Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BSB Donington: GSE Yams Tops on Chaotic Day

The GSE Yamaha riders shared the victories at Donington Park in the British Superbike Championship, but it was a day of controversy.

On the way to the grid for race one, HM Plant Honda's number 2 Aussie Josh Brookes crashed into Worx Suzuki star Sylvain Guintoli at the Melbourne Loop.  Guintoli, who has starred in BSB this year and was one of the title favourites, was carted off with a badly broken leg, both tibia and fibula being fractured. Brookes protested his innocence, claiming brake failure. However, analysis of the data showed that the brakes had not failed. While Guintoli had been trundling round to the grid, Brookes had been at virtually full race pace. He grabbed the brakes, then started to pump them, then hit the hapless Frenchman.

Clearly, Brookes made an honest mistake. He would not have pumped the brakes if he thought they were working properly. I'd imagine that the major speed difference between himself and Guinters tricked his senses into thinking he wasn't slowing down at all, along with the cold brakes giving poor feedback through the lever, so he tried to pump the brakes up and meanwhile torpedoed the Suzuki.

The stewards seem to have taken the view that it was Brookesy's fault, but an honest error, as they have given him a one race ban, suspended for three races. Interviewed on TV before the stewards' decision, the Aussie was gutted, revealing that a similar thing had happened to him while racing Down Under. It's just a shame that a relatively small error has led to Guintoli being out for a couple of months.

Race 1 saw Leon Camier on the GSE Airwaves Yamaha make a poor start, but fight through to a fairly straightforward victory. It was a great race, with loads of passing for position. In the end, Camier's team-mate James Ellison secured 2nd place, with young Scotsman Stuart Easton grabbing 3rd.

Race 2 wasn't so great for Camier. The lanky Englishman's bike conked out at the Melbourne Loop. He managed to restart pretty much dead last, and massacred the slower riders to finish 12th. His team-mate, ex-MotoGP rider James Ellison took his first BSB win, and it was a pretty dominant one, albeit with Camier and Guintoli out of the picture. This time, Easton took 2nd on the Hydrex Honda, with Chris Walker 3rd on the Rob Mac Yamaha.

Leon Camier now holds a big lead in the championship, with 117 points to Ellison's 89. The human giraffe looks a stick-on for the title, so long as he stays in one piece. The only question is whether he'll stay in BSB next year or bag a decent WSBK ride!

All in all it was a great day's racing, but overshadowed by Guintoli's injury. Get well soon, Sylvain.

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