Reigning British Superstock 1000 champion Josh Elliott proved his mettle as the Ballinamallard rider fought his way to a magnificent runner-up finish in the opening round of the series a Silverstone.
Elliott, who joined the Tyco BMW team for 2016 after winning the title last year on the Morello Kawasaki, endured a trying weekend as the 21-year-old suffered a heavy crash on Saturday, which left him on row three in ninth place for Sunday’s race.
However, Elliott displayed the fighting spirit of a champion to regroup, scything through the field on the S1000RR to take second at the finish, 3.5 seconds behind Buildbase BMW prospect Taylor Mackenzie.
Isle of Man TT star Ian Hutchinson, primarily using the Superstock 1000 rounds to tune up for the international road races, was an excellent third for Tyco BMW while Clogher man Keith Farmer was a solid sixth on the Quay Garage Racing Honda behind British championship stalwart Michael Rutter (Bathams SMT BMW).
A delighted Elliott said: “I have to say a big thanks to the whole Tyco BMW crew because I really gave them a lot of work to do after second qualifying.
“I completely wrote off the bike and they gave me a brand new one for today and thanks to them for all their hard work.
“It was a good race but I gave myself a lot of work starting from ninth and I think I spent too much time working my way through,” he added.
“Taylor got away at the start but after the weekend we’ve had it’s amazing to take second place.”
Bingley Bullet Hutchinson, who announced his return to top form last year with a treble at the Isle of Man TT, was hugely impressive as he claimed the last place on the podium and is clearly right at home on the Tyco BMW after riding Kawasaki machinery last season on the roads in the Superbike and Superstock classes for Paul Bird.
It was an excellent result for Hutchinson, who sustained a career threatening injury at Silverstone in a British Supersport race at the end of the 2010 season.
“Six years ago I was sat at turn one with my leg smashed to pieces and it was the worst day of my life. I’ve raced here once since and finished 22nd, which was pitiful,” he said.
“To be running at the front here is brilliant and testing has gone brilliant and I love the bike. I wish I could have got past Hudson [Kennaugh] a little bit sooner but I’m here to get myself prepared for the roads and after the TT I’ll probably dig a bit deeper.
“I knew Josh [Elliott] was going to be strong at the end and he’s going to be fighting for the championship, so I couldn’t do anything stupid around him on the last lap and it’s amazing to get onto the podium.”
Roads stars Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki) and Bruce Anstey (Padgetts Honda) finished 29th and 36th.