Ellison storms to race 1 Donington victory ahead of Byrne

James Ellison got his title challenge off to a flying start in the first MCE British Superbike race of the season at Donington Park.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider showed aggression from the get-go and could not be caught by reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, who ended up on the second step of the podium.

Josh Brookes joined them on the podium following a great battle with Honda’s Dan Linfoot in the final few laps, with the pair nearly coming together on the finish straight.

Peter Hickman showed some impressive pace once more on the RAF Reserves BMW to finish in a comfortable fifth place, ahead of Tyco BMW’s Tommy Bridewell and Bennetts Sukuki’s Christian Iddon.

Chris Walker and Michael Laverty battled it out for eighth and ninth places respectively, with Richard Cooper rounding out the top-10 on his Anvil Tag Racing Kawasaki machine.

It was a poor opening race for pole-sitter Ryuichi Kiyonari, who fell down the order at the first corner and was unable to keep up with the pace set at the front. The Buildbase BMW rider ended up finishing in 14th place.

Be Wiser Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan crashed out of the race whilst challenging for a podium finish, with Smith Racing BMW’s Billy McConnell also suffering from a crash midway through the race.

At the start it was Kiyonari who initially got off the line well but Byrne went down the inside at the first corner, with Kiyonari pushed out wide and down to seventh by the other frontrunners.

Ellison showed some aggression as he challenged Byrne for the lead, with Buchan moving up to third place ahead of Easton and Linfoot.

The safety car was call upon on lap two following a nasty crash for Rhalf Lo Turco at the Melbourne Loop. The SBK City Racing Kawasaki rider was stretched away by the marshals following the incident.

After the re-start, Byrne tried to pull away but lost the lead to Ellison following a great move down the inside at Hollywood by the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider.

McConnell’s race came to an end on lap six, with the Smiths Racing BMW rider crashing out from eighth place at Coppice.

Over the next few laps there was a great battle going on between Buchan and Hickman for fifth place, with the pair exchanging positions on a few occasions. Buchan’s race would come to an end on lap 11, with the 21-year-old crashing at the Foggy Esses.

Both Team WD40 riders, Taylor Mackenzie and Jack Kennedy, suffered from technical issues towards the end of the race. Jakub Smrz suffered the same fate on his Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati machine and will be hoping that his luck will finally change in race two.

Back at the front there was a great battle going on between Linfoot and Brookes for the final podium position. Brookes went down the inside of Linfoot at Foggy Esses on the final lap, before Linfoot tried to repay the favour going into the final corner. It was a drag race to the line between the two riders, but it was the Yamaha machine that came out on top as Brookes celebrated another podium finish.

Ahead of them, Ellison pulled out a lead going into the final lap and could not be caught by Byrne. The victory was Ellison’s first since 2013 and the first-ever for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team.

Donington Park Race 1 Result

177James EllisonJG Speedfit Kawasaki31m05.460s
267Shane ByrnePBM Kawasaki+0.131s
325Josh BrookesMilwaukee Yamaha+9.112s
44Daniel LinfootHonda Racing+9.170s
560Peter HickmanRAF Reserves BMW+11.276s
646Tommy BridewellTyco BMW+16.139s
724Christian IddonBennetts Suzuki+17.281s
89Chris WalkerBe Wiser Kawasaki+22.776s
97Michael LavertyTyco BMW+22.915s
1047Richard CooperAnvil Hire TAG Racing Kawasaki+23.456s
115Stuart EastonPBM Kawasaki+25.793s
1227Robbin HarmsMotoDex Performance First BMW+26.751s
1314Lee JacksonBuildbase BMW+26.867s
1423Ryuichi KiyonariBuildbase BMW+27.418s
1512Luke MosseyQuattro Plant Kawasaki+28.007s
162Broc ParkesMilwaukee Yamaha+28.299s
1799Filip BacklundAnvil Hire TAG Racing Kawasaki+28.405s
1821Josh WatersBennetts Suzuki+29.317s
1922Jason O'HalloranHonda Racing+29.449s
2066Ian HutchinsonPBM Kawasaki+40.273s
218Shaun WinfieldAnvil Hire TAG Racing Kawasaki+44.426s
2286Daniel JohnsonMorello Racing Kawasaki+44.580s
2340Martin JessoppRiders Motorcycles BMW+47.309s
2416David JohnsonMotoDex Performance First BMW+1m14.479s
DNF28Victor CoxMorello Racing Kawasaki19 Laps
DNF6James WestmorelandJG Speedfit Kawasaki17 Laps
DNF44Jack KennedyTeam WD40 Kawasaki16 Laps
DNF96Jakub SmrzLloyds British Moto Rapido13 Laps
DNF11Taylor MackenzieTeam WD40 Kawasaki13 Laps
DNF83Danny BuchanBe Wiser Kawasaki10 Laps
DNF64Aaron ZanottiA-Plant Yamaha8 Laps
DNF43Howie Mainwaring SmartQuattro Plant Kawasaki7 Laps
DNF3Billy McConnellSmiths Racing BMW5 Laps
DNF20Jenny TinmouthHonda Racing2 Laps
DNF45Rhalf Lo TurcoSBKCity Kawasaki0 Laps