James Ellison has taken a dramatic victory in today’s first British Superbike race at Mallory Park in one of the most controversial races in the premier class’ history. The red flag came out on the 23rd lap after fourth placed Josh Brookes lost control at the hairpin taking out long time race leader Simon Andrews and in the ensuing melee no less than five other riders went down.
With the red flag out, the rules state that the result must only include those riders still running at that time and so Andrews, Brookes, Chris Walker, Tommy Hill, Karl Harris and John Laverty were all eliminated and Ellison, who was in sixth place on the road when the crash occurred, took a grateful win.
Even happier was team-mate Leon Camier who came to a standstill on the first lap when Richard Cooper crashed out in front of him at the Gerrard’s chicane. He’d worked his way up to 8th at the chequered flag and with all his championship rivals in the aforementioned crash, he was promoted to second and his grip on the title is looking even tighter.
Prior to the crash and controversy, it had been a thrilling race with Andrews, Walker and Hill battling all the way as Brookes slowly reeled them in as he stormed through the pack from his 17th place on the grid. The Australian was right with them when he came in to the hairpin but he lost control on the brakes as he tried to move by Walker and that’s when the mayhem begun.
With all the team manager’s fuming in pitlane at what they’d just witnessed, their mood was worsened when the result was declared with none of their riders in it.
The result was declared with Ellison and Camier giving Airwaves Yamaha yet another 1-2 whilst Graeme Gowland chalked up his first ever BSB podium in third even though he was only ninth at the time of the incident.
Michael Rutter was another to slide off on the debris left by the spill but was able to get back on and continue before the red flag came out, hence he was still able to be classified in fourth. Julien da Costa was awarded fifth ahead of Gary Mason with Steve Brogan, Ian Lowry, David Johnson and Tristan Palmer completing an unusual looking top ten.
As well as Cooper, Stuart Easton was another early casualty although his problem was mechanical, an oil leak bringing his race to an end on the 13th lap.
1 James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha)
2 Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
3 Graeme Gowland (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha)
4 Michael Rutter (SMT Honda)
5 Julien da Costa (MSS/Colchester Kawasaki)
6 Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda)
7 Steve Brogan (HM Plant Honda)
8 Ian Lowry (Relentless by TAS Suzuki)
9 David Johnson (Maxxis Yamaha)
10 Tristan Palmer (Buildbase Kawasaki)