Advantage Burke after Donnington podium

10 - September - 2012ADVANTAGE BURKE AFTER DONINGTON PODIUMBen Burke extended his lead of the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship with his sixth podium finish of the season at Donington Park (7-9 September).With injuries to Lodge and Dixon last time out at Cadwell Park, it would become a three-way fight for the championship between Ben, Rose and Jackson, with Ben enjoying an 8-point lead ahead of the weekend's on-track activities.Consistently fast all weekend, Ben was nudged out of provisional pole by eventual race winner Jackson. Starting from second on the grid for the 14-lap encounter, Ben powered from the lights to take the holeshot into Redgate for the opening drop down through Craner Curves.Confident of his ability around the 2.5m Leicestershire circuit, thanks to a first and second placing there earlier in the season, Ben locked horns with Jackson and Wainwright as the trio made a break at the sharp end.As the race unfolded, the action at the front became relentless as Ben and Jackson continuously swapped the lead and the lap record as they hustled for the advantage on track. The pace proved to be electric, with the top five finishers all under the existing Superstock 600 lap record. Jackson made what would become the decisive move at the Old Hairpin on lap 7, as a red flag incident two laps later would once again bring a premature halt to a Superstock 600 race.With nearest championship rival Rose down in sixth, Ben extended his championship lead from 8 to 18 points with a well-earned second. The young Australian rider is now assured of a top three finish to the season, as the riders head to the final two rounds at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.Starting from the fourth row, Bjorn would have his work cut out to make an impression on the top ten. However, with the benefit of two races at this circuit back in May, Bjorn made a fantastic start to elevate his Seton Tuning Yamaha up to seventh at the close of the opening lap. A spirited ride ensued and Bjorn held fast to secure eighth position at the flag.Mark Wilkinson continued his steep learning curve, matching his best result at Donington from the two support races over the World Superbike weekend back in May, with another good ride to secure the final point scoring position. With two rounds left, Mark is now firmly inside of the top twenty in the championship and looking forward to a return to Brands Hatch GP, where he secured his joint highest finish of the season to date in tenth.Round 10 of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship heads to Assen, Holland over the weekend of 21-23 September. With a limited race card at this event, the Metzeler National Superstock trio will now enjoy a few weeks break before the final two rounds take place at Silverstone (28-30 September) and Brands Hatch GP (12-14 October).          Phil Seton, Team Owner: “There was a lovely feel to the team this weekend with everyone pulling together under difficult circumstances. The Stock lads just focussed on the job in hand and it seemed to work.Mark made excellent progress once again. Every round is a tough one for him learning new circuits. He is gelling with the team and the bike nicely and scored a point again.Bjorn took a little while to get back into his stride but put in a fantastic performance to move from 13th on the grid to 8th in the race, showing great determination and spirit.Once again, Ben has been exemplary. We brought the set-up of his bike to the next level and he has shown that he has the pace to run with it. A great result in qualifying put him under the lap record and in a strong position for the race. It was a real shame that the red flag cut it short as it was getting to the point where tyres start to play a part and this is where Ben tends to remount a charge. Having said that, second is fantastic and gives Ben his biggest lead of the season. All he needs to do now is concentrate & focus over the last two rounds.I'd also like to say a big thanks to the whole Seton Tuning Yamaha team. Everyone worked together harmonically and it was a pleasure to be involved with the team.It was a massive shame to part company with Sam this weekend. He has been a great addition to the team over the past 18 months. However, I now have to focus on the future, and more imminently, the final three rounds starting at Assen. I am actively seeking a replacement rider and will look to make an official announcement in due course.”Ben Burke: “I had a great weekend at Donington Park. The weather was beautiful and it was a pleasure working with the team. I was on the pace pretty quick. It was clear that the lap record was going to tumble with Jackson and I pushing it to the limit every lap. I started the race from P2 on the grid, getting a good start leading the race for the opening few laps. I became tangled in a battle for the lead swapping position several times, we both managed to smash the lap record. With four laps to go the race was red flagged with Jackson in the lead at the time I placed second. I was very pleased with how I rode over the whole weekend and extending my championship lead was a bonus. Thanks to the team for their efforts and to Linxel, TK Cope, Standard Engineering for their continued support. Sorry I did not get to thank them on the podium for some reason it was very rushed today!”Bjorn Estment: “The weekend did not go as I had planned in my head, as so often racing proves to be full of surprises and instead of the expected good weekend it turned out to be a really trying effort, struggling through every session as well as the race! However with all the help of my ever keen crew chief Scotty McLennan and team boss Phil Seton, the educated changes were made to provide me with the tools to make a fight of it! I had a real solid start straight into 6th place from 13th off the line and after the red flag was brought out on the start of lap ten I was P8 - good salvage in my mind! Massive thanks to loyal sponsors NFB Financial Services Group, Linxcel, Seton Tuning, Weiss and Kickstart! For rolling updates follow @bjornestment27, Hell Yeah!”Mark Wilkinson: “Another tough weekend for us at Donington. We made huge progress with my lap times compared to when we were here for WSBK. We made the bike a lot better throughout the course of the weekend and come race time I felt reasonably comfortable. The pace of the leaders was very fast, breaking the lap record by almost 1second, which meant I was playing catch up all weekend. The race was very good, I made a good start and worked my way up to 16th. I was moving forward but unfortunately the red flag brought an early end to my charge. I'm still happy to have made it into the points after starting 20th on the grid. Huge thanks to the Seton Tuning Yamaha Team and my sponsors back home Plaza Auto Sales, ROMPdesign, the Oil Warehouse, Cumagutsa, GSAutomotive and DHEngineering.”Ben Burke Image © Matt Hutchings Bjorn Estment & Mark Wilkinson Images © Steve Hutchings Results - Donington ParkMetzeler National Superstock 600Result:1. Jackson, 2. Burke, 3. Wainwright, 4. Olson, 5. Blackshaw, 8. Estment, 15. WilkinsonChampionship Points1. Burke - 174, 2. Rose - 156, 3. Jackson - 154, 4. Dixon - 110, 5. Olsen - 89, 12. Estment - 47, 19. Wilkinson - 21


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