MSS podium weekend at Brands
MSS Colchester Kawasaki's riders helped team owner Nick Morgan celebrate his birthday in style with a brace of trophies at Brands Hatch. National Superstock rider Howie Mainwaring took his first win of the year while Superbike rider Gary Mason secured a superb third in the first race on Saturday's opening outing of a stunning BSB triple-header.
As damp conditions left riders struggling with the decision of which tyres to run, MSS Colchester Kawasaki Superbike rider Gary Mason opted for intermediates in the first Superbike race on Saturday – a decision that proved pivotal to his success.
Once again demonstrating his mastery of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in treacherous conditions, Mason was unfortunately pipped at the post by Michael Rutter for second place but finished a superb third. Team mate Alex Lowes was less fortunate in the race and opted to pit and swap to 'slicks', forfeiting his race one result to try for a strong podium position for the second race the next day.
On Sunday the first Superbike race saw Alex exploit his seventh place on the grid, running in the same position in the race before unfortunately running off the track, rejoining unharmed and upright to continue in twenty-first place. Gary was holding a top ten position before an accident brought a premature end to his race. In the second race Gary capitalised on an excellent start to run with the leading group of riders for the first few laps and finished a very creditable seventh place, one place ahead of WSB guest rider for the event, Joan Lascorz. Alex failed to make up for a poor grid position taken on race one lap times and finished the race in sixteenth.
In National Superstock, Howie Mainwaring brought a smile to the faces of the MSS Kawasaki team with his first win of the year after a superb display of riding - smiles that only increased in size as birthday boy and team owner Nick Morgan was on the receiving end of a champagne soaking on the podium…!
Gary Mason said, “It has been a good weekend. Everyone is pushing so hard out there at the front and we need to sort out a couple of issues with the tyres and bike to get those last few tenths. At the end of the day we beat the World Superbike guys fair and square and that's amazing. It would have been good to beat Kiyo and Rutter but I saw Brookes had a DNF which helps our chances for the Show Down. I'm really happy to get another podium, but I want to do better at Cadwell and get in that top six.”
Alex Lowes said, “All in all it was a bit of a rubbish weekend but I tried 100% and now I know where I need to improve. I'm not that far off the pace, when I was in seventh in the first Sunday race I was feeling good, but I made a mistake. Despite the results I enjoyed the racing this weekend and we have identified what it is about the bike we need to concentrate on to make it better, so I'm confident for Cadwell.”
National Superstock 1000 rider Howie Mainwaring took pole position and his first win of the year in a superb race at Brands Hatch. Howie held off intense pressure from Buildbase BMW rider Richard Cooper and after swapping the lead several times, Howie took control of the race and led when the red flag was shown on lap eleven due to the rain falling.
Teammate Danny Buchan had a tricky Brands Hatch round with his injured shoulder hampering his performance. However, after digging deep, he finished a creditable ninth, securing valuable championship points. Danny is now second in the Superstock Championship, 6.5 points behind Richard Cooper, with Howie promoted to third in the title chase.
Howie Mainwaring said, “That win has been a long time coming and it was a fantastic race, a great battle with Cooper. We've had mega pace all through qualifying and I was really confident for the race. Cooper had loads of straight line speed but I could make it up on the corners, especially coming out of the slower stuff.
When I saw a few raindrops on my visor I thought 'time to start pushing' as I didn't want another Thruxton! I got to the front and stayed there this time! That was my first pole of the year and first win so I'd like to thank the team, they have been fantastic and stuck by me all year.”
Danny Buchan said: “This weekend has been tough. Obviously my broken collarbone hasn't helped but I'm not using that as an excuse. For some reason we have been struggling really badly with set-up.
Qualifying didn't go well but I started fantastically, making up six places in the first lap, however by lap three I started to suffer from arm pump due to my injury. I tried to ride through it for the first five or six laps but then it got worse and worse and by the end I couldn't feel my wrist. Today was all about solid points and with the championship so close every point counts. I'll be back on full form at Cadwell Park.”
Team owner Nick Morgan said, “It was fantastic seeing Howie get a win, it's been hard for him as much of the media focus has been on Danny this year but what a ride, superb. And he rode smart, he knew that red flag was coming and made sure he was leading. Danny also rode really well, picking up good points. Gary had some excellent rides this weekend, we just need to get the bike working for him towards the end of the race a bit better and we need to get behind Alex.
At the moment it just isn't going his way, that happens and it's up to us to help bring him back up. He has proved he can do it. We just need to get him to do it consistently. At the end of the day we are leaving Brands with two rostrums, keeping our record of at least one at every round this year, and I'm going home smelling of champagne on my birthday!”