CHRIS Burrage and Max Symonds bagged the opening wins of the season as Bemsee’s Team Respro MRO 600 series kicked off at Brands.
But new faces have arrived in the middleweight class this year, and already they’re beginning to make waves.
While he couldn’t quite snatch victory from the jaws of the two front-runners, reigning Team Green Senior king Jamie Kelman, who has made the jump to a Triumph 675 this season, ended his weekend less than four tenths off the front wheel of former NG 600 champ Symonds.
Burrage was the quickest out of the gates as the former Champion of Brands skirted the sub-50 mark to take pole position with a 50.131, just ahead of Kelman and MSS Performance man Andrew Smith.
But it was Kelman who made a surprise jump into the lead, pulling over a second ahead of Burrage and Symonds by the end of the first lap.
By lap four, however, Burrage had reeled the 600 rookie in and hit the front as he blasted off to a 3.576s victory, while Smith pipped Symonds for third.
Burrage made up for his less-than-perfect first launch of the season in race two with an early lead over Kelman and Symonds and while his advantage floated out to nearly 1.3s, he eventually crossed the line a few tenths clear of the trumpet rider to complete his Saturday sweep.
High winds on Sunday meant some of the club action had to be delayed, but when the 600s did get back to their regularly-scheduled programme, Symonds got straight on the back wheel of Burrage.
The Seton Tuning Yamaha rider maintained a slight advantage for the first six laps, but with four to go Symonds finally found a way through and held station through spots of rain to cross the line less than two tenths clear of Burrage, as Kelman completed the podium.
With another lightning start, Burrage looked to be on for a hat-trick in the final race, but Symonds was determined to go home with the double and stamp his authority on the Indy circuit ahead of his NG assault next weekend. And the J&C Symonds Ltd Kawasaki rider did just that as he hit the front on lap two and never looked back.
Chase Timber Products’ Jack Younge secured his MSS Performance Clubman 600 hat-trick with a race four win ahead of Michael White, only kept from a clean sweep by a yellow flag infringement on Saturday which gave him a 10s penalty and handed Thomas Bensted victory.
*Images: Mitch Ducran