Seton Tuning Yamaha rider, Sam Warren leads the 2012 Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Protected by Datatag after securing a race win and a second podium finish in the opening round at Brands Hatch Indy circuit (6-9 April).

The 29 year old from Derbyshire had dominated both Free Practice sessions at the 1.2 mile Kent circuit, topping the timing sheets with some blistering lap times that fell just shy of the lap record. However, a trio of Triumphs forced Sam into fourth on the outside of the front row in a heated qualifying session.

As the riders assembled for the start of the reduced 16-lap race, teams gambled with tyre choices on the damp circuit, the majority opting for a safe wet/intermediate combination. With rain starting to fall again on the two sighting laps, Sam looked to have made the correct choice of wet front, intermediate rear.

The lights went out for the first time this season, with Ben Wilson making the early running, forcing his way through to the holeshot from the second row. Sam tucked in neatly in fourth for the opening exchanges, shifting up a gear and in to second on lap 2.

Sam got his head down, looking to close the 1.9 second gap that Wilson has extended himself at the head of the field. Setting the fastest lap of the race (52.883s) on lap 5, Sam was hot on the heals of Wilson's Kawasaki and pushed through for the lead five laps later as the pair rounded Clearways.

His lead was short lived. Luke Jones had been the man on the move, opting for full wets all round, and the Triumph rider stole Sam's thunder on lap 11. However, the Supersport Cup rider crashed out at Druids the next time round forcing the red flag to be deployed signalling a premature end to the race.

With the roll-back to end of lap 11, team owner Phil Seton was given an Easter present to savour as Sam was awarded first place and a perfect 25 points to kick off his 2012 account.

Weather conditions continued to deteriorate on Easter Monday, with the Brands asphalt becoming more and more treacherous for each class. Sam, on pole for the main Supersport event, made a considered start, rounding out the first six laps in fifth as he adjusted to the track conditions.

Powering up inside of Billy McConnell into Paddock Hill on lap 7, Sam edged into fourth and began to hunt down the leaders. By the close of the lap, Sam had elevated his Seton Tuning Yamaha R6 into the final podium slot before a track contamination issue forced the red flag to halt the race.

After a lengthy delay, and hard work by the race marshalls to clean the track, race direction called a re-start of just nine laps. Sam lined up third on the grid and looked to be in contention for his second win of the meeting. With less than half of the opening lap completed the red flag was once again to raise its head as a number of riders crashed out heading down into the left-hand Graham Hill bend.

Eventually, a result was declared with half-points awarded and positions from the first part decreeing the final result, minus Ben Wilson, giving Sam second and a healthy 12.5 point lead in the Championship.

Sam is tied with Ben Wilson on 1-point in the Speedy Fastest Lap league.

The Metzeler National Superstock trio of Ben Burke, Bjorn Estment and Mark Wilkinson were looking to build upon strong pre-season testing and the memory of Ben's victory in this race last season. With Bjorn and Ben starting in 7th and 8th respectively, hopes were high for solid results. However, the treacherous conditions played against the Seton Tuning Yamaha riders. Bjorn crashed out at Clearways on the opening lap, and Ben suffering from a slow start, became embroiled in a battle for a top 20 position just outside of the points.

By the time a red flag incident halted the race on lap 16 out of the scheduled 18, Mark had elevated his Yamaha R6 up to 20th from a starting position of 23rd, whilst Ben, unable to make a real impression on the points-scoring positions had to settle for 17th.

Sam Warren: "What a dream start to our 2012 BSS campaign. I really couldn't ask for more after the first round - 1st and 2nd places in the races and leading the championship! The weather has made this weekend a lottery, but we've kept it shiny side up and been fast and consistant. The team deserve this, I know the effort that they've put in over the off-season to put a bike capable of winning under me. So thanks to all mine and the team's sponsors, as well as my wife who has made sure I'm in shape for this season! Lets keep the ball rolling."

Phil Seton, team manager: “We've come away from Brands as the team to chase in Supersport this season thanks to a couple of excellent rides from Sam.We are leading the Championship by 12.5 points, which is a crazy number but we'll take that! The team has worked really hard over the closed season to iron out a few issues that we'd identified last year and it appears to have worked.

The Superstock race was a little disappointing not to score points in, however, it is the first time that Bjorn and Mark have raced in the wet so we have gained some valuable wet-weather experience and set-up data.

We've now got to dust the bikes over and it's all go again in a few days!”

Round 2 of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship takes place next weekend at the ultra-fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire (13-15 April). 


Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Protected by Datatag
Race 1 Result:

1. Warren, 2. Wilson, 3. Pekkanen, 4. Iddon, 5. Irwin

Race 2 Result:

1. Kennedy, 2. Warren, 3. McConnell, 4. Iddon, 5. Brown

Championship Points:
1. Warren - 35, 2. Kennedy - 22.5, Wilson - 20, 4. Iddon - 19.5, 5. Pekkanen - 16

Metzeler National Superstock 600

Dixon, 2. Rose, 3. Lodge, 4. Wainwright, 5. Whitaker

Championship Points
1. Dixon - 25, 2. Rose - 20, 3. Lodge - 16, 4. Wainwright - 13, 5. Whitaker - 11

Images © Matt Hutchings


COLCHESTER'S Seton Tuning raced to a superb second-place class finish during the six-
Essex-based Seton Tuning has signed Belgian rider Bram Lambrechts for their 2019
The Seton Tuning Motorcycle Endurance race team got back on track at two recent
Ballast Quay works
01206 866400