Crash thwarts Michael Laverty's hopes of BSB Showdown spot
Michael Laverty was left to rue a race two crash on the final lap at Oulton Park as the Northern Ireland rider missed out on a place in the all-important MCE British Superbike Showdown for the Tyco BMW team.
It was a massive blow for Moneymore’s TAS Racing squad, with Stockport’s Christian Iddon also failing to make it into the final top six during the big triple-header weekend at the Cheshire circuit.
Laverty had been holding fourth place in the standings but lost ground to his Showdown rivals on Saturday, finishing eighth in the opening race.
The Toomebridge man was lying seventh in race two on Sunday but crashed at Hizzy’s on the final lap after an uncharacteristic mistake.
Laverty was clinging on to the final Showdown place heading into the third and final race but Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey finished as the runner-up to deny the Ulster rider, who narrowly missed out after finishing fourth.
JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam clinched a terrific treble to move to the top of the standings by three points from Shane Byrne, who endured a tough weekend on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati.
Byrne ran off the track in Saturday’s race while holding third place, losing ground and eventually finishing ninth as Haslam led an unprecedented clean sweep of the rostrum places for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, with James Ellison and Peter Hickman joining him on the podium.
In race two, Haslam again came out on top with Byrne sliding off at Hizzy’s chicane. Ellison finished as the runner-up again from Honda’s Dan Linfoot.
A dramatic final race saw former World Superbike contender Haslam complete his hat-trick in style by 1.3 seconds from Luke Mossey, with third going to Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell, whose Showdown hopes were thwarted following a massive crash on Saturday.
Carrick’s Glenn Irwin, who slid off in Saturday’s opener, finished ninth in race two but was forced to undertake a ride-through penalty after jumping the start in race three, eventually crossing the line in 11th position.
Fellow Northern Ireland rider Alastair Seeley retired from race one and finished 15th and 13th in yesterday’s races.
Meanwhile, Ballinamallard’s Josh Elliott lifted some of the gloom for the Tyco BMW team as he sealed his maiden win of the season in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.
Elliott had been lying in third place on the final lap as team-mate Ian Hutchinson and Buildbase BMW’s Taylor Mackenzie disputed the lead.
Mackenzie attempted a pass around Hutchinson’s outside at the final corner, with both riders crashing out.
Mackenzie leads Hutchinson by 23 points with two races to go at Donington Park and Brands Hatch.
In the Dickies British Supersport class, Andy Reid’s hopes of the title appear to be over after he was ruled out of Oulton with a broken scaphoid.
David Allingham finished fifth in the Sprint and Feature races, with Andrew Irwin claiming sixth and seventh.
Eugene McManus was seventh in the British Motostar race with Carl Phillips fourth in the Superstock 600 race.
MCE British Superbike Championship standings ahead of Showdown: 1 L Haslam (Kawasaki) 546pts; 2 S Byrne (Ducati) 543; 3 J O’Halloran (Honda) 513; 4 J Ellison (Kawasaki) 513; 5 D Linfoot (Honda) 511; 6 L Mossey (Kawasaki) 506.