The opening round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship at Donington Park proved to be a fantastic weekend of racing for our R&G riders and teams, with three wins and a further eight podiums coming from across the different classes.
In the blue riband Superbike class it was a complete R&G lockout on the front row for the opening race, with JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey first and second, and Anvil Hire Yamaha star Josh Brookes in third. A dominant display from Leon saw him go on to claim the opening race victory with team mate Luke chasing him over the line in second. It was also a brilliant ride from Anvil Hire's Shaun Winfield, who claimed his first ever MCE British Superbike Championship point in 15th whilst RAF Regulars & Reserves rider Jake Dixon also finished inside the top ten on his Kawasaki race debut.
For the second race it was Josh who would start from pole, but it was again Leon Haslam who took the win, with Josh claiming his first podium of the season with a second place. Be Wiser Ducati star and R&G supported rider Glenn Irwin stormed through the pack to snatch the final podium position on his last lap.
Although the opening Dickies Supersport Sprint race was cancelled due to track conditions, Sunday's Feature race saw further R&G success with our sponsored team Gearlink Kawasaki enjoying a double podium as Andrew Irwin took second and Ben Currie third. In the Hel Performance British Motostar class, City Lifting RS Racing rider Tom Booth qualified on the front row in second before going on to claim a dominant win in the opening race. It looked set to be a repeat performance in race two but a technical fault saw the young rider forced to retire from the lead. In the Standard class, Case Moto Rapido rider Thomas Strudwick impressed on his debut in the team by claiming 5th in race one before securing his first podium of the year in the second outing.
In the Pirelli Moto Superstock classes, Mission Racing's Chrissy Rouse had strong weekend in the new format Superstock 1000 race kicking off on Saturday, claiming a pair of fourth places and a fifth in Sunday's race. Rookie rider Mason Law impressed on his Stauff Connect Academy Kawasaki as he secured three top ten finishes. In the smaller capacity class, Tom Oliver of SGR was able to claim a strong second place.
In the one-make Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup, the sponsored Boast Plumbing Team showed strongly all weekend with class wins for Levi Day on the 899 and a race win for Joe Collier. The Highsparks Team rider Phil Atkinson claimed a front row start during qualifying, before going on to claim a rostrum finish in race one and fourth in race two.
Following a fatal incident in the opening Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race on Saturday, R&G would all like to pass on their sympathies to the family and friends of Mick Whalley.