2021 Bennetts British Superbikes
Round Nine – Oulton Park
The opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown produced high drama at Oulton Park as championship leader Jason O’Halloran crashed out after hitting the front of the pack as his team-mate Tarran Mackenzie claimed the victory with a last lap move on Josh Brookes. Now just five-points separate the McAMS Yamahas at the top of the standings.
At the start of the race, O’Halloran had taken the lead into Old Hall for the first time as the Showdown kicked off in Cheshire, but Brookes was instantly attacking and moved ahead before the pack streamed into Shell on the opening lap.
Championship leader O’Halloran was soon back ahead as the Australians duelled for the leading position with the McAMS Yamaha rider holding the edge on the third lap, before Brookes regained the advantage at Hizzys.
A resurgent Brookes was defending hard on the VisionTrack Ducati from O’Halloran at the front of the field, as the reigning champion bids for a late championship comeback. On the tenth lap, his McAMS Yamaha rival made a decisive move at Knickerbrook as O’Halloran regained command of the race.
However, whilst pushing to break away from Brookes, O’Halloran dramatically crashed out at Knickerbrook on lap 12, handing the lead back to his Title Fighter rival who was holding off Mackenzie, Christian Iddon and Lee Jackson.
Brookes was then defending from Mackenzie, but the McAMS Yamaha rider made his move on the brakes into Hizzys on the final lap, before claiming his sixth win of the season to move within five points of O’Halloran in the standings, slashing his advantage.
Iddon had a dash to the line to hold off Jackson to make it a double podium finish for the VisionTrack Ducati team, whilst Peter Hickman completed the top five for FHO Racing BMW.
Tommy Bridewell stormed up the order from 15th on the grid to finish sixth ahead of Danny Buchan, as the SYNETIQ BMW rider had to work his way through the pack after taking evasive action when Ryan Vickers crashed out ahead of him on the opening lap.
Glenn Irwin, Bradley Ray and Storm Stacey completed the top ten ahead of Sunday’s two races.
Tarran Mackenzie – P1
“It feels great to have won that race. I said on the grid that anything can happen, and what I meant was that I could still win even though I’m injured, but I did not expect Jason to do something like that! He made that mistake and I felt quite comfortable at the time. Myself and Christian were passing each other and I could see that he was right behind me, so when I got past him I decided I’d try and just chase after Josh. I made that mistake in the first chicane and then I just thought ‘if I back off here Christian’s going to pass me, then Lee could pass me or I can just keep going’. I was on the limit, but I felt comfortable doing it. Josh just had a slight moment at that first chicane on the last lap, but what I lose out of the first chicane with that moment of his, just allowed me to stay with him. I got the drive on him over the hill to make that pass and I had run wide a couple of times there in the race, so I just made sure I got it stopped. I then defended in the last couple of corners and came across the line to win which is amazing. I’ve won here in the other classes and it’s been really annoying that I haven’t been able to win here in Superbike – I haven’t even had a podium! I’m really happy with that and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
“Irrespective of wins and podiums, I’m just pleased to be back in the fight again and it’s nice to be racing hard at the head of the field. I felt good leading and although Jason got by on a few occasions, it was never more than for a few corners although I could see he was making a few mistakes. When the attack came from Taz, I didn’t have the grip to fight with him and couldn’t get close to even attempt a pass, but I can’t complain with second. At the same time, now I’m back in the fight, I want to win races again, so we’ll keep pressing on and see what tomorrow brings. It’s a good start to the Showdown especially for the team with two bikes back on the podium.”
Christian Iddon – P3
“Third place is a good start to the Showdown and our title hopes. I got a good start from the third Christian Iddonrow which made my life that little bit easier and could see Jason and Josh were battling hard at the front. Taz and I were also battling hard but not enough to lose any ground and when Jason crashed, it changed the complexion of the race. I’m not sure why but the pace slowed quite a bit and I didn’t quite have the package to push any harder. After an average qualifying session though, a podium is fantastic and it’s all to play for now.”
2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship
Oulton Park – Superbike Race One Results
British Superbike Championship Points Standings
Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1071
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 1066
Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 1042
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 1034
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