BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Oulton Park, Great Britain, 09/09/2015, British Superbike Championship
The final six are confirmed: among the six riders, who will fight for the title in the British Superbike Championship (BSB) this season, are two BMW racers. Tyco BMW team-mates Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty have qualified for the thrilling “Title Showdown” in the Superbike class (BSB SBK). Meanwhile, Tyco BMW rider Alastair Seeley is in with a chance of winning the title in the Superstock class (SBS STK).
The “Title Showdown” is a unique feature of the BSB. Stock is taken after nine of the season’s 12 race weekends, with the top six riders in the overall standings going into the final three events as “Title Fighters”. Each of these six riders has 500 points to his name at the start of the “Title Showdown”. Added to these are bonus points for every podium finish achieved over the course of the first nine race weekends: five for a win, three for second place and one for third place. The usual point system applies for the seven races that make up the three “Showdown” events. In the case of the “Title Fighters”, the points scored in these races are added to the points tally with which they came into the Showdown. For the remaining riders, the points scored on the final three race weekends are added to those amassed over the course of the season.
The most recent race weekend in Oulton Park, which featured three races, was the decisive ninth BSB round of the 2015 season. BMW riders Bridewell and Laverty qualified for the “Title Showdown” in fourth and sixth overall. As such, Tyco BMW is the only BSB team with two riders in the Showdown. Bridewell, who has won one race and finished third on two occasions on this BMW S 1000 RR this season, starts the final phase of the title race with 507 points. Laverty begins the Showdown with 500 points. Championship leader Josh Brookes (Yamaha) has 553 points to his name.
The weekend at Oulton Park was an emotional rollercoaster for Bridewell. In Saturday afternoon’s opening race, he was in contention until a mechanical fault forced him to retire while running second. And luck again deserted Bridewell in race two on Sunday: he suffered a big highsider on lap five, after which he was taken to the medical centre for a check-up. Fortunately, however, he did not suffer any serious injuries.
The Tyco BMW rider bounced back impressively in race three. Bridewell finished third on his RR to take his place on the podium and secure his place in the Showdown.
“This weekend is a massive credit to the whole Tyco BMW team. I’ve worked with a lot of teams in the paddock, but those boys did a superb job getting my bike ready for race three. It really was not in good shape at all after that crash,” said Bridewell. “I just got on the gas too early and left the whole garage working to get the bike ready. That’s the sort of atmosphere we have in there, so I’m really happy to be working with those boys and that podium is for them. The bike might have had a few scratches here and there and a little dent in the tank, but the BMW S 1000 RR worked perfectly. We have two riders in the Showdown, which no other team has done, so again that’s credit to the whole Tyco BMW team.”
His team-mate Laverty hung on to sixth place in the overall standings in the dramatic and sometimes fiercely-contested races at Oulton Park. He came home ninth, seventh and 12th. In doing so, he picked up enough points to keep his nose ahead of his rivals in the race for a place in the Showdown.
“That’s the first objective of the season completed, getting both riders into the Showdown, which is a huge achievement for the Tyco BMW team,” said Laverty, agreeing with his team-mate. “All the boys should be proud for the work they have put in. Personally it was a difficult weekend for me and I wasn’t comfortable, so I had to focus on scoring enough points to secure my place in the Showdown. But we got the job done and we will push hard now in the final three rounds.”
Six BMW riders finished in the points in all three races at Oulton Park. In race one, Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) was the best-placed RR rider in seventh place following Bridewell’s retirement. He was followed in eighth place by his team-mate Lee Jackson, who came home ahead of Laverty. Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW), who crashed heavily in qualifying, completed the top ten in tenth place. Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) finished 12th, while Ryuichi Kiyonari crossed the finish line 15th on his Buildbase BMW S 1000 RR.
In race two, Hickman led the BMW contingent in sixth place, followed by Laverty in seventh and Cooper in eighth. Jackson was 12th, just in front of Kiyonari, while Jessopp came home 14th. The third and final race saw Bridewell take his place on the podium after finishing third. Cooper was seventh and Kiyonari ninth. Laverty, Jackson and Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW) finished 12th, 13th and 15th.
In the Superstock class of the BSB (BSB STK), BMW rider Alastair Seeley claimed his fourth win of the season at Oulton Park. Riding a Tyco BMW S 1000 RR, he emerged triumphant from a thrilling battle with championship rival Joshua Elliott. Seeley eventually came home just 0.121 seconds ahead of Elliott. Victory saw Seeley make up ground in the overall standings. After ten of 12 races, he now has 183 points to his name and trails championship leader Elliott (200) by just 17 points. This duo will battle it out for the title in the final two Superstock races in Silverstone and at Brands Hatch. Seeley also climbed to fifth place in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy.
Seeley’s fellow BMW rider Hudson Kennaugh (Trik-Moto BMW) finished third to join him on the podium at Oulton Park. The South African is third overall with 141 points. Luke Quigley (Formwise Washrooms / Bathams) was fourth on his BMW S 1000 RR. BMW rider Adam Jenkinson (Norther Escalator Installations) came home seventh, ahead of Dominic Usher (DU Racing BMW) in eighth.