It was an action-packed return to the home of British motorcycle racing that is Brands Hatch, however it was also a weekend overshadowed by the harsh reality that faces our sport every time we strap our helmets on and pull on our gloves.
Before I go any further, everyone at CrewOnTwo would like to send their well wishes to/and to the family of Mr. Brad Jones of iForce Lloyd & Jones BMW – who unfortunately after a crash in lap 1 of the first race of the weekend, was evacuated by air ambulance to Kings College Hospital in London for further treatment. Our thoughts remain with the family, the team, and Brad at this difficult time.
The weekend started with VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon leading the championship, however following his team-mate’s success in 2020, the eyes were on the prize for Josh Brookes for this year’s King of Brands trophy. With this year’s competition, it most certainly was not going to be a victory handed on a silver platter.
We saw the 4th different winner in the opening race when victory was clinched by McAMS Yamaha’s Tarran Mackenzie. Taz was able to lead from pole when the race was restarted and was able to hold the pack for the remaining 12 laps. His teammate wasn’t far behind in 5th overall. It was a chase to the finish between Bridewell and Mackenzie! Bridewell commented after the race that “had to get my elbows out and be a bit tough” which is all that racing is about! Oh how we’ve missed it. Danny Kent completed the top 10 for Buildbase Suzuki, narrowly pushing Glenn Irwin out into 11th for Honda Racing.
The podium of race one saw a strong presence of red as the Yamaha was accompanied by the two Ducati’s of Tommy Bridewell and Christian Iddon. Everyone of course with only one person on their mind and all were thankful they were able to finish the restarted race safely.
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +0.225s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +1.802s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +3.589s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +6.838s
- Lee Jackson (FS-3 Kawasaki) +7.036s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +8.664s
- Rory Skinner (FS-3 Kawasaki) +10.447s
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +13.494s
- Danny Kent (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.856s
The action continued into race two of the weekend as Synetiq BMW’s Danny Buchan pushed into the lead from Paddock Hill Bend, however, it was short and sweet as the VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon was instantly on the attack to claim the lead. Mackenzie was put under pressure which caused him to drop back a few spaces, only opening the gap for his team-mate Jason O’Halloran – who sat comfortably in the podium fight for the remainder of the race. It was a tight fight that saw switched positions after each corner, Iddon came through on Buchan only piling the pressure on more – whilst Bridewell sat immediately behind ready to pounce as he’d fought his way up the order.
By the time the final laps had arrived there was still no clear winner, Buchan refusing to give up while Mackenzie reappeared wishing to make amends to the title following his earlier mistake. O’Halloran took another sweet victory for McAMS Yamaha, followed closely by a Bridewell in second and Mackenzie in third position. Rory Skinner maintains his spectacular maiden season in BSB by scooping a 6th, while the man just outside the top 10 in race one, Glenn Irwin of Honda Racing was this time able to take 8th.
It was a devastating race for defending King of Brands Josh Brookes, as he finished outside the points in 18th position while trying to harmonize again with his Ducati.
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +2.188s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +5.845s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad) +5.758s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +6.503s
- Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +8.658s
- Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +9.865s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +18.410s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +18.823s
- Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +19.093s
It was the third and final race, the pressure was on and although an overclouded atmosphere of overwhelming togetherness following the accident involving Brad Jones in race one, the grid was battling hard but never so close together as a family united.
Christian Iddon of VisionTrack Ducati was finally able to claim a victory after fighting hard across the whole weekend at Brands Hatch. In the 7-lap restarted sprint race he was just able to hold off 2021’s new King of Brands, Tarran Mackenzie of McAMS Yamaha. Declared initially as a wet race, it was looking like a positive for the likes of riders who are in their prime in these conditions – however, with a rainbow of various tyre choices unable to keep up with the changing track, there was bound to be some riders slip through the net.
Brookes, who opted for wet front and rear, launched from his 16th starting position to the front end of the field. However, he was only keeping the seat warm for Danny Buchan who by lap 5 and its changing weather conditions was leading the pack. Like many others, Buchan had gone with a slick front and intermediate rear – which enabled him to make pace on Brookes.
As laps went on it was an unfortunate blowout for Gino Rea which brought the race to a red flag, he was not injured in the blow and the race was soon restarted. The restart sprint saw no hanging about from Buchan and Irwin, followed closely by Iddon who didn’t let Buchan take the lead for long. It’s been a slow burn start for Buchan onboard his Synetiq BMW but with every race, he’s looking even more comfortable!
King of Brands Mackenzie was following the front pack, after the first four laps, he secured a podium spot fighting inside the top 5. O’Halloran was yet to give up, after he was able to pass a motion on Brookes and Buchan to secure third position.
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.075s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.761s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad) +1.268s
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +1.647s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +3.014s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +3.169s
- Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +3.220s
- Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +6.471s
- Danny Kent (Buildbase Suzuki) +6.538s
It was a weekend of mixed emotions at Brands Hatch. McAMS Yamaha and Tarran Mackenzie walked away with this year’s trophy, while the championship standings left him 3rd overall – just behind team-mate O’Halloran and Christian Iddon.
Approx 48 hours onwards there is still little update on the condition of Brad Jones – other than that he will be kept in an induced coma whilst he receives treatment for serious head, chest and pelvic injuries. Our thoughts remain with him, the family and team at this time.