Ballinamallard’s Josh Elliott increased his lead in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship with a timely victory in the ninth round at Cadwell Park yesterday.
The Morello Kawasaki rider’s advantage in the standings had been cut to 17 points by fellow Ulsterman Alastair Seeley, who clawed back 25 points at Brands Hatch in July when Elliott crashed out as the pair contested the lead.
Seeley clinched another maximum points haul in the next race at Thruxton last time out, powering through on the final lap to snatch the win from Elliott’s grasp on the Tyco BMW as the Carrick star gained more ground in the title chase.
The 34-year-old, who previously won the Superstock 1000 title for the Moneymore team in 2009, maintained his excellent run of form by securing pole position at Cadwell Park with young prospect Elliott putting his ZX-10R on the front row alongside Seeley in second place.
However, Seeley uncharacteristically blew the start of the race on the S1000RR and was lying in eighth place on the opening lap as Elliott stormed into the lead.
Seeley, though, was granted another bite at the cherry when the race was red-flagged and restarted over eight laps, with the original grid positions remaining unchanged.
The Tyco BMW rider didn’t make the same mistake twice and blasted into the lead but Elliott was hot on his heels and forced his way into the lead with a no-holds-barred pass, which also allowed Joe Burns to squeeze past Seeley on the InCompetition Aprilia.
Elliott was beginning to edge away at the front and Seeley’s chances were impacted further when Burns slid off, forcing the Northern Ireland rider to take evasive action.
With Elliott’s lead now up to almost two seconds, the race was red-flagged on lap five and the result was declared, with more than two thirds of the race distance successfully completed.
Seeley finished as the runner-up but Elliott has now stretched his lead at the top to 22 points with three rounds remaining at Oulton Park (September 6), Silverstone (October 4) and Brands Hatch (October 18).
Elliott, who has yet to finish outside the top two in any race he has finished this season, clearly has the upper hand in his bid to be crowned 2015 National Superstock 1000 champion at this stage in the campaign, but Seeley is guaranteed to fight until the finish as the Northern Ireland pair continue to dominate the class.
Hudson Kennaugh completed the podium places yesterday on the Trik Moto BMW followed by Luke Quigley (BMW), James East (Kawasaki) and Adam Jenkinson (Yamaha).
Meanwhile, Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes made it a sizzling six wins from six in the MCE British Superbike Championship with a third successive double on the YZF-R1.
The Australian rider was in a league of his own at Cadwell, converting pole into two race wins as Brookes extended his lead in the championship standings to 39 points over PBM Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne in the penultimate round of the series before the Showdown.
In race one, Brookes led all the way and although the impressive Peter Hickman on the RAF Reserves BMW was waiting in the wings to capitalise on any mistakes by the Bringelly racer, Brookes pulled away in the final stages to tie up a convincing triumph by 1.8 seconds, with Billy McConnell taking a fine third on the Smiths BMW.
Tyco BMW’s Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty were fourth and fifth respectively, with reigning champion Byrne completing the top six.
Brookes obliterated the opposition in the second race to underline his recent dominance in the series, taking victory by five seconds from Hickman, who got the better of Bridewell on the final lap to seal another runner-up finish. Byrne was a solid fourth in what was ultimately a damage limitation exercise for the BSB great, with Luke Mossey and McConnell the first half dozen. Laverty crashed out at the chicane.
Oulton Park hosts the next round on September 6 prior to the Showdown phase of the championship, which commences at Assen on September 20.