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Chris Hawkes kept his cool during a red flagged ACU Suzuki GSX-R Trophy race at Castle Combe to take a dominant win during round eight of the close fought Championship.

Michael Birch put in a strong performance to grab second place, he was also the highest placed novice giving him the Express Insurance Top Gun cash award - plus he impressed the commentator enough to receive the Relentless Rider of the Day Award. The final step of the podium went to Ulsterman and Championship leader Stanley Gamble who extended his Championship lead; he is now 17 points clear of Hawkes with four rounds to go.
When the lights went out for the first time it was Birch who got away well leading from guest rider Bruce “Dangerous” Wilson who writes for Motorcycle Racer magazine, and he was just ahead of Hawkes. Joe Moore who put in an impressive run at Donington Park took third place off Hawkes on lap three. One lap later Wilson grabbed the lead from Birch just as the rain started to fall. Three riders fell at Camp corner due to the rain bringing out the red flags on lap six. The riders to go down were MCN’s Competition Winner Colt Dwyer, Adam Foster and Ross “Rossi” Richards.

The grid for the re-start was formed based on race positions and it ran over nine laps. Moore took the early lead from Gamble with Hawkes giving chase. Hawkes went from third to first in one lap securing the lead on lap two, after that he was never headed and he came over the line 6.09secs clear of his nearest rival. Gamble took Moore for second place but that was short lived as Birch dug deep and took it back on lap four of the re-start. Guest Rider Wilson finished in fourth place just off the podium and relegating Moore to fifth place.
Round nine of the ACU Suzuki GSX- R Trophy will take place at Oulton Park on the 30th – 31st August.


Hawkes: “I got a terrible start initially but was third into turn one. Then I saw the safety car flag so I rolled it and then the rain started. On the re-start I got to the front and I knew once I had clear road I could get away so I’m thrilled to get the win.”

Birch: “It was a bit dodgy out there especially when it started spitting with rain. It was good to have Bruce in front of me as it helped to set the pace. On the re-start I got swamped and I had to be careful of the damp as well. I worked hard and got second place, Chris did well I’m pleased for him.”
Gamble: “I’m disappointed that the red flag came out but on the re-start I got away good. Hawkes came past me and it was obvious that he had better pace than I did so I didn’t try to pass him again. Then Birch got me and it was the same situation. It was my own fault as I assumed that the track was wetter than it was and I had softened off the suspension for the wet. We shall see what two weeks brings.”
Dwyer: “I was in sixth place and chasing fifth, I could see the guys in front slowing up but I still had plenty of grip at that point and there were no spots on my visor. It wasn’t until I tipped into the last turn that I realised how wet it was and down I went. My bike isn’t in great shape but I’ll do my best to be on track at Oulton Park.”

Race results:
 1: Chris Hawkes              11:31.15
2: Michael Birch               +6.09
3: Stanley Gamble           +7.41
4: Bruce Wilson                +9.76
5: Joe Moore                    +14.54
6: Ritchie Thornton          +28.09
7: Taryn Skinner               +45.52
8: John O’Neill                  +46.08
9: Christian Clark              +55.32
10: Stephen Woulds      +57.92
Championship Standings:
1: Stanley Gamble           141
2: Chris Hawkes               124         
3: Ritchie Thornton          109
4: Ross Richards                95                        
5: Joe Moore                      93
6: Rogerio Lacerda             74
7: Adam Foster                  71
8: Colt Dwyer                      51
9: Michael Birch                 47
10: John O’Neil                   44

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