Double Dutch Podium For Dixon, McConnell In The Points

2015-09-21 07:13
Gloucestershire's Smiths Racing Team endured varying fortunes at Assen over the weekend with Jake Dixon recording two more excellent podium finishes in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship whilst Billy McConnell only managed to pick up four points in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

Dixon qualified in fifth place for Saturday's Motorpoint British Supersport Championship 'Sprint' race and, despite crashing earlier in the day, he was part of a terrific five-rider battle for second place. Positions changed frequently, particularly on the final lap, but the Dover rider held on to take an excellent third place to extend his run of podium finishes to six.

Aboard the factory-backed Smiths Triumph Daytona 675R, the 19-year-old again started from fifth on the grid for Sunday's longer 'Feature' race with a slightly damp track which made conditions extremely tricky. A brilliant start saw Jake and Glenn Irwin open up a five second lead in the early stages before the safety car came out due to a number of incidents. When the race resumed on lap six, series leader Luke Stapleford soon hit the front and although he went on to take the win, Jake took an excellent second place to make it a double podium finish at the historic Dutch track.

Tyre issues in qualifying meant that Adelaide's McConnell lined up in 16th place for the opening MCE BSB race aboard the Smiths Racing BMW but in typical fashion, the Australian fought hard throughout the 18 laps to eventually be rewarded with 12th place. Weather conditions later in the day saw the second race cut to 15 laps, but with a good tyre choice, hopes were high for some more points. Sure enough, Billy was running comfortably in the top 15 and looking to move up the leaderboard when he tangled with another rider on the fifth lap and unfortunately crashed out.

Jake Dixon: "I was a little bit disappointed after Saturday's race as I rode so hard, but we had a slight issue with the front end of the bike although it was still good to get a podium. I made a great start in the second race and when the safety car came out, myself and Glenn had pulled out a big gap so I thought maybe the other riders weren't too confident through the first section. Luke got to the front when the race resumed and although I was soon into second, I made a slight mistake late in the race which cost me my chance. But I gave it everything as my team always gives me everything and are always on my side."

Billy McConnell: "Despite being further back on the grid than I would have liked, I had a good first race and really enjoyed the battle I was having out there so I was happy enough with the outcome. I was obviously looking for more in the second, but Danny Buchan came up the inside of me and my handlebar caught the rear of his back and my front wheel got taken away. My leg then went under my rear wheel and the foot peg into my knee so I'm a bit tender but I'll be fine. It's a shame as we had some good pace and could have had a good result so I'm just hoping we can get some decent results at the last two rounds."

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: "Jake continued his excellent run of form this weekend and he worked really hard in both the wet and dry conditions. We couldn't take a win, but I'm really pleased for him with the two podiums and it means he's gained valuable ground on Kyle Ryde in the battle for second overall and he's now only 14 points behind. Second overall is what we'll be aiming for and Jake's very much looking forward to getting back on to the top step of the podium at Silverstone. Billy had a run of bad luck in qualifying which put us on the back foot with no time to make any changes. He worked hard and rode well in the first race and we'd made the right tyre choice for the second but, unfortunately, he was involved in an incident and crashed out. He ran over himself and is a bit sore, but nothing's broken and he'll be back fighting at Silverstone."

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race one (12 laps)
1 Luke Stapleford (Triumph)
2 James Rispoli (Yamaha)
3 Jake Dixon (Smiths Racing Triumph)
4 Sam Hornsey (Triumph)
5 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki)
6 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race two (13 laps)
1 Luke Stapleford (Triumph)
2 Jake Dixon (Smiths Racing Triumph)
3 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki)
4 Sam Hornsey (Triumph)
5 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
6 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)

Championship points after ten rounds
1 Stapleford 396pts
2 Ryde 298
3 Dixon 284
4 Irwin 263
5 Rispoli 193
6 Reid 165

MCE British Superbike Championship Race One (18 laps)
1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
2 James Ellison (Kawasaki)
3 Michael Laverty (BMW)
4 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
5 John Hopkins (Ducati)
6 Richard Cooper (BMW)
12 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW)

MCE British Superbike Championship Race Two (15 laps)
1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
2 James Ellison (Kawasaki)
3 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki)
4 Richard Cooper (BMW)
5 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
6 Christian Iddon (Suzuki)
DNF Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW)

Championship Positions (after ten rounds)
1 Brookes 603pts
2 Byrne 575
3 Ellison 562
4 Laverty 523
5 Bridewell 515
6 Linfoot 509
13 McConnell 94

The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Silverstone over the weekend of October 2/4th. For more information, please visit www.britishsuperbike.com and www.smithsracing.co.uk.

Pictures attached (courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography) Jake Dixon (7) and Billy McConnell (3) in action.

Source: Cartersport Motorsport Media

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