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Ellison defies the pressure to claim race one win at Brands Hatch

Sunday, April 19 2015

James Ellison defied the pressure from his rivals in a final three lap battle for the victory in the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race of the day at Brands Hatch.

At the start of the race Ellison fired off the line from the pole position to lead the pack into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. The race was then neutralised with the Nissan GT-R Safety Car after Christian Iddon, Robbin Harms and Jack Kennedy crashed out on the Cooper Straight.

As the Safety Car peeled in for the restart Ellison held his line from Ryuichi Kiyonari, Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, Stuart Easton and Josh Brookes. The pack streamed around the 1-2-mile Indy circuit and Brookes was pushing to move ahead, making a move on Easton on the tenth lap at McLaren. Honda Racing's Jason O'Halloran then also pushed ahead of Easton to hold fifth place.

Ellison had edged an advantage but Kiyonari was closing in on the Buildbase BMW as Byrne and Brookes waged war for third place.

In the second half of the race Jakub Smrz crashed out at Paddock Hill Bend, the Czech rider was able to walk away, but dashed his hopes of converting his front row start into a top five finish. Tommy Bridewell was then another rider to crash out at Druids followed by Peter Hickman just two laps later at Clearways.

Hickman's crash left debris on the track at Clearways and the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was deployed for the second time with two laps remaining of the original 30 lap race distance. A further three laps were added to the race distance which left a final three lap battle for the victory.

Ellison managed to withstand the pressure from the closed pack to hold on to the lead over the final laps but the battle for second became a three-way scrap between Kiyonari, Byrne and Brookes.

Byrne made a move on the final lap to move second and as the trio exited Clearways for the final time, Brookes narrowly edged out Kiyonari to the line to claim third place for the Milwaukee Yamaha team.

O'Halloran held on to claim fifth place for the Honda Racing team ahead of Easton and Howie Mainwaring on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki. Broc Parkes, Billy McConnell and Chris Walker completed the top ten. 

Ellison said: "Hopefully we can do the same again in race two. I know it's not going to be as easy, obviously everybody makes little changes in between race one and race two and its always a hotter pace, so not sure what we're going to do, whether we're going to leave the bike and just try harder, or look at the data and see if there's anything we can do. I was happy to get away with the win in the end, especially after the Safety Car."  

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race one result:

  1. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
  2. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +1.368s
  3. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.453s
  4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +1.479s
  5. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +3.218s
  6. Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +3.826s
  7. Howie Mainwaring (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +4.503s
  8. Broc Parkes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +5.290s
  9. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW) +6.401s
  10. Chris Walker (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +7.091s

 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch race one:

  1. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 65
  2. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 54
  3. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 42
  4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 33
  5. Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) 31
  6. Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW) 24