2021 British Superbike Championship
Round One – Oulton Park
Images by David Yeoman
Jason O’Halloran has dominated the opening round of the British Superbike Championship in style, adding two more wins to his Saturday victory to grab a handy lead in the championship. Defending Champion Josh Brookes took a 7-6 result on Sunday, improving but still struggling to resolve some issues from Saturday.
Jack Kennedy won the Supersport class, despite tying on points with Bradley Perie, with Aussie Ben Currie third overall with a 3-4 result.
Taylor Mackenzie took the Superstock win, ahead of Luke Mossey and Billy McConnell. Levi Day finished seventh, just ahead of Brayden Elliott, with New Zealand’s Damon Rees 19th and Shane Richardson 21st.
Casey O’Gorman took the British Talent Cup win, with a double win, with Evan Belford and Carter Brown leaving the weekend tied on 36-points.
In the Junior Superstock it was Jack Nixon claiming the race wins and championship lead, with George Stanley and Joe Talbot second and third respectively. Aussie Seth Crump ran 15-19 and claimed a championship point.
O’Halloran had been victorious in yesterday’s curtain raiser and he carried his momentum into today’s action for the McAMS Yamaha team.
O’Halloran hounded Iddon throughout the second race of the weekend, but despite several earlier attempts at a pass, he couldn’t get ahead.
The Australian was determined to return to winning ways at Oulton Park though and he pulled off an exuberant last corner move on Iddon into Lodge on the brakes to secure the win.
Peter Hickman meanwhile, had been battling in the early stages with the leading pair, before arm pump struck later in the race. The FHO Racing BMW rider showed determination to hold onto third place and claim the team’s maiden podium finish on its debut weekend – also the first for the new BMW M 1000 RR.
SYNETIQ BMW’s Danny Buchan was able to move his way up the order into fourth place, just ahead of Bradley Ray and Tarran Mackenzie, who had overcome a collision with Tommy Bridewell to regain ground before the chequered flag.
The rivalry between O’Halloran and Iddon continued in the final race of the triple-header as the pair went head-to-head for the final time in Cheshire. Iddon once again got a lightning start off the line to lead O’Halloran on the opening lap with Hickman again tucked into third after his pole position start.
O’Halloran was shadowing Iddon throughout the race and on more than one occasion looked to try to find a way ahead, but the VisionTrack Ducati rider kept holding him at bay.
The victory would once again come down to a final lap decider as O’Halloran made a brave overtake on the run down Lakeside to lead into Shell Oils corner.
Jason O’Halloran – P1
“It has been a great weekend and it couldn’t have gone any better, so I need to thank everyone at McAMS Yamaha. Race two was a comfortable race and Christian was setting a good pace and I was looking for somewhere to get ahead but it wasn’t working out. I got out of the seat and then got a good run out of Druids and was as close as ever so I just thought ‘let’s try’. I don’t know how I did get it stopped, but I did and then I just had enough to the line so I was happy with that. In the third race, I had been lining Christian up for a move at Shell, but when I tried there a couple of times I didn’t think I could make a clean pass as he was strong there. He gapped me in some other places and I was a bit worried as I knew it wasn’t just the two of us at the front. I left it until the last lap again and I got a great run out of Cascades and hung on to his draft a little bit and went for the move and got through. I thought he might have come back at me, but to start the season with three wins was a perfect weekend for me.”
Iddon tried to retaliate but had to settle for second, his third of the weekend to lead the charge for VisionTrack Ducati.
Christian Iddon – P2
“I think I’m going to lobby Stuart Higgs to see if we can get extra points for the most laps led in a race. It’s hard to take when you lead for that long and get overtaken on the final lap and although three second place finishes are obviously a great start, three wins would have been better. Jason had something more than us in certain parts of the circuit though and he had plenty of opportunity to weigh things up by sitting behind me for so long. I was half expecting him to come by, especially in the last race but I felt confident leading, and we can take away a lot of positives from the weekend.”
Bridewell meanwhile, had been desperate to make amends for his DNF in the previous race when the incident forced him to retire. He carved his way through from 12th position at the start and was soon piling the pressure on the riders ahead of him.
By lap 11, Bridewell was into fifth before he made a move on Hickman, who was beginning to suffer again from arm pump. He then targeted Mackenzie, hunting the McAMS Yamaha rider down before making a decisive pass on the brakes on lap 16.
Bridewell held off Mackenzie to the chequered flag to take the final podium position of the weekend with Hickman completing the top five.
Peter Hickman – P3
“Great weekend for myself and the FHO Racing BMW team, fantastic to get the first-ever podium for the team at round one and the first-ever podium for the M 1000 RR BMW. If we were offered a 4th 5th and podium from the weekend before we got there, we would have definitely taken it, especially when I was struggling with arm pump really badly this weekend, which is unusual for myself. I felt I had the pace to have been on the podium for all three races, if not to win one or two. That’s the way things go, but I will work to get that sorted before the next round. So leaving here on a positive, the bike has worked really well and shown its potential and it is only round one for us and look forward to getting to Knockhill. Finally, wishing my teammate Xavi all the best and look forward to getting him back with the team for Knockhill.”
It was a difficult weekend for defending champion Josh Brookes, the Australian ending today’s two races in seventh and sixth place respectively.
Josh Brookes – P6
“We’ve definitely made a step forward today especially in the last race although sixth place is a relatively small consolation. It’s important to always think about the positives though and irrespective of the position, I got a decent feeling with the bike again. I actually felt like I could be aggressive and attack into the corners and by doing that, the confidence slowly returned. I got further up the field and scored more points, but I’ve created a bit of a challenge for myself and need to put in some hard work ahead of the next round.”
Jason O’Halloran leads the Superbike standings as a result, on a perfect 75-points, with Iddon second overall on 60. Hickman is a distant third on 40-points, ahead of Mackenzie (34), Bridewell (32) and defending champ Josh Brookes on 25.
2021 British Superbike Championship – Oulton Park Results
Jack Kennedy made a perfect return to the Quattro British Supersport Championship, taking victory in the opening Supersport race at Oulton Park. It was Appleyard Macadam’s Bradley Perie who grabbed the holeshot, leading Kennedy and Ben Currie, with the trio separated by just a tenth of a second.
Lee Johnston was running fourth, but a string of fast laps saw him able to close up on Currie, while Perie and Kennedy were able to stretch their lead at the front.
Coming down to the second to last lap, Kennedy found a way past Perie on lap ten, fending off the fast charging Yamaha rider to take the win. Currie was able to find a way back past Johnston on the final lap to claim the final rostrum position.
Mason Law was the first of the GP2 machines home, fifth overall, ahead of Nesbitt, McGreevy, Truelove, Scott and Perrin.
Scorching off the line in Race 2, Bradley Perie led into the first corner, with Korie McGreevy running second and Jack Kennedy third. Continuing to trade places throughout the opening laps, it allowed Lee Johnston in fourth to close up and join the leading pack.
Disaster would strike McGreevy on lap eight when he crashed out of third place. As they did in yesterday’s race, Kennedy and Perie were able to extend their lead out ahead of Johnston in third, who came under pressure from Ben Currie in the closing stages.
Unable to break away at the font, Kennedy and Perie were split by less than a tenth of a second. Coming down to the final lap, Perie was able to take the lead at the final corner to claim his maiden Quattro Group British Supersport win. Johnston was able to find a way back past Currie for third.
Jack Kennedy and Bradley Perie are currently tied on 45-points, with Kennedy the official leader, while Ben Currie is third, tied on 29-points wiht fourth placed Lee Johnston.
“Pulled one of my best performances off today, after not having the best feeling all weekend. My brake was just starting to fade after pushing so hard to bridge the leaders. Unfortunately after getting to third from way back, I lost the position into the last corner and finished fourth with the fastest lap of the race. Not the result I was hoping for, but what a turn around from the start of the weekend to the end. Role on Knockhill!”
Taylor Mackenzie took victory in the opening Pirelli National Superstock race of the year, cruising away at the front in an action-packed 14 lapper.
Mackenzie grabbed the holeshot ahead of David Allingham, with Luke Mossey in close contention in third. Despite running at the front, Allingham was given a 15 second penalty for not completing his long lap penalty, demoting him down the order.
At the front, Mackenzie was able to control the race, cruising away to take the opening Pirelli National Superstock win of the year.
Luke Mossey eventually claimed second place, 2.7s behind Mackenzie. Billy McConnell claimed third place, ahead of Luke Hedger, Tim Neave and Alex Olsen. Reigning champion Chrissy Rouse crashed out of fourth place at the final corner on the last lap.
Australia’s Levi Day claimed seventh, with fellow Aussie Brayden Elliott eighth. New Zealand’s Damon Rees was 19th and Shane Richardson 21st.
With just one race run, the standings mirror the race results. Mackenzie holds the lead on 25-points to Luke Mossey on 20. Billy McConnell is third on 16. Levi Day is seventh on nine points, and Brayden Elliott eighth on eight points.
“P7 in the race today at Oulton Park! Happy with our result for the first race of the year! Plenty to reflect on and work on for the next round but taking nothing but positives away from this weekend! Big thanks to my team Powerslide Motorcycles and my major sponsor AJN Steelstock Limited couldn’t do it without you guys. And my team around me, Nigel Jameison, Graham Miles, Paul Dyason and my beautiful wife Katie Day for all their hard work and all the Powerslide crew. Thanks to everyone who makes it possible!”
Casey O’Gorman took the British Talent Cup Race 1 win, over a second clear of Evan Belford and Carter Brown, who battled it out for the runner-up position.
Belford would win that battle, crossing the finish line less than two-tenths of a second ahead of Brown.
New Zealand’s Cormac Buchanan was a DNF in the opening race.
O’Gorman grabbed the British Talent Cup Race 2 holeshot, leading Belford and Brown, but the trio were trading places throughout the opening stages of the race. O’Gorman was able to slowly extend his lead at the front, setting a string of fastest laps.
It was an intense battle behind him though, with Belford and Brown battling for the podium. However, by the half way stage, Brown was able to extend a small lead. The red flag came out on lap 11, seeing the result declared.
As a result O’Gorman took the win from Brown, with Belford a more distant third.
Cormac Buchanan had a much better race two, finishing fifth for 11 championship points.
O’Gorman currently leads the standings on 50-points, from Belford and Brown, who are tied on 36-points a-piece.
Jack Nixon took a thrilling last-lap victory in the opening Pirelli National Junior Superstock race, narrowly beating Stanley and McManus.
It was Zak Corderoy who grabbed the holeshot to be leading at the end of the opening lap, but disaster would strike the Birch Racing Yamaha rider on lap six when he crashed out of the lead.
This left a four rider battle for the opening race victory. Coming down to the final lap, it was George Stanley who led into the final corner, but as Eugene McManus tried to get through both riders ran wide, allowing Nixon to slice his way through for the win.
Aussie Seth Crump claimed 15th in Race 1, nabbing a championship point.
Jack Nixon doubled up on Pirelli National Junior Superstock wins in Race 2, taking a second race victory at Oulton Park by 0.5s. The 12 lap race was a constant battle, with Nixon, Corderoy, Talbot and Stanley trading places at the front.
Over the last quarter of the race, Nixon was able to extend his lead at the front, edging away to take his second win of the weekend with Corderoy overcoming his crash from yesterday to eventually finish second while Talbot completed the podium in third.
Seth Crump raced to 19th in Race 2.
Jack Nixon now leads the Junior Superstock class on 50-points, ahead of George Stanley and Joe Talbot.
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