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BSB rider comments after Brands Hatch

Here's what the BSB riders had to say after a competitive weekend's racingrider, comment, qu

Tommy Hill: "It has been a long four days as it has been the most I have ridden for a while! Last week I was concerned about my elbow and I had a lot of treatment throughout the week to be ready which has paid off. It is fantastic to be leading the championship but it is only round one and it is early days still. The bike has been working well and we couldn’t have asked for a better start today. We are now looking forward to Oulton Park and getting the bike to work around what is a completely different track. Hopefully we can get there and come away with a very similar result." 

Michael Laverty said: "Today has been a bit of a tough one for me. I am feeling a little bit sore, but I was able to walk away from a really big crash in the first race and that is the main thing but the team worked hard to get the bike back together for the second race. It was a shame to crash out as I felt quite good and I was feeling confident for the win. It was a big crash; the tyre just spun and I didn't have time to save it. I did get clipped by Tommy but I was so lucky that both him and Shakey were able to miss me. In the second race I felt ok and set the fastest lap but then there were a few places where the front was folding and I didn’t want to crash again. We have a few days now before Oulton Park and I want to come out there and get back on the podium."

Shane Byrne said: “I didn’t have any excuses if I didn’t have a result today riding for the championship-winning team! It was a hectic race and I got a good start and then Michael’s crash happened in slow motion right in front of me and I was lucky that I managed to miss him. That incident then bunched us all up and then I had a fight with Stuart Easton but I knew I had to get passed him as soon as possible. It’s fantastic to have won the first race of the season.

“I felt good again in the second race and I had another good start so I was happy with that! I was able to lead for a few laps and I was pushing but then Tommy came past me and I wanted to get back to the front. I had been losing to Tommy a bit coming out of Clearways and then with three laps to go I got a better drive out of the corner. As we approached Paddock Hill Bend I thought ‘I can make this’ then I realised ‘no you can’t’ so I had to scrub off some speed which lost me the place. It was one of those things, but to come away from here with a first and a third ahead of Oulton Park next weekend is a good start to the season and all credit has to go to the HM Plant Honda team.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari said: "Today was a difficult one for me and the HM Plant Honda team. We had a big crash in warm up, which was unlucky as a rider slowed suddenly in front of me and then I had nowhere to go but crash. There was big damage to the bike so the team had lots of work to do to get it ready again in time for the first race. Then in race one I had a problem with the bike and had to stop which was disappointing as I wanted to win, we had been fast over practice and qualifying and I knew we could. In race two I had a big gap to close and I just ran out of time, but I was happy to be on the podium again. I wanted to win to dedicate to my friend Kouki Takahashi who died this weekend in an accident back in Japan. We were good friends and so I try and win at Oulton Park for him."

Tommy Bridewell: "I was really pleased with the first race and to get mine and the team's first outright BSB podium was fantasic and reward for all the hard work we have put in, In race two, I got a bad start and we were running really close to the white line along the back straight all weekend. With a couple of laps to go, I just went a little way over the white line and as soon as I touched the brake I went straight down on the grass.  I'm really disappointed as I really needed those points but we have made good progress this weekend."

Loris Baz: “Aaah that was a frustrating weekend! I really froze up when the pace car came out and made a mess of the race, I am sorry to the team for this we could have had a great start, the second race the tyre moved on the wheel and was nearly impossible to ride. I am pretty angry about race day but I know we have the pace and want to get to Oulton fast to make me feel better!”

James Westmoreland: “Shell shocked! I think I let the occasion get to me a too much, I rode the qualifying well and was ready for race day and I think wanted it too much! Making silly mistakes around here you are punished pretty hard, Brands Indy is intense thankfully we are back on track in four days at Oulton so I can get back into it”

John Hopkins: "Not my greatest day, not my worst. We started the day well, we'd made some changes overnight and that made a difference – third fastest, and my personal best of the weekend, in warm-up. I didn't get the best start in race two, in fact I got bumped as I went into turn one and this cost me a few places. Again I found myself coming back though and again finding Stuart Easton mid-race. I took my time second time around and made sure it was a safe pass – I wanted some points from this weekend. After that there was too big a gap to the guys in front and it wasn't worth risking another fall to try and catch them."

Jon Kirkham: "That was an amazing first race. I got a bad start and so had a busy time making back the places. Then just when I'd got up to a decent position I got punted off the track and found I had to do the work all over again. It was mayhem in that race, bikes and riders going in all directions it seemed. I was so pleased to make fifth.

"To not even get to start the second race was really disappointing, I was looking to build on race one. But that's racing. So I'm really looking forward to Oulton Park now, it's one of my favourite tracks.""I was pleased with my start in the first race, I got through some traffic but then got stuck behind Stuart Easton. When it comes down to tenths of a second between you and then next guy then passing isn't easy, and so when I was pushing it into Druids it didn't take much to run wide, and then go down. I picked it back up but couldn't get back into the points. "

Stuart Easton: “To be honest I’m pretty shocked at our results – we had some problems over the weekend and to leave Brands in third place in the Championship is a fantastic result. The chassis on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R isn’t quite there yet and we struggled towards the end of the race with side-grip and the front end. It’s still very early days for the team and I think this year will be about consistency, getting those points in the bag. I’m gutted to miss out on a podium in race one but I knew that whoever was behind was close and I tried to keep them off but nearly lost the front. With a fourth and a sixth I haven’t sprayed any champagne but I’m satisfied and looking forward to Oulton, which I think will suit the bike.”

Gary Mason: “My second race was certainly better than the first and I think we are getting there with the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. Brands isn’t a great track for us and with a new bike it’s hard to get on the pace, a few tenths here and there make a big difference around such a short track. But there is certainly potential, I went faster today than I ever have around Brands and as always the boys worked their guts out. I’m now really looking forward to Oulton which is a rider’s circuit and one I love.”