Double Victory For Smiths Triumph Racing Team

Filed under: British Superbikes,News,Sport |

The Gloucester-based Smiths Triumph Racing Team were back in action this weekend contesting the latest rounds of the Motorpoint British Supersport and Metzeler National Superstock Championships and success again came their way as the Australian duo of Billy McConnell and Glen Richards once again shared the race wins in the Supersport category whilst Luke Mossey also scored his first podium of the season.

With all three riders qualifying inside the top six for Saturday’s ten-lap race, Glen started on pole once again and hopes were high of some great results as Richards immediately went into the lead. Battling with championship rivals Jack Kennedy and Christian Iddon, there was little to choose between the three riders but when Iddon crashed, it was a straight battle to the end between Glen and Kennedy. However, it all ended in disaster when the two tangled at the last corner of the last lap and the pair ended in the gravel trap.

Their misfortune was Billy and Luke’s good fortune though and as Glen and Kennedy picked themselves up, McConnell swept by to take his third win of the season with Mossey just three seconds further back in third for his first podium of 2012.

Sunday went even better for the team with Richards and McConnell taking first and second for the second time this season. It was another tough race though with Kennedy involved once more and there was again little to choose between the trio. However, as the race entered its crucial final third, the two Smiths Triumph riders upped the ante and with Glen setting a new lap record two laps from the end, he was able to take his fourth win of the year.

McConnell was less than half a second adrift in second place and the 1-2 result has brought him right back into the title hunt as well as Richards closing in considerably on Kennedy meaning he is just 9.5 points adrift of the Irishman going into the next round at Brands Hatch in two weeks time. Cambridge rider Mossey, meanwhile, was running just off the back when a slight highside saw him drop back a couple of places. However, he regrouped well and battled back for a good fifth place and his most successful weekend of the year so far.

Fourth team member Johnny Blackshaw also had an excellent ride in the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship, with the Stretton rider coming through the field strongly at his local track for seventh place. Back in 13th in qualifying, a change in clutch springs for the race paid dividends with the nine points moving him up to seventh overall in the championship table.

#75 Glen Richards: “I’ve really enjoyed myself this weekend and whilst Saturday obviously ended in a disappointing fashion, it was just a racing incident where neither of us wanted to give in to the other. It was important to bounce back strongly on Sunday and that’s exactly what I did, showing I could win. I tried to ride as smoothly and as conservatively as possible to save the tyres for the last third and that’s when I upped the pace, setting the lap record in the process. I didn’t leave any doors open and rode cleanly for another win and things are getting interesting now as the gap between myself, Billy and Jack closes up.”

#3 Billy McConnell: First of all, I’m glad Glen wasn’t injured in Saturday’s spill but, from my own point of view, the first and second placed riders of the championship going out was just what I needed! I was a bit annoyed with myself to be a couple of seconds adrift as I had the same pace as them and I just need to be that bit more aggressive in the first few laps. I was gifted the win but you need a bit of luck on your side and this weekend it was my turn to get it. Sunday was another great race to be involved in and the bike’s working so well at the moment, it’s making my life so much easier. Getting a 1-2 has allowed me to claw back some major points on Glen and Jack so I’m right back in the title hunt now.”

Luke Mossey: “Saturday’s result was certainly a gift but I’ll take it! I didn’t get the best of starts and the left grip came loose before coming off completely so I had to do a few running repairs, which created a bit of concern but I didn’t lose any time or places, which kept me in the hunt. It would have been nice to have taken a ‘proper’ third but I’m happy and after struggling a bit in Friday’s wet sessions, it all came good in the dry. If it wasn’t for a small bobble in Sunday’s race, I’m sure I would have been closer to the front but fifth was still good and it’s been a good weekend all round.”

Johnny Blackshaw: Qualifying couldn’t have been much worse for me and it made it hard in the race for me but the changes we made to the bike helped no end. I got a good start and battled my way through and felt I had the pace to run with the front pack but I got held up slightly and I just couldn’t quite close them down after that. It’s a solid finish for me though and, after the disappointment of crashing here in May, it’s nice to get a good result at my home circuit so a big thanks to the team, especially Pete and Tom, for doing a great job.”

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: It’s been another great weekend for us and although Saturday’s race was a bit of a bitter-sweet affair, what happened between Glen and Jack was purely a racing incident and just one of those things. One of the advantages of having more than one rider in a team is that it gives you more opportunities and Billy was able to pick up the pieces, which from his own championship perspective, was brilliant. It also allowed Luke to get his first podium and it was just reward for his riding this weekend.

“Sunday’s race saw Glen put in a flawless performance and with Billy right behind him, it’s closed the title race up and it’s really exciting going into the second half of the season. Luke had another strong ride and the weekend ended well for us with Johnny getting a solid result at his home circuit. Qualifying was tough for him but the changes to the bike worked and he set his fastest lap of the weekend in the race, which shows how well he was riding. We’ve had a great time again so hope for more of the same at Brands Hatch.”

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race 1 (10 laps)
1 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph)
2 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)
3 Luke Mossey (Smiths Racing Triumph)
4 Pauli Pekkanen (Triumph)
5 Kev Coghlan (Yamaha)
6 Glenn Irwin (Yamaha)

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race 2 (15 laps)
1 Glen Richards (Smiths Racing Triumph)
2 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph)
3 Jack Kennedy (Yamaha)
4 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)
5 Luke Mossey (Smiths Racing Triumph)
6 Richard Cooper (Triumph)

Championship standings (after 6 rounds)
1 Kennedy 198.5pts
2 Richards 189
3 McConnell 174
4 Wilson 154
5 Warren 123
6 Mossey 100

Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (12 laps)
1 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
2 James Lodge (Yamaha)
3 Ben Burke (Yamaha)
4 Jake Dixon (Yamaha)
5 Tom Fisher (Kawasaki)
6 James Rose (Yamaha)
7 Johnny Blackshaw (Smiths Racing Triumph)

Championship standings (after 8 rounds)
1 Burke 132pts
2 Rose 114
3 Jackson 94
4 Dixon 85
5 Whitaker 72
6 Fisher 69
7 Blackshaw 63