Hydrex Honda’s Stuart Easton (3) rocketed off the starting grid, took the holeshot and kept the lead for all of Race 1.
Easton qualified for third position on the grid and when the flagged dropped it was he who grabbed the holeshot. For the remainder of the race, Easton would lead with Ellison pushing hard from behind. By lap three, Ellison’s teammate, Leon Camier had fallen from his pole position start to sixth. While challenging MSS Colchester Kawasaki’s Simon Andrews for fifth, Camier pushed a little too hard and found himself off the track at the Tower relegating him from sixth to last. He did battle back to sixth by race end. Commenting on his mistake, Camier said, “The mistake in the first race was 100% my fault. I was pushing too hard to get past and was 16kph faster than I should have been! Once I got back on track I got my head down and tried to work my way through the field. It was pretty tough to pass out there so I’m pleased to have got as high as I did and get some more Championship points for Airwaves Yamaha.”
Andrews would not be as fortunate as Camier. When he lost the front end on Lap 15, his day was finished. “To say I was not happy would be being polite. I just want to forget all about chucking third place away in Race One and Race Two was just so frustrating. I lost the front end about a million times and it was all I could do to finish fifth.”
The HM Plant Honda team of Josh Brookes and Ryuichi Kiyonari would take third and fourth plac. Despite a bad start, Relentless Suzuki’s Ian Lowry still managed to finish in fifth place during Race 1 and seemed please with the results, “Race 1 went really well for me after a bad start. I had to force my way through the field and I was happy enough with the end result.”
Rounding out the top-ten finishes, new GBR Hydrex Honda rider Tommy Hill proved he was there to make an impression. Hill finished among the top-ten in both races, taking seventh and sixth place finishes. Team Manager, Shaun Muir commented on Hill’s performance, “Tommy did everything we expected of him and got quicker and quicker all weekend. The bike was alien to him and the characteristics of the Honda aren’t best suited to Croft but he got his head down and worked hard all weekend with two top seven finishes being exactly what we hoped for in his first ride for the team. I’m pleased for him and for Mick Shanley’s side of the garage and they can look forward to Silverstone with a lot of eager anticipation so, overall, it’s been a fantastic weekend for our Superbike team.”
GBR Quay Honda’s Gary Mason finished in a solid eighth and currently sits in 10th place in the point standings. After struggling with the set-up on his Confused.com Kawasaki, Julien Da Costa finished ninth overall. Graeme Gowland of GBR Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha, grabbed the final slot in the top ten.
Croft was not an ideal weekend for Worx Cresent Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli, who crashed near the end of Race 1.
Sylvain Guintoli had a disappointing Race 1 when he low-sided his Worx Crescent Suzuki at the Hairpin on Lap 17, ending his racing day.
“This weekend’s results are far from ideal. Crashing yesterday in qualifying and my not setting a decent time really didn’t help. So we started today’s races miles from the front. And in that first race I struggled to get my rhythm; to be honest I was really slow and then I crashed right at the end,” Guintoli said.
Race 2 would not start the same for Easton, as he lost the holeshot to Brookes but regained the lead after the first lap. He held onto it until Camier made his move on Lap 6 at Tower Bend and slowly moved further ahead of Easton, who settled into second place. Camier’s victory gave Airwaves Yamaha its fifth British Superbike Title.
Airwaves Yamaha Team Manager Colin Wright commented on their title, “To come away from Croft with a fifth BSB Championship and Yamaha’s first for 11 years is absolutely awesome, I cannot thank the guys and girls in the team enough. We have enjoyed an amazing run of success since 1999 and I’m so very proud of all those that have made it happen, the records we have achieved over the last 10 years are unlikely to be matched. Therefore, GSE Racing will be known as the most successful British racing team for many years to come.”
Camier’s teammate, Ellison, suffered a bad start and quickly fell to seventh from fourth. Ellison then spent much of Race 2 battling his way back up to fourth just behind Brookes, missing the podium on the second day. “I had a nightmare start in Race 2 and got stuck behind quite a few people. I’m pretty disappointed not to get on the podium again but I’m really happy that Airwaves Yamaha has wrapped up the Championship.”
James Ellison (7) finished off the podium in Race 2, but still wins the 2009 British Superbike Championship for Airwaves Yamaha.
Simon Andrews had a better second day after crashing out on Race 1, but still struggled with the wrong tire selection for Croft. Andrews would finish in fifth while his teammate da Costa, also showing improvement, finished ninth place after fighting five others for his position. Julien da Costa, while not happy, was still upbeat about the upcoming races. “I am not happy with two ninth places but my lap times in Race 2 were where we should have been right at the start of the weekend. I have two races left to show the UK fans that I am capable of much, much better and plan to do just that.”
Race 2 showed improved lap times for Ian Lowry but after a bad start, he spent much of his time trying to better his position. He finally passed Mason at Tower Bend to finish in seventh with Mason right behind in eighth. Mason took home the Mirror.co.uk Championship Cup with his wins this weekend even with two rounds to spare. Mason was clearly delighted. “That was an awesome race. The bike felt good and we remedied the brake fade problem encountered in Race 1. I would like to send sincere thanks to Ian and the Quay Garage Team for helping me win this championship in such a decisive manner.”
The 2008 Superbike Cup Champion and Buildbase Kawasaki rider, John Laverty, was the final top-ten finisher in Race 2.
Race 1 Results:
1. Stuart Easton
2. James Ellison
3. Josh Brookes
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari
5. Ian Lowry
6. Leon Camier
7. Tommy Hill
8. Gary Mason
9. Julien da Costa
10. Graeme Gowland
Race 2 Results:
1. Leon Camier
2. Stuart Easton
3. Josh Brookes
4. James Ellison
5. Simon Andrews
6. Tommy Hill
7. Ian Lowry
8. Gary Mason
9. Julien da Costa
10. John Laverty
1. Leon Camier – 434.5
2. James Ellison – 335
3. Stuart Easton – 303
4. Ian Lowry – 134
5. Josh Brookes – 131
6. Simon Andrews – 130.5
7. Julien da Costa – 128
8. Karl Harris – 122.5
9. Chris Walker – 118
10. Gary Mason – 110