Is it Murphy's Law or Sod's that says the sun will beat down all week when you're stuck in the office and then disappear behind rain-filled clouds come the weekend? For once, Sod, or is it Murphy, got it wrong on the weekend BSB came to Oulton. Having poured down all weekend, and during morning warm-up, the sun suddenly appeared just as the racing was about to start, to everyone's amazement.
A strange incident on the sighting lap held everything up for a good half hour. As the Superbike field cruised round, two back-markers collided and Vince Whittle's Ducati burst into flames, sending a fireball hurtling down the track. Nori Haga, guesting as a wild card from WSB, rode straight through it, apparently without batting an eyelid, as though he'd seen it all before. Huge damage was done to the track however, and it took armies of marshals and a street cleaning truck to make the track fit for action again.
John Reynolds was on poll, with Michael Rutter, Dean Thomas and Yukio Kagayama sharing the front row. Rutter got off the line well for once, but Hawk Kawasaki's Scott Smart tipped into the first corner underneath him. The bike bobbled and Smart ran wide, forcing poor old Michael Rutter onto the grass, rejoining the pack way back. Kagayama got out in front, followed by Sendo Ducati's Dean Thomas, JR and in a sensational start for the R1-mounted privateer James Elllison in fourth. JR moved effortlessly into second at Lodge, while Gary Mason took his time to pass Ellison.
In what was a forgettable meeting for Renegade Ducati, Haga went off the track on lap three. Having pulled into the pits, he rejoined the race only to be shown the black flag for contravening BSB rules. Leon Haslam had a decent race until colliding with Glen Richards in a dash for the line. He survived unharmed, but it could have been a disaster for little Leon and Renegade.
By lap four, the two Rizla Suzukis were away at the front, where they continued to open a gap on the rest of the field. JR eased past Yukio on the brakes at Lodge, in his favourite overtaking manouevre of the meeting. But having got past Kagayama, he couldn't make the break and Yukio sat on his back wheel until the last lap, when he made his move at Foulstons chicane to take the win. Honda-mounted Michael Rutter made his way through to fourth by lap seven, with Gary Mason in fifth, Scott Smart sixth and James Ellison seventh, but dropping back. Rutter eventually took third from the battling Dean Thomas, who was the best Ducati all weekend, but had no chance of catching the Crescent boys.
This was a lamentable meeting for some of the leading lights of the championship. Steve Plater did not compete at all, having broken his wrist in practice in a crash that left him watching from pit wall with his arm in plaster. Ryiuchi Kiyonari was also absent with a broken collar bone. There were no such excuses for Sean Emmett on the MonsterMob Ducati 999. He came a lacklustre eighth in race one, and having run off the track after a couple of laps of race two, he then pulled into the pits to the immense displeasure of Paul Bird. Oulton was nothing short of a catastrophe for Emmett, who must get his finger out sharpish if he is not to be out of a job after Mondello.(Anyone fancy a flutter on James Haydon taking over?)
Gary Mason got the drop in the field in race two, but it didn't take long for the two Rizla Suzukis to make their way effortlessly to the front, where they once again proceeded to run away with the race, Kagayama holding off JR to take the double. Michael Rutter, who was the only rider capable of living with them, had started from the back of the grid and spent the rest of the race making his way through the field to take another third. Once again, James Ellison got a fantastic start and ran with the front runners for the first few laps. Not surprisingly, he won both Superbike Cup races, while competitors Dennis Hobbs and Sam Corke both DNF'd in race two, to leave Ellison leading the championship.
In the Supersport race, Karl Harris and Michael Laverty made the break from the rest of the field. Laverty had a last lap move in mind, but his plans went awry when back markers got in the way, so he had to settle for second. Tom Sykes had his best race of the season so far, running in third for a few laps before dumping it on the TAS Suzuki. Ian Macpherson, having done so well at Snetterton on the Vitrans Honda could not repeat the feat and crashed out on lap two. Jay Vincent took third with Simon Andrews eventually coming through to take fourth, with Cal Crutchlow in fifth, and after a race long dice, Pere Riba took sixth, with Craig Jones nicking seventh from Luke Quigley on the last corner.
Adam Jenkinson took his third win in the R6 Cup, to lead the table with 75 points. Richard Wren was second in the race and is effectively the nearest challenger in the championship with Kiel Bryce having left.
Andy Tinsley won the Superstock race from 'Dangerscouse' Mark Heckles. Local rider Heckles ignored the pain of a broken foot and pulled a miraculous move on Tristan Palmer with a couple of laps to go to take second spot. Michael Wilcox won the 125 race to head the championship with 70 points.
- Reynolds - 167
- Rutter - 149
- Kagayama - 128
- Smart - 90
- Emmett - 86
- Kiyonari - 76
- Thomas - 74
- Hill - 51
- Richards - 51
- Mason - 49
- Coxhell - 31
This srticle was kindly provided by Pete Morrison of www.twowheelsontrack.com