The third round of the British Superbike Championship has just taken place this weekend, at the International circuit of Silverstone, home to the Moto GP & to the Formula 1 Championships, were this weekend the very best of the British (& some Foreign) talent; compete in what is probably the best Motorcycling Championship outside of Moto GP & World Superbikes.
As per the previous two rounds and due to the covid 19 situation, unfortunately no spectators were allowed to come into the circuit to watch this spectacular racing by the best of our British talent
Kyle is now competing in this Blue Riband class on the 1000cc Buildbase Suzuki and the weekend started just as he had at the last two rounds, by setting the pace in both the free practise sessions and in the Qualifying. Having topped the second of the free practise sessions on the Saturday morning Kyle was looking for a good position in the Lunchtime qualifying. However; after 15 minutes of this twenty-five-minute session Kyle was in a strong fourth place behind the two Irwin brothers and Aussie racer Jason O’Halloran and looking for improvements, but with 10 minutes remaining the third Irwin (Graeme) crashed and the debris and his bike were in a precarious position on the circuit, so this bought out the red flag, to stop the session. After a short time; the racing re-started, but again after only a lap or two, there was a bike went down at turn one which is Copse corner and oil had also got onto the circuit bringing down around a further four machines and riders, it was carnage, luckily all the riders managed to walk away from the incident, only Alex Olsen required attention by the circuit staff.
So; with all of this track contamination and over 66% of the qualifying period ran, this was declared a result for the qualifying session.
Race one of the weekends races came late in the afternoon sunshine and with the qualifying session being cut short, this placed Kyle 7th overall and on the third row of the grid for this race, not ideal; but liveable. By the end of lap one Kyle was in a strong 5th position between Glen Irwin & Josh Brooks, then in the next couple of laps he was swapping paint with pole sitter Buchan and Taz MacKenzie, by lap ten of this twenty-five lap race, Kyle was now up to third behind the Irwin brothers on the Honda’s, behind was the Macams Yamaha’s of MacKenzie & O’Halloran. Taz managed to get passed Kyle and battle for the front as Andy Irwin ran off the track, Kyle was also now in the mix for a podium as he was now in third place.
By three quarters race distance MacKenzie was in the lead with Glen Irwin second and Kyle a very close third. On lap twenty-one Kyle overhauled Irwin for the second slot and was now looking at catching Taz in the remaining three laps, each lap he was gaining ground on Taz and by the time they crossed the finishing line Taz won by one tenth of a second over Kyle, with O’Halloran Third!
A fantastic close first race for all the riders taking part and it is Kyle’s first taste of a podium finish in the Superbike class. He was so happy on the podium and was confident with the bike that he could do it, he also congratulated Taz on his win and is looking forward to the further two races on Sunday.
Sunday morning saw an early warm up session and Kyle led the leader board early in the ten-minute session, but as the chequered flag dropped Kyle was 6th fastest for today’s races.
Race 8 of the series lined up on the grid at mid-day and Kyle had a front row slot, along side the two Macams Yamaha’s of O’Halloran & yesterday’s winner Taz MaKenzie.
Kyle got the hole shot; but it wasn’t long before Brookes took the lead on the Ducati with Taz in hot pursuit, who also managed to overhaul Kyle by this point and this is how it was to stay for a third of the race distance with this group & O’Halloran managing to open up a slight gap between them and the next group of riders. By lap thirteen MacKenzie had gone with possible gearbox issue and Kyle was now in second place putting the pressure on Brookes, with O’Halloran still behind in third place. The pace was furious and Kyle new that his tyres (Hard compound) would come into play later in the race, while the other riders softer compounds start to move more!
So; with the second group of riders 1.9 seconds behind the leading pack, Kyle went to take the lead on lap 27 of this 30-lap race and made a move on Brookes. Brookes couldn’t really respond by now and Kyle literally just dominated the race for the last three laps and this shown by the gap that he opened up between him & the two Aussies Brookes & O’Halloran. Kyle came over the line to take the chequered flag 1.68 seconds in front of Josh Brookes & Jason O’Halloran
The third and final Superbike race came late in the afternoon sunshine and Kyle was sitting on pole position on the grid after that excellent win in race eight, along side him was Championship leader Glen Irwin & Aussie rider Jason O’Halloran.
As the lights went out Kyle got the hole-shot again but then landed up taking the outside wider line towards Copse corner, but he managed to maintain his lead at the front and was determined to go for another podium finish. As the race progressed, he was pursued by O’Halloran Glen Irwin & Brookes and there was a pack of around seven bikes in hot pursuit of Kyle. Kyle was still leading by lap ten and it was at this stage that he thought well I might as well go for it now, as the other riders were finding it difficult to match his pace. By two thirds race distance (Lap 20) Kyle had broken the current lap record and just kept on putting in consistent laps, the two Macams Yamahas of Taz MacKenzie & O’Halloran were now on Kyle’s case, but Kyle responded by opening up a first a 1.6 gap on Taz and by lap twenty eight of this thirty lap race, he was 2.231 seconds in front of them both. So, this allowed Kyle to ‘showboat’ a little on the last lap and he won the race by a healthy 1.5 second gap over Taz MacKenzie in second and his teammate O’Halloran in third.
Kyle’s second Superbike win, now takes him to fourth overall in the championship behind Bridewell, Brookes and Leader Glen Irwin, were he is minus 43 points on series Leader Irwin.
Photographs courtesy of Speedy Image (Double Red)
Kyle’s next meeting is at the glorious Cheshire circuit of Oulton Park and this takes place on the 18th-19th & 20th of September