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Laverty holds off Shakey for opening race win of 2016

Sunday, April 10 2016

Michael Laverty has got his 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship campaign off to a flying start by winning the opening race of the season at Silverstone, holding off Shane 'Shakey' Byrne by 0.550s at the finish line to win for Tyco BMW.

At the start Jason O'Halloran had initially grabbed the lead as the pack streamed into Copse for the first time, but pole sitter Leon Haslam was instantly on the attack and he forced his JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead on the run through Maggotts and Becketts. His lead was short lived though as Michael Laverty stormed through to the front and the Tyco BMW rider then held the pace as behind Haslam the Honda Racing pairing were dicing for the advantage ahead of Byrne.

Linfoot though knew he had to try and get ahead and he made a move on Haslam at Stowe to snatch away the second place. It was a short lived opening race for Haslam though as he was forced out of contention by a technical problem just a lap later, leaving the leading train of Laverty, Linfoot, O'Halloran and Byrne plus Danny Buchan, Christian Iddon, Luke Mossey and James Rispoli to battle for the leading positions.

Byrne was also attacking in the early stages and by the fourth lap he had carved his way ahead of O'Halloran to move into third place on the Be Wiser Ducati. The race was then over for Rispoli as he crashed out on the seventh lap whilst pushing for the top eight in his debut race; the American will be forced to miss the second race this afternoon after sustaining an injury to his finger.

Laverty was still holding the lead in style, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki of Peter Hickman had also tagged onto the first pack and had moved up to fifth before he was also forced out of action with a technical problem.

By lap eleven Byrne had moved to second, pushing Linfoot back to third and closing in on Laverty at the front of the field. At the same time Mossey was also vying for the final podium position as he dived ahead of O'Halloran to move fourth and then had Linfoot in his sights.

Mossey had dispensed with the second Honda Racing rider at Stowe a lap later as Iddon also started making moves forward through the pack, by also passing Aussie O'Halloran at Luffield with three laps to go.

Laverty was able to fend off the challenges of Byrne to claim the first victory of 2016 as behind Mossey was defending hard from the chasing Iddon, Linfoot and O'Halloran. However it wasn't enough and on the final lap Iddon made a move at Copse to hold third place and then held on to claim his first ever podium finish in MCE BSB.

Laverty said: "It is difficult to just run out front and look at your lap timer. I only looked at my pitboard once as I just wanted to concentrate on being as smooth as I could and not making any mistakes and the toughest thing was mid-race as my hands went a bit numb -perhaps as it was a bit cold out there! I didn't feel as comfortable as I wanted to be and I was losing time in a few areas and then I pushed on and it was enough to bring it home. We can improve for race two and we have worked hard over the winter so this is a perfect start for me and the team so thanks to everyone at Tyco BMW."

Mossey held fourth place from the formation flying Honda Racing pairing of Linfoot and O'Halloran with Buchan remaining in the top ten with a strong seventh place finish on his race debut for the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team.

Lee Jackson, John Hopkins and Tommy Bridewell completed the top ten which featured all six of the manufactures represented in the 2016 championship.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, race one result:

  1. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW)
  2. Shane 'Shakey' Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.550s
  3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.394s
  4. Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +1.560s
  5. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +4.155s
  6. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +4.281s
  7. Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +6.354s
  8. Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +7.681s
  9. John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +8.598s
  10. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +8.739s