The S1000RR success story continues with news that another national championship has been won by a BMW rider. This time it’s Jon Kirkham, who secured the 2010 Metzeler British Superstock 1000 Championship title with a convincing win at the Croft racing circuit in North Yorkshire.
Kirkham won the Metzeler British Superstock 1000 Championship by 70 points from fellow S1000RR rider Tristan Palmer (Jentin BMW Motorrad) with two rounds still to go in the 12-round series that has supported this year’s British Superbike Championship, as well as the UK round of the MotoGP World Championship at Silverstone.
Kirkham’s accomplishment marks an historic first British title for BMW, which replicates the significant international success achieved by race teams around the world that have put faith in the S1000RR. In the past few weeks, BMW riders have won the French Superbike Championship, the Spanish Stock Extreme Superbike Championship and the Finnish Superbike Championship – not to mention Ayrton Badovini’s maximum points haul in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup that runs alongside the Superbike World Championship.
Twenty-five-year-old Kirkham has much to be proud of in 2010. Not only did he buy and prepare his own race bikes, but as a privateer rider, he has struggled with funding all season. Fortunately, his talents attracted the attention of Samsung Mobile, who came ‘on board’ just in time to see Jon put in the kind of performance that his been his trademark all year – qualifying on pole position and comfortably winning the race ahead of championship challengers Tristan Palmer on his RR and Australian rider Glen Richards on a Honda.
Kirkham had come into this race leading the 2010 championship by a healthy margin, so much in fact he only needed to finish in the top six to secure the title. However, like most racers, he wasn’t content to just ‘ride around’ for the points and even came back from a crash in Friday’s qualifying to secure the pole position on Saturday that allowed him to go and chase this latest victory.
“What a weekend,” said Jon after the post-race celebrations. “After I crashed the bike, this gave me more focus and the team really worked hard to get me back on track and riding quickly, and I was able to secure pole position on the grid. I had an average start to the race, but didn’t want to have any incidents, so stayed cool and found a rhythm. Scott Smart (Ducati) had a good lead but I felt I had a strong race setting and started to close in on him. I thought ‘well let’s go for it, this is racing’, so I passed and took the lead.”
Jon added: “We have done this from nothing this year, worked hard, had a focus and attracted good supporters through the season. To have Samsung Mobile on board this weekend gave me even more confidence and recognition of our little team’s efforts. We set out to win the race and the championship – and we did. It feels awesome!”
With two rounds still to go in the 2010 series, BMW Motorrad will be hoping to secure a ‘one-two’ in this prestigious championship. Currently, Jentin Racing-BMW Motorrad’s Superstock rider Tristan Palmer is second in the points, after taking a hard-fought second place behind Kirkham at Croft, along with the fastest lap of the race. “I’d like to congratulate Jon on the championship win,” said fellow RR rider Tristan. “He’s ridden hard and consistently all season and he’s a deserving champion.”
Here’s a video of Jon Kirkham at Croft winning the title. There’s a short interview with him starting at 2:30: