Thundersport GB: Leaning and Whitaker split 500 Elite wins

In News, Thundersport GB

THE fight for the 500 Elite crown continues to heat up after Josh Leaning and series leader Grant Whitaker took two wins apiece at Mallory Park.

And as the championship crossed the half-way point this weekend, it looks to be a two-horse race for the title.

The two have now taken seven wins apiece in the CB500 ranks and are among only four of the class’ race winners this season, along with Reece Rothwell and former champ Pete Bardell.

But it was all Leaning and Whitaker this weekend as they controlled the field from the front, locking out the front two spots in qualifying while Seniors leader Chris Kingham completed the front row.

Whitaker made a strong start in the opening race and led the order early on with James Lee and Leaning just behind, but by lap two Leaning had moved up into second and just two laps later he had edged past Whitaker to hit the front.

While Whitaker looked for a way back through, he couldn’t find a gap and Shane Brockehurst Transport man Leaning was left to power to victory 0.645sec up the road while Lee bagged third, just over a second clear of Kingham with Josh Langman back in sixth with the Sportsman win.

Leaning was quickest out of the gates in race two, leading Whitaker and Lee over the line before the HWW Race Products rider nudged him back to second. The reigning champ reclaimed the lead but as they eventually pulled over a second clear of the chasing pack, Whitaker slipped ahead on the final lap to beat Leaning by 0.741sec as Lee took another third.

A lone fourth gave Infinity Motorcycles’ Kingham another Senior victory while Martin Bazeley pipped Langman for the Sportsman win just behind.

Under the Mega Laps system, Leaning took pole again on Sunday and as the third race got underway, it was clear he and his title rival were once again in a class of their own.

Just four laps in, the front-running duo had pulled almost three seconds clear of the chasing pack – which was led once again by Lee – and after another tit-for-tat battle, it was Leaning who took the chequered flag a mere 0.021sec ahead of Whitaker.

Team ASJ’s Langman was back on top in the Sportsman class while Kingham’s retirement spelled an early end to his race as Martin Radford bagged Senior honours.

Leaning took charge in the opening three laps of the final race, but Whitaker took over from there and led every remaining lap, squeezing past Leaning over the line to win by a scant 0.054sec.

As Fibre Lite Racing’s Lee rounded off his weekend with four thirds on the trot, Adam Campion followed him home in fourth to nab the Sportsman spoils from Team ASJ’s Langman while Kingham made it a hat-trick of Senior wins.

*Click here for results from Thundersport GB at Mallory Park

*Image: Colin Port

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