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Jul 19, 2011

Updated: Even More From Last Weekend's Various Races

Patric Muff (24).
Persistent heavy rain at Oulton Park on Sunday brought the meeting to a premature end with only one BSB race run in the diabolical conditions.

It wasn't a great day for the Quay Garage Tyco Honda team with both riders falling foul of the rain-lashed track on the opening lap.

The weekend started well enough for both riders with Peter Hickman qualifying eighth and Patric Muff fifth fastest in the Evo class.

Both riders got great starts Muff was leading the Evo class for the first time all season but spun up the rear tyre exiting Old Hall on the first lap and was high-sided out of the action.

He was unhurt and said: "I think I got a little bit excited to be leading the class. Of course I'm really disappointed but the conditions were really bad out there."

Hickman was in fourth place behind Shane Byrne, John Hopkins and Tommy Hill but his race ended on the first lap too when he lost the front as he touched the front brake going into Lodge. He wasn't the only rider caught out by the skidpan conditions at that point on the track with Hopkins also falling foul there three laps later.

Hickman said: "I got a great start and was right up with the leaders and was preparing to have a good scrap with them. I was bolt upright and only just started to squeeze the brake lever and the front tyre folded under me. I was down without any warning. It was like trying to ride on ice."

Team owner Ian Woollacott added: "The conditions made racing a lottery and our riders just copped some bad luck. I was pleased with Patric again because he made good progress in the both the wet and dry conditions over the weekend. "Peter did a great job too in qualifying and, if you're going to crash out on the first lap, I'd sooner he was right in the mix at the front end having a go to try and get on the podium. "We'll put this behind us and look forward to the triple-header Brands Hatch round on August 7."

The second Oulton BSB has been rescheduled for Cadwell Park and will now run on Sunday afternoon (August 28), making it another triple-header weekend.

More, from a press release issued by Bike Interceptor Yamaha:

Sam Warren maintained his top five position after rain stopped play in round seven of the 2011 Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship at Oulton Park (15-17 July).

The Bike Interceptor Yamaha by Seton rider had been consistently strong throughout Free Practice and Qualifying, his excellent pace in the drying conditions culminating in a front row start for the opening ten lap Sprint on Saturday.

As the lights went out on the Sprint late in the afternoon, Sam made a superb start, his best of the season to date, hot on the heels of Seeley as the field stormed into turn one. As events unfolded into arguably the most exciting race of the season, Sam continued to battle at the sharp end, proving that both he and the Bike Interceptor Yamaha by Seton R6 had the pace to run at the front around Oulton's 2.69 mile undulating tarmac.

Heading into the final lap, Sam looked assured of fourth but was forced back into fifth by Paul Young on the dash to line as the riders headed up out of Deer Leap towards the chequered flag.

With the forecast for Sunday looking wet, Sam was hoping to demonstrate more of the wet weather riding skills that saw the 29 year old Derbyshire rider claim his first win at Knockhill last month. However, the treacherous conditions saw a number of vastly experienced riders crash out unexpectedly from all classes during the opening part of the schedule. Race Director, Stuart Higgs, postponed proceedings after the Sunoco British 125GP race, just ahead of the main Supersport event as Oulton's 250-strong team of marshalls tried in vain to defeat the elements to make the track rideable.

After a lengthy delay and further track inspections, Stuart Higgs was forced to abandon the remainder of the meeting on safety grounds.

The Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship race will now take place at at Donington Park (9-11 September) on Saturday afternoon.

The Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship main event will be part of the season finale on the Brands Hatch GP circuit, making it a triple-header event. The rescheduled race will take place on Saturday afternoon, with the final Sprint and Main Event races of the season taking place on Sunday.

In each of the re-scheduled races the riders will line up in the grid positions in which they qualified for the original Oulton Park races last weekend.

BSB Series Director, Stuart Higgs said, "It's always disappointing not to complete an event programme but I am pleased that we can announce that all the affected Championships will retain their prescribed number of races."

Round eight of the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch GP, Kent over the weekend of 5-7 August.
Sam Warren: "Saturday was a very productive day. Qualifying was a drying track session, and mid-session we were running P1. As it dried out, we drastically changed the settings and managed to stay on the front row in 4th. For the race I got a great start, my best of the year, and was in a good battle with the front runners. I had a small issue towards the end that meant I lost 4th at the death to finish 5th. But we were the closest to the leaders we've been in dry conditions so that's positive. It was pretty frustrating to have the main race cancelled as I always run well in the wet. However, so many riders were falling that rider safety must come first. I'll be raring to go at Brands Hatch!"

Ben Burke: "The weekend went well with a strong qualifying and we were happy going into the race that we had the set-up to be competitive. It is a pitty that the weather stopped it form going ahead. Thanks to the team for the work they put in, now we'll get set for Brands Hatch."

Phil Seton, Team Manager: "Saturday was a good day in a lot of ways. Andy finally completed his first race in the UK with a solid performance in the Superstock Shoot-Out. Oulton is a difficult, technical track to learn, so has been great for building Andy's confidence with time in the saddle.

Once again, another very good performance from Sam this weekend, where he showed that he can run at the front in the dry as well as the wet. It was a real shame that the races were cancelled on Sunday as Sam was keen to add to his win from Knockhill. However, it was the right decision with regards to safety for all the competitors, and we can look forward to extra races and points later in the season."

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

German Grand Prix debrief with Hirohide Hamashima

Round 9: German GP Post-race debrief
Sachsenring Circuit, Tuesday 19 July 2011

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard

As the rain stayed away until minutes after the chequered flag, when a light shower fell, the German Grand Prix became only the third race of the season at which MotoGP track time has not been interrupted by rain. Conditions started cold on Friday morning but warmed throughout the weekend, leading to a new lap record and a new total race time record being set on Sunday by race-winner Dani Pedrosa in just his second race since returning from injury. The race itself was fantastic with Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner locked in a three-way battle for the lead, ahead of a three-way battle for fourth and a four-way battle for seventh, keeping the 101,309 race-day fans thoroughly entertained.

Hirohide Hamashima Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division

What happened on Friday morning?

"There were several crashes in which Valentino, Casey, Dani and Toni all fell. In each instance it was through a right hand corner, and of course with only three rights in a lap it is the right side of the tyres that is lesser used and therefore tends to be cooler. Every crash happened as a result of the rider losing the front end. Turn eleven, where most of the falls occurred, is the first fast right of the lap and is over a blind crest before riders plunge downhill towards turn twelve. This means a few things: because it is the first fast right of the lap, the right side of the tyres hadn't been subject to much residual load by that point so the temperature tends to be lower. It is a fast corner so the riders must commit to it and carry a lot of speed through it, which places sudden load on the front tyre. And finally, because it is over a blind crest, there is a natural tendency for the bike to go light which means as the circuit drops away the load exerted through the tyres is momentarily reduced, reducing contact patch and therefore grip. Plus, the track temperature was cold, and the combination of this contributed to the crashes we saw on Friday morning.

"It is important to point out though that we must select our tyre compound options for the conditions we expect in the race which are often if not always much better. Indeed, in the race our compound options were very well suited and performed very well. After Friday morning there were no repeat instances of the same situation so it is fair to say that the conditions on Friday morning were unique and unfortunate as we never like to see riders crash and make great efforts when developing and testing our tyres to make rider safety paramount."

Softer rear slicks were selected for the German GP this year what can you say about tyre performance?

"I am very happy with tyre performance in the race because we were able to see that riders could use both specs of front and rear tyres very well and the times and consistency were very good. Dani set a new lap record on the harder front and rear options, first on lap 9 indicating the performance was good from an early stage, and then finally on lap 20 indicating that the performance lasted well over race distance. The consistency from the top three in particular was also very impressive as they set mid-to-low 1m 22s lap after lap from the first flying lap until the chequered flag. This resulted in the top three all recording race times faster than the previous total race time record which is a very good sign of tyre consistency and durability, as well as of course the consistency and talent of the riders.

"Then we could also see that Alvaro used the softer front and rear slicks for the race and was also very consistent and gave a good performance. Racing very closely with Valentino, Nicky and Colin until the finish, all of whom used the harder options, Alvaro had no problems with tyre wear or graining even on a circuit as severe as Sachsenring.

"We have selected softer slicks for many of the remaining races this year and based on the performance of this weekend's revised rear tyre selection, combined with the changes to tyre allocation that we have proposed from Brno onwards, I am satisfied that we are moving in a good direction for warm-up performance and rider feeling."

More, from a press release issued by GR Motorsport:

Cafe Vero join Team for 8th at Oulton

Marshall floats GR Aprilia RSV4 to 8th rain sodden race

Leading Italian coffee brand 'Cafe Vero' upgraded their involvement with the Team for the 7th round of the 'MCE British Superbike Championship' at Oulton Park, the timing of which could not have been better with their fantastic coffee keeping everyone warm. In contrast to the fantastic weather that we all were blessed with at Snetterton a couple of weeks ago, things could not have been more different this weekend, cold and very wet.

Practice we struggled to find a setting where Marshall felt comfortable and unfortunately we could not hit our ideal time for the best grid position so we were to start 19th. We made a few more changes for warm up and Marshall pulled his end together to show our race potential.

Race day started fine then the skies darkened and the heavens opened. The hideous weather combined with poor track drainage caused the organisers quite a few headaches resulting in some of the races being postponed. Our Superstock 1000 race suffered a delayed start time but did start in very wet conditions. Marshall again made his now customary fantastic start and brilliant first lap cutting his way through to 12th, another 2 places on lap 2 and into the battle for top 10. The race was stricken with quite a few high speed crashes the last of which being recently injured MSS Kawasaki's Championship leader Danny Buchan at turn one, forcing a race shortening red flag stoppage with Marshall in 8th place. It would have awesome to have been able to watch Marshall's progress for the full race distance as his speed suggested even better placing.

Marshall Neill "we did struggle more than we expected here at Oulton and the race was not much fun at all, the conditions were that bad I was nearly off a few times myself, where has the summer gone?"

Tony Robinson "Oulton did not go as we had hoped but the end result is another step forward for the bike We have to thank Luca for the expansion of Cafe Vero's involvement with GR Aprilia and of course their great coffee ! "

Luca Caoduro "We are enjoying our involvement with GR Motosport, Cafe Vero and Aprilia are two iconic Italian brands and with GR Motosport we make a great Team. We are looking forward to the next races and continued good results"