Round seven of the British Superbike Championship, took place at Snetterton in Norfolk, 4th-5th September. Snetterton was built as an RAF airfield, designated for use by the 96th United States Air Force Bomber Group between May 1943 and November 1948. The three-mile circuit blends tight challenging corners with fast straights to create unique racing challenges.
The opening National Superstock 1000 free practice session took place Friday morning under cloudy skies. Rees familiarised himself with the circuit and set a lap time of 1:51:584s this was 0.908s slower than the fastest time of the session. Free practice two took place in drastically warmer conditions later in the day. Rees completed 14 laps, he improved his lap times by a staggering 1.117s. Rees set a lap time of 1:50:467 on board his Ashcourt Racing BMW 1000rr which was the sixth-fastest time of the session, only 0.447s off the quickest time set by championship leader Tom Neave.
Saturday’s qualifying took place in perfect conditions, Rees improved his lap time from free practice two by 0.587s. His fastest lap of the weekend qualified him for the only Superstock 1000 race of the weekend in 8th place, 0.810s off the pole position set by Honda Racing’s Tom Neave. Fellow New Zealander Shane Richardson qualified in 9th, just 0.140s behind Rees.
The 12 lap Pirelli National Superstock race at Snetterton took place Sunday afternoon. Rees got a fantastic start and had moved up to 5th place by the end of the opening lap. By mid-race Rees had settled into his rhythm, he found himself in a three-way battle for 5th with Fraser Rogers and Chrissy Rouse. Rees crossed the line in seventh only 0.624s behind Rogers in 5th and claimed his best finish of the year to date.
Fellow Kiwi Shane Richardson finished just 0.045s behind Levi Day in 9th and claimed his second P10 finish in a row this season.
Honda Racing’s Tom Neave extended his Pirelli National Superstock Championship lead with his third win in a row at Snetterton as well as setting a new lap record. He beat BMW Motorrad Racings Taylor MacKenzie by 2.084s with RICH Energy OMG Racing’s Billy Mcconnell a further 1.609s behind in third. Championship rival FHO Racing BMW’s Alex Olsen retired from the race with a mechanical issue.
With his dominant performance, Honda Racing’s Tom Neave, 163pts extended his championship lead over his rivals. He is now 24pts clear of RICH Energy OMG Racing’s Billy Mcconnell, 139pts, FHO Racings Alex Olsen slips to third, 133pts while Bathams BMW Motorrad Racings Taylor MacKenzie is a further 1pts behind in fourth.
After a strong performance over the weekend, Rees moves up 20th place in the championship on 20pts. Fellow Kiwi Richardson sits in 22nd place in the championship on 18pts.
The eighth round of the British Superbike Championship will take place at Silverstone over the weekend of 11th-12th September. Live timing and coverage can be found on the BSB website.
Words & pics: Michael Wincott