BSB: Laverty wins race two as tech issue rules Shakey out
Michael Laverty returned to the top step of the podium in the second MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Thruxton, holding off a hard-charging Jason O'Halloran ahead of rookie Glenn Irwin who claimed his first MCE BSB podium finish.
Pole-sitter Shane 'Shakey' Byrne had led off the line after some early jostling for positions with Laverty and O’Halloran after the opening corners with Billy McConnell also tucked into the leading group.
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On the second lap Byrne dropped behind Laverty and then O’Halloran and had dramatically encountered a technical issue with the Be Wiser Ducati, he was forced to retire due to a broken gear linkage.
At the front of the field it became an incredible four-way scrap between Laverty, O’Halloran, Leon Haslam and McConnell, with Luke Mossey also getting involved by the eighth lap. Haslam appeared to have found something with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki as he carved his way into third position behind O’Halloran and then moved ahead with a decisive move.
The second Honda Racing Fireblade of Dan Linfoot had been swarming through the field after his tenth row start and he was soon closing down the leading group, moving into sixth place by the ninth lap. However his early pace cost him in the closing stages and he later dropped back to ninth after running as high as fourth.
O’Halloran wasn’t prepared to settle for third though and the Australian lunged ahead of Haslam at the complex, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki was equally determined and made a move back on the run down to the chicane on the same lap.
The pair continued their intense dice for second place with O’Halloran able to regain the position on the 15th lap and his JG Speedfit Kawasaki rival had little grip left to make a full final counter attack, dropping back to fifth at the finish.
Rookie Glenn Irwin though was setting a strong pace on the lone Be Wiser Ducati and he first passed Mossey to move third and was then closing in on O’Halloran on the final lap, but the Australian had the marginal edge with Irwin celebrating his career first MCE BSB podium.
Peter Hickman and James Ellison ended their weekend with a sixth and seventh place finish respectively, with Ellison now moving back inside the top six in the overall standings ahead of Brands Hatch.
Tommy Bridewell scored another top ten finish for Bennetts Suzuki in eighth place ahead of Dan Linfoot and Lee Jackson on the Buildbase BMW, just edging out Ryuichi Kiyonari.