Editorial Note: Americans Julian Correa and Eli Banish were 15th and 16th, respectively, in combined British Talent Cup practice times Friday at Oulton Park.
More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision Racing:
Irwin holds the advantage as BeerMonster Ducati lead Free Practice at Oulton Park
Glenn Irwin set the pace after the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship Free Practice sessions at Oulton Park today as the BeerMonster Ducati rider held the top spot by 0.047s as the Showdown gets underway at an emotional weekend for the PBM team.
Irwin is ready to fight back to close the 14.5 point deficit to his teammate Tommy Bridewell as the pair continue their bid to secure PBM an unprecedented ninth Bennetts BSB title following the passing of Team Owner Paul Bird earlier this month.
Irwin held off Leon Haslam who is chasing his first win of the season for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad Team this weekend and Ryan Vickers, who had a strong start to his comeback this weekend after sustaining a wrist injury at Cadwell Park.
Vickers held off his LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha teammate by an incredibly close 0.004s as Kyle Ryde held off Bridewell, who completed the top five for the BeerMonster Ducati team.
Jason O’Halloran was sixth fastest for McAMS Yamaha, narrowly ahead of Lee Jackson on the
Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki, who ended the session prematurely with a crash. Luke Mossey completed the top eight riders at the Tactix by Lloyd & Jones BMW team’s home round.
Peter Hickman was the fastest of the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad riders in ninth place, ahead of Christian Iddon who also had a crash in the closing stages of the afternoon session. Josh Brookes and Jack Kennedy completed the top 12 riders who progress directly into eBay Qualifying 2 tomorrow.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, combined Free Practice times:
- Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) 1m:34.225s
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +0.047s
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.139s
- Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.143s
- Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +0.227s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.353s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +0.488s
- Luke Mossey (Tactix by Lloyd & Jones BMW) +0.868s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +0.873s
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Ducati) +0.987s
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +1.014s
- Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha) +1.038s
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
“We changed in a direction throughout the session and eventually at the end we really confirmed we had gone the wrong way. Despite that we were able to improve some sectors. I didn’t piece a lap together but I wasn’t too fussed as the overall time was quite good. From the beginning of the session it was enough to stay first, which pleases me. I just had a look at our ideals and our ideal is in the 33s which is starting to get into some serious pace.
“We have an amazing teammate obviously in terms of relevant data to look at and he’s kind of one way, we’re similar but geometries are different ends of the spectrum. I might visit a bit of the Tommy and he might visit a bit of the Glenn. We’ll probably meet in the middle and be glued to each other for three races as always!
“It’s a tough, tough weekend for the team. We’ve been through a lot of emotion. Two weeks ago today, when we got word of Paul’s passing and it might sound quite mercenary but there is really no time for us to be like that this weekend. Because he would be the first team boss to, if you made an excuse that you were doing bad because you were emotional, you’d probably get your P45!
“I’ll continue to work hard, and next week will be tough and we’ll pay our respect to Paul in the right way and shed some more tears. But this weekend I would like to shed tears of joy on the podium and I think that’s the best way to pay respect to Paul Bird because he was all about winning and I’m sure we’ll be giving it our best shot.”