Zongshen conquer the Silverstone 200
The team of Warwick Nowland and Stephane Mertens took the number 2 Zhongshen bike to victory at the end of the 63 laps of the Silverstone 200 on Sunday.
Their victory came despite pressure from the British Phase one team of Mike Edwards and Frederic Moreira, who can rest slightly easier after keeping their championship lead.
The close racing was shown by the fact four teams were on the same lap at the end of the race, despite racing for over two hours. The French GMT 94 team claimed third place on the podium, followed by the second bike of the Zhongshen team.
The race was started in hectic fashion with a Le Mans style dash across the track to the waiting bikes. It set the scene for two hours of action, during which Fred Moreira took the lead from Stephane Mertens around the half way stage, and the number 5 team of Cicotto/Jacob/Estok managed to recover to eighth after an early crash. Much of the race was decided in the pits, with tyre choice affecting the hopes of the Phase One team, and an impressive pit stop for the GMT 94 team keeping them in contention along with the riding of William Costes, who at one stage was closing on Mertens at around a second a lap.
It was the first victory for the Zhongshen team and Nowland, despite the team winning the championship in 2001. For Mertens it was the first win since 1995 at Spa-Francochamps.
Phase One still lead the championship on 45 points, from Zhongshen No 2 on 38 and Zhongshen No 9 on 29.
Relive the race lap by lap by going to our Discussion & Chat board for Racing, selecting the WSB board and among the recent threads you’ll find those we used to instantly update you throughout Sunday’s race.
You’ll find it under the thread " World Endurance update " .
The Endurance race was supported by the MCN British Superbike support classes. Stuart Easton took a commanding win the two-part British Supersport race, which was red-flagged after three laps. The MonsterMob Ducati rider thought that he could have gone faster if not for a troublesome headwind, and is looking to do well at the World Superbike meeting at Silverstone on May 26 after a four race winning streak.. Second place went to Tom Tunstall, who moved into second on corrected time in the last few corners of the race pushing Simon Andrews into third
The Junior Superstock race was won by another consistent winner, Craig Jones, followed by Sykes and Buckingham, whilst the Superstock winner, David Jeffries, almost missed qaulifying on Saturday commuting from the North West 200 road races in Northern Ireland.
Christian Elkin won the 125 race on Sunday from championship leader Chris Martin.