Josh Brookes was on form at Oulton Park BSB, claiming both Superbike race wins on the Be Wiser Ducati, firing himself up into the top six, with 50 championship points to his name, after a tough season opener, just 14-points off the current leaders.
Brookes had been strong throughout the weekend as the 2015 champion arrived in Cheshire determined to make amends for a non-point score at the Silverstone season opener. The Be Wiser Ducati ace became the third different rider to claim a victory in 2019 as he held off Tommy Bridewell in the opening race. Ducati also became the third race-winning manufacturer so far this season, marking the first triumph for the new V4R.
Brookes and Bridewell made a breakaway at the front of the pack with the Oxford Racing Ducati rider shadowing the Australian throughout the 17 lap race but he couldn’t find the opportunity to make a pass and, despite piling on the pressure, the Be Wiser Ducati team emerged victorious.
Jason O’Halloran had initially been holding third place over the opening laps but the McAMS Yamaha rider was soon under threat as Danny Buchan carved his way up the order from sixth to close in on the Australian by the tenth lap.
O’Halloran was defending but the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider was determined, made his move and gradually edged out an advantage to the finish line. The battle for fifth went down to the wire between Scott Redding and Peter Hickman, with the Bennetts BSB rookie holding off the challenges of the Smiths Racing BMW rider despite his circuit knowledge to claim a hard-fought fifth place.
Keith Farmer was the leading Tyco BMW to cross the finish line at the chequered flag, claiming seventh place as teammate Christian Iddon was forced to retire despite battling in the top five during the opening stages of the race.
At the start of the second race Brookes again launched to the front of the pack on the Be Wiser Ducati ahead of O’Halloran and Bridewell, but the Oxford Racing Ducati rider was instantly on the attack and on the second lap and moved ahead of the McAMS Yamaha.
O’Halloran was fighting hard but he was soon under pressure from Iddon and Buchan. Iddon edged the Tyco BMW down the inside at Old Hall on lap four with Buchan then diving down the inside at Lodge to push O’Halloran back down the order.
Redding was also on the move and he was shadowing O’Halloran for fifth place; which he grabbed on the run into Old Hall at the start of the sixth lap as Mackenzie closed in on the pair. Mackenzie was pushing his teammate and he also made a move as the Australian continued to push on despite still suffering from a shoulder injury from last week’s test.
As Brookes held off Bridewell for the win in the closing stages, Buchan celebrated his third consecutive podium finish for FS3-Racing Kawasaki, with Redding holding fourth after fending off the final push from Mackenzie over the closing laps.
“It has been a really great weekend and the result that the Be Wiser Ducati team deserved and we can move on from Silverstone. Race one was a really positive start and then before race two I knew Tommy was going to be a big threat. But I was also a bit worried about Danny because I knew he’d come through the pack quite strong in race one, and in that race he was starting a lot further up the grid so I was thinking it could be the three of us battling out at front. I just wanted to try and stay clear of any trouble, and I knew Tommy was right behind me in both races. I just put as many fast laps together as I could, the race pace was a lot quicker in race two than race one, so I just looked at my board and I kept seeing plus zero. I knew that one of us (Bridewell) was going to have to break but finally I was able to get a little buffer and then it kind-of crept out so it made the end of the race a bit easier for me but this was a perfect weekend.”
Iddon claimed his best result of the season in sixth place for Tyco BMW ahead of O’Halloran and Farmer who battled with his McAMS Yamaha rival until the finish. Andrew Irwin managed to get the better of rookie Ryan Vickers in the closing stages to finish ninth ahead of the Superbike rookie.
“It’s good to score some points! I was really happy with fourth in race one, but in race two I struggled a bit and ended up seventh. We had to salvage as many points as we could after not scoring at Silverstone, but it wasn’t easy as unfortunately last week at the test I had a small slip off at Hizzy’s and fractured my right humerus just near my shoulder… I haven’t said a lot about it as I wanted to keep my head down and everyone focused on what we were doing, but riding Oulton Park with a slightly broken bone is not ideal. We’ve got a few weeks now before Donington, so I’ll keep on with the therapy, get fit and healthy and hopefully be back to full fitness.”
“It’s been a tricky weekend, race one was difficult as I out braked myself into Lodge on the first lap, making it hard work for myself as I re-joined 17th! I managed to finish eighth which wasn’t too bad and then had a better starting position in race two. I got stuck behind a rider for a bit too long, two or three laps, but once I got past I managed to chase after Jason, Christian and Scott and finally caught Scott, but I was a little bit too late to take fourth! Fifth place doesn’t sound great, but after the weekend I’ve had I’m happy with that. We’ve got a good feeling on the bike and I’m looking forward to my home round in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Richard Cooper took his third Pirelli National Superstock 1000 victory of the season with a last lap, last corner move on Taylor Mackenzie. Mackenzie launched off the line to be the early race leader but the Buildbase Suzuki of Cooper had found a way past by lap three and set about building a small lead over the pursuing pack.
A string of fast laps from Mackenzie however saw the Bathams BMW rider close up, re-taking the lead on lap ten before Cooper took it back just two laps later. Coming down to the final lap, Mackenzie was back into the lead but a move into the final corner saw Cooper take the victory by just 0.148s. Alex Olsen was able to secure third place ahead of Lee Jackson and Billy McConnell.
Aussies Levi Day claimed 21st, with Brayden Elliott 27th.
“Wasn’t our race today! Damp but drying track with everyone on wets. A rider infront of me spun out on the grid and I had to take avoiding action, just clipping him but fortunately missing big impact. I lost a heap of positions and dropped down to 29th. Managed to fight back to 21st, not how we had hoped the race would go but did my best after the start drama! Big thanks to my team at IN Competition Aprilia and all my sponsors, AJN Steelstock and everyone in my corner! We will continue working hard for round 3 at Donington in three weeks time!”
“Difficult weekend from start to finish. Letting myself down with poor qualifying making for such hard work to push forward during the race. With the help of my team I’m confident we can pin point a few areas to focus on and improve at Round 3!”
Jack Kennedy cemented a perfect weekend at Oulton Park, completing the double in the Dickies British Supersport Championship; his fourth win from four races. In a carbon copy of yesterday’s Sprint race, the Appleyard Macadam Integro Yamaha rider controlled the race from the opening lap, steadily pulling away to take victory by 2.387s and extend his lead at the top of the standings to 20 points.
It was an action-packed battle for the final podium slots behind him though as Alastair Seeley and Brad Jones swapped paint every lap as they vied for second place whilst Kyle Ryde was in close contention in fourth. A red flag on lap 11 prevented a last lap showdown, leaving Seeley to take second, Jones third whilst Ryde was again the leading GP2 machine.
Jamie Perrin was the second of the GP2 machines in fifth overall, ahead of Harry Truelove, Lee Johnston and the third GP2 bike of Sam Wilford.
American Brandan Paasch collected his maiden Hel Performance British Motostar victory at Oulton Park, controlling the race to the end, from Swann and Nixon.
Pole man Dan Jones grabbed the holeshot but crashed out of the race on the opening lap. Paasch collected then picked up the lead and controlled the race from the front to the flag, picking up his maiden victory.
Paasch went on to pick up the Hel Performance Motostar double victory at Oulton Park, providing another dominant display in Monday’s race.
It was Jack Nixon who took off at the front from the lights, but after just three laps he crashed out, gifting the lead to Dan Jones. Jones and Paasch then became embroiled in a battle for the lead, swapping and changing places until the final two laps. Paasch pulled a gap and collected the win with Jones crossing the line second with Swann third.
Aussie Sharni Penfold took 13th in Race 1, and 16th in Race 2, and now sits 11th in the standings with 13 points.
“Overall a positive weekend at my first round at Oulton Park. Happy to improve my times and finish race 1 in 13th overall. Finished 10th in wet warmup this morning and had an interesting race 2 having to start from pitlane after stalling on the warmup lap. Was happy to get back to 16th place overall for race 2. Can’t wait to ride again, thanks so much to my team.”
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