Leon Haslam moves into BSB series lead after showdown #1 at Oulton Park
Josh Brookes cards 3-5 results to move into second place in the rankings
Images by Jon Jessop
2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park – Race One
There was drama before the first race even got underway for Showdown contender Jake Dixon as the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki team worked right up until the grid left for the warm up lap before he could exit the garage after his crash in warm up. Dixon started last and from the pitlane, but a determined ride from the 21-year-old saw him heroically carve his way through the pack to finish the race in an incredible fourth place.
Silverstone race winner Linfoot had fired himself into the lead on the opening lap from Showdown contenders Josh Brookes and defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne with Peter Hickman, Haslam and Christian Iddon in close contention.
Brookes had moved into second place by the end of the first lap with the leading pack chopping and changing positions with Hickman soon up to second by the fourth lap. The Smiths Racing BMW rider was pushed back into third a lap later as Iddon moved ahead for Tyco BMW.
John Hopkins on the Moto Rapido Ducati was on a charge though and he surged his way into third a lap later as Linfoot continued to edge away at the front. Iddon was trying to close the gap, making a mistake which saw him run on through the chicane and then rejoin, still holding second but with Hopkins, Haslam, Hickman, Brookes and Byrne still ready to make their move.
Iddon though crashed out of contention on the tenth lap, elevating Hopkins and Haslam into second and third respectively as Byrne was dropping down the order on the Be Wiser Ducati. On the 15th lap there was drama for Linfoot as a problem with the Honda Fireblade saw him forced to retire and bring out the red flag, and that put Haslam into a winning position after he had made a move on Hopkins just a lap earlier.
James Ellison was able to get ahead of his McAMS Yamaha team-mate Michael Laverty to hold fifth place as Bradley Ray moved up to seventh in the closing stages as the rookie moved ahead of Showdown contenders Hickman, Byrne and Jason O’Halloran who bounced back from his crash yesterday.
2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park – Race Two
A dry race two saw Linfoot secure his second race win in the Championship, coming back from the disappointment of a race one retirement to score a fantastic victory, holding off Haslam and rookie Bradley Ray to the line as the leading trio were covered by just 0.114s.
At the start Leon Haslam launched into the lead ahead of Dixon and Linfoot, but the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider moved ahead on the opening lap to push his JG Speedfit Kawasaki rival back into second place.
Byrne started from the fourth row and he was pushing into the top ten by the second lap, but at the front Dixon was leading the pack from Linfoot, Haslam, Iddon and Hopkins. However after scoring a podium in race one, the American crashed out unhurt on the Moto Rapido Ducati.
Dixon was holding the lead, but Haslam was making a fight back, passing Linfoot into Lodge on the eighth lap with Ray also joining the scrap for the podium.
On the tenth lap though Haslam hit the front of the pack with a decisive move at Lodge on the brakes. Dixon was dropping back and Linfoot had moved into second for Honda Racing and was waiting to make his move on the race leader.
Rookie Ray had moved into third place with a lunge on Dixon at Old Hall on the 15th lap. The 20-year-old was in close contention; however the podium order went down to the wire with Haslam leading as the trio crossed the line to start the final lap.
Linfoot made his move at Old Hall to take the lead but Haslam instantly fought back to move back ahead on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki. It wasn’t over though as Linfoot did everything he could to make a move back and he did just that and the pair crossed the line virtually inseparable but it was the Honda Fireblade who had the edge.
For Ray the third place marked his debut podium finish in MCE BSB as he became the 15th different podium finisher in the 2017 season and score the first top three finish for the new Suzuki.
Hickman was the second of the Showdown contenders, finishing in fourth place after fighting his way ahead of Brookes and Dixon with Byrne finishing seventh to drop to third in the overall standings.
O’Halloran was the sixth of the Showdown riders in eighth place after getting ahead of Iddon and Ellison who completed the top ten for McAMS Yamaha.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 571
Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 549
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 548
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 541
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 530
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 517
Leon Haslam 1-2
“I had to keep telling myself in the second race “championship, championship” especially when Brad was nipping at my heels in the final few laps. We rode hard and strong today and that has paid off. I have to say congratulations to Brad and Dan for that (second) race. Conditions have kept changing today and that hasn’t been easy, so I have to thank the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, I was frustrated not to get the win in race two but we have a good position now moving into Assen. I can’t wait to get there; we had a double win there last year, but anything can happen and there are a lot of people who can challenge for podiums in this championship.”
Josh Brookes 3-5
“The weekend was going well, the bike has been strong most sessions, today the weather turned and for whatever reason, we’re not exactly sure why the bike didn’t perform, but I did the best I could in the circumstances that we had. I felt like we had a good set up in the rain on Friday morning when it rained, but the bike has moved on in the practices since then, so in the wet I just didn’t feel as confident as I needed to be in a better position. The second race was dry but the bike didn’t perform as it did earlier this weekend so I just rode it to the best I could. We’re 22 points behind, it’s a lot. A 22 point gap is a lot to leave here with and try to make up. For me as a rider myself, I’m not satisfied with the weekend. We need to go to Assen with something better. I need to win races at Assen, that’s all there is to it. If we’re going to win the championship this year the bike has to be right, I have to ride it perfectly every time out, and we have to have a 100% satisfying weekend. That’s what we’ve got to focus on trying to achieve. You try and achieve that every weekend, but that’s clearly what needs to happen for us to have a chance.”
Dan Linfoot DNF-1
“It has been said before that these wins don’t come on the back of cereal boxes and it isn’t easy at all. I took a win at Silverstone in the wet conditions but I told myself that because everyone crashed out it handed it to me a bit and it was a bit gifted. To take a win in the dry has been the aim and race one today was strong in the wet but we had a problem that dropped me out and that wasn’t ideal obviously but the boys changed the motor between races and I never thought I would be here on top of the box. Jake led early on and I was comfortable sitting in the group as there were a few damp patches around and I just hung in there and waited until the end. Leon was leading and I had the strongest last lap I could do and I passed him, he got me back and I knew I had one more chance. It did get a bit scrappy but it was a win and I am looking forward to Assen and Brands Hatch now.”
Bradley Ray 7-3
“I am speechless to be honest; to get my first podium finish in the Superbike class on the new Suzuki is unbelievable. At the start of the year I said to the team lets aim for top tens and to score points then we will be happy as we are developing the bike, so to come away with a podium is incredible. I was pushing on quite hard and caught the boys and took the podium which was a great experience for me too to follow Dan and Leon for those laps. I have learnt a lot today and we can work from this and try and keep the ball rolling.”
Jake Dixon 4-6
“Being perfectly honest, I’m a bit disappointed with today’s results, especially after qualifying on pole position. Everything had been going well up until morning warm-up when I had a big crash on the approach to Lodge and it smashed the bike up pretty bad giving the team a lot of work to do in a short space of time. The bike was literally taped together and I had to start from pit lane and dead last but it worked brilliantly and to finish fourth was pleasing. For the second race it was hard to know which tyre to go with but I opted to go with the softer SC0 which proved to be the wrong choice as it dropped off half way through the race. I did what I could and managed to finish sixth and salvage a half decent result but I’ve shown great pace and what I can do so we’ll look to get back in amongst the podium finishers at the next round.”
Peter Hickman 8-4
“The first race was very average and that was down to me so apologies to the team. I’ve had a decent wet setting all year but haven’t had to push hard so when I did that today, the setting wasn’t quite right. The red flag did me a favour as I was slipping back through the pack and because of that I was deep on the grid for the second race. Starting from 14th was always going to be difficult, especially in mixed conditions, but the bike was awesome and the tyres mint so I was able to keep moving forward. I was the fastest rider on track in the second half of the race but I needed to get by Josh and Shakey quicker than what I did. Loads can still happen but I need to be less cautious and get stuck in sooner.”
Shane Byrne 9-7
“It’s a bit difficult to find the words at the moment and after having three poor rounds, I was feeling really positive coming into Oulton Park, especially after finishing first and second here in May. This was the part of the season I was looking forward to the most and where the real stuff was going to start but Friday was a disaster ending the day over a second off the pace. Fair play to the team, they turned the bike around for qualifying and it was only my mistake that cost us pole. We had a wet warm up today but I was quick and thought the race would be ok but after about three laps of the race, I was really struggling to see. I don’t know what caused it but I couldn’t see a thing and when I saw 10 laps to go on my pit board, my heart sank. I tried everything to clear the visor but ended up ninth whilst a poor lap time gave me a poor grid position for race two. I knew what I needed to do and got my head down but when you try hard like that, you end up making mistakes, which is what I did. I’m not even going to look at the points table but all I know is that things can change quickly in bike racing and this is far from over.”
Jason O’Halloran 10-8
“It’s not been the most ideal weekend for us. I finished race one tenth, it was wet and I struggled a lot with feeling and couldn’t find the grip I wanted or needed with the Fireblade. We started to get stronger towards the end of the race, but it wasn’t enough at that point. Race two, we started back on the fourth row and I got caught out with the damp track and the one line in some areas. It was tough to get past some of the guys and I lost about four seconds on the second and third laps. We finished about 4.5 seconds off Dan in the lead. Our pace was good and strong throughout the race, but loosing that bunch of time at the start just put us on the back foot a little. Huge congratulations to Dan and his side of the garage, they have done a great job! I am now looking forward to getting to Assen and making our way up the pack and hopefully scoring a few podiums.It’s not been the most ideal weekend for us. I finished race one tenth, it was wet and I struggled a lot with feeling and couldn’t find the grip I wanted or needed with the Fireblade. We started to get stronger towards the end of the race, but it wasn’t enough at that point. Race two, we started back on the fourth row and I got caught out with the damp track and the one line in some areas. It was tough to get past some of the guys and I lost about four seconds on the second and third laps. We finished about 4.5 seconds off Dan in the lead. Our pace was good and strong throughout the race, but loosing that bunch of time at the start just put us on the back foot a little. Huge congratulations to Dan and his side of the garage, they have done a great job! I am now looking forward to getting to Assen and making our way up the pack and hopefully scoring a few podiums.”
Glenn Irwin 11-12
“It’s been a tough day’s racing and I’m still struggling after my Knockhill crash, not with Glenn Irwinany injuries but more with my confidence, which is subsequently taking the edge of my riding. The nature of the circuit means the bike is often unsettled and when the bike became upset, I was backing off a bit so I’m naturally disappointed with my results. I’ll go away for a couple of weeks now and look to bounce back at Assen with two good rides.”
Ben Currie pulls off British Supersport Double Victory
British Supersport Sprint Race
Ben Currie dominated the Dickies British Supersport Sprint race at Oulton Park to take the victory by over 11-seconds. Getting underway in dry conditions it was a three way battle for the lead as Keith Farmer, Andrew Irwin and Alastair Seeley battled for the lead however with spots of rain falling on lap three it was red flagged.
Restarted over a ten lap sprint in wet conditions, it was Currie who took the holeshot with the Australian was able to steadily pull away from the pursuing pack to take the victory by 11.445s.
It was action behind him however as Farmer and Irwin battled it out throughout the race, trading places almost every lap, with Irwin eventually claiming second to make it a Gearlink Kawaskai 1-2 whilst Farmer completed the podium in third.
The Moto2 machine of Alastair Seeley secured fourth ahead of David Allingham in fifth. Bjorn Estment secured sixth ahead of Eemeli Lahti, Kurt Wigley, Niall Campbell and Ryan Dixon.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Oulton Park, Sprint Race
Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki)
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +11.445s
Keith Farmer (Appleyard Macadam with Integro Yamaha) +12.116s
Alastair Seeley (Team Quattro Spirit Moto2) +19.446s
David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) +31.064s
Bjorn Estment (Everquip Racing Yamaha) +31.568s
British Supersport Feature Race
Ben Currie doubled up on Dickies British Supersport Championship wins at Oulton Park, fending off team mate Andrew Irwin on the final lap. It was Irwin who grabbed the holeshot, leading championship leader Keith Farmer and Currie over the line. Farmer moved through into the lead one lap later but disaster would strike on lap three when he crashed out of contention.
Separated by just 0.1s, Irwin and Currie were soon joined by Alastair Seeley on the Team Quattro Spirit Moto2 machine leaving it a three way battle for the win.
Leading across the line on the final Currie was able to fend off Irwin to claim his second win of the weekend. Seeley crossed the line third, but with his Moto2 machine not eligible for points it was Jack Kennedy who claimed the final rostrum position.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Oulton Park, Feature Race
Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki)
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.215s
Alastair Seeley (Team Quattro Spirit Moto2) +3.823s
Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) +28.402s
Niall Campbell (Niall Campbell Racing Yamaha) +37.799s
Bjorn Estment (Everquip Racing Yamaha) +42.733s
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings after Oulton Park
Keith Farmer (Appleyard Macadam with Integro Yamaha) 351
Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 268
Benjamin Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 249
Jack Kennedy (GAC Logistics MV Agusta) 248
David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) 245
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 150
British Superstock 1000 Race One
Richard Cooper claimed the opening race at Oulton Park to close Danny Buchan’s Championship lead to just ten points. It was Cooper who grabbed the holeshot, but Buchan had slipped past by the time they crossed the line at the end of the opening lap. Pulling away from the rest of the field, the duo were separated by just 0.1s for the opening nine laps, when Cooper made his move back into the lead before a mistake from Danny saw him touch the grass and hand Cooper a second.
Maintaining the lead, despite pressure from Buchan, Cooper was able to claim his eighth win of the season. Buchan claimed second whilst it was Chrissy Rouse who completed the podium in third.
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race one (14 laps)
Richard Cooper (Suzuki)
Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)
Chrissy Rouse (BMW)
Michael Rutter (BMW)
Adam Jenkinson (BMW)
Josh Elliott (BMW)
British Superstock 1000 Race Two
Danny Buchan extended his lead in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship to 15 points after a dominant win in the second race at Oulton Park.
Launching off pole, the series leader was able to control the race from the front – fighting off a mid-race challenge from Richard Cooper to take the win by 6.3s. Josh Elliott completed the podium in third place ahead of Luke Hedger and James Rispoli.
Sam Clarke failed to finish the opening bout after the exhaust system failed on his PaceDayz R1 and despite being shuffled down the grid for race two as a result, bounced back to a creditable 17th place finish in the second outing.
Brayden Elliott carded 26th and 24th places from the two races.
Danny Buchan 2-1
“I shot myself in the foot in the first race when I ran onto the grass as up until then I felt really comfortable. I was literally only a couple of inches over the white line but it was my own mistake and although I managed to claw back some of the gap, I couldn’t get any closer. The second race was equally difficult and Richard kept me honest throughout. The mixed conditions played into my hands a bit and the bike was absolutely faultless so I can’t thank the team enough. It’s down to the last race now and with Richard being the class rider that he is, I’m expecting another tough battle.”
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race two (14 laps)
Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)
Richard Cooper (Suzuki)
Josh Elliott (BMW)
Luke Hedger (Aprilia)
Jordan Weaving (Kawasaki)
James Rispoli (Kawasaki)
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship Standings (after eleven rounds)
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