5 April 2010
Ellison holds off Hill for Brands victory
James Ellison wins his fifth career British Superbike race with a fine victory in the second race of the day at Brands Hatch
James Ellison has won the second MCE British Superbike race of the day at Brands Hatch after a confident lights-to-flag victory in his first event since returning to Shaun Muir Racing.
A maiden victory for the team in Swan colours, Ellison capitalised on a more advantageous grid position to snatch the lead from the start and resist race one winner Tommy Hill to the chequered flag.
With the grid decided by the fastest lap times from race one, it was Josh Brookes and Ellison – fifth and third respectively in the first outing – that held the top two spots on the grid, with Hill and Ryuichi Kiyonari alongside them.
It was Ellison though that got away fastest, edging ahead of Hill, Brookes and Tommy Bridewell through the opening bends. Kiyonari, meanwhile, was already down to ninth position after a poor start, the Japanese rider lasting just another two laps before being forced to retire with mechanical issues.
With Ellison, Hill and Brookes breaking away, Bridewell embarked on a fierce exchange with Michael Laverty in the battle for fourth, the Northern Irishman determined to get a good result to make up for his race one retirement.
Although Laverty assumed the position on lap two, an aggressive retort from Bridewell saw him grab it back on lap three.
Unfortunately for Bridewell, his tête-à-tête with Laverty wasn't over and when the Suzuki rider moved up the inside of the Quay Garage Honda at Druids on lap ten, the pair made contact, sending the younger rider sliding off the circuit and out of the race.
Bridewell, who also crashed out of the opening race, wasn't the only rider to hit problems over a three lap span as Dan Linfoot and Chris Walker collided at Graham Hill Bend, Yukio Kagayama came down at Clarke and third place Brookes compounded HM Plant Honda's dismal race by falling out at Druids on lap eleven.
With five top ten riders all out of contention, Ellison and Hill were now comfortably clear of the Relentless Suzukis, which now ran in the order of Alastair Seeley and Laverty, while Stuart Easton and Michael Rutter disputed fifth position.
Up front, Ellison was holding firm but, just as the leaders did in the first race, would find himself getting caught up in lapped traffic, in particularl Steve Heneghan, who baulked him through Graham Hill Bend, allowing Hill to attempt a look at getting past.
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