Easter weekend saw the first round of the British Superbike Championship get underway at Brands Hatch in Kent with Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Camier taking the wins.
Sylvain Guintoli on the Worx Crescent Suzuki took his first win on his British Superbike debut at Brands Hatch after qualifying in pole position and despite a slow start off the grid
. Stuart Easton on the Hydrex Honda took the lead going into the first corner followed by the replacement HM Plant Honda rider Steve Plater and the second Hydrex machine of Karl Harris.
Guintoli was back in fifth after a very slow start with all the action happening in front of him as Harris and Plater exchanged the lead. By the second lap Harris was overtaken by the second HM Plant Honda ridden by Glen Richards, moving him back to fourth place.
The safety car was deployed as the riders began lap 3 after a crash at Clearways involving Tom Tunstall on the Hardinge Doodson Motorsport Honda and Matt Bond on the Mist Suzuki. Bond was left lying on the track but fortunately suffered no serious injuries and the green flags were once again waved on lap 6. Neither riders were back on the grid for race 2.
Richards soon passed Plater before taking the lead but on lap 11, Harris crashed out at Druids passing the lead to Easton for a short time as Plater made his move on lap 12 at Paddock Hill. Guintoli had meanwhile moved up to third place and Leon Camier was also on the move on the Airwaves Yamaha, passing Easton and Richards.
Plater lost his machine on lap 16 as he went into the gravel at the entry to Druids seeing Camier desperately trying not to get caught up in the crash, dropping him down into 10th place. Camier battled away and finished the race in fourth position ahead of his team-mate James Ellison.
The MSS Colchester Kawasaki of Julian Da Costa developed a fuel problem on the warm-up lap forcing him back to the pits to collect his second bike, meaning a start from the pit lane and cold tyres. He battled his way from the back of the field to take eleventh position while his team-mate Simon Andrews was one of the top ten riders going into the first corner and finished in seventh place. Here are the results;
1. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Worx Crescent Suzuki 24mins 27.117secs 30 laps
2. Glen Richards AUS HM Plant Honda +0.952secs
3. Stuart Easton GBR Hydrex Honda +3.086secs
4. Leon Camier GBR Airwaves Yamaha +7.007secs
5. James Ellison GBR Airwaves Yamaha +7.814secs
6. Gary Mason GBR Quay Honda +8.505secs Cup
7. Simon Andrews GBR MSS Colchester Kawasaki +9.359secs
8. Jason O’Halloran AUS SMT Honda +9.369secs
9. Graeme Gowland GBR Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha 10.549secs
10. Tristan Palmer GBR Buildbase Kawasaki +16.181secs
11. Julien Da Costa FRA MSS Colchester Kawasaki +16.248secs
12. John Laverty IRL Buildbase Kawasaki +19.536secs
13. Ian Lowry GBR Relentless TAS Suzuki +20.201secs
14. Chris Walker GBR Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha +21.920secs
15. Jon Kirkham GBR Jentin Yamaha +21.998secs
16. Michael Rutter GBR North West 200 Yamaha +24.817secs
17. Atsushi Watanabe JPN Relentless TAS Suzuki +32.203secs
18. Martin Jessopp GBR Riders Racing Honda +32.985secs Cup
19. David Johnson AUS Maxxis Adept Yamaha +36.193secs
20. Aaron Zanotti GBR Red Viper Honda +44.291secs
21. Peter Hickman GBR Ultimate Yamaha +45.321secs Cup
22. Alastair Fagan GBR Red Viper Honda +45.501secs Cup
23. Brian McCormack IRL MAR Kawasaki +1 lap Cup
24. Kenny Gilbertson GBR JX Fuelcard Kawasaki +4 laps Cup
25. Steve Plater GBR HM Plant Honda 16 laps completed
26. Karl Harris GBR Hydrex Honda 10 laps completed
27. Matt Bond GBR MIST Suzuki 0 laps completed Cup
28. Tom Tunstall GBR Hardinge Doodson Honda 0 laps completed Cup
45 Glen RICHARDS AUS Honda – HM Plant Honda Lap 14 – 46.476 – 92.84 mph – 149.41 kph
Race 2 looked to be a repeat of the first with Stuart Easton, Steve Plater and Karl Harris as the riders went into the first corner with Harris moving into second place on lap 2.
On lap 3, Sylvain Guintoli, who was in fifth position tried to move up the inside of Glen Richards making contact, while Plater sat on the tail of Harris, before moving into second place.
On lap 6, Leon Camier passed Guintoli going into Druids and on lap 7, Harris lost two places to Richards and Guintoli. Camier soon made a move up the inside of Richards, who judging from his reaction was surprised to see him there. By mid-race, Camier was sitting in second place behind Easton but his much faster times made it obvious that it would only be a matter of time before he took the lead which he finally did on lap 18.
Guintoli finally took second place after another exciting battle with Plater, after several overtaking moves, Guintoli eventually ran wide letting Plater back through. Plater then made a mistake at Druids seeing Guintoli taking full advantage and putting Plater down to third. Easton ended the race in fourth position followed by Richards, Harris and James Ellison.
Chris Walker on the Motorsport/Henderson Yamaha had been in his own battle for seventh place with Ellison and Gary Mason on the Quay Garage Honda, with Ellison passing both riders to finally take the position ahead of Walker and Mason.
Here are the results;
1. Leon Camier GBR Airwaves Yamaha 23mins 25.330secs 30 laps
2. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Worx Crescent Suzuki +2.319secs
3. Steve Plater GBR HM Plant Honda +3.347secs
4. Stuart Easton GBR Hydrex Honda +3.772secs
5. Glen Richards AUS HM Plant Honda +3.915secs
6. Karl Harris GBR Hydrex Honda +11.121secs
7. James Ellison GBR Airwaves Yamaha +11.531secs
8. Chris Walker GBR Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha +11.826secs
9. Gary Mason GBR Quay Honda +12.968secs Cup
10. Julien Da Costa FRA MSS Colchester Kawasaki +14.641secs
11. Simon Andrews GBR MSS Colchester Kawasaki +18.471secs
12. Jason O’Halloran AUS SMT Honda +18.533secs
13. John Laverty IRL Buildbase Kawasaki +18.929secs
14. Tristan Palmer GBR Buildbase Kawasaki +19.146secs
15. Graeme Gowland GBR Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha +29.669secs
16. Jon Kirkham GBR Jentin Yamaha +29.791secs
17. Michael Rutter GBR North West 200 Yamaha +32.960secs
18. Ian Lowry GBR Relentless TAS Suzuki +33.158secs
19. Martin Jessopp GBR Riders Racing Honda +33.246secs Cup
20. David Johnson AUS Maxxis Adept Yamaha +34.273secs
21. Atsushi Watanabe JPN Relentless TAS Suzuki +36.697secs
22. Aaron Zanotti GBR Red Viper Honda +1 lap
23. Peter Hickman GBR Ultimate Yamaha +1 lap Cup
24. Kenny Gilbertson GBR JX Fuelcard Kawasaki +1 lap Cup
25. Alastair Fagan GBR Red Viper Honda 22 laps completed Cup
26. Brian McCormack IRL MAR Kawasaki 13 laps completed Cup
DNS Matt Bond GBR MIST Suzuki Cup
DNS Tom Tunstall GBR Hardinge Doodson Honda Cup
DNS Tim Bourne GBR Kent Cottages Honda Cup
3 Stuart EASTON GBR Honda – Hydrex Honda Lap 3 46.320 – 93.15 mph – 149.92 kph