BSB: Oulton Park. Reviews

Race one

Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Leon Haslam 91 28:41.418 Kawasaki
2 Jake Dixon 27 +1.624 Kawasaki
3 Shane Byrne 67 +6.224 Ducati
4 Bradley Ray 28 +10.170 Suzuki
5 Jason O’Halloran 22 +14.699 Honda
6 Josh Brookes 25 +15.786 Yamaha
7 Danny Buchan 83 +18.745 Kawasaki
8 Tommy Bridewell 46 +21.043 Suzuki
9 Tarren Mackenzie 95 +21.290 Yamaha
10 Richard Cooper 47 +21.568 Suzuki
12 Ryuichi Kiyonari 23 +41.143 Honda

Race two

Pos Rider Number Time Constructor
1 Leon Haslam 91 28:40.954 Kawasaki
2 Jason O’Halloran 22 +0.086 Honda
3 Jake Dixon 27 +2.923 Kawasaki
4 Shane Byrne 67 +3.235 Ducati
5 Glenn Irwin 2 +9.952 Ducati
6 Josh Brookes 25 +10.963 Yamaha
7 Bradley Ray 28 +11.532 Suzuki
8 Danny Buchan 83 +11.582 Kawasaki
9 Richard Cooper 47 +14.938 Suzuki
10 Tommy Bridewell 46 +18.069 Suzuki
15 Ryuichi Kiyonari 23 +34.063 Honda

Championship Standings

Pos Rider Number Constructor Points
1 Leon Haslam 91 Kawasaki 115
2 Bradley Ray 28 Suzuki 101
3 Shane Byrne 67 Ducati 98
4 Jason O’Halloran 22 Honda 63
5 Glenn Irwin 2 Ducati 59
6 Jake Dixon 27 Kawasaki 55
7 Josh Brookes 25 Yamaha 43
8 Danny Buchan 83 Kawasaki 41
9 Michael Laverty 7 BMW 39
10 Christian Iddon 24 BMW 33

The third round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park was a strong weekend for Honda Racing as Jason O’Halloran placed the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade on the podium in the final race of the day, adding to his podium tally and boosting his championship points.
With perfect conditions at the Cheshire circuit the opening race of the day saw a strong performance for O’Halloran, running with the front group to finish fifth. Heading into the second race ‘The O’Show’ got a flying start off the line and quickly made his way to the front, taking the lead early on.
With good pace aboard the Fireblade, the Aussie held the lead for the majority of the 18-lap race and it wasn’t until the closing stages when Leon Haslam made a pass. Keeping on Haslam’s heels until the chequered flag, O’Halloran crossed the line just 0.086 seconds off the win and claimed the fastest lap of the race (1:34.857). With today’s results ‘The O’Show’ has moved up the championship standings into fourth place.
Meanwhile Ryuichi Kiyonari scored two top-15 places in both races as he stood in for Dan Linfoot. Helping the Honda team with the development of the CBR and with some key areas successfully tested across the weekend, ‘Kiyo’ made up places in both races to finish race one 12th and race two 15th, with consistent lap times throughout.
The team will now return to the workshop as they start to prepare for the fourth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, which takes place at Snetterton in Norfolk on 15-17 June.

#22
Jason O’Halloran
Today has been a really great day for us! In race one we had a small issue towards the end and came home fifth, but it was a good bunch of points collected. Going into race two, the boys did a great job putting a new engine in and it was a frantic few hours getting ready in the garage – but a massive thanks to them for giving me such a fantastic bike and it was probably the best I have felt on the Honda since I’ve been riding it. I got a good start and made my way to the front and just wanted to control the pace and didn’t want to go too mad. I was watching the pit board and saw group five, group two, then one-second, two-seconds and saw I was getting away from the group. Leon came by and tried to up the pace, I knew I had something left and I managed to stay with him. I gave it all I could to try and win that race and it was so close at the end – it hurts more when you miss out by that much rather than a big amount! I know this year we will win some races, it’s just a matter of time! The team are doing a great job and every time I get on the Fireblade I’m more and more comfortable. We have a little break now in the series and then it’s Snetterton, I’ve had a win there before and a host of BSB podiums, so we’ll go there and try to win some races!

#23
Ryuichi Kiyonari
I have enjoyed so much being back in the British championship for this weekend, but I am a little disappointed with my race results as I was hoping to be better than yesterday. Race one was difficult, there was a lot of crashes and I had a few moments where I nearly crashed, I pushed every lap but wasn’t able to make a break. The second race I finished 15th, the position for me was not so good, but the lap times and the feeling with the CBR was much better. I had my fastest lap on the final lap and I don’t want to say ‘if, or but’, but I think with more grip I would have been able to fight and maybe a top-ten. Even with the results I have enjoyed being at Oulton Park again and I want to say thank you so much to everyone at Honda and Moriwaki for the opportunity. It has been so good to be back in BSB and I know many young British rider wants to ride but to have this opportunity was amazing and I am so thankful to come back to the UK to race. This morning during pit walk there was so many fans, so thank you to everyone to welcome me back for this weekend. Congratulations to Jason for his podium today, it was a good race and it’s always good to see the team do well.

 

Havier Beltran
Team Manager
What a second race for Jason! He got away and into the front group straight away then took the lead. Haslam eventually passed him but he was able to stay on his tail until the end, it did look like he might have been able to put a move on him, but he crossed the line second, just behind him. I’m so happy for Jason and the team, we had some issues in race one and he definitely went into the second race with fight and determination. He showed today that he’s turned a corner and is chasing podiums; he’s ready to fight and that showed in the last race. The team did a fantastic job changing the engine and getting everything ready in time, so a big thanks to them. With Kiyo I’m so grateful for him coming over and jumping on the CBR last minute and trying things for us. We’ve tried a lot this weekend and it’s been a pleasure having him with the team again. I appreciate it’s not an easy task coming over here and our Fireblade is a very different machine to what he rides in Japan. I want to extend my thanks again to Midori Moriwaki and to Kiyo for this weekend. We will now regroup and look towards the fourth round at Snetterton, we have a little break until the next round but with Jason’s track record there, I think we could be on to something!
Jake Dixon and the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team enjoyed a superb round three of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship as they came away from Oulton Park with brilliant second and third place finishes to firmly get themselves back into title contention.

It had been a tough start to the season for the team but, fifth overall in free practice, Dixon converted his pace into a good qualifying performance and he lined up for Monday’s first 18-lap race in a brilliant second place, race day again seeing the Cheshire venue bathed in warm sunshine. An equally brilliant start saw the 21-year old grab the lead on the opening lap and here he remained until the seventh lap when he was overhauled by fellow Kawasaki rider Leon Haslam.

For the remainder of the race, there was never more than half a second between the two riders and although it was Haslam who ultimately prevailed, Jake brought the bike home for an excellent second place, his first podium of the season.

It meant he started the second race from second on the grid once more and with another great start, he hit the front on the opening lap, a position he held until the fifth lap when Jason O’Halloran took over at the front. Two laps later and Jake had been pushed back to third by Haslam but it remained close until the final stages when the front two pulled away to leave Jake fighting off the close attentions of Shane Byrne.

He duly kept his rival at bay though and the haul of 36 points saw him leap up the Championship table with the Ashby resident now sitting in a strong sixth place overall.

Regular team-mate Jordan Weaving was forced to miss the weekend due to a damaged shoulder sustained in testing but his place on the Briggs Equipment Kawasaki was taken by Gary Johnson for the single Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race. Using the meeting as a shakedown prior to the International road racing season, which gets underway next week, the Lincolnshire rider gained some valuable track time and finished Monday’s race in 24th place.

Jake Dixon: “It was really warm out there today but from where we were on Saturday morning to where we were today, I’m very pleased with the results. I’ve struggled in the dry so far this season but we found something in qualifying and although Leon was stronger in the second half of the first race, particularly on corner entry, the team gave me a great bike today and one that I felt comfortable on”.

“For some reason though, the bike, especially the front end, didn’t feel the same in the second race and from lap one onwards, it was a battle not to lose the front. I could hear Shakey coming but knew if I hit all my markers and apexes, it would be difficult for him to get by so to come away with two podiums is fantastic. The whole team have done a mega job and it’s great to get our season firmly up and running.”

Lee Hardy, Team Owner: “It’s been a fantastic day for the team and one that’s been coming as Jake’s pace has been good and it was only a matter of time before he turned it into results. We could have made some more changes to the bike after qualifying, especially for race two, as Jake was struggling a bit with the front end but we didn’t want to take a risk and potentially ruin another podium. As it was, he ended the day with two podiums and that’s exactly what we needed to get us back in the mix.”

“It was a shame that Jordan couldn’t ride this weekend but, on the plus side, Gary had a really positive run out and gained a lot of confidence which will put him in really good stead for the road racing season. He worked really hard all weekend and it’s really important that we give him everything he needs to challenge at both the North West 200 and TT. The plan is to keep it simple and keep it safe and we’re all really looking forward to the weeks ahead.”

Oulton Park Circuit Statistics

Legnth: 2.6920 miles (4.332km)
Corners: 17
Lefthand : 6
Righthand: 11
Pole Position: Left
BSB Lap Record: Josh Brookes – 1:34.483 (2015)

High temperatures and an ultra-fast pace tested Josh Brookes and Tarran Mackenzie at Oulton Park as the team made good progression over the weekend. McAMS Yamaha Superstock rider Matt Truelove saw his race thwarted by arm pump.

Despite a successful test at the Cheshire circuit and strong pace in free practice, Brookes struggled in the crucial three stage qualifying knockout phase, not making the cut for the final nine riders going through to Q3. Mackenzie meanwhile pitted for a new Pirelli rear Slick tyre in Q2 but didn’t have enough time to proceed to Q3. The duo qualified 12th and 16th respectively.

Starting from row four, it was a tough slog for Brookes in race one as track temperatures soared over 40 degrees but with persistency he battled through to sixth giving him confidence for the second outing. A row three grid position for race two meant it was a similar story and with some very strong laptimes late in the race, Brookes took Championship leader Bradley Ray on the final circulation for another sixth position.

Tarran Mackenzie had two great battles with a diverse group of experienced BSB contenders, again showing his strong Rookie credentials. A ninth in race one was followed up by a slip off in race two as the young Scotsman ‘lowsided’ uninjured.

It was a torrid event for Superstock 1000 rider Matt Truelove who struggled with serious arm pump, meaning he was well off his expected pace and had to make do with a frustrating 21st place.

Ryan Vickers made it three from three in the Superstock 600 class with a dominating six second victory on his Mototechniks YZF-R6, giving him maximum points so far.

Josh Brookes “We came into this meeting thinking we would be battling for podiums but that wasn’t the case, everyone upped their pace on race day and the high temperatures definitely had an effect on our settings. Our pace towards the end of the races was strong but it’s those initial, early laps and of course being hampered by bad qualifying grid positions that punished us. We have made some good progression but need some more testing now we have a good direction.”

Tarran Mackenzie, “I had two good battles which I really enjoyed I’m just a bit annoyed with my mistake in race two. I feel my pace is good but starting from sixteenth in the grid I’m giving myself a mountain to climb. All good experience though!”

Superstock rider Matt Truelove; “I actually thought we had the pace to be in the top 12 during the race but on lap eight I got really bad arm pump and couldn’t hold on properly. That said I’m feeling really confident for Snetterton.”

Team Manager Grant Bunting summed up; “Oulton Park seemed very promising in advance. We haven’t had the results we were hoping for but there has definitely been good progress with Josh taking two solid finishes, which moved him up the Championship table. Taz continues to impress with another top ten, you only have to look at the quality of the riders he is racing with, he is the standout Rookie.”

Josh Daley was back in race action over the Bank Holiday weekend, competing in round three of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at his local Oulton Park circuit, and the Wigan rider finished in 32nd place as he continued with his preparations for the forthcoming Isle of Man TT Races.

With perfect conditions all weekend at the Cheshire venue, no less than 48 riders were competing for the 40 available starting spots on the grid and although free practice saw Josh outside of the top 40, it was Sunday’s all-important qualifying session that mattered most. Shaving over two seconds off his best lap time from free practice, a lap of 1m40.845s subsequently enabled Josh to qualify in 38th place on his Kawasaki ZX-10R and thus take his place on the grid for the 15-lap race.

Monday saw the hottest conditions of the weekend but with a slightly earlier starting time than normal of 10.50am, Josh, like many, was grateful for the slightly cooler temperatures although 15-laps around the undulating and demanding 2.69-mile circuit would still be hard work.

It turned out to be a relatively trouble-free and lonely race for the 21-year old but he continually chipped away and although he, like many of the field, was unable to match his qualifying time, his efforts were rewarded with a solid 32nd place and, equally important, another full race distance completed on the 1000cc machine.

He now has one more short circuit outing planned at Aintree, primarily to get back out on his trusty 600cc Supersport Kawasaki, prior to his third campaign at the Isle of Man TT Races.

Josh Daley: “It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends with the warm temperatures and it was certainly a tough start in free practice when I found myself outside the top 40. The class is really tough and the pace has shot up this year but I dug deep and qualified which was obviously the first goal of the weekend. I’m still getting used to the bike to be honest and am still riding it like a 600 at times whilst the track didn’t seem to have much grip and a lot of crashes were happening during the sessions.”

“The race itself was hard work but it was good to get the full race distance under my belt in such warm conditions both in terms of fitness levels and experience on the bike. In the early stages, I made a couple of mistakes and ran wide whilst I almost highsided coming out of Britten’s which was enough for me to lose the tow to the group in front and after that, it was quite a lonely race. I didn’t want to make any more mistakes so brought the bike home and can now look forward to the TT.”

Practice for the Isle of Man TT, held on the world famous 37.73-mile Mountain Course, gets underway on Saturday 26th May with the opening Superbike race taking place on the following Saturday.

Pictures by Impact Images Photography

Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race (15 laps)
1 Keith Farmer (BMW)
2 Joe Collier (Aprilia)
3 Chrissy Rouse (BMW)
4 Alex Olsen (BMW)
5 Billy McConnell (Suzuki)
6 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
32 Josh Daley (Josh Daley Racing Kawasaki)