The BSB came to Assen in the Netherlands over the weekend for the 10th round of the MCE British Superbike championship. With Rock supported team Gearlink Kawasaki earning a podium finish in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship. Rock rider Glenn Irwin finished a strong fifth on Saturday and built on his performance on Sunday achieving third place. Ben Wilson had another consistent weekend with a seventh and sixth places, and Luke Hedger sadly crashed out of race one but bounced back to finish in ninth in race two.
Glenn Irwin worked hard all weekend to secure two great results. Despite the poor weather over the weekend Glenn put in consistent times and this put him in sixth place on the grid for the opening race on Saturday. Glenn had a steady start and was seventh after lap one and as the race progressed he was soon locked in a battle for second place. On each lap riders were swapping positions and Glenn made a fantastic move on the last lap and got through to second place, but a mistake saw him drop back to fifth as the flag came out.
For race two Glenn was started in fourth on the grid and was keen to better his result from race one. He had a brilliant start and was lying in second after the first lap. The safety car was deployed on lap two after an accident and it returned to the pit lane at the end of lap five. Towards the end of the race Glenn dropped back to third place which he fought to maintain until the end of the 13-laps.
Ben Wilson continued to make further progress with the Gearlink Kawasaki at Assen and qualified in ninth place for the Sprint race. In race one Ben had a good start setting some great lap times to finish in seventh place. For race two Ben started from seventh and got a brilliant start and moved through to fourth place after lap one. He was looking really strong staying with the leaders, eventually completing the race in sixth place.
Luke Hedger once again was having a consistently strong weekend setting times placing him within the top ten in each session. He managed to qualify the Gearlink Kawasaki in seventh place for the Sprint race. He dropped a place after lap one and was unfortunate to crash out on lap three. He was placed in eighth for race two on the grid but a short start saw him drop back through the field and he fought hard to bring the bike home in ninth place.
Glenn Irwin - "I'm so pleased to be back on the podium again as it feels like it has been a long time coming and a long wait. It really should have been two podiums but it was me that made a mistake in the first race and it was a rookie error but maybe I was trying too hard as I wanted the podium so much. I'm glad I was able to make amends in race two and get back on the box. It is so hard to compete against the Triumphs, they are in another league. We will continue to keep fighting until the end of the season for some good results and to finish the year on a high.
I would like to thank all my sponsors and of course the Gearlink Kawasaki team who always give me everything they possibly can. We have all worked really hard to get back here and it is a big team effort."
Ben Wilson - "I feel like we have made some progress this weekend with the Gearlink Kawasaki and I am beginning to feel more comfortable riding it. It has been a tough year and I've not had the results I have wanted but it was good to be battling up near the front again. I hope we can continue this progress and I really am aiming for a podium at Silverstone or Brands."
Luke Hedger - "It was a bit of a tough weekend for us and the weather caught everyone out so track time was limited. I was feeling happy with the way things were going but then I crashed out of the first race and we now think this did some damage that we didn't know about. Sadly we only found out in race two and so I had to try and nurse the bike home so I'm pleased with a top ten result. Thanks again to all the Gearlink Kawasaki team, my sponsors and family."
Rock rider Peter Hickman recorded a brace of points in the MCE British Superbike championship to maintain his 10th place in the overall rider standings. The weekend’s racing was interrupted by frequent showers affecting tyre choices for the riders. Riding the RAF Reserves BMW Peter made it through to the second stage of qualifying to begin Sunday’s opening 18 lap race from a fifth row grid position.
It was a close and exciting 18 laps with Hickman battling for position throughout the race. The Lincolnshire rider held his position to cross the finish line in ninth place to be awarded seven championship points. The second race was affected by bad weather, following the warm up lap the race was delayed because of rain showers on parts of the circuit. When the race was declared safe to run, it had been cut from 18 laps down to 15 because of time constraints. Although the track was beginning to dry it was still declared a wet race. Leaving the riders with a choice on which tyres would be most suitable. Hickman opting for a cut slick on the front and a full slick on the rear. Hickman started well and was seventh at the first sector, eventually completing the race in 13th position.
Going into the penultimate round of the campaign Peter Hickman holds 10th place in the rider standings on 110 points. If he's able to score well at Silverstone and Brands Hatch he could be challenging for the Riders Cup which is awarded to the rider who finishes the season in seventh place.
The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship visits Silverstone Circuit for the penultimate round of the Showdown and 2015 season on the 2nd 'til the 4th of October.