MOTORSPORT: Stunning start as Ben sets the pace

Follow the leader: Ben Wilson heads the field at Brands Hatch, before showing off his winners' trophy (below). ''Photos by ADRIAN SMITH (action) and HELEN PASK (podium).
Follow the leader: Ben Wilson heads the field at Brands Hatch, before showing off his winners' trophy (below). ''Photos by ADRIAN SMITH (action) and HELEN PASK (podium).
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BEN Wilson left Brands Hatch as the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport championship leader after a stunning start to the season.

The Gearlink Kawasaki ace claimed a decisive win in the opening race of the season, but was denied the double when he finished fourth in the second race of the weekend.

That was good enough to put Wilson two points clear at the summit - and he heads to Oulton Park for round two this weekend.

The 29-year-old from Kirton was in top form all weekend and topped the practice and qualifying sheets in each session, with his pace as hot as the sunny conditions at the Kent circuit.

He started the first race on Sunday from pole position and took the lead at Druids on the opening lap.

Wilson was never troubled throughout the 18 laps and crossed the finish line some 2.4 seconds ahead of Paul Young to take the first win of the season. He also set the fastest lap of the race with a 47.128secs (92.27mph) on lap four of the race.

A delighted Wilson said: “I was happy enough with that. I got a decent gap and controlled the race from the front to take the win which was fantastic both for me and for Gearlink Kawasaki. As I put in the fastest lap of the race I will start race two from pole position.”

Race two took place on Easter Monday and Wilson once again got away to a good start. He got the hole shot into Paddock Hill Bend and retained the lead for 22 of the 26 laps.

But with just a handful of laps remaining tyre wear came into play and he was caught and passed by Alistair Seeley and Jack Kennedy. Although he fought back, Wilson was unable to maintain his race lead and on the last lap had to fight tooth and nail to fend off the attentions of Steve Plater who was intent on claiming the remaining podium position.

Plater finally got the better of Wilson on the drag to the flag and he crossed the finish line in fourth place. The top four riders were separated by just 0.3 seconds.

Wilson added: “I’m disappointed as I really wanted to finish on the podium. But on saying that I am leading the championship and we move on to Oulton Park with the aim to do the business there.”

Free practice and qualifying take place on Saturday and Sunday at Oulton Park with the first British Supersport race to be run over 12 laps scheduled for 4.40pm on Sunday. The main 16-lap race is set for Monday at 3.15pm.

2011 Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport rider standings: 1st Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 38pts; 2nd Jack Kennedy (Colin Appleyard/Macadam Racing) 36pts; 3rd Steve Plater (Padgetts Honda) 27pts; 4th Ali Seeley (Relentless TAS Suzuki) 25pts; 5th L Johnston (East Coast Racing) 23pts.