Smiths Triumph’s Billy McConnell has been crowned Motorpoint British Supersport champion after a dramatic final race at Brands Hatch. Mar-Train Yamaha took victory in their final outing with Alistair Seeley but an eighth place from McConnell was enough to be crowned champion.
Fellow Smiths Triumph rider and title protagonist Graeme Gowland saw his championship dreams shattered after crashing out on the first lap. The Northumberland rider was fourth at the time before tipping off at Druids.
At the front, six riders broke clear and were embraced in a scrap for the podium places. Seeley was joined by the Gearlink Kawasaki pair of Glenn Irwin and Luke Hedger, Acumen Triumph’s Luke Jones and Appleyard Macadam’s Jake Dixon. After coming through from the fourth row, Mossey hit the front but quickly dropped to back of the group along with Hedger.
On the last lap, Seeley lead and despite fellow Carrickfergus man Irwin and Jones trying to get underneath him, the former champion held on for his seventh victory of the year.
Aussie McConnell held on to a comfortable eighth place, taking the chequered flag on one wheel in celebration of his first British Supersport Championship after six years of trying.
"It means the world to me. Every team I’ve ever been with in Supersport have given me full belief and the Smiths Triumph team more than anything over the past two years have worked tirelessly towards this Championship. We’ve come close the past two years with two thirds, but to finally take the title I’m bloody over the moon. I’m just so bloody happy,” said an emotional McConnell, speaking after the podium presentation.
“Everything worked on my side these past two races and personally I’ve had good stuff on my side. We rode good this year, the past two weren’t the best but I had to protect rather than chase. I’ve got the shirt and the trophy to prove it now. I got quite welled up and cried all the way round that last lap just because it’s so emotional for me.
“It’s not just a one year thing, it’s been the last six years of my life to try and win the championship. To the people who come down pit lane asking when you going to win one Bill, it does start to mount up and it starts to get to you but I can silence critics now.”