top three finish in BSB since Milwaukee Yamaha's Josh Brookes stormed to the 2015 championship crown.
Further back the dramatic title conclusion unfolded with Byrne working through the tight midfield order to keep tabs on Leon Haslam and finish sixth to pick up enough points to seal a fifth BSB title with a race to spare. Despite JG Speedfit Kawasaki's Haslam missing out on the BSB title the team was comforted by Ellison's win coupled with Hickman taking third after Christian Iddon's Tyco BMW expired on the penultimate lap. Dan Linfoot enjoyed a lonely race on the Honda to take fourth ahead of Haslam and Byrne with his Be Wiser Ducati team-mate in seventh. Bennetts Suzuki's Tommy Bridewell produced a late race surge to take eighth ahead of Jason O'Halloran and Luke Mossey while Jakub Smrz impressed for Smiths BMW in 11th. Alastair Seeley claimed 12th for RAF Reserves BMW as Lee Jackson, Broc Parkes and Ryuchi Kiyonari completed the points-paying places.
James Ellison has recorded his second win of the year in the final race of 2016 to seal third spot in the MCE British Superbike championship standings having held off John Hopkins as champion Shane Byrne finished the year with third place. In a hectic shortened race Ellison headed a sprint blitz after James Rispoli's Anvil Hire Yamaha expired at Hawthorns bend spilling oil on track. After an extensive clean-up which took over an hour to ensure the race could be run safely the action exploded with all riders going for broke in the final race of the year.
Despite pressure from those chasing behind Ellison led from lights to flag to take his second win of the year and with it third in the riders' championship. Hopkins backed up his maiden podium for ePayMe Yamaha in the earlier race with a second runner-up finish as Byrne won the battle for the final podium place against title rival Leon Haslam and Tyco BMW's Christian Iddon. With Haslam fourth and Iddon fifth, Dan Linfoot claimed sixth for Honda Racing for the outing Fireblade's final outing in BSB ahead of the arrival of the 2017 model. Bennetts Suzuki's Tommy Bridewell grabbed eighth ahead of Luke Mossey and Broc Parkes with Jason O'Halloran 11th.