Mixed conditions for FP1 meant the majority of the grid opted to venture out on wet tyres for a first look at the track. However, race engineer Garry Hayes and crew chief Alex Smith made the perfect decision to send both riders out on intermediate cut tyres which paid dividends, as both riders topped the timesheets for the majority of the session before eventually ending up P2 & P6.
Later that afternoon the second of the free practice sessions got underway. Both riders again got out of the blocks fast. Some chassis changes during the session enabled Jack Kennedy to take the provisional pole over championship rival Ben Currie. Unfortunately whilst pressing on for a lap time, Brad Jones tipped off at Paddock Hill bend. Unhurt, Jones managed to finish the session in 8th position.
As the race got underway Kennedy and Seeley had just started to break away from main rival Currie when the red flag came out and the race was stopped. After 15 minutes it was underway again, this time with only an 8 lap dash. As the red lights came on Ben Currie made a jump start, earning himself a ride through penalty and the battle for the championship was over before it had started. This left Kennedy and Seeley to fight it out for race victory. Jones meanwhile was battling it out with championship regulars Wilford and Allingham. A hard ride from Jones gave him the upper hand and he managed to bring his R6 Yamaha home in 6th position. Back at the front, a real bar banging match was breaking out. However 2 laps from the end, Kennedy managed to get the better of Seeley - crossing the line as the race winner and the 2018 Dickies British Supersport Champion!
"To be crowned the 2018 British Supersport Champion feels amazing! I've dreamt of winning it for so long. It's what you go racing for - to become champion, be the best of the your class and have your place in the history books. Going into the last race we had a little bit in hand with a 41 point lead and I knew what I had to do, but if you're gonna win a championship you want to do it in style, so to sign off with the win made it all that bit sweeter.
For the last six races I've had to keep a cool head and think of the big picture to ride for the championship, sometimes just narrowly missing out on the wins by a fairing, but in the race on Saturday I laid it all on the line. The pressure was there but I didn't think about it on the bike, and if anything it just made me up my game. It was another tough fight for the win with the usual bar to bar racing but I stuck my neck out and it paid off!
It's certainly been a season to remember and one of my most enjoyable ever with 11 wins, 10 2nd’s and 1 3rd, and only dropping one round due to injury. Finishing on the podium in every race we competed in says it all! That's all credit to my team - they gave me a faultless bike all season with not one mechanical issue which just shows their professionalism and work ethic, so hats off to them. It's great to reward them with the championship title for all their hard work. I've had a worthy opponent in Ben with some good, close but clean battles. I have the greatest respect for him as a rider and he sure didn't make it easy, pushing me all the way.
It was also fantastic to have so many of my family, friends and fans with me at Brands to see me clinch the title. That made it all the more special and you don't ever do it on your own, so thanks to everyone who helped in me any way to make this possible."
"Overall it was a great weekend, although it didn’t come easy with a crash on Friday and an engine blow up in qualifying. But a solid 6th in race 1 from 10th on the grid wasn’t bad, and it was good to finish the last dry race of the season strong. Race 2 was hectic after running off track on lap 1 leaving me dead last, then coming back all the way to 3rd was just mad! The bike felt good and I felt great! To come away in my debut season with 5th in the championship and top rookie is mega, it sets us up nicely for whatever 2019 brings."
"An amazing end to the 2018 season. Fantastic for the team to achieve back-to-back championships as well for Jack in claiming his first British Championship. I’m so proud of all the team for the efforts in elevating us to this level. None of this would be possible at all if it wasn’t for our amazing partners who continue to support the team. I’m very excited for 2019 - we will be back in Supersport with another two rider team."
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