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Crash.net's Top 10 BSB Riders - 5th

Gary Mason and Quay Garage Honda put in a series of superb rides to take the fight to the big boys and defy their Superbike Cup status
While he may have been the favourite to win the British Superbike Cup, the manner in which Gary Mason and Quay Garage dominated proceedings in 2009 still beggared belief.

In 26 races, Mason was triumphant in the Cup on 18 occasions, the 30-year-old pulling out an eventual winning margin of 154.5 points. He was the dominant force for sure, but it isn't Mason's class-bound performances that garnered him attention in 2009 – it was his David versus Goliath act against the main competition.

Having shown flashes of giant-killing pace in a fragmented half-season with Quay Garage in 2008, Mason arrived at the 2009 opener with a new engine and quiet confidence, but no marker with which to measure himself against his rivals.

When the expensive new engine blew in free practice, Mason's season threatened to stop before it had started. One stunning sixth place finish later and it was clear that Mason was able to ride round his dated Honda to embarrass a number of better fancied rivals.

He continued to bother the top ten over the next few rounds, Mason adding two sevenths and three ninths into his points tally to put him unusually high in the overall standings after ten races.

Unsurprisingly, Mason's form ebbed away as better funded, championship class rivals began to forge ahead, although he did repeat his career-best result again at Mallory Park, while a front row starting position at Thruxton made BSB history too.

Although he was riding for the Cup series, Mason was still able to mix it with the mid-field runners, putting Quay Garage ahead of the likes of SMT, Rob Mac Racing and Buildbase Kawasaki at times. In fact, Mason's eventual 13th place in the overall standings doesn't necessarily do justice to his mighty efforts in 2009. Indeed, just 5.5 more points would have seen him snatch an overall top ten finish.

An outstanding performance for a rider looking to rebuild his reputation in BSB after a few false starts, Mason and Quay Garage may be parting ways in 2010, but with the former moving to MSS Colchester Kawasaki and the latter stepping up to the championship class, the future looks rosy for both.

Statistics:

Team: Quay Garage
Bike: Honda CBR1000RR

Championship position: 13th (Cup: 1st)
Points: 125 (Cup: 535.5)

Race starts: 26
Pole positions: 0
Victories: 0 (Cup: 18)
Podiums: 0 (Cup: 22)
Best results: 6th (Brands Hatch, Mallory Park)
Points finishes: 22 (Cup: 23)

Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2008: N/A

Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2009

6 – Tommy Bridewell
7 – Tommy Hill
8 – Sylvain Guintoli
9 – Ian Lowry
10 – John Laverty


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Gary Mason joins Simon Andrews at MSS Colchester Kawasaki
Gary Mason - Quay Garage Honda [pic credit: Clive Challinor]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jenny Tinmouth, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]
Jenny Tinmouth, Honda Racing [Credit: ianhopgoodphotography.net]

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ZX10Rob

December 19, 2009 6:20 PM

Good to see a deserving rider get the reward that he has earned. Whilst GM seems to upset some, no body can deny he's recent achievments, attained only through hard work and determination...nobody can ask for more from a man!

Vimto Moustache - Unregistered

December 19, 2009 11:51 PM

ZX10Rob-I couldnt aggree more.Having had the pleasure of meeting Gary a couple of times this year,despite being around for what seems like ages,his enthusiasm is infectious.It's a shame some people still bang on about his less successful years with Birdy etc,but he's aproached these past couple of seasons with the gusto of a young 125 graduate.I was dissapointed he didn't get the HM Plant ride last year but with hindsight,glad he didn't as he probably had a more sucessful and more importantly,enjoyable one with the Quay Garage boys.Hope next season's your year Gary,you deserve it.



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