May 3, 2012
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MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 03 SUNDAY/MONDAY 06/07 MAY OULTON PARK
LOWRY AIMS TO BUILD HIS LEAD AS LAVERTY AND KIRKHAM RE-GROUP
Ian Lowry is the surprise early season leader of
the chase for the 2012 MCE Insurance British
Superbike crown going into the third round at
Oulton Park, a meeting that takes on added
significance as it hosts three points scoring
races. One of these races being the race that was
lost due to inclement weather conditions and
track contamination at the opening round at Brands Hatch.
That is not lost on Padgetts Honda rider Lowry
who is eager to build on the slender two points
advantage over Josh Brookes that he established
with his maiden race winning ride in the previous round at Thruxton.
Lowry is confident going into the races at the
Cheshire circuit both because he has a good
pedigree in recent years there and also because
of the enthusiastic and capable team around him
led by Clive Padgett whom the 25 year Ulsterman has total faith in.
Apart from the challenge of Suzuki riding
Brookes, Lowry is ready to take on the best
including his team-mate Luca Scassa and the
Samsung Honda duo of Michael Laverty and Jon
Kirkham who are both keen to put their bids for the title firmly on course.
The decision to stage the race postponed from the
opening round amid the slippery wet and oil/fuel
contamination of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit
back in April, using the starting grid formulate
for the race in Kent, in addition to the
scheduled two races on Holiday Monday means there
are 75 points at stake for the race winners.
The importance of early season points is a focus
for all the riders as they need consistency and
strong performances to establish themselves
firmly in the top six to secure a place in the
end of term showdown, over three rounds and seven
races which decides the outcome of the country's premier crown.
Laverty currently has the most work to do,
running in 13th place in the standings and a best
result of sixth place so far, but he is confident
that he can turn the corner at this round and
return to the pace that he set in pre-season
testing. He welcomes the decision to run the
postponed Brands Hatch race at this circuit as he
starts from the eighth row of the grid, but has
plenty of opportunities to make up ground at Oulton Park.
He needs to be in the front-running pack in all
three races to peg back the riders at the
sharp-end of the points standings, among them his
team-mate Kirkham who marked his debut with the
team with a winning ride at Brands Hatch, but who
struggled with a poor start and then tyre issues in the second round.
Reigning champion Tommy Hill, riding Yamaha, is
chasing a first victory of the season as is
former title holder Shane Byrne aboard a
Kawasaki, but the WFR Honda trio of riders James
Westmoreland, Alex Lowes and Graeme Gowland could
hold the key to the outcome of these three important races.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda)
"This should be another pretty strong round for
us. I've had some success there in previous
seasons, we've got a good base setting for the
bike and the team is putting everything into it.
It is all in place so it is a case of getting
there and getting into it. There is no pressure
on me, nothing is worrying me, it is a case of
working away at it. The important thing is that I
stay in the top six across the season to be in
the showdown. Clive Padgett is a mega guy, so
enthusiastic and his bikes are spot on. We did
the most pre-season testing that I have ever done
because these are brand new bikes, really got
stuck in and that is paying dividends now."
Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda)
"I'm looking for strong results as this is one of
my favourite circuits. My results in the previous
round, a pair of sevenths, were not too bad
considering that things did not go according to
plan with both tyre issues and my bad first lap
in the first race. I believe that the bike will
suit Oulton and I am hoping to build on the good
results I have had their previously. With three
races there are a lot of points to be had. I'm
not making any predictions, but I will ride as
well as I can, get the best results that I can,
but that said, I want to be on the podium."
Michael Lavery (Samsung Honda)
"There are three races so this is an important
weekend. It will be good to get the race held
over from Brands Hatch out of the way here. I'm
starting from the eighth row of the grid, but at
Oulton there are six or seven overtaking places
whereas at Brands there are only two. My aim to
get into the top five in that race and then
really get into the groove in Monday's two races
and get consistent good results. It is good to
get the first two rounds behind us we've had
niggling issues and I have made a couple of bad
calls. In pre-season we had the pace and the
confidence and now we need to kick-start our
season here and get the results that we should be getting."
More, from a press release issued by Splitlath Redmond:
SPLITLATH REDMOND BOYS SET FOR OULTON TRIPLE-HEADER
SPLITLATH Redmond riders John Laverty and Florian Marino are fired-up ahead of this weekend's MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship triple-header at Oulton Park.
Having both tested stock Aprilia RSV4 machines at the Cheshire circuit earlier this year, they are looking forward to a busy weekend which will also include the race which was postponed at Brands Hatch on Easter Monday.
For Laverty it will mark his first race at the track where he had his serious accident last July, but the Irishman refuses to let memories of that day spoil his race weekend.
"Of course what happened at Oulton Park last year will always be in the back of my mind but we did a track day there in March so that initial fear of going back to the scene of the crime isn't there," he said.
"At the end of the day it's not a problem. Oulton is actually a circuit I've always liked. I'm getting stronger each week, and the bike is getting better each time so I believe we're all on a par with each other.
"It's going to be a busy weekend with three races and it won't be easy on me physically but I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike and getting back out there this weekend where we're sure we can make some big steps forward."
For teenager Marino, it will be a welcome return to the track where he enjoyed his first taste of the Aprilia back in March.
"I am looking forward to Oulton Park for I hope a good weekend," said the 18-year-old from Cannes, France. "I'm really motivated to work hard and give my best to make an honourable result.
"The two last races were not good for us but I think we have learned from our mistakes. I have been training hard back at home in Cannes so I should be in better condition to ride the bike too. I can't wait for this weekend."
Team co-owner John Dimbylow said: "We're looking forward to a busy weekend at Oulton Park, both riders are up for it and the team is keen to get back to it. John's fitness is improving every day and this is mirrored by Florian's confidence, which is growing every time he goes out.
"Everyone is keen to get back to the racing action and we're heading to Oulton confident that we can make some big progress and that both riders can bring home some solid results."