Alastair Seeley took second place from the opening British Supersport Championship race of the Bank Holiday weekend at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, but the main talking-point of the day came in the Superbike race at the triple-header weekend when Josh Brookes was controversially excluded from the results after finishing third.
The Australian was involved in an unfortunate racing incident with Michael Rutter at Hall Bends on lap six, with Rutter crashing after taking to the grass. Race Stewards penalised Brookes, excluding him from the results for what they deemed 'avoidable and unfair contact.'
Team manager Philip Neill - although unhappy at the decision - has decided not to appeal against the decision.
Brookes is now joint fifth in the Championship table going into tomorrow's final two races before the 'Top Six Title-Fighters' cut-off for the Showdown, but the Australian is upbeat and ready to get back on the podium.
"I'm disappointed. I've passed into Hall Bends before in BSB and on the previous three-or-four laps I think I pretty-much made my intentions clear to Michael. I was right on his back wheel throughout the lap, and as we all know, Cadwell is a tough circuit to pass on being so narrow. I made what I believed to be a calculated move and was alongside him approaching the apex. It's unfortunate he went down but I believe it was a racing incident and certainly not malicious or out-of-control on my part. I never meant to put Michael in a position where he would crash; and although I could go on about the incident, I'll accept the decision and re-focus on tomorrow's two races. Coming away with a top-six position in the Championship is still my main focus and hopefully that will include a couple of podiums."
"It was important to get a good start and that's exactly what I did. I led the whole of the first lap and pushed as hard as I could, but I could hear Wilson on my wheel at the bottom of the Mountain. He cut across me going into turn one on the second lap and from there he pulled a bit of a gap. I did close the gap a little at mid-distance but we probably struggled a little in the final sector through Hall Bends; which is a physical section of the circuit. We still came away with second place and solid points and I have a few ideas for tomorrow."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"Of course it was a disappointing day for us but we just have to accept it and look forward to tomorrow. Apparently Michael didn't see Josh attempting the passing manoeuvre on his inside, even though Josh had shown him a wheel on four consecutive laps. Cadwell is one of those circuits where it's difficult enough to pass on and the incident is something we could debate all day. We've a lot of respect for Michael Rutter and certainly didn't want to see him injured, but we do feel the decision was a bit harsh and we stand by Josh 100 per cent.
"In Supersport, Ben Wilson is doing a great job and, being his home circuit, he has a lot of track-knowledge and has looked confident all weekend. Alastair is there-or-there-abouts, only losing small margins in each sector, but we have to admit Ben was the better-man today. Tomorrow is a new day and Alastair will be up for the challenge."
BSB Standings after Cadwell Park race one:
1 Shane Byrne [Honda] 271 points* 2 John Hopkins [Suzuki] 231* 3 Tommy Hill [Yamaha] 230* 4 Michael Laverty [Yamaha] 188 5 Josh Brookes [Relentless Suzuki by TAS] 146 6 Ryuichi Kiyonari [Honda] 146 7 Michael Rutter [Ducati] 130 8 Gary Mason [Kawasaki] 125
(*) Denotes through to Showdown.