British Superbike 2017 – Round Three – Oulton Park
Shane Byrne wins Oulton Park after Haslam falters in second race
Jason O’Halloran on the podium – Brookes cards 7-6 results – Arthur Sissis returns to
MCE British Superbike Championship title heavyweights Leon Haslam and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne shared the victories in a dramatic third round of the season at Oulton Park.
Championship leader Haslam had taken the initial advantage with victory in race one, but whilst chasing his Be Wiser Ducati rival he had a huge crash in the second race after a collision with James Ellison.
Jason O’Halloran puts the new Fireblade on the podium to move into the top six in the championship.
Countryman Josh Brookes had a trying weekend to card 7-6 results on the Anvil TAG Hire Yamaha and currently ranks fourth in the BSB Championship standings.
Images by Jon Jessop
Byrne had set the pole position but in race one Haslam hit the front of the pack from the start of the race with the five-time champion and Mossey hounding him throughout the race.
The ‘Pocket Rocket’ had been fending off Byrne and Mossey throughout the race and managed to hold them off to the line, but behind the leading trio the chasing freight train of riders were embroiled in an incredible scrap for fourth position.
On the final lap the Honda Racing team emerged ahead in the battle for fourth as O’Halloran made a last lap move on Peter Hickman to claim the position at the line. McAMS Yamaha’s Ellison completed a strong race to move through the order to be in the fight for fourth at the end of the race, finishing in sixth place, pushing Josh Brookes to seventh in the closing stages.
Christian Iddon was the leading BMW in eighth place as he managed to get the better of Glenn Irwin; the Be Wiser Ducati rider had earlier saved a huge moment whilst battling for fourth place. Jake Dixon completed the top ten for RAF Reserves Kawasaki.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race one result
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +2.632s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.169s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +9.271s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.343s
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +9.501s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +10.264s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +10.416s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +11.304s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +11.688s
The battle for the Podium Points swung back in the favour of Byrne in race two as the defending champion claimed his first win of the season at Oulton Park, as Haslam dramatically crashed out after clipping Ellison, who suffered a technical issue.
Haslam had hit the front of the pack from O’Halloran, Ellison and Byrne on the opening lap, but the Honda Racing rider was on the attack and he moved into the lead on the second lap, but it was short lived as Ellison then had his spell at the front.
The race was over prematurely for Dixon as he crashed out on the third lap unhurt, but at the front Byrne was closing in on Ellison and on the sixth lap he made his move on the run into Shell Oils corner.
Meanwhile Michael Laverty on the second McAMS Yamaha retired from the race just a lap later.
At the front Byrne had snatched the lead from Ellison, but behind the JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Haslam and Mossey were trading blows with O’Halloran, with the trio switching positions consistently over the following laps.
Iddon, Brookes, Irwin and Hickman were then all involved in the battle for the podium spots too, but in second Ellison was coming under fire from Haslam. The championship leader first tried to make a move at Shell, but ran wide and then had to begin a fight back.
However it ended in disaster for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider when he clipped the back of Ellison on the 14th lap when his McAMS Yamaha suddenly slowed. Haslam was down and out of the race and the damage consequently sidelined Ellison too, leaving Byrne to continue edging an advantage at the front of the pack to return to the top step.
A frantic battle then ensued for the final podium place with a five-way scrap for the final podium position. Iddon was bumped down to fourth over the closing laps as Irwin and O’Halloran pushed into the top three.
Mossey was fifth at the chequered flag as he held off Brookes on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha and Smiths Racing BMW’s Hickman. Tommy Bridewell, John Hopkins and Billy McConnell completed the top ten, the South Australian taking his first points for the season after failing to score at the previous Donington and Brands Hatch rounds.
Bennetts Suzuki endured a difficult weekend but came away with a clearer picture of where to focus its development of the new GSX-R1000. Corner entry had been a particular area of importance, and after trying multiple components and chassis settings, the weekend at Oulton Park revealed that the team needed to work on engine braking settings and also clutch set-up to improve in that area.
From the weekend’s two races, Taylor Mackenzie finished 18th in race one before improving to 15th in race two. Sylvain Guintoli was forced to retire from the weekend’s opening race with a technical issue but pushed through to an 11th placed finish in the second outing.
Roads campaigner Michael Dunlop also used the weekend as another chance to record some laps on the GSX-R1000 Superbike he will race at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races. The 13-time TT winner lapped the Oulton Park circuit faster than he ever has done. He finished 19th in race one before pulling out of race two.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race two result
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +5.218s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.309s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.574s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.881s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +6.025s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +19.130s
- Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +19.130s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +20.293s
- Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +20.431s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 111
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 108
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 86
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 67
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 63
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 61
Shane Byrne – Be Wiser Ducati
“I was very conscious of having hardly any points and no podium credits coming into this weekend and although Leon was setting a very good pace, for two thirds of the first race I was happy to sit with him. In the end, it was getting a bit hairy and I really needed the points so settled for second. If I’d have pushed any harder, I’d have been upside down! We made a few changes to the Shane Byrnebike in between races and I changed my line going into Hizzy’s and everything finally came together. I thought the tyres might drop off towards the end and it took me a while to work out what had happened to Leon and James when my lead shot up but once I had, I was able to bring the bike home. We’ve had the speed the whole time and have just been unlucky so, hopefully, all of our bad luck is behind us now and we can start winning more races and claw back the podium credits.”
Leon Haslam – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
“We always have a theoretical game plan and we had been working all weekend to make the tyre work over trace distance. I had a good start in race one and then at the end I pushed on a little more and we had those few tenths so that was nice as it wasn’t an easy job! Race two was definitely not the best way to finish the day! We had a big crash as James Ellison’s bike cut out at about 160mph right in front of me so I ended up going over the handlebars and luckily I am ok, but disappointed. We had the fastest lap of the race and was closing on Shakey, so frustrated as I felt like we could have challenged for another win there but that is racing. I just need to thank the team for all their hard work this weekend.”
Glenn Irwin – Be Wiser Ducati
“Both races were tough but for different reasons and although I had the pace in the first race I wasn’t able to make a pass or attack like I wanted. The team worked really hard between the two races and the bike in the second race was an absolute dream. It took me a while to get my confidence and I was nearly in the campsite on one occasion when I ran wide at turn one but I regrouped and picked them off one by one. It was tough battling with such a big group of riders but I’m over the moon with second.”
Josh Brookes – Yamaha
“I know with the bike on these tracks I can go quicker, I’ve done that before, so I know not to be disheartened that the bike isn’t good enough, but we’ve just got to be patient now and wait for the settings to come. We’re not a long way from where the pace setters are, it’s a small distance but it’s difficult to find that speed. I’ve just got to not be too disheartened by the results, just stay out of trouble, not crash, just keep chipping away at the points. Then just be patient for the bike to improve. I’m missing a bit of time on the exit of the turns, as soon as I tap the throttle I’m losing the grip. The bike enters the corners brilliantly, and it holds the line great but as soon as I open the throttle, the back just spins. That’s for the team to work on. I’m still pleased to be in the running for the showdown, of course, that goes without saying, it’s important, that’s what we’re all here for but obviously the focus at this point isn’t to continue coming fourth, fifth and sixth, the idea is to start winning so we have to keep focused on that.”
Peter Hickman – BMW
“Fifth was a good result in the first race but I was a bit disappointed to have left the door open on the last corner. Normally you can hear the bikes behind you but on this occasion, I couldn’t so I thought I had a safe fourth! I was a bit annoyed but top five was still a good outcome and we made further improvements to the bike for race two although I again made an average start. I had the pace to finish on the podium but all of the riders in the group were lapping at a similar pace so it was difficult to pass and then hold onto the position if you had made a pass. I got bullied a bit and made a couple of mistakes so rolled off a bit to bring the bike home.”
Taylor Mackenzie – Suzuki
“It’s been a tough weekend but we’ve narrowed down on a key area for improvement. We’ve improved the chassis a lot, but the biggest problem is still the bike pushing on into corners and we’re struggling with our engine braking and getting the bike to work with the BSB-spec electronics. The bike wants to keep running in and miss the apex. But it’s good that we know where to focus now. It’s a problem both Sylvain and I are having, so we can work on it together and hopefully come up with a solution. In the first race I made a slight mistake and lost the tow to the group in front, but it was good to get into the points in race two. Hopefully we’ll come back after the break having tried more things with the bike and improve our results at Knockhill.”
Sylvain Guintoli – Suzuki
“It’s still early days and it’s important to remember that. We’ve worked a lot on all fronts and we’re still understanding the parameters of the bike. We can change something which improves the bike in one area but it can then have a negative impact in another, so we’ve been learning and developing. Now we have an area to really focus on before Knockhill. Our pace wasn’t too bad on Sunday but our qualifying position was lower than where we could have been, I think. Unfortunately, we then had a technical issue in race one which was there from the start of the race, so I wasn’t able to push. In race two we had a better result, and were actually in the battle for eighth. It’s still not where we want to be, but it shows that we are moving forward.”
Michael Dunlop – Suzuki
“For me it’s all been about doing more laps, just getting more and more laps under my belt before the North West. The bikes are working good. We’re still making changes, improving the chassis, but we’re doing okay and should be right next week.”
Tarran Mackenzie has continued his unbeaten run on the McAMS Yamaha, taking his sixth Dickies Supersport win of the season in the feature race at Oulton Park. It was pole man David Allingham who held the early lead in the race, with Keith Farmer, Andrew Irwin, Mackenzie, Jack Kennedy and Joe Francis all running in close contention.
Farmer made his move into the lead on lap five, but Allingham was back through just two laps later as reigning champ and current leader Mackenzie had moved up to third. Lap ten saw Mackenzie move into the lead whilst disaster struck Farmer who was forced to retire from third place, promoting Kennedy to the final rostrum position.
With the leading trio maintaining positions to the flag, Francis crossed the line in fourth place to secure his best finish of the season so far whilst Benjamin Currie completed the top five, adding to his sixth place result in the opening Sprint race.
Tarran Mackenzie’s perfect 150-point haul on the McAMS Yamaha puts him in a commanding lead of the British Supersport Championship ahead of David Allingham on 96, and Victoria’s Ben Currie in third place on 79-points.
“It’s been a tough weekend at the office. I struggled from free practice one but managed to pull it back for race one and secure some good points. Race two was a different story as I really struggled with rear grip. It was a credit to the Gearlink Kawasaki team for their continued hard work and never turning their back on me no matter how hard the job gets and I was able to gain another decent result. I am sitting in a solid third in the Championship after a hard weekend is certainly a positive thing. I want to push hard at Knockhill to get on the podium and on the top step. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all my sponsors and UK Race Homes for providing me with 5* accommodation.”
Early race contender Andrew Irwin appeared to have trouble with his Gearlink Kawasaki machine but was able to eventually finish the race in 11th place whilst Davey Todd claimed his first points of the season in 14th place.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Oulton Park, Sprint race
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
- Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +1.157s
- David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) +1.576s
- Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Racing Yamaha) +3.029s
- Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) +3.264s
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Oulton Park, Feature race
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
- David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) +2.957s
- Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) +7.199s
- Joe Francis (Movuno.com Halsall Racing Yamaha) +11.946s
- Benjamin Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +15.012s
Dickies British Supersport Championship standings after Oulton Park
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 150
- David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 96
- Benjamin Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 79
- Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 75
- Keith Farmer (Team Appleyard Macadam Racing Yamaha) 70
British Superstock 600
Arthur Sissis dominates on drying track to win by 11-seconds
Australian rider Arthur Sissis has claimed his debut victory in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class, dominating on a drying track to finish 11s ahead of second place. It was pole man Brad Jones who grabbed the holeshot initially, but Tom Oliver moved through on the final corner to lead at the end of the opening lap.
A crash on lap two saw the pace car deployed for two laps and as the race resumed Oliver was able to maintain his lead as Bradley Perie moved into second and Championship leader Dan Stamper third.
With the track quickly drying however, Sissis set a number of fastest laps to close down the leaders, eventually taking over front running on lap eight where he was able to cruise away to his maiden race win. Stamper finished second with Oliver third whilst Jones eventually crossed the line in 17th.
British Superstock 600 Oulton Park Race Result
- Arthur Sissis
- Dan Stamper +11.142
- Tom Oliver +19.891
- Bradley Perie +25.068
- Ryan Vickers +26.967
British Superstock 600 Oulton Park Championship Points Standings
- Dan Stamper 70
- Tom Oliver 47
- Arthur Sissis 37
- Brad Jones 32
- Jordan Gilbert 23
British Superstock 1000
Kawasaki’s Mason Law has picked up his first victory in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 class, after both Richard Cooper and Danny Buchan were forced to retire from the two part race, with Chrissy Rouse second and Michael Rutter third.
The race got underway with Cooper grabbing the holeshot from Buchan and Jenkinson, but on lap two Jenkinson came together with the Bennetts Suzuki man taking them both off the track at the Shell Oils hairpin. That left Buchan to clear off at the front, pulling a six second lead on the chasing pack.
The rain then started to fall with nine laps to go, forcing a stoppage, and a quick restart with a nine lap dash following. It was Rispoli who grabbed the holeshot in the rain, with Buchan pulling out with a technical issue on lap two.
Rispoli led from the front, after forcing his way past Hutchinson, with Law closing in with five laps to go. It was a two way battle for the win, with the American pulling a manageable gap over the Benfleet boy.
With two laps to go, Rispoli crashed out at the final corner leaving Law to control the race on the final lap to take his maiden victory in the Superstock 100 class. Chrissy Rouse nicked second from Michael Rutter on the final lap.
“That race was all about using my head. My first start was good; I kept my place on track and started to push forward, which was the original plan. Then came the drizzle, which to be fair did start to settle on the track making it slick before the red flag.
We stuck the wet tyres in and I got a good leap off the line in the re-start and gained a few positions into turn one, then started to pick a few people off. The boys with the dry tyre choice started to come through. At that point I honestly thought, ‘fair enough good shout boys’ but I knew we were still on for a third place. All I could do was pray for rain and it came. The problem was, the wets were really worn by that time and there wasn’t much grip out there, which a few guys found out. I passed the guys on dry tyres and found myself up to second. I kept my pace, worked out where I had grip and where there wasn’t so much and started to catch the leader. When in front I had a 2.5-second gap showing on the pit board with three laps to go and honestly, I wanted to see that chequered flag pronto! I crossed the line for the last lap and misread my board, thinking it was just half a second and not five seconds, so I pushed on; thankfully not too much to take one of the most emotional wins of my career. We, and I mean ‘we’ as a team at Stauff Connect Academy have worked extremely hard. So it’s pleasing to give my boys the gift of a win, and the sponsors, both personal and team related.”
Despite the DNF at Oulton Park, Danny Buchan still holds down second place in the championship, eight-points adrift of Richard Cooper, who despite taking pole also took no points at Oulton Park.
“It’s a shame when you’ve come all this way, been here since Saturday, and only got one race, that it then goes like it did. I didn’t really want to lead, to be honest, but I got such a good start I kind of had to, but when Danny came past I was happy just to sit there really. I thought I’d sit behind for eight or nine laps and see how things progressed. But it was only lap three and I felt someone hit the back of me and take me wide and onto the grass and that was it, down I went. It’s unfortunate because we made some more changes to the bike and it was working mint this weekend. But it could have been worse; we’re alright and things went in our favour in the rest of the race and we’re still leading the championship.”
“Sometimes things go for you and sometimes they don’t – and today was definitely the latter. Everything was going perfectly in the first race and with a six second lead, I was in a position to ease back a little and ride to my pit board. A bit of rain came and the race was stopped and then in the re-start, a small problem with the bike caused a DNF. That’s the way it goes sometimes but with Richard having bad luck as well, the points gap remains the same and there’s plenty of races to go.”
Brayden Elliott crashed out from a potential top ten finish after working his way forward from his grid position of 22nd up to as high as eighth place in trying conditions at the Oulton Park circuit.
“I am obviously disappointed with how the weekend ended. The race was extremely difficult with the conditions changing lap by lap. Despite how the weekend concluded I am happy with my effort to adapt to the changing conditions and move forward into the top ten from twenty-second position on the grid. Oulton park has definitely been one of the most difficult tracks I have had to learn on my journey so far, and I did find it a little difficult to master the track with only two practice sessions. I am glad we are returning to this track later in the year, as it gives myself and the CF motorsport team a chance to continue improving as we now have good knowledge of the track to guide us forward.”
“I’d have been happy with a top ten result to be honest at the beginning of the weekend as we’ve a busy, important period coming up with the road races so, naturally, I’m delighted with third! In the first part of the race, I was trying to be careful but I started to have a bit of trouble with the rear brake only when I adjusted it, I went the wrong way. I lost a load of places but adjusted the brake to the correct position and, despite a massive slide, had started to regain ground when the red flag came out. I went with full wets for the re-start and thought I’d messed up at the beginning but hung in there and when the rain returned, it played into my hands. It was really greasy, especially into Shell, but I started to catch people and although second would have been nice, I’m delighted with third so a big thanks to the whole team. We’ve had a good start to the season and can focus all our efforts on the roads.”
The result moves Michael up to fifth overall in the Championship table but he now turns his attention to the International road races with the North West 200 taking place on May 9-13.
British Superstock 1000 Oulton Park Race Result
- Mason Law
- Chrissey Rouse +5.733
- Michael Rutter +5.841
- Luke Hedger +6.767
- Jordan Weaving +6.767
British Superstock 1000 Oulton Park Championship Points Standings
- Richard Cooper 89
- Danny Buchan 81
- Ian Hutchinson 64.5
- Chrissy Rouse 63
- Michael Rutter 54
British Ducati TriOptions Cup
Levi Day back on the podium
Joe Collier has continued his domination in the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup, taking a second victory at Oulton Park, his fifth overall.
Rob Guiver led the opening lap, but Collier soon moved through on lap two and was able to pull away to win by 10.9s, setting a new lap record of 1:40.283s on lap four.
A mistake from Guiver saw him run off track on lap five, but he was able to work his way back through the pack to claim fourth at the line. Completing the podium was Phil Atkinson in second and Levi Day in third.
South Australia’s Levi Day moves up to fifth overall in the Ducati TriOptions Cup Championship points standings with that podium result.
British Ducati TriOptions Cup Oulton Park Race Two Result
- Joe Collier
- Phil Atkinson +10.981
- Levi Day +12.889
- Rob Guiver +14.090
- Jonathan Railton +17.064
British Ducati TriOptions Cup Oulton Park Championship Points Standings
- Joe Collier 112.5
- Rob Guiver 104
- Phil Atkinson 86
- Jonathan Railton 70.5
- Levi Day 56.5