Hi everyone and welcome back to another round-up of racing action from the British Superbike championship. This weekend the racing came from Oulton Park which is local to our flagship J&S store in Oakmere. Oulton Park is riders and fans favourite, its rolling hill and fast sweeping bends provide the riders with a challenge for the whole lap. But restrictions by the local council meant that no fans were able to attend this weekend. Fingers crossed we can all attend and watch some live racing before this short season ends.
Onto the racing. In Junior Supersport we had Zak Shelton and Osian Jones. Qualifying for the young riders was mixed with Osian sneaking inside the top 10 to qualify in 8th place and Zak a few rows behind in 16th place.
The first race of the weekend saw Osian break away with the lead group of 6 riders, positions were changing all the time, it was hard for the timing screens to keep up with the amount of overtakes at each corner!! but a massive crash for Osian on the final lap of the race saw he being involved with 4 of other riders in the lead group. Osian was taken to hospital as a precaution and is no doubt feeling a bit second hand, but fingers crossed that he heals up quick. Zak Shelton crossed the line in 5th place.
The second race saw Zak, unfortunately, record a DNF and mixed weekend for the two riders but hopefully better luck next time out.
In Superstock 600 Taylor Moreton was back in action after his crash at the last round. Taylor battled through the pain to qualify in 18th place. It was the battle of the Irwin brothers to see who could finish the better of the two. It would be Rhys who would come out on top and started the first race from 3rd beating his brother by 0.037 of a second. Caolan would head the second row in 4th place.
In the race, Taylor did a fantastic job and gained 4 places overall and secured a couple of championship points after crossing the line in 14th place. Rhys lost the bragging rights for the first race and finished in 7th position and just missed out on 6th place. But his brother Caolan bagged himself another podium place by coming home in 3rd place!!
In the second race Taylor was progressing well through the field and was up to 8th place, but he had a big crash and once again injured the collarbone that was just starting to heal. A battle of the Irwin brothers once again, this time Rhys was right behind his brother and missed out on the final podium place and finished in 4th, once again Caolan secured another podium finish and crossed the line in 3rd place!!
Supersport 600 and GP2 saw Ben Currie and Dan Jones racing once again. Ben qualified in 10th place and Dan down in 21st but the 8th GP2 bike. Ben suffered a DNF in the first Supersport race of the weekend. Dan finished the race in 22nd overall but was the 9th GP2 bike to finish. In the second race of the weekend, Ben crossed the line in 13th place to grab a handful of points towards his total. Dan Jones crossed the line 18th overall and was classed as the 8th GP2 bike to finish. So a mixed weekend for the Supersport and GP2 riders but here’s hoping the luck can change for the next round.
Superstock 1000 saw Billy McConnell start the first race of the weekend in 13th place with Lewis Rollo starting from the front row of the grid from 2nd position.
The first race for the stock 1000 class saw Billy gain places and move up the field and was up to 7th place by the end of lap 8 and was leading the chasing group of riders, Billy held steady and kept his focus to cross the line in hard-fought 7th place. Lewis broke away with the lead group of riders and was leading by lap 4. He pulled a lead of up to 6 seconds and one point during the race. A controlled race by the young Scotsman saw him take his second win in the Superstock class and cross the line 4 whole seconds in front of the rider in second place.
Race 2 saw Billy line up in 11th and Lewis from pole on the front row. Another solid race for both riders with Lewis once again finishing on the podium with a 2nd place finish, 45 out of 50 points for Lewis over the weekend which is a great result for both Lewis and the IN competition Aprilia team. Billy had an eventful race, to say the least, in typical Billy fashion, he was making moves and passing riders in ways that were never seen before. The move on Tom Neave round the outside of the superfast Island bend which then led into the move on the outside of TT legend Ian Hutchinson, then the last lap overtake on the final corner which secured the 7th place for the ever-popular Aussie.
The final class to focus on is the Superbike class, Home round for Joe Francis but things didn’t go to plan for the young rider from Cheshire. A crash towards the end of qualifying meant the Joe would start the first race from 17th on the grid. Josh Owens would start from 24th with Graeme Irwin just one place ahead in 23rd position, next up was Hector Barbera in 20th. Just outside the top 10 was Luke Mossey on the OMG racing BMW, Luke would start from 11th place, the final J&S backed rider was Glenn Irwin, he was leading the qualifying session until the very last second until Jason O’Halloran snatched pole with his final lap. This demoted Glenn down to 2nd on the grid for the first race of the weekend.
The race didn’t bring Joe any good luck when he had to retire with only 3 laps of the race left. Graeme crossed the line in 20th place, Josh Owens just in front in 19th with Hector missing out on a points-scoring place by finishing in 18th. Luke Mossey gained a few places through the field and was as high as 9th at one point during the race, but Luke finished just outside the top 10 by coming home in 11th place. Glenn made a great start to the race and was always within the top 5 places, but Glenn held steady and finished the race in 5th place just being beaten by his brother Andrew.
The second race of the weekend saw Joe once again fail to finish, another rider who failed to finish was Glenn Irwin on the Honda, this was Glenn’s first none points-scoring finish of the season. All the other J&S backed riders improved from the starting positions on the grid for the start of the second race, Graeme finished in 18th place, Josh once again just in front in 17th place, Hector came home to score the final point of the race in 15th position and Luke grabbed a 9th place finish.
The final race of the weekend and the final chance to score the all valuable championship points. Joe managed to cross the line in 16th place after starting down in 22nd. Another race finish for both Graeme Irwin and Josh Owens who came home in 21st and 19th place respectively. Hector, once again, scored 2 more points to add to his total by coming home in 14th place. Teammate Luke Mossey came home in 10th place after a steady weekend and 3 points scoring race finishes. But another solid finish for Glenn Irwin who finished in 6th place to consolidate his championship lead.
Glenn has had his championship lead cut down to only 2 points now. That DNF in the second race could prove to be crucial in the final standings but it’s not all over yet with 6 races of the season left. Speaking of which 3 of those final races come from Donington Park, but this time on the longer GP circuit. This takes place over the weekend of 2nd-4th October. Fingers crossed for better news for race fans who may be able to attend….but this does look doubtful.
So until next time thanks for reading and stay safe.