2021 British Superbike Championship
Round One – Oulton Park
Images by David Yeoman
Australian Jason O’Halloran has kicked off the 2021 British Superbike Championship in the best way possible, winning the opening race of the year’s first round, taking the win at Oulton Park ahead of Christian Iddon and Tommy Bridewell.
Iddon had hit the front of the pack on the opening lap as he launched off the front row to lead into Old Hall for the first time ahead of O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie.
As Iddon led the pack, O’Halloran was looking to make his move, but it wasn’t until lap eight when he could make it ahead with a move down the inside at Old Hall.
The VisionTrack Ducati rider tried to reclaim the position, edging ahead as the crossed the line on the tenth lap, but O’Halloran had the lead into Old Hall.
The McAMS Yamaha rider held off the challenge until the chequered flag as Iddon claimed second place for VisionTrack Ducati, with Bridewell in third continuing his successful weekend so far for Oxford Products Racing Ducati.
Jason O’Halloran – P1
“It feels absolutely great to claim the first win of the year! We’ve had probably the best pre-season I’ve ever had, I’ve topped the majority of the test sessions – but the first sessions that actually counted were this weekend and we got one lap so I was a bit unhappy about qualifying. I put my head down though in the race and got a really good start. I’ve done about three practice starts this weekend and fluffed them all so I’m glad I got that one right when it mattered! I just settled in to the race, I sort of knew my pace as I had done a pretty long run in FP3 and I could see Christian ahead. I was pretty happy with what he was doing, he wasn’t really getting away although there was a little gap, it was more of a yo-yo gap and I just picked my time. Once I got to the front I started to push it a bit more. I knew he would come with me because when you’re following you can tag on and get pulled away, and I was happy to just run my normal lines and learn as much as I could for tomorrow. I think we can still improve tomorrow, it’s a longer race as well which I think will play into our favour.”
Christian Iddon – P2
“To come away from the first race of the season with a trophy is obviously great but it was a hard race and after eight months away from racing it was quite a shock to the system. I don’t think I’ve been riding as well as I can do this weekend so I didn’t want to lead and when Jason came by, he pulled quite a gap straight away, but our bikes are so completely different these gaps can come and go and that’s what happened. We’ve definitely improved, and we’ll look to see if we can make further improvements for tomorrow, but 20 points is a good start to the season.”
“We’ve used testing to try a number of things with the bike and did so with optimism and we felt we had the package to come here and challenge for the win. For whatever reason though, that’s not happened and even though we eventually put in exactly the same settings as what we had last year, I haven’t been able to get anywhere near where I should be. We know what the issue is, we just need to work out how to solve it. Sometimes you can look at your own shortcomings which I can accept so we’ll sit down and have a good look at what we need to do to make a better fist of things in tomorrow’s races.”
It was a disappointing opening race for SYNETIQ BMW’s Andrew Irwin, who crashed out at Old Hall and Buildbase Suzuki’s Danny Kent, who slid off at Lodge.
2021 British Superbike Championship – Oulton Park Race 1 Results
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