Smiths Racing

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Double British champions, Smiths Racing BMW, overcame an injury to former three-time BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari on the opening day of the MCE British Superbike Championship round at Donington Park to see Jakub Smrz score points in both of Sunday’s races.

The weekend didn’t get off to the greatest of starts for the Gloucester-based team when Kiyonari crashed towards the end of Friday’s second free practice session at Coppice and having sustained knee ligament damage in the spill, it meant the Japanese ace had to withdraw from the remainder of the meeting.   That left Smrz to fly the flag single-handedly and 11th place overall after the free practice sessions put the Czech Republic rider in confident mood going into Saturday afternoon’s Datatag Extreme Qualifying session. He comfortably made it through Q1 with the 14th fastest time but he crashed at Redgate at the beginning of Q2 and 18th on the grid for the first race wasn’t a true reflection of his actual pace.   The 33-year-old completed the first lap of race one in 17th but chipped away throughout the 20 laps and by half race distance, he was locked in battle with Lee Jackson and Glenn Irwin for 11th. With successful overtaking manoeuvres on both rivals in the closing stages, he was able to claim a deserved 11th at the conclusion of the race for five hard earned championship points.   With a strong lap time, it also meant he started the second race from the more advanced position of 16th and this was the position he occupied at the end of the first lap. Times between the group of riders from tenth onwards were very close but by two-thirds race distance, ‘Kuba’ was up to 13th and part of a group of riders battling for ninth. He managed to overhaul Michael Laverty to bring the Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR home for 12th and another solid result.


Jakub Smrz: “I felt a lot better coming into the weekend at Donington as it’s a circuit I know well and enjoy but we struggled quite a lot with the feel of the front end, particularly with chatter. We tried many changes to the bike but then I crashed in Q2 and set no time so found myself a long way back on the grid. I fought hard in race one and was pleased with 11th so we made a few more changes to the bike for the second race and it was better still. I was a bit weak in the last sector and lost time each lap to the riders I was battling with but came home for another solid result. They’re not the results I’d hoped for but it’s nice to be in the points in both races and I’m leaving with a good feeling with the bike so hopefully we’ll have more of the same at Assen.”


Ryuichi Kiyonari: “It’s very disappointing to have crashed on Friday and miss the two races as I had high hopes coming into the weekend so I can only apologise to the team. The bike felt a lot better than at Oulton and the team never stopped working but I lost the front going into Coppice and then the back, suffering a highside. The pain’s not massive but on the bike it wasn’t possible to ride as I can’t bend the knee I need to. The bike was improving all the time and I expected better results and more points than what we got at Oulton so I’ll look forward to Assen now. I’ll be back 100% and look to get the results we deserve there.”  


Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “To lose Kiyo so early in the weekend was a big blow especially after his top ten finish at Oulton as we were expecting some good results from him in the two races. He had to miss the rest of the meeting but will be back for Assen so we’ll aim to put things right there. For Kuba, he struggled a bit with front end chatter and the crash in qualifying put him on the back foot. He battled hard in both races and it was pleasing to see him finish in the points in both races. Everyone’s been working really hard so it’s nice to see them rewarded with two solid results.”  


MCE British Superbike Championship race one (20 laps)

1 Shane Byrne (Ducati)

2 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)

4 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

5 Peter Hickman (Kawasaki)

6 Richard Cooper (BMW)

11 Jakub Smrz (Smiths Racing BMW)

DNS Ryuichi Kiyonari (Smiths Racing BMW)  



MCE British Superbike Championship race two (20 laps)

1 Shane Byrne (Ducati)

2 Dan Linfoot (Honda)

3 Christian Iddon (BMW)

4 Peter Hickman (Kawasaki)

5 Richard Cooper (BMW)

6 Tommy Bridewell (Suzuki)

12 Jakub Smrz (Smiths Racing BMW)

DNS Ryuichi Kiyonari (Smiths Racing BMW)  


Championship Standings (after 10 rounds)

1 Byrne 593pts

2 Haslam 566

3 Linfoot 540

4 Ellison 535

5 O’Halloran 529

6 Mossey 514 1

8 Kiyonari 30

= Smrz 30

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