Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (16 laps)
1 Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki)
2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
3 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)
4 Andrew Irwin (Ducati)
5 Michael Laverty (BMW)
6 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (18 laps)
1 Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki)
2 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)
3 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
4 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
5 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
6 Glenn Irwin (Ducati)
Championship Points (after ten rounds)
1 Haslam 604pts
2 Dixon 573
3 Brookes 530
= Irwin 530
5 Ray 524
6 Hickman 520
Today’s British Superbike round at Oulton Park saw the best of the British weather throw everything at the Cheshire venue, and despite podium-pace, Honda Racing were ultimately left wanting.
After morning rain, race one today was fully wet with the spray from the pack on the opening laps adding to the challenge of the treacherous conditions. Starting from 10th, Jason made a fantastic start on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade to leap into fourth on the opening lap. On lap two he lined up Bradley Ray for third, and set about extending a gap of 6.5seconds behind him. As the chasing pack closed in the final laps, Jason fought valiantly to keep them at bay but as Haslam, then Irwin, then Laverty passed him, the #22 crossed the line 6th overall, just 1.2seconds from fourth. Dan Linfoot made steady progress in the midst of the pack from 14th up to 10th, battling both the conditions and the spray.
By race two, the conditions had improved and the track was predominantly dry, with damp patches only off-line. Jason again made a blistering start to launch himself from 6th to second into the first corner, and then ensued a five-bike battle for the final two steps of the podium. Matching the front-running pace, Jason dug deep to try and haul himself and his Fireblade into a podium position again until lap 12 when he ran slightly wide into turn one and folded the front, ending his race from 4th position. In the midst of the pack, Dan also fought hard for position to bring his #4 Fireblade home in 11th.
Conditions were really mixed this weekend and the weather threw everything at us. I made good starts in both races and it was good to be running at the front. On the first lap of race one, normally I’m one of the more cautious riders but this time I just felt it and attacked and was really able to make up ground. It was disappointing to drop back at the end but I started losing entry grip so just couldn’t hold on to third. In race two I actually started with some worry because I seemed to be the only one starting on a wet patch. I knew turn one was wet but I actually got one of the best starts I’ve had all year. I was really pushing and held second for a long time – the pace was fast and I was able to hold on. I wanted so badly to get back on the podium for me and the team after everything, but unfortunately turn one caught me out. I ran a little wide but I really didn’t expect it – I hit a damp patch and just lost the front. I didn’t want the weekend to end like this, but I’m taking the positives from it into Assen, which is a track I really like and I think can be good for us to bring some good results to the end of this season.
I enjoy racing here and especially when you’ve had success at a venue before you come back with great memories, and I was feeling positive especially after making a step in race three at Silverstone. Unfortunately we just haven’t found that good feeling here this weekend. The pace and the results just weren’t there, and I’m dismayed to be honest. I know this place well but we just haven’t been able to pick it back up this weekend. I expected more of race one in the wet, and in race two we just didn’t have the pace to stay with the group which was frustrating and not where we need to be. It’ll eat at me all week, but at some point we need to move our focus to Assen. We’ve got five races left this season, and we need to work hard to try and finish it with some trophies.
It’s been a tough weekend here at Oulton this time, and comes off the back of missing out on the Showdown. The mixed conditions throughout the weekend have made it hard for us to find a rhythm. We had a few issues in free practice and qualifying for Jason, but he tried really hard in both races with great starts. He got a bit duffed up at the end of race one and finished just off the podium, and was really pushing hard in race two at the front until unfortunately he lost the front end. With Dan really we’ve just struggled to get him on the pace all weekend, so it’s been disappointing.
Taylor Mackenzie and the Bathams Racing team enjoyed a brilliant weekend of racing at Oulton Park, venue for round ten of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, with the 25-year old taking excellent third and fourth place finishes in the two races.
With Friday’s free practice sessions having taken place in wet conditions, Mackenzie and the team struggled to set a decent time on the BMW S1000RR but the better weather on Saturday morning was good news for all concerned and an excellent lap of 1m37.462s saw the Ashby-based rider qualify in a superb third place for the opening 14-lap race held later that day.
Starting from the front row, a good start saw Mackenzie immediately take second place and he soon became part of a five-rider battle for the lead. Pushed back to third on lap three, the leading two riders of Billy McConnell and Alex Olsen edged away and at half race distance Taylor found himself in fourth. He fought his way back up to third a lap later but fellow BMW rider Keith Farmer wasn’t to be out done and he had to settle for fourth place at the chequered flag.
Nevertheless, it was another strong ride which stood him in good stead for Sunday’s second encounter where he started from fifth on the grid. With earlier rain having fallen, the track was still damp when the race got underway, Taylor slotting into sixth place initially, but it was clear the track was going to dry as the race wore on.
Despite slipping back briefly to seventh, Taylor quickly regrouped and by half race distance he’d climbed back up to sixth. In the second half of the race though, he got more and more comfortable and made steady progress ultimately sealing third place with two laps to go. His second podium of the season, along with the earlier fourth place, also saw him move in to tenth overall in the Championship table despite only having competed in four rounds.
Young team-mate Harris Beech was also in action in the two ten-lap Dickies British Junior Supersport Championship races and after qualifying in 19th place, the Alveley youngster went on to take a season’s best finish of eighth in Sunday’s second 10-lap race. The excellent result was backed up with 13th in race one, the two races seeing him add 11 more Championship points to his total.
Taylor Mackenzie: “It’s been a good weekend and whilst you always want to win, I’m happy enough with the results. All the other riders have been here before this season so had a good set up which meant we were on the back foot a bit but the bike was working very well and I was able to run with the front group all race on Saturday. I only just missed out on the podium in fourth and the ingredients were all there to win, I just needed to string it all together.”
“We were all a bit nervous ahead of the second race on Sunday after the struggles we had on Friday so I tried to stay calm at the start and hang in there as best I could. They got away from me at one stage but I felt more comfortable as the race wore on and I’m delighted to come away with a podium. It’s the least the team deserve for all their hard work so I can’t wait for the final round.”
Michael Rutter, Team Manager: “Taylor’s ridden well all weekend so to come away with a third and a fourth is the least he deserves. Conditions were very difficult and we’re learning all the time as my settings on the bike just don’t work with Taylor due to our different size and stature so it’s been like starting all over again. He’s been there or thereabouts since he joined the team though so it’s fantastic for him and fantastic for the team that we’re back on the podium.”
It was a tough opening Showdown round for the McAMS Yamaha team as Title Fighter Josh Brookes crashed out in Sunday’s opening race, bouncing back to fifth in race two. Superbike Rookie Tarran Mackenzie enjoyed a stronger weekend, securing seventh and fourth whilst Superstock 1000 rider Matt Truelove took a brace of top ten finishes. Yamaha supported Ryan Vickers continued his domination in the Superstock 600 class with another victory.
It was a good start to the weekend for the Superbike duo, working through a number of machine settings throughout the three practice sessions to get set up for Sunday’s two races. Heading into Saturday’s Datatag Extreme Qualifying session, Josh Brookes sat seventh on combined times with Tarran Mackenzie 15th; however both riders knew they had more to come. Easily progressing through the opening two qualifying sessions, Josh held a provisional front row position until the dying moments when he was bumped back to fourth whilst Taz secured eighth.
The opening race got underway wet, with rain falling as the riders took to the grid. Taking a good start, Josh held fourth place over the opening laps however disaster would strike on lap six when the Australian tumbled from his McAMS Yamaha. On the other side of the garage, Taz had slipped back to tenth on the opening few laps but steadily chipped away to the guys in front of him to cross the line seventh.
With the sun shining over Oulton Park for the second race, both riders took a strong start with Taz running in the leading group whilst Josh fought his way through the field after starting 13th. Chipping away as the race progressed, Taz was able to narrowly beat Josh to the flag – taking fourth place by just 0.1s.
In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 class, rookie rider Matt Truelove continued to show good pace to be running comfortably in the top ten throughout practice. Continuing that pace into qualifying, Matt secured ninth place on the grid. Despite a mistake off the start, which saw him drop back through the field, he was able to battle back through the field to claim tenth place on the line. Starting 15th for race 2, he was again able to work his way up to ninth by the flag.
After securing the 2018 Superstock 600 title at Silverstone last weekend, Ryan Vickers continued his domination, securing pole position before going on to take the race win by over 28s.
Josh Brookes said:
“It’s been a tough weekend there’s no doubt about that. Our bike is on the edge in slippery conditions and if you push too hard a slip off can happen. Race two saw us start a way back on the grid in 13th, which would normally not be a problem but on a drying track there’s just one line so it was tough to pass people and I also had a problem left over from my race one crash with the rear brake.”
Tarran Mackenzie said:
“It’s been a good weekend and although seventh in race one was ok, I was hoping for more so it was good to get a much better result in race two. I wasn’t really expecting to be fighting it out for the podium though so I’m really happy with fourth and full credit to the team. I’ve moved up to eighth overall in the Championship and am in contention now for the Rider’s Cup so, having improved a lot in the last few rounds, I’m really looking forward to both Assen and Brands where I’m confident of some good results.”
Matt Truelove said:
“It was a tough race right from the word go as the conditions were very tricky. The circuit was drying out all the time but although I made a good start to move into the top eight, I was struggling for rear grip quite early on and couldn’t move forward as I would have liked. I was on the limit for the entire race and whilst ninth and tenth from the two races are reasonable enough results, I felt we could have been higher up this weekend. We’ve just one round to go now so I’ll be looking to end the season on a high.”
Team Manager Grant Bunting summed up:
“It’s been a mega weekend for Tarran and, in fairness, we didn’t expect him to be as high up as what he was so full credit to him. Having been here earlier in the season, it’s clear to see how much he’s progressed in recent months and he’s now up to eighth overall in the Championship so the Rider’s Cup is very much a realistic target especially as the final two circuits should suit him well.
Jake Dixon and the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team got their Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown underway in the best fashion possible at Oulton Park on Sunday with two dominant rides seeing the 22-year old take a double victory, reducing Leon Haslam’s lead in the title tace from 45 points to 31.
A good opening day on Friday saw Jake top the leaderboard in both the dry and wet conditions and although qualifying on Saturday saw some moisture in the air, he was confident of a strong showing once more. And he more than delivered the goods as he set the fastest ever lap of the 2.69-mile circuit – 1m33.758s – to take pole position by 0.399s.
With Championship leader Haslam having to start from the back of the grid for Sunday’s first race, Dixon was keen to capitalise and he was faced with a wet race after heavy rain fell at the Cheshire venue, completing the first lap in a strong second place, With the race cut from 18 to laps 16, Jake shadowed early leader Tommy Bridewell in the early stages before making his move at half race distance.
Once in the lead, a succession of quick laps, including the fastest lap of the race, allowed him to pull clear and, despite a slight issue changing gear, his eventual winning margin was 6.1s as he took his second victory of the year. And despite Haslam climbing all the way up to third, he crucially cut his Championship lead back by nine points, from 45 to 36.
Starting the second race later in the day from pole position once more, the track was dry all round and Jake got the perfect start to lead at the end of the opening lap. With a series of fastest laps, by half race distance he’d opened up an unprecedented gap of 5.4s but there were some nervous moments in the closing stages as he lost grip from his rear tyre. Haslam reduced the gap considerably but he duly took his second win of the day by 1.1s to cut Haslam’s lead to 31 points.
Jake Dixon: “The team gave me a great bike this weekend and come wet, dry or in between, I had good pace so I felt confident but nervous too as I knew I had to try and make the most of Leon starting from the back of the grid. Tommy set a good pace in the first race and the rear tyre on the Kawasaki takes a little bit longer to get to full working temperature than the other bikes but once there, I got my head down. I had a bit of an issue changing gear and had to go back to the old school method of using the clutch but I got the job done so full credit to the team.”
“I got my head down from the start in the second race and the bike was fantastic but in the last eight laps, my tyre fell to pieces so I had to manage the closing laps as best I could. I was so fast at the beginning that I was able to open up a good sized lead and that was crucial in holding on for my second win. I’m over the moon to get the double and we’ve cut Leon’s lead back by a reasonable amount so with five races still to go, there’s everything to play for.”
Lee Hardy, Team Owner: “It’s been a fantastic, textbook weekend and with pole positions, fastest laps and two wins, what more could we have asked for? The bike has worked fantastic all weekend and Jake has ridden amazingly well in all conditions and he was the fastest rider in both the wet and dry on all three days. In race one, he bided his time behind Tommy before making his move and once in the lead he commanded the race.”
“In race two, the majority of the circuit was dry but there was still the odd damp patch around but he got his head down from the start and to have a near six-second lead at one stage was phenomenal. We thought everything was under control so the tyre issues in the closing stages gave us a few nervous moments when Leon started to close in, but Jake managed the situation perfectly. We’ve started the Showdown in the best manner possible so are feeling confident heading in to the next round.”
Fresh from his strong performances at the Isle of Man Classic TT races, Josh Daley returned to short circuit action at the weekend as he contested the two Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship races at Oulton Park and it proved to be another successful outing for the Wigan youngster as he took 16th and 27th place finishes.
The two free practice sessions on Friday saw wet conditions at the Cheshire venue but it was a good day for Josh as he posted the 17th and 21st fastest times and that led him into Saturday’s solitary qualifying session. On this occasion, the weather was fine and a time of 1m40.995s around the 2.69-mile circuit saw Josh qualify in 25th place for the first 14-lap race later in the afternoon.
However, as the pack all bunched together heading into Old Hall Corner on the opening lap, Josh found himself pushed wide and onto the grass which saw him lose a number of places and he completed the first lap in 29th place. With some damp patches still evident around the circuit, overtaking wasn’t easy but, aided by a personal best lap on the Kawasaki ZX-10R of 1m40.048s, Josh took the chequered flag in 27th place out of 37 finishers.
Sunday’s 14-lap race started in damp conditions but despite starting from 24th place and the eighth row on the grid, an excellent start saw Josh complete the first lap in 20th place and over the next few laps he continually progressed, moving up to 15th at half race distance.
By lap nine, this had become 13th as he looked on course to score his first Championship points of the season but by this time, the track had dried out considerably and Josh, like many, found grip to be in short supply. Going into the final lap, he was still in 15th place and it looked like he would claim a point but on the final run in to the line, he was overhauled by George Stanley and he had to settle for 16th place.
Josh Daley: “It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends with the ever-changing weather but I was pleased to set my fastest ever lap on the big bike at Oulton in Saturday’s race. Unfortunately, I got pushed onto the grass at the first corner which compromised my race but despite it being so wet, the traction control worked a treat and I got back on track. I was hoping to finish higher than what I did but, all things considered, it was a solid enough result.”
“Sunday’s race went well and after Friday’s outing, I had confidence in the conditions from the start and we, like the majority of the grid, opted for wet tyres on a drying track. The rear tyre was losing grip every lap but I had fun sliding around and although it would have been nice to pick up some points, I had a really enjoyable race and with no grip at the end of the race, I had to accept 16th place. All in all, it’s been a good weekend so a big thank you to my team, all of my sponsors and everyone that has supported me through the season.”
Quinnstheprinters.com by Team IMR enjoyed another strong weekend of racing in the Pirelli National Superstock Championships, this time at Oulton Park in Cheshire with Ben Godfrey taking a brace of 11th place finishes in the 1000cc category and Liam Delves 12th in the 600cc class.
With Friday’s free practice sessions having taken place in wet conditions, Long Eaton’s Godfrey was relieved to see good weather on Saturday morning for his qualifying session and a strong lap of 1m38.235s saw him take an excellent seventh place on the grid for the opening 14-lap race later in the day.
A sluggish start though saw him lose almost ten places but he soon worked his way up to 12th although by then he was embroiled in an eight-rider battle for eighth. Positions were changing all the time and, at one stage, Ben dropped back to 14th, but he dug deep to fight back and deservedly took 11th place for the Isle of Man-based team at the chequered flag.
It meant he started Sunday’s race from the lower position of 17th and the sixth row where conditions saw the race start on a damp but drying track. Twelfth in the early stages, Ben moved up into tenth place just after half race distance but with the dry line getting wider all the time, grip was becoming less and less and he eventually had to settle for 11th place once more. Nevertheless, the weekend’s results saw him add another ten points to his Championship total.
Team-mate Delves, meanwhile, was having just his second outing for the team in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship and he again impressed with the Birmingham rider qualifying in a superb 11th place for Sunday’s 12-lap encounter. Conditions were treacherous for the race though with Liam experiencing the wet for only the second time but he rode a mature race to keep out of trouble and eventually crossed the line in a fine twelfth place to take four more Championship points.
Ben Godfrey: “I’m struggling to get the bike off the line which is undoing the good work of qualifying and in race one I went from seventh to about 17th. When you lose that many places it’s hard to fight your way through the pack as everyone’s so closely matched and positions are constantly changing. The bike was working well though and I managed to get up to 11th to pick up some decent points in Saturday’s race. Sunday was even more trickier due to the weather but it was a good day in the office as I brought the bike home for my third successive 11th place. The boys gave me a great package all weekend so thanks to them, the team sponsors and also GT Couriers, HJC Helmets and RST Leathers.”
Liam Delves: “It’s been a different weekend compared to Silverstone as Oulton is a very physical circuit in comparison and having my first rides in the wet was certainly an experience! On the Moto3 bike, you just sat there whereas the 600 wants to wheelie everywhere but, overall, I’ve been very pleased with how the meeting’s gone. I got quicker in each session and in qualifying I was only a second off third place and although it was very tricky in the race, especially the last few laps when it was difficult to get heat into the tyres, I’ve got to be pleased with 12th place.”
Ian Moffitt, Team Manager: “It’s been another positive weekend for the team and both Ben and Liam have acquitted themselves well throughout. They’ve both gone about their business well and we can’t be anything but impressed with them. Ben was again experiencing a few issues getting off the line and he had to work hard in both races where positions were changing every lap but he scored points each time so we’re pleased with two more 11th place finishes.”
“Liam’s attitude has again been first class and he has a mega approach to his racing so to see him qualify in 11th was just rewards for his efforts. Oulton’s a lot more technical compared to Silverstone but he rode brilliantly and we’re all delighted. Conditions in the race were terrible but for just his second time in the wet, he did a great job. The team’s making good progress and with the stability back in our racing, it’s been a very enjoyable weekend.”
Round ten of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at Oulton Park over the weekend proved to be a challenging meeting for Morello/host-it.co.uk Racing as Luke Jones and the Norwich-based team left the Cheshire venue pointless.
Friday saw a lot of wet weather all round the 2.69-mile circuit but conditions were dry for qualifying on Saturday morning and although he ran inside the top ten for the first half of the session, a time of 1m39.099s ultimately saw Luke qualify in 13th place on the Kawasaki ZX-10R and line up at the head of the fifth row for the opening 14-lap race later in the day.
An excellent start saw him leap up the order to complete the first lap in eighth place but he soon became part of an eight rider battle for eighth to 15th and positions were soon changing constantly. Down to 13th at one stage, the Hereford rider worked his way back up to tenth at half race distance before a small issue with two laps to go dropped him back to 17th which was where he ultimately finished.
Starting the second race from the sixth row of the grid, another good start saw Luke move quickly up the order, completing the first lap in 13th place and although he slipped back a couple of places over the next few laps he was still running inside the points with two thirds of the race still to go. However, on the fifth lap, his race came to an early end when he was forced to retire, a disappointing end to a disappointing meeting.
Luke Jones: “It’s been a weekend where nothing’s gone right for me and although the pace was there, I just couldn’t sustain it and just when it looked like I’d get a good result in the first race, I got pushed wide by another rider and it lost me a lot of places. Sunday was equally disappointing and no matter what I or the team tried, I just couldn’t get the feel for the bike. It’s disappointing for everyone so I’ll keep working hard and hope for a positive final round.”
Steve Buckenham, Team Owner: “It’s been a tough weekend here at Oulton and we just haven’t been able to find a setting that Luke’s been comfortable with. We’ve worked a lot with Kawasaki and K-Tech and tried all manner of settings with the suspension and although Saturday looked good at one stage when Luke ran in eighth place, a slight coming together with another rider sat him up and he lost a lot of places eventually finishing out of the points. Sunday’s race unfortunately ended early and we have just one more round to go now so we’ll be aiming to finish the 2018 season on a positive note.”
The series now has a month’s break before the final round takes place at Brands Hatch, Kent on October 12-14.
Picture by Barry Clay
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race one (14 laps)
1 Billy McConnell (Suzuki)
2 Keith Farmer (BMW)
3 Alex Olsen (BMW)
4 Taylor Mackenzie (BMW)
5 Josh Elliott (Suzuki)
6 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
17 Luke Jones (Morello/host-it.co.uk Racing Kawasaki)
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race two (14 laps)
1 Keith Farmer (BMW)
2 Alex Olsen (BMW)
3 Taylor Mackenzie (BMW)
4 Joe Collier (Aprilia)
5 Dean Hipwell (BMW)
6 Sam Coventry (BMW)
DNF Luke Jones (Morello/host-it.co.uk Racing Kawasaki)
Championship Positions (after ten rounds)
1 Farmer 258.5pts
2 McConnell 248
3 Collier 229.5
4 Olsen 186
5 Elliott 178.5
6 Jackson 148
26 Jones 21.5