The Tyco Suzuki team is looking ahead to next week’s International North West 200 after a tough weekend at Oulton Park during round two of the British Superbike Championship.
American John Hopkins took ninth place in Monday’s second race at the Cheshire venue after retiring from the opening encounter in the closing stages due to a problem sensor, which caused an intermittent misfire on his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike.
His team-mate Josh Waters took a brace of 13th-place finishes for his Oulton Park efforts and despite his obvious disappointment, the Australian did significantly improve his lap times from his visit in 2013.
“Unfortunately I can’t say it’s been a great weekend. I came in here with a lot higher expectations, as it is a track that I’ve always enjoyed. I do have good memories from Oulton Park, but throughout the course of the weekend it never quite came together for us and I was never able to get into a rhythm.
“We had a few small mechanicals but I never really settled myself. This is a track that requires you to connect the dots and if you mess up one corner, you mess up the whole lap time. When we got behind a bit I was getting frustrated with myself and I was trying to attack the track and this is not a place to attack as you make too many mistakes. This can be one of the most physically-demanding tracks or it can be one of the most enjoyable. Unfortunately this weekend it was physically demanding.”
“Again it’s been a difficult weekend for me but we did make progress and the boys have done a great job helping me in all areas. The times were a bit closer and I’ve dipped under my times from last year, but there’s a lot more to come. I know I have the speed to improve significantly; I just need to work on a few areas and build confidence. Oulton can be a tricky little track when you are struggling, but I know the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R package is good enough for the job, so hopefully we can move forward in a few weeks at Snetterton.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager:
“Obviously in BSB terms this has been a disappointing weekend for us and not even close to what we expected for our efforts. Everyone is trying very hard as usual and our goal is to get our season back on track at Snetterton. We certainly know where we need to improve. We have an important few weeks now with the road racing side of the job for Tyco Suzuki and hopefully we can give our sponsors something to cheer about at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.”
BSB Race 1 [18 laps]: 1 Shane Byrne [Kawasaki]; 2 Josh Brookes [Yamaha] +0.105sec; 3 James Ellison [Kawasaki] +6.183. 13 Josh Waters [Tyco Suzuki] +33.985sec. John Hopkins [Tyco Suzuki] retired lap 15.
BSB Race 2 [18 laps]: 1 Josh Brookes [Yamaha]; 2 Shane Byrne [Kawasaki] +0.118sec; 3 James Ellison [Kawasaki] +4.892sec; 4 Stuart Easton [Kawasaki] +11.841sec; 5 Tommy Bridewell +14.145sec; 6 James Westmoreland [BMW] +20.894sec. 9 John Hopkins [Tyco Suzuki] +29.872. 13 Josh Waters [Tyco Suzuki] +31.729.
More, from a press release issued by Tsingtao WK Kawasaki Team:
Superstock championship lead and two Superbike top 10s for Tsingtao WK Kawasaki
THE mighty Tsingtao WK Kawasaki team have returned home from the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with another hefty haul of points and in command of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.
On the whole it was a successful second round for the five-rider team as the series headed to Oulton Park, and left with more silverware in the hands of Superstock pilot Danny Buchan, while Superbike rider Jon Kirkham got his 2014 season off the ground with two top 10 finishes.
Kirkham, who was forced to pull out of the second race at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago after suffering concussion in a crash, was determined to make an impression as the championship arrived for its first of two visits to the Cheshire track. Never straying far from the top 10 during the weekend’s free practice sessions, he qualified 12th for the opening race on Bank Holiday Monday.
Despite a bad start where he dropped a handful of places, he soon began to pick up the pace, and with it progressed through the field to finally cross the line ninth. Qualifying 13th for the second race, this time he got a clean getaway and made up a couple of places in the opening lap. But on Lap 10 a small technical problem hit and after considering whether or not to pull in, he decided to stick it out and managed to nurse his machine home in a solid 10th position.
But once again the day belonged to Danny Buchan, who never once looked in danger as he dominated the Superstock 1000 class, topping the timesheets in every session before going out to take another lights-to-flag victory, never once coming under any pressure.
His Stock 1000 team-mate Kyle Wilks was unlucky to suffer a gearbox problem two laps from home which forced him to retire. After qualifying 24th, he had been looking good for a solid finish.
There was further bad luck in store for Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship rider Ben Godfrey, who had been as dominant in his class as Buchan had in his, topping the timesheets early in the weekend and taking pole. But things didn’t go to plan when he got a bad start, and then made a mistake going into the final corner on the first lap and crashed out.
Across in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, roads man Dan Cooper enjoyed two solid races and grabbed 16th in the first race and 18th in the second in his final race before his road racing season gets underway at the North West 200 next week.
Jon Kirkham, Superbike: “I’m a bit disappointed we had that problem in the second race because the bike was feeling great until then and I’m sure we could’ve pushed harder and got a really good result. I was right on the group battling for seventh when it happened but I can’t complain too much about two top 10 finishes. After Brands Hatch I feel we’ve achieved a lot more here this weekend and it all looks good moving forward for the rest of the season.”
Danny Buchan, Superstock 1000: ““It’s obviously been another great weekend. We’ve been quick from the start, we got pole and finished the day with another win and another maximum points haul. It’s been amazing. The team have built a fantastic bike and it’s great that I can pay them back with another win for all of their hard work behind the scenes. We’ve got six weeks now until the next race and we’ve got some testing coming up so we can keep on top of our game. Hopefully we can come back at Snetterton and bring home another 25 points.”
Kyle Wilks, Superstock 1000: “The race didn’t go as we’d planned but all in all it was a positive weekend. We were just unfortunate that a gearbox problem scuppered the race for us, but we’ve learnt a lot and have plenty to take with us going forward to Snetterton.”
Ben Godfrey, Superstock 600: “It was my mistake really. I just got a bad start and I think I just messed myself up really. After I got that bad start I dropped back to fifth and I had to start pushing. I think I just rushed into it and I lost it myself at the final corner on the opening lap. It’s one of those annoying mistakes. I haven’t put a foot wrong this weekend and then I got to the race and just messed up. It’s hard, because we’ve been so strong all weekend, so to throw it all away in the first lap is really difficult.”
Dan Cooper, Supersport: “It wasn’t too bad a weekend, it was our final chance for some racing before we go to the North West 200 and I think we achieved what we set out to do. Now I’m just focussing on my road racing season, and I’m pleased to have come away from Oulton with two top 20s.
Dave Tyson, Team owner/manager: “Another great weekend, Danny was absolutely faultless from start to finish as we knew he would be. He did what he set out to do and just took control of the whole show. He’s got all the tools he needs and he’s proving he is the best rider out there on the best package. He’s full of confidence.
“In Superbike, Jon did a great job too. He’s a bit a bit disappointed that he didn’t get to chase for a top seven but that’s just how he is. He’s a competitive and very talented rider and we’ve seen him climb higher each time he’s gone out this weekend. After missing most of Brands Hatch, it was always going to be a tough one but he’s come back strong and showed the rest of them he can be a contender this year.
“Kyle and Ben were both unlucky. Kyle’s weekend started really well and the improvements made here are plain to see. As for Ben, he’s another talented rider who proved he too deserves to be at the front. He made a mistake, people make mistakes, he’ll get over it and he’ll be back stronger at the next one.
“As for Dan, he did exactly what I wanted him to do - go out there, use it as testing and get as good a feel for the bike as he could before the North West. Yes, there have been a few lows this weekend but they’ve balanced by the highs. As a team we’re strong and we’re all excited about what the rest of the season has in store.”
More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision Racing:
DOUBLE WIN PUTS MCCONNELL AHEAD AFTER OULTON PARK EPIC
Billy McConnell claimed a stunning Motorpoint British Supersport Championship double win after an epic race long battle with Alastair Seeley and team-mate Graeme Gowland at Oulton last weekend.
McConnell had sealed the Sprint race victory when his closest rivals Gowland and Seeley crashed out of contention with Luke Stapleford and Brands Hatch race winner Glenn Irwin completing the podium at the Cheshire circuit after a hectic opening race.
In the Feature race the pair were ready to make amends and an epic battle throughout the race started with Seeley initially leading the pack, but a mistake from the Mar-Train Yamaha rider at Hizzys dropped him to third.
Gowland held the lead until Irwin made a move down the inside at Lodge to put the Gearlink Kawasaki at the front of the field, however it lasted for just a lap as Gowland pushed the Smiths Racing Triumph back ahead with McConnell moving second. McConnell then swapped paint with his team-mate to hit the front before Seeley made a move to return to the front.
A frantic race continued with the pair swapping positions with every lap and as it came to the final lap Seeley led the trio across the line. McConnell was pushing hard but it wasn't until Lodge that the Smiths Racing Triumph made a decisive mood down the inside that gave him the edge.
McConnell said: "When you are battling bar to bar like that it is pretty special to take the victory. Alastair is a clean racer and always comes in with smiles even when you have beaten him. I had an awesome package thanks to the team and these are the result that we wanted."
Gowland held third whilst Luke Stapleford was able to get the better of Irwin over the closing laps to score a fourth place for the Profile Racing Triumph team.
In the Evo category Alex Olsen aboard his Power Projects/T3 Racing Triumph snatched the victory by just 0.176s from Sam Coventry, Road & Race Performance/FutureMoto and Steve Mercer, Team Traction Control. Olsen maintains the lead in the Evo standings by 23 points from Coventry with Grant Whitaker a further 17 points behind.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Oulton Park, Sprint race result:
1. Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph)
2. Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) +5.278s
3. Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +7.095s
4. Luke Jones Acumen Industrial Services Triumph +8.304s
5. Jake Dixon Appleyard Macadam & Doodson Yamaha +11.228s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Oulton Park, Feature race result:1. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph)
2. Alastair Seeley (Mar-Train Yamaha) +0.286s
3. Graeme Gowland (Smiths Racing Triumph) +0.427s
4. Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing Triumph) +9.017s
5. Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +15.592
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings after Oulton Park:1. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) 76
2. Alastair Seeley (Mar-Train Yamaha) 63
3. Graeme Gowland (Smiths Racing Triumph) 61
4. Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing Triumph) 52
5. Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 50
For more information please visit www.britishsuperbike.com