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Kershaw/Clark do the double as they and the Birchall Brothers lock horns in the capacity battle

 

Jack Nixon scores good points in Hel Performance Motostar

Weather conditions were perfect for practice and qualifying, much cooler and with cloud cover. The series leaders Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, did just two laps of free practice before a serious engine problem curtailed their session. Team-mates Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson headed the Birchall brothers home in free practice.

Qualifying - After a short shower, the heat in the track had dried the surface, and normal service was resumed. Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark had changed their engine on the Santander Salt Molson Kawasaki, after a dropped valve was diagnosed. They reverted to the “tried and tested” power unit, which has served them so well this season.

They were quickly in the groove, and as expected, the main opposition came from the Mitchells of Mansfield Yamaha of Ben and Tom Birchall.

Clearly the 1000cc Kawasaki of the Scots had the grunt where it was needed, and they were around a second a lap faster than the Birchall's 600.

Ian Guy and Jed Pilmoor-Brady were astonishingly quick as they returned to track action following recent success hillclimbing.

They moved fourth ahead of former champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood on the Quattro Plant JG Speefit Kawasaki, and behind Todd Ellis/Chaz Richardson (Santander Salt Honda).

In the final dash, returning former champions Roger Lovelock and Rick Lawrence moved ahead of Stevens to head row three fifth fastest. Row four comprised Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde, alongside Gary Horspole/James Connell (Baker Plant/Sleaford Quality Foods Kawasaki)

Race One - In warm, humid conditions twelve laps of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit would be a real test for the crews.

From the line, the pole position men Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clarke made no mistake. They took a brilliant hole-shot chased by Ian Guy/Jed Pilmoor-Brady and Roger Lovelock/Rick Lawrence.

Ben and Tom Birchall were the best of the 600's off the line, and at the end of lap two, they were up to third on the Mitchells of Mansfield Yamaha.

Todd Ellis/Chaz Richardson on the Santander Salt Honda settled fifth, but as Ian Guy slipped back, they assumed fourth place.

The Santander/Salt/Molson Kawasaki of Kershaw and Clark was nine seconds up the road after three laps, but Ellis was closing in on the Birchall Brothers.

The returning Roger Lovelock and Rick Lawrence, champions in 2009 were doing an absolutely fantastic job sitting in fourth, but would they handle the pace having not ridden for two seasons? The answer was there to see as they eventually slipped back to an impressive sixth place at the flag.

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood had moved their 600 Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki past Lovelock into fourth, but they were some five seconds shy of Ellis.

Two-thirds distance, and the leaders were twelve seconds ahead, clearly using the superior power of the 1000 Kawasaki to good effect.

Similarly mounted, Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde then took fourth from Stevens on their GBR Kawasaki LCR, and set about catching Ellis.

With two laps remaining, and a five second gap, it was a hopeless task, but all in all, there were great rides right down the order.

Race One Result

1/ Kershaw/Clark, 2/ Birchall/Birchall, 3/ Ellis/Richardson, 4/ Bryan/Hyde, 5/ Stevens/Charlwood, 6/ Lovelock/Lawrence, 7/ Guy/Pilmoor-Brady, 8/ Horspole/Connell

Race Two - Very warm, but cloudy conditions with a track temperature of forty-degrees greeted the Avon tyres for the second encounter.

With a reverse grid, the Christie brothers Sam and Adam (Christie Racing Honda) were on pole alongside Simon Gilbert/Jack Tritton on the Draper Racing Yamaha.

Kershaw/Clark and the Birchall brothers were on row five, so it was a very interesting first lap. Roger Lovelock and Rick Lawrence started from pit-lane, so they had it all to do from the very back of the field.

On lap two, Kershaw was up to second in pursuit of race leaders Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde. Todd Ellis and Chaz Richardson were carving through on a mission, but their spectacular style into Paddock Hill Bend every lap, ended in a spin into the gravel on lap three, and out of the action.

Ben and Tom Birchall's screaming Yamaha eventually made its way into second place, and there they were to finish. Their corner speed was something to behold, and there were smiles all round on the podium With great battles all down the field, this was a true spectacle for the huge sun-baked crowd, and much focus was directed at the scrap between Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood on the 600 Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki, and Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde on their 1000cc Kawasaki. Time and time again Stevens went past, only to be overtaken on the straights. They finally made the move in timely fashion, and opened enough of a gap to carry them to their second podium this year.

Lovelock and Lawrence were riding superbly, as were Ian Guy and Jed Pilmoor-Brady. They were to finish fifth and sixth respectively. From pole position, the Christie boys made it home in seventh.

Kershaw and Clark though, were well clear, and recorded win number twelve on the bounce.

Race Two Result

1/ Kershaw/Clark, 2/ Birchall/Birchall, 3/ Stevens/Charlwood, 4/ Bryan/Hyde, 5/ Lovelock/Lawrence, 6/ Guy/Pilmoor-Brady, 7/ Christie/Christie, 8/ Biggs/Schmitz

Overall Standings

Kershaw 336, Ellis 212, Bryan 163, Stevens 141, Horspole 112, Gray 98, Bell 86, Gilbert 83, Nicholls 81, Birchall 65

Cup Points

Ellis 292, Stevens 216, Gray 182, Biggs 113, P. Founds 91, Peach 76.

Next time out we are at Thruxton for round seven, with the highlights show for all rounds following on Motorsport TV.

 

#14 Jack Nixon – Hel Performance Motostar

Running out of the Molson/Santander Salt team garage, seventeen year-old Jack Nixon is campaigning a KTM Grand Prix class 250cc machine. In his first season on slick tyres, and adapting to a completely new style of bike, he has performed astonishingly well, with a best position of fourth in the previous round at Knockhill.

This sees him eleventh in the table, and but for a couple of crashes, he would be in a much stronger position in only his first year.

Son of former International sidecar racer Brian Nixon, nephew to double world champion Darren Dixon, cousin to BSB star Jake Dixon, and brother to British Supersport rider Ryan Dixon, Jack has plenty of racing pedigree in his blood.

At Brands Hatch, his local circuit, he was keen to impress, and did not disappoint. In the opening race on Saturday, he had qualified eleventh fastest, and became embroiled in a race-long scrap with fellow KTM riders Ed. Rendell, Ed. Best, and Elliot Lodge.

A ninth place finish was the result, with some suspension tweaks after the race promising more for race two.

Jack's fastest lap was a mere two seconds off the quickest time set by runner-up Storm Stacey. Race two result mirrored the earlier outing, but the actual result does not reflect the action. Finding himself in sixth on the opening lap Jack got his head down and pushed. He was once again up with the two Eds (Rendell and Best) but gradually became involved in a scrap with Eugene McManus and Liam Delves.

They swapped places again and again, but eventually Jack found himself in ninth, unable to close the gap.

Jack finds himself eleventh in the table, but just an agonising eight points from seventh going into the next round in two weeks time at Thruxton.

 

Media Matters - Barry Nutley - barry.nutley@btinternet.com

 

BSB / British Sidecar Championship Partners

Ben Birchall and Tom Birchall, Mansfield, Mitchells of Mansfield, Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Lauder, Molson & Express Tyre Service and Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood, Havant, Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Ben Birchall and Tom Birchall, Mansfield, Mitchells of Mansfield, Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Lauder, Molson & Express Tyre Service and Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood, Havant, Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki


Start of Race 2
Start of Race 2


Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood, Havant, Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki lead Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde, North Kelsey, Bryan Racing
Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood, Havant, Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki lead Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde, North Kelsey, Bryan Racing


Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde, North Kelsey, Bryan Racing lead Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde, North Kelsey, Bryan Racing and Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood, Havant, Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde, North Kelsey, Bryan Racing lead Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde, North Kelsey, Bryan Racing and Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood, Havant, Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki



 

Photos copyright: Impact Images Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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