Tommy Hill took the victory during Race 1 at Brands Hatch and leads the series heading into Round 2 at Thruxton.
The first 30-lap contest at Brand’s Hatch saw Hill battle with Kiyonari for the checkers. The Japanese pilot jumped to the early lead aboard his HM Plant Honda, having started from pole position. Hill made his play for the front in the latter stages of the race on Lap 22.
Ellison earned his third-place finish after a tussle with eventual fifth- and sixth-place riders, HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes and Swan Honda’s Stuart Easton. Getting around that duo, Ellison tracked down and dispatched Suzuki’s Seeley on the penultimate lap.
Notable DNFs for the first race included Relentless Suzuki’s Michael Laverty (mechanical) and MSS Colchester Kawasaki rider Simon Andrews (crash). Former British and World Superbike champ, Neil Hodgson, did not take part in the opening round action after a crash in warm-up aboard his Motorpoint Yamaha.
Ellison’s victory in the second race at Brands came after battling Race 1’s victor, Hill. The front-runners set the pace, along with Honda’s Brookes. Hill kept constant pressure on Ellison, but was unable to break the Swan Honda pilot.
The second race at Brands featured a hoard of crashes and DNFs – no less than 10 riders were unable to finish what they started on Monday. Brookes headlines the list of contenders to dump their rides, along with Quay Honda’s Tommy Bridewell and Suzuki riders Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent) and Chris Walker (CW Racing). Kiyonari also earned a DNF, but due to mechanical troubles with his CBR.
Brookes lost the most from his crash, delivering third-place to Seeley – the Relentless rider notching a consistent 4-3 byline. Seely’s teammate, Michael Rutter, claimed fourth, with Ellison’s paddock-mate, Stuart Easton, rounding out the top five.
Hill will arrive at Thruxton for Round 2 of the series in two week’s time as the points leader, with a four-point gap over Ellison. Third-place in the standings, Suzuki’s Seely, stands 16 points adrift of the leader.
British Superbike Brands Hatch Race 1 Results:
1. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki)
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.723
3. James Ellison (Swan Honda) +4.607
4. Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +4.655
5. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +8.785
6. Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) +10.598
7. Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) +11.856
8. Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +20.079
9. Chris Walker (CW Racing Suzuki ) +20.211
10. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +20.585
British Superbike Brands Hatch Race 2 Results:
1. James Ellison (Swan Honda)
2. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.186
3. Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +4.925
4. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +6.711
5. Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) +22.060
6. Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) +22.203
7. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +27.328
8. Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +29.841
9. Martin Jessopp (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) +35.885
10. Steve Brogan (Jentin Racing BMW Evo)
British Superbike Championship Points:
1. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 45
2. James Ellison (Swan Honda) +41
3. Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 29
4. Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) 21
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 20