Mackenzie – King of Brands 2021

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.

Image courtesy of @bradjones12, @Instagram

Race One

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.

Race one podium, image courtesy of @OfficialBSB, @Instagram
  1. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
  2. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +0.225s
  3. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +1.802s
  4. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +3.589s
  5. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +6.838s
  6. Lee Jackson (FS-3 Kawasaki) +7.036s
  7. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +8.664s
  8. Rory Skinner (FS-3 Kawasaki) +10.447s
  9. Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +13.494s
  10. Danny Kent (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.856s

Race Two

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.

Race Two winner Jason O’Halloran, image courtesy of @ohalloran22, @Instagram

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.

  1. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 
  2. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +2.188s
  3. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +5.845s
  4. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad) +5.758s
  5. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +6.503s
  6. Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +8.658s
  7. Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +9.865s
  8. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +18.410s
  9. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +18.823s
  10. Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +19.093s

Race Three

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.

Image courtesy of @officialbsb, @Instagram

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.

Buildbase goes BOOM! Image courtesy of @ginorea, @Instagram

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.

All hail the King! Image courtesy of @officialbsb, @Instagram
  1. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
  2. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.075s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.761s
  4. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad) +1.268s
  5. Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +1.647s
  6. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +3.014s
  7. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +3.169s
  8. Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +3.220s
  9. Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +6.471s
  10. 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.

Emotional Victory for Foggia at Mugello

The scenes in the picturesque valleys of Tuscany brought more than anyone could have anticipated this weekend at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley 2021.

It’s no denying that although Mugello encapsulates all that is wonderful about racing, with all riders on the grid always so excited to have this coming up on the calendar, this weekend meant far more than just racing to all those involved.

It is with great sadness as the calendar moves on from Mugello, we parabolically speaking are leaving one of our own behind as the world of motorsport mourns the loss of 19-year-old Swiss Jason Dupasquier. Although the news came to us at around 11 am UK time, just before Moto2 kicked off – the following race was performed by all with Jason and his family at the very forefront of their minds.

 

Before the race kicked off, Xavi Artigas was given a Double Long Lap Penalty for riding slowly between Turn 12 and Turn 13 during Q1. 

It was a fantastic hole shot for championship leader Pedro Acosta who, although launched into a fantastic early lead, fell victim to the start/straight slipstream by the end of lap 1. Particularly onboard the Moto3 machines, their size and weight means it’s the class that falls victim to a lot of the fast corners Mugello has to offer. This was shown throughout and turn 1 claimed some first lap victims. 

Fernandez found himself in quite the ordeal with wildcard Surra in the first corner, Deniz Oncu taking himself out of contention shortly after. Almost immediately at the same corner, Kofler swept the man on home soil that is Migno alongside Tatay who was unable to avoid the collision. Kofler was taken to the medical centre for further checks, though declared ok.

It was an eventful race as ever, less than 2 seconds covering the top 15 in the early stages of the race. One man who was absolutely not letting this race get away from him was Leopard Racing Team’s Dennis Foggia – who was never far from the fight for first throughout the race. He’s been hungry for a win, so alongside fellow Italian and former VR46 Academy rider Romano Fenati, it was a fight for the tricolor trophy throughout.

Dennis was able to maintain a stunning lead throughout the end part of the race, followed closely behind by Jaume Masia who has been carrying an injury picked up at Le Mans, Gabriel Rodrigo taking a well-deserved third position. One person it is worth mentioning following Saturday’s devastating and fatal qualifying collision, Ayumu Sasaki despite being involved in this event was able to put his determination into today and finished a stunning stint in 4th place. Bravo!

Overall it was a fantastic victory for the Italian, however all on track, in the paddock and all of us viewers were happy to see all riders finish the race safely. As we look ahead to Catalunya, Pedro Acosta leads the World Championship followed by Jaume Masia. 

We’ll certainly never forget this weekends’ racing.

GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA OAKLEY TOP 15

1 – Dennis Foggia

2 – Jaume Masia

3 – Gabriel Rodrigo

4 – Ayumu Sasaki

5 – Darryn Binder

6 – Romano Fenati

7 – John Mcphee

8 – Pedro Acosta

9 – Sergio Garcia

10 – Tatsuki Suzuki

11 – Filip Salac

12 – Kaito Toba

13 – Niccolò Antonelli

14 – Stefano Nepa

15 – Jeremy Alcoba