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May 2, 2011

Updated: Hopkins Wins, Top Four Separated By 0.6 Second At Finish Of British Superbike Race Two At Oulton Park

Michael Laverty (7), Ryuichi Kiyonari (1) and John Hopkins (21) at speed at Oulton Park.
British Superbike Championship
Oulton Park, Great Britain
May 2
Provisional Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. John Hopkins (Suz), 18 laps
2. Stuart Easton (Kaw), -0.221 second
3. Shane Byrne (Hon), -0.521
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Hon), -0.633
5. Michael Laverty (Yam), -1.026 seconds
6. Michael Rutter (Duc), -2.930
7. Jon Kirkham (Suz), -2.949
8. Peter Hickman (Hon), -7.183
9. Loris Baz (Yam), -7.326
10. Gary Mason (Kaw), -7.925
11. Chris Walker (Kaw), -9.091
12. Martin Jessopp (Duc), -9.711
13. James Westmoreland (Yam), -9.852
14. Alex Lowes (Hon), -12.231, EVO
15. Dan Linfoot (Hon), -14.228
16. Steve Brogan (Hon), -16.314
17. Scott Smart (Duc), -17.668, EVO
18. Ian Lowry (BMW), -18.414
19. Simon Andrews (Kaw), -21.222, EVO
20. Patric Muff (Hon), -24.457, EVO
21. James Hillier (Kaw), -27.952, EVO
22. Tom Tunstall (BMW), -29.346, EVO
23. Barry Burrell (BMW), -33.509, EVO
24. Aaron Zanotti (BMW), -45.517, EVO
25. Josh Brookes (Suz), -10 laps, DNF
26. Hudson Kennaugh (Apr), -13 laps, DNF
27. Glen Richards (Hon), -16 laps, DNF, EVO
28. Tommy Hill (Yam), DNS


Provisional Championship Point Standings:

1. Byrne, 70 points
2. Easton, 59 points
3. Kiyonari, 58 points
4. Hopkins, 56 points
5. Hill, 45 points
6. Laverty, 35 points
7. Rutter, 34 points
8. Kirkham, 29 points
9. Baz, 27 points
10. Linfoot, 23 points




More, from a press release issued by Sorrymate.com Honda:

Linfoot digs deep for hard earned points

Dan Linfoot dug deep to put in two determined rides for the sorrymate.com Honda team at the 2nd round of the 2011 British Superbike Championship. The 22-year old backed up his two top-eight finishes at the opening round at Brands Hatch over Easter with 10th and 15th place finishes at Oulton Park on Monday and thus maintain his top ten place in the Championship table.

With perfect conditions throughout practice and qualifying, albeit for a strong breeze, Dan steadily chipped away and his times subsequently improved from session to session, moving from 16th to 12th and then 7th in the three practice sessions. That placed him in 9th overall going into the qualifying session with improvements to both gearing and suspension having paid dividends. Comfortably into the second section of qualifying, a lap of 1m36.715s looked like it would be good enough to make it into the final section but a final lap by Frenchman Loris Baz in the dying seconds bumped Dan back to 11th thus meaning he missed out. Nevertheless, he still lined up on the 3rd row of the grid for Monday's opening 18 lap race.

Conditions were again ideal for race day and a superb start to the opening race saw Dan slot into 7th place at the end of the first lap and a lap later he moved past Michael Rutter for 6th. Reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari was on a charge though and, despite his best efforts to keep him at bay, Dan was overtaken by the Japanese rider on lap 6 and for the remainder of the race he found himself battling with Jon Kirkham, Baz, Rutter and Gary Mason. When Kirkham got by Dan at Druids on lap 12 it forced him wide, subsequently dropping him back to 9th and although he briefly got back up to 8th, chatter problems saw him eventually cross the line in 10th place.

With the 9th fastest lap of the race, Dan was able to start race 2 two places further up the grid but any hopes of another top ten result were dashed on lap 2 when Kirkham pushed him wide and onto the grass at the high-speed Island Bend. This relegated him to 26th and stone last but, undeterred, a number of quick laps saw him move up to 22nd and when the safety car came out on lap 9, this put him in with a great chance of scoring some points. Sure enough, lapping comfortably quicker than a number of riders in front of him, Dan moved up to 15th with two laps to go to score an extremely valuable point.

Speaking afterwards, team owner Robin Croft said: "We've put in a lot of hard work this weekend and although we were denied the two top ten finishes we felt we deserved, Dan put in another couple of strong rides, showing great determination especially in the second race. Like a number of other teams, we've been struggling with the handling of the bike and we never did find the perfect set up but we've no excuses."

"Tenth place in race one was extremely hard fought and with a few suspension changes for race 2, we were confident of improving on that but a coming together with another rider ended all hopes of that. Some riders would have pulled in but, credit to Dan, he stayed out there and it was a very determined ride into 15th to pick up what could well be a valuable point. We've scored points in every race and are still 10th overall in the Championship whilst we'll have a few new parts in time for the next round which should see us improve further still so we're all looking forward to Dan's home round at Croft."




More, from a press release issued by Marty Nutt's publicist:

More points for Nutt at Oulton

Casterock's Marty Nutt racked up more championship points over the Bank Holiday weekend when he took 12th and 15th at Round 2 of the British Supersport Championship. Riding the Nutt travel.com/Dawn/T&G Suzuki, Nutt rode hard all weekend and his determined efforts were rewarded with 5 more Championship points from the two races at Oulton Park.

The Cheshire circuit was blessed with perfect conditions all weekend and Saturday's free practice sessions saw him record the 20th and 19th fastest times but he was able to improve by over a second on Sunday and a lap of 1m40.621s initially moved him up to 7th. However, just as he was looking to move forward further still, he slid off at the Britten's chicane in the final few minutes of the session and slipped back to 17th place to lead off the fifth row of the grid.

With the bike repaired, a strong start to Sunday's 'sprint' race saw Marty move up to 15th at the end of the first lap and here he remained until lap 4 when he was promoted to 14th due to the retirement of Christian Iddon. Lapping consistently quicker than what he had done in practice, Marty was able to close up to the group in front of him and by lap 8 he had moved up to 12th, a position he maintained until the chequered flag for 4 more championship points.

With the 13th fastest lap of the race, Marty was able to start a row further forward for Monday's longer 16-lap race and a great getaway meant he completed the first lap in 12th place. Two laps later, he'd been pushed back to 15th as he found himself involved in a frenetic 9 rider scrap for 10th to 18th place. Positions were changing hands regularly and although, at one time, he was pushed back to 17th, Marty dug deep and with some determined riding he was able to move back up to 15th at the chequered flag to move on to 8 points for the season and 16th overall in the table.

Speaking afterwards, Marty said: "They were two very hard races this weekend and although I knew the first two rounds would be tough due to the lack of time with the new bike, I can't help but feel a bit frustrated as I know I could be a lot higher up the results sheet. We're lacking a bit of grunt out of the corners and that's making it difficult to get close enough to those in front of me along the straights and try and pass on the brakes. I was having to defend my lines throughout the race and there were a couple of times today where I had to tip in right in front of someone and it was all getting a bit close for comfort!"

"On the plus side, I've scored points in both races and have learnt a lot more with the bike so we have a good direction to go in. We'll have a few more bits and pieces for the bike in time for the next round and that will, hopefully, give us the extra speed we're looking for. I shouldn't be too downhearted as I've scored points in 3 out of the 4 races so far and the next two tracks are two of my favourites, so we'll use the gap between now and Croft to work on the bike and look to get into the top ten at those two races."

Marty now has a two week break before his next race with round 3 of the British Supersport Championship taking place at Croft on May 13-15.




More, from a press release issued by John McGuinness' publicist:

Strong seventh for McGuinness at Oulton

Morecambe's John McGuinness enjoyed a good weekend of racing at Oulton Park having a strong ride into seventh in round 2 of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship. The Padgetts Honda ace was never outside the top ten all weekend and the 9 points earned have seen him jump up to 7th overall in the Championship table.

The Cheshire circuit enjoyed three days of perfect conditions and John was on the pace throughout practice and qualifying, never being out of the top ten. Indeed, a lap of 1m40.391s placed him 7th after first qualiying and although he was shuffled back to 9th during Sunday's final session, he improved his lap time to 1m40.282s, he was well in touch with the top 6.

Subsequently, John and the team were in confident mood going into Monday's 15-lap race and a good first lap saw him consolidate his position but a lap later he was up to ninth and looking to advance further forward as he enjoyed a good three-man dice for ninth with Michael Booth and Luke Quigley. Booth pushed him back to 10th on lap 8 but with Howie Mainwaring crashing and team-mate Adam Jenkinson retiring on lap 12 he was promoted to 8th. He was also closing in on Quigley and, lapping comfortably quicker than his rival, and faster than what he'd gone in qualifying, he overhauled him on the final lap for a strong seventh place.

Speaking later, a pleased John said: "I'm really encouraged by this weekend and the result was very pleasing. The bike was mint from day one and Oulton's one of my favourite circuits so I was confident of a good result and we were strong throughout. Jimmy Storrar rubbed shoulders with me at the first corner and it unsettled me a bit whilst I also got something in my eye which made visibility a bit tricky in the early stages but I was happy with my lap times and could see Luke was tiring whilst I still felt fresh at the end of the race so it was good to get 7th on the final lap. Yes, it was a bit of shame I couldn't have gone with Booth but it was a good seventh place and I'd say it was one of my best short circuit rides since 2009. I'm feeling good on the bike and everything's working well so roll on the next round!"

Round 3 of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship takes place at Croft, North Yorkshire on May 13-15.




More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha:

CHALLENGING RACE DAY FOR SWAN YAMAHA AT OULTON PARK

The Swan Yamaha team had a challenging raceday at Oulton Park today at the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship. Tommy Hill who had yesterday powered to the pole position was sidelined after morning warm up following a heavy crash whilst Michael Laverty secured two fifth places.

Hill had led the championship after the opening round, but was forced to watch from the sidelines after he sustained a shoulder injury when he fell between Brittens and Hilltop following Loris Baz's crash moments before. Hill is now recovering from a torn tendon on the back of his shoulder and is going to visit a specialist for further assessment in the hope of a return at the next round of the championship in ten days' time at Croft. Laverty meanwhile proved the pace of the Swan Yamaha, running at the front of the field until arm pump halted his progress in the first race. In the second race Laverty looked set to score his first win of the season until a mistake at Hizzy's chicane on the final lap whilst running second put him on the grass and when he rejoined he was fifth.

Hill said: "Today has been one of those days which just show the ups and downs of racing. We were feeling really confident and I was really happy, we had set pole position and looked in a strong position for the races. Then it all just went wrong. I was coming out of Shell and I knew I was up on the sector times, but as I came into Brittens I saw a yellow flag out the corner of my eye and rolled off a bit. I didn't see anyone down, but there was just fluid on the track and I just it caught it with the rear tyre and it threw me off. It is a big downer for me and the team but I just have to go home and get mended as soon as I can.

These injuries I have been told can take five to six weeks to heal, but I will see a specialist tomorrow and then we can go from there. Of course I want to be back for Croft, but I won't have more of an idea until I see the specialist. The points system though could play into my hands, as I can drop today's results before the Showdown. I need to make sure that when I come back I am at full fitness so I can do the best job I can in getting the championship back on track for Swan Yamaha."

Laverty said: "I am quite disappointed that we didn't finish on the podium in either of the races today as I showed that we had the pace again to run at the front. I felt comfortable with the race pace and in race one I was struggling a little with arm pump which meant I just had to settle in and take fifth. I had some treatment between the races and it did make a difference and I was back at the sharp end where we knew we could be. I felt strong enough to take the win, but I just made some mistakes and it cost me; before I knew it I had gone from first to fifth. I know that Oulton Park has never been my best circuit; in fact it is one that I have always struggled with, so coming away from here with two fifth places isn't a bad result and we can build on today."

Team Manager Gary Ekerold concluded: "Tommy did everything right all weekend so his crash this morning was very unfortunate. We know that he will leave here, work hard on his fitness and when he returns he will be ready to come back fighting again. In regards to Michael, he showed he could have won as easily as he finished fifth. We have had a positive debrief this evening and now we are happy with the direction we need to focus on ahead of Croft."




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 02 MONDAY MAY 02 OULTON PARK
RESULTS

Weather: Hot and sunny
Temperature: Ambient 19 degrees C / Track 38 degrees C

KIYONARI TAKES A VICTORY, BYRNE PACKS THE POINTS FOR HONDA

Reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari took the victory in the opening race of the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park for the HM Plant Honda team, but he had to settle for fourth next time out as John Hopkins became the first American rider to win a race in the British series.

Shane Byrne, meanwhile, extended his lead in the early season title stakes as he finished fourth and third aboard his HM Plant Honda, results that reflected the hard work that the team technicians had done to both his and Kiyonari's bikes across the weekend to increase their performance as they struggled with set-up and electronics issues.

Both riders had found it hard to run at the sharp end of the pack across free practice and then in qualifying in which Byrne was seventh fastest, two places up on Kiyonari, though the demise of Tommy Hill in a crash during the race-day morning
warm-up practice ensured that both started the first race from the second row.

Michael Laverty made the running in the opening race from Josh Brookes with Byrne fifth on the first lap and Kiyonari eighth, but both were soon on the ascendancy and by half distance Kiyonari, who had clinched his third British title at this Cheshire circuit last October, was running third before taking first Hopkins and the Laverty to lead the race.

Kiyonari took his tenth victory at the circuit, some four seconds clear of Hopkins, with Stuart Easton, riding Kawasaki, third from the determined Byrne. Next time out, as Easton forged clear, Byrne was back in sixth, just in front of Kiyonari in what proved to be a tough, and eventful race.

Brookes crashed heavily, with his Suzuki somersaulting wildly across the track, bringing out the Safety Car as marshals cleared the debris. Easton continued to lead with Kiyonari, despite having some brake problems fourth, as Byrne put together a late charge that took him to fifth on the penultimate lap.

Then, Byrne pushed on hard, his cause aided by Laverty running wide at the chicane, coming through to take third place, adrift of Easton who had lost the lead to Hopkins with two laps remaining. That podium finish for Byrne puts him 70-59 points ahead of Easton with Kiyonari in third place in the standings on 58 points.

Hill, who had gone into this round leading the points standings was ruled out of the races. He had qualified fastest for this round, with a lap in 1m 35.175secs, well inside the lap record, but sustained ligament damage in his left shoulder as he high-sided off his Yamaha at the Brittens section of the course during race-day morning up session.

The incident came after Frenchman Loris Baz had crashed moments earlier at the same point, with fluid leaking from his bike. Hill slowed, but was unable to do anything about it as his bike broke out of line, throwing him off.

Apart from Hill, Tommy Bridewell also failed to make the races. He extensively damaged his Tyco Honda in a heavy crash during free practice, and the team was unable to repair his machine due to a lack of parts.

Alex Lowes took a double victory for the WFR Honda team in the "back to basics" BSB-EVO class underlining his speed by securing a front row start for the second race, the grid decided on the basis of the fastest laps recorded by riders. Lowes ran second overall for two laps in the second race before dropping back down the pack.

Lowes leads 95-57 points over Ducati rider Scott Smart in the BSB-EVO class standings.

And, the debut of Jenny Tinmouth, the first woman to race in the series, was put on hold as she failed to make the qualification time criteria, her cause not helped by machine problems and then a tumble during free practice.

Honda post race quotes:

Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda): "I was happy with the first race, but not so much with the second race! We made an improvement with the setting. The team worked very hard, long into the night so I have lots to thank them for. I had a better feeling with the bike though I was surprised by the pace of the race. I was happy to be winning again, but in race two we just couldn't repeat it. I had a small problem with the brakes. I couldn't brake hard enough into the corners. Once riders got in front of me, I could not get them back."

Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda): "I am so pleased to have finished on the podium in the second race; after Saturday's free practice sessions when we were running outside the top ten and struggling with the electronics I would have taken the offer of a fourth and a third in fact I would have bitten your arm of for it! It is all credit to my team and to Motec who did such a good job to get us up the sharp end for the races. There were a couple of moments when I got a raw deal with riders heading off the track, but there were a few I also benefitted from. Everyone was jostling for positions out there and I was able to make the most of it and get on to the podium. We really turned things around this weekend and to have the lead in the championship ahead of Croft is a good result after everyone's hard work here at Oulton Park."

Alex Lowes (WFR Honda): "I am pretty happy with the weekend here and really enjoyed both races even though the pace was hot. To be running with the 'big boys' was a mega experience and I want more of the same and will be working for that. Winning both races put me well clear in the BSB-EVO class, but I am hungry for more and will be working for that.


RESULTS

BRITISH SUPERBIKE
RACE1:
POS / RIDER / NAT / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / GAP
1 / RYUICHI KIYONARI / JPN / Honda - HM Plant Honda / 29:06.776 /
2 / JOHN HOPKINS / USA / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 29:10.926 / 4.150
3 / STUART EASTON / GBR / Kawasaki - MSS Colchester Kawasaki / 29:11.112 / 4.336
4 / SHANE BYRNE / GBR / Honda - HM Plant Honda / 29:11.422 / 4.646
5 / MICHAEL LAVERTY / GBR / Yamaha - Swan Yamaha / 29:11.460 / 4.684
6 / JOSH BROOKES / AUS / Suzuki - Relentless Suzuki by TAS / 29:11.881 / 5.105
7 / JON KIRKHAM / GBR / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 29:20.358 / 13.582
8 / LORIS BAZ / FRA / Yamaha - Motorpoint Yamaha / 29:23.413 / 16.637
9 / GARY MASON / GBR / Kawasaki - MSS Colchester Kawasaki / 29:25.884 / 19.108
10 / DAN LINFOOT / GBR / Honda - Team Sorrymate.com / 29:26.228 / 19.452
11 / MICHAEL RUTTER / GBR / Ducati - Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati / 29:26.691 / 19.915
12 / ALEX LOWES / GBR / Honda - Team WFR / 29:26.757 / 19.981
13 / PETER HICKMAN / GBR / Honda - Tyco Honda / 29:27.730 / 20.954
14 / JAMES WESTMORELAND / GBR / Yamaha - Motorpoint Yamaha / 29:35.972 / 29.196
15 / MARTIN JESSOPP / GBR / Ducati - Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati / 29:37.472 / 30.696

Fastest lap: Ryuichi KIYONARI JPN Honda - HM Plant Honda Lap 10 1:36.041 162.39 Km/h


RACE2:
POS / RIDER / NAT / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / GAP
1 / JOHN HOPKINS / USA / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 30:13.082 /
2 / STUART EASTON / GBR / Kawasaki - MSS Colchester Kawasaki / 30:13.303 / 0.221
3 / SHANE BYRNE / GBR / Honda - HM Plant Honda / 30:13.603 / 0.521
4 / RYUICHI KIYONARI / JPN / Honda - HM Plant Honda / 30:13.715 / 0.633
5 / MICHAEL LAVERTY / GBR / Yamaha - Swan Yamaha / 30:14.108 / 1.026
6 / MICHAEL RUTTER / GBR / Ducati - Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati / 30:16.012 / 2.930
7 / JON KIRKHAM / GBR / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 30:16.031 / 2.949
8 / PETER HICKMAN / GBR / Honda - Tyco Honda / 30:20.265 / 7.183
9 / LORIS BAZ / FRA / Yamaha - Motorpoint Yamaha / 30:20.408 / 7.326
10 / GARY MASON / GBR / Kawasaki - MSS Colchester Kawasaki / 30:21.007 / 7.925
11 / CHRIS WALKER / GBR / Kawasaki - Pr1mo Racing / 30:22.173 / 9.091
12 / MARTIN JESSOPP / GBR / Ducati - Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati / 30:22.793 / 9.711
13 / JAMES WESTMORELAND / GBR / Yamaha - Motorpoint Yamaha / 30:22.934 / 9.852
14 / ALEX LOWES / GBR / Honda - Team WFR / 30:25.313 / 12.231
15 / DAN LINFOOT / GBR / Honda - Team Sorrymate.com / 30:27.310 / 14.228

Fastest lap: Jon KIRKHAM GBR Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing Lap 3 1:36.049 162.38 Km/h


CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TO DATE:
1 BYRNE 70, 2 EASTON 59, 3 KIYONARI 58, 4 HOPKINS 56, 5 HILL 45, 6 LAVERTY 35, 7 RUTTER 34, 8 KIRKHAM 29, 9 BAZ 27, 10 LINFOOT 23, 11 HICKMAN 21, 12 MASON 19, 13 BRIDEWELL 16, 14 WALKER 16 ,15 LOWES 14.

NEXT EVENT: ROUND 03 MAY 13-15 CROFT CIRCUIT, NORTH YORKSHIRE




More, from a press release issued by AP Kawasaki:

Oulton Park Podium For Russo

The AP Kawasaki team enjoyed a strong weekend of racing at Oulton Park with Freddie Russo giving the team their first podium finish of the year when he took second place in round two of the Metzeler National 600cc Superstock Championship today.

Adding to the success, Leon Hunt also gave the team their first points of the season in the 1000cc category although fellow team member Anthony Haywood was forced to retire due to damage on the bike caused when another rider collided with him.

Brentwood's Russo was on the pace throughout practice and qualifying and, after placing tenth on the grid, was feeling confident of a good race finish. A brilliant start saw him complete the first lap in an excellent fourth and although he was pushed back to fifth a lap later, he was already almost four seconds clear of sixth. When the safety car came out on lap six it allowed the pack to bunch right up and when race leaders Glenn Irwin and James East crashed out on lap eight, he found himself briefly in the lead.

There was nothing between the top three and the positions between Russo, Keith Farmer and Johnny Blackshaw changed with frequent regularity and when Freddie overtook Blackshaw on the penultimate lap he was able to secure second position, taking 20 points to move up to joint third in the championship table.

The two riders in the Superstock 1000cc category endured mixed fortunes but for Hunt, a strong qualifying pace where he placed 13th, gave him great optimism for the 15-lap race. A solid start saw him consolidate his position but at half race distance he dropped back to 17th due to suffering arm pump. The Brighton rider dug deep though and was rewarded for his efforts with 15th place, and a championship point at the chequered flag.

Haywood meanwhile had qualified in 26th place but any hopes of improving upon that disappeared on the opening lap when another rider collided with him, which dropped him all the way back to 40th and last. Despite riding with damaged handlebars, the Chesterfield rider was up to 28th just five laps later but the damage was proving too hard to race with and he reluctantly pulled in and retired.

Freddie Russo: "After a DNF at the first round, I just wanted a solid top ten finish this weekend so to get second at what I consider to be my bogey circuit is absolutely brilliant. I couldn't have asked for a better start and I was secure in fourth when the safety car came out which played into my hands in terms of getting a podium although with about six laps to go I experienced a bit of brake fade. That allowed a couple of other riders to dive up the inside but I kept my head down and concentrated really hard on not making any mistakes so second place and 20 points is superb. The bike worked really well and the team did a mega job all weekend, putting in so much effort, so we can head to Croft full of confidence and looking for more of the same."

Leon Hunt: "I'm really pleased to have got my first points of the season but disappointed at the same time not to have been able to race hard from start to finish. I worked hard with the team throughout practice and have now found a good base set-up with the bike and that allowed me to run strongly throughout qualifying. The race was going well but at about half race distance my arms pumped up really badly so I need to improve on that so that we can fulfil the pace we've shown this weekend. Like I say, I'm pleased with the bike and pleased with the points so we now have something to build on and can look forward to Croft."

Anthony Haywood: "I'm really disappointed with how the race went as we made some real good progress with the bike in qualifying and found a set up that I was comfortable with. Someone clipped my handlebar on the first lap and although I tried to bang it back into place, it was a real struggle. I managed to overtake a fair number of people but my wrist was really sore from banging the bars whilst the bike was handling poorly as a result. I tried to stay out as long as I could but it was getting a bit dangerous to carry on so I had little option other than to pull out."

Alan Greig: "We're obviously all over the moon with Freddie's result and it's given the whole team a boost. He would have liked to have been higher in qualifying but he got a good start, stayed out of trouble and put in a terrific ride. Not only was it a great result, it was a stellar effort by the team and has done wonders for Freddie's confidence, which took a dent in 2010. It's not his best track and the plan was to bring the bike home for a solid top ten finish but he exceeded that by far and he can head to the next round in a very good frame of mind.

"Leon had shown great pace in qualifying and found a good set-up of the bike but the arm pump kicked in during the second half of the race and he had to drop back a bit. Nevertheless, it's great to have our first point on the board in the class. Anthony was really unlucky in the race but, even with the problems, showed what a racer he is by moving up 12 places and, like Leon, has now found a good set-up with the bike. We can all go to Croft safe in the knowledge that the technical issues have been overcome and we'll be looking for three good finishes there."

Round three takes place at Croft, North Yorkshire on May 13-15.

Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship (14 laps)
1, Keith Farmer (Yamaha) 24:45.370s
2, Freddie Russo (AP Kawasaki) +1.709s
3, Ben Burke (Yamaha) +3.468s
4, Dominic Usher (Yamaha) +3.805s
5, Johnny Blackshaw (Triumph) +3.862s
6, Adam Lyon (Suzuki) +7.322s
7, Connor Behan (Kawasaki) +7.511s
8, Jonathan Lodge (Triumph) +8.669s
9, Ben Grindrod (Kawasaki) +9.562s
10, Brad Anderson (Kawasaki) +9.853s

Metzeler National 1000 Superstock Championship (15 laps)
1 Tristan Palmer (Honda) 25m03.434s
2 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki) +0.042s
3 Jimmy Storrar (BMW) +2.822s
4 Richard Cooper (BMW) +3.238s
5 Jason O'Halloran (Honda) +3.861s
6 Michael Booth (Ducati) +13.725s
7 John McGuinness (Honda) +15.967s
8 Luke Quigley (BMW) +18.108s
9 Marshall Neill (Aprilia) +20.723s
10 Joe Burns (BMW) +21.747s
15 Leon Hunt (AP Kawasaki) +42.224s
DNF Anthony Haywood (AP Kawasaki) 8 laps

Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship Positions
1, Ben Burke - 41 points
2, Keith Farmer - 25
3, Freddie Russo - 20
=, James East - 20
=, Connor Behan - 20
6, Johnny Blackshaw - 17




More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Alastair Seeley raced his Relentless Suzuki by TAS GSX-R600 to two hard-fought podium finishes at the Oulton Park British Supersport Championship second round on the Bank Holiday weekend.

After racing to second place in yesterday's 12-lap sprint, the 31-year-old Carrickfergus rider repeated the performance in today's equally-exciting 16-lapper aboard the all-new Supersport machine - setting the fastest lap in the process - and moving up to third position in the series after four races.

Alastair Seeley:

"I can't be too disappointed with that; especially as today was only our second race meeting on the new GSX-R600. I was strong for two-thirds then struggled a little, but when Kennedy came past, there was no way I was settling for third and I regained my composure. As I showed - by setting the fastest lap - I think I could've broken away if I'd been able to get some clear track, but it's going to be tight like that most weekends and 40 points is a good tally."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"Yesterday Alastair put in another fantastic performance to put the GSX-R600 on pole position and that was a boost for him. It's a tough Championship but we have a strategy in place which he needs to work to: basically take the wins when they are there and if not settle for solid points. He's comfortable on the harder tyre and in tomorrow's longer race that may well play into his hands.

"Today, Alastair showed his experience and proved it's all about taking points when that's all that is on offer. It's good to see him using his head in these races, because the GSX-R600 package can only get better and with his consistency he'll be hard to topple.

British Supersport Race 1 Results [12 laps]:

1 Ben Wilson [Kawasaki]
2 Alastair Seeley [Relentless Suzuki by TAS] +0.248s
3 Jack Kennedy [Yamaha] +0.498s
4 Paul Young [Triumph] +7.489s
5 Lee Johnston [Honda] +9.416s
6 Luke Mossey [Triumph] +9.683
7 Steve Plater [Honda] +10.350
8 Daniel Cooper [Triumph] +12.334s
9 Billy McConnell [Triumph] +17.213s
10 Gary Johnson [Honda] +21.058s

British Supersport Race 1 Results [16 laps]:

1 Ben Wilson [Kawasaki]
2 Alastair Seeley [Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing] +2.552s
3 Jack Kennedy [Yamaha] +2.648s
4 Luke Mossey [Triumph] +9.193s
5 Billy McConnell [Triumph] +15.656s
6 Paul Young [Triumph] +20.128s
7 Daniel Cooper [Triumph] +20.304s
8 Gary Johnson [Honda] +20.426s
9 Sam Warren [Yamaha] +33.858s
10 Max Hunt [Honda] +35.204s




More, from another press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Josh Brookes suffered the heartbreak of crashing out of a potential race win in today's second British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park, taking just an opening race sixth-place for his efforts at the Cheshire venue.

The Relentless Suzuki by TAS rider did make giant strides forward at the start of race two, storming away at the head of the field with Stuart Easton from his front-row grid position. And while the pair had opened up a four-second lead over their pursuers at half distance, Easton looked, at times, to be holding up the GSX-R1000 of Brookes, who was keen to settle into his own rhythm at the front of the field. Sadly, a small mistake on the run into Britten's Chicane on lap nine ended his weekend prematurely, leaving everyone very disappointed after a very big effort between races.

Josh Brookes:

"I'm hurting but I'm not hurt, although I can't work out what is worse: sixth or crashing. In race one we started fast but drifted away, but we made changes for race two and the bike felt almost on rails as it was strong and a lot better. To be fair, Easton was slowing me up in places; I just wanted to set my own pace as it's hard to see apexes at Oulton through those little chicanes following someone. It's disappointing as I believe we could have won that one, but we'll give it more of the same next time out and hopefully it'll be our day."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"We were seven or eight laps away from this being a great weekend, but that's racing. The first BSB race was a good race, but we improved things for race two; Josh just made a huge mistake which he knows was not necessary. The bike can't be faulted today and really and truly Josh can't be faulted either; he's a racer and he was on it, so we can't expect him not to push for the win when he feels it's there. We're obviously just not finding the correct recipe at the minute."

British Superbike Race 1 Results:

1 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +4.150s
3 Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +4.336s
4 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +4.646sA
5 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +4.684s
6 Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki) +5.105s
7 Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +13.582s
8 Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +16.637s
9 Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +19.108s
10 Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +19.452s

British Superbike Race 2 Results:

1 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing)
2 Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.221s
3 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +0.521s
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.633s
5 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +1.026s
6 Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati ) +2.930s
7 Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) + 2.949s
8 Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +7.183s
9 Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +7.326s
10 Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +7.293s




More, from a press release issued by Splitlath Motorsport:

SPLITLATH MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

SPLITLATH Motorsport feel they are moving in the right direction after the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.

Rider Hudson Kennaugh narrowly missed out on a top 20 finish after his Aprilia RSV4 machine ran out of fuel in the final lap of the first race, and he was forced to retire from the second with a technical issue.

But the team are confident they are improving every time they take to the track, and hopes are high that they can score some solid results at Croft in two weeks time.

"We've made some great progress here this weekend, that first race was going really well for us, we were just unlucky that we ran out of fuel in the final lap," said Kennaugh.

"It's definitely clear after this weekend that we are heading in the right direction. Yesterday I said we were getting there, and today I think we are even closer.

"We had a little problem in the last race and I decided it was better to pull in than risk further damage to the bike. I'm leaving Oulton a lot happier with our development, and the team have done a good job this weekend. They've worked hard and it's very clear to see."

Unfortunately Jenny Tinmouth did not make the grid for today's two races after her fastest lap wasn't enough to secure a place in the race. However, the Ellesmere Port rider had only had the chance to get a handful of laps on her new machine before qualifying, and the problem was simply not enough track time.

She will now head to Anglesey next weekend to take part in a round of the Thundersport GB Championship to give her three days of valuable track time on the bike.

Team Manager John Dimbylow praised his team for a solid weekend of hard work. "The guys in this team are amazing and are giving 100%, and we have seen a definite improvement this weekend," he said.

"We have to remember we are a new team, and we're learning a little bit more each time we go out, but we're built of solid stuff. We'll brush ourselves down and we will come back out fighting.

"Hudson did a grand job out there today and I think once we get Jenny on the bike next weekend and give her some much-needed track time, that she'll be in a much better position for Croft."




More, from another press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

John Hopkins made history today when he became the first American to win a British Superbike Championship race. And the Samsung Crescent Racing rider's victory at Cheshire's Oulton Park circuit came straight after his previous inclusion as the first American to stand on a BSB podium, with second place in the first race.

It was a highly successful outcome for the Suzuki GSX-R1000-mounted team in the second round of the series as Hopkins' team mate Jon Kirkham raced to two fighting seventh place finishes.

The substantial points haul elevates Hopkins to fourth in the BSB Championship, inside the all-important top-six Title Fighters. As well, with two podiums, Hopkins netted five podium credits moving him into the joint lead of the Podium Table. Kirkham, too, moved up the points standings to eighth, significantly now just six points adrift of the Title Fighters. Inclusion in the top six Title Fighters is vitally important for Championship success as only the top six in the points standings qualify to compete for the title of British Superbike Champion over the final three rounds of the season.

John Hopkins:

"That was good, really good. It's an awesome track, I really enjoyed riding here, but as well what great fan support! It's been 11 years since I last won a race - that and all that's happened to me over the past few years meant that this was one emotional win. I was definitely teary-eyed on the podium. I couldn't be happier.

"The racing, as before at Brands Hatch, was intense; there was carnage at times. But with my motocross background I can endure that. The first race went well and I started well and went with the leaders. At the end of the race I got into second and I had to ride for the finish at that point, but that's never a satisfying feeling.

"So I knew I wanted to win the second race. Curiously that race didn't go so well early on and I dropped back after the start. I regrouped but still had a lot of work to do to catch the two leaders, so I was definitely the man who gained the most when one of them crashed bringing out the pace car. Even after that it came down to a three-way battle. But the bike felt so good I knew the win was possible. I took the lead with two laps to go and never looked back. A big thank you to the crew for this weekend. I couldn't have done it without them."

Jon Kirkham:

"I was very pleased with that first race. I'd left myself with a lot of work to do after qualifying 16th yesterday. To come through, picking them off one-by-one, to take seventh felt really good.

"I had a second row start then for the second race, but I got a terrible start, so I had the hard work to do all over again. I got up to Michael Rutter in sixth but was struggling to find the grip to get past him, so I had to settle for seventh again. It was a great weekend, though. Being in the team camp with all that was happening with Hopper was exciting enough, but to find myself mixing it up with the likes of Shane Byrne felt fantastic. I'm really looking forward to the next round."

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:

"What a tremendous weekend! Hopper was brilliant, taking his time to learn the track and working hard with his crew to find the set-up on his bike that made these results possible. With every ride he built on the success of the last.

"At Brands Hatch last weekend he learned just how tough BSB can be. This weekend he applied those lessons. Oulton Park is not an easy track to master, not by any measure, so his performance this weekend shows he's very much a contender for this Championship.

"JK has been brilliant as well. We mustn't forget he's virtually a rookie to BSB; he's never before traded positions with the country's elite riders, but he was doing that this weekend. For him to take the fastest lap in the second race as well - that's icing on the cake. And equally important, he's doing all this while looking so smooth, so controlled - and fast!

"We can't be anything less than delighted with the outcome this weekend. This is a big reward for our new sponsors Samsung, for Fixi and Drive Business as well as our long standing sponsors, without whom we wouldn't be here. Lastly, it has to be said that these results are never possible without the team also performing at their best and I want to give huge credit to both riders' crews; they've truly excelled this weekend."

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship:

Race 1 Results:

1 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +4.150s
3 Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +4.336s
4 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +4.646s
5 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +4.684s
6 Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki) +5.105s
7 Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +13.582s
8 Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +16.637s
9 Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +19.108s
10 Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +19.452s

Race 2 Results:

1 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing)
2 Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.221s
3 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +0.521s
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.633s
5 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +1.026s
6 Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +2.930s
7 Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) + 2.949s
8 Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +7.183s
9 Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +7.326s
10 Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +7.293s

Championship Standings:

1 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 70
2 Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 59
3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 58
4 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) 56
5 Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 45
6 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 35
7 Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors Ducati) 34
8 Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) 29