Les Shand scored his first ever National Superstock win at Oulton Park after
completing a demanding Sunday race schedule. The AIM rider competed in both
Superbike and National Superstock races.
Shand commented "This weekend has been a real demanding weekend. I knew it
would be hard, but until you have done it you don't know how much. It's not
just the physical side that has taken it out of me but the mental one as
I had a few problems with the Superbike on Friday and Saturday, the guys
worked well getting them sorted. Competing in two classes is challenging as
you have to flick a switch in your brain telling you which class you are in.
The braking zones are total different, if you brake on the Superbike at the
same point as you would on a Superstock bike you would nearly stop. It felt
so strange at first, most of Friday I had to spend getting use too it.
My second challenge was the tyres, running on slicks is again a new
experience and the extra lean angle you get with the corning speed is
fantastic. Using the tyres is all about confidence and the guys I was racing
against have had all season to get it right.
I had two main goals this weekend 1) stay upright and 2) improve my lap
times each time I went out. The first race I did not get a good start and I
was held up by a few slower riders. It took a while under race condition
for me to get confidence in the bike. As I followed other riders into the
corners and I was thinking, can the bike do what I am asking it to do? Race
two I felt more confident, that showed in my start and lap times, I went
nearly 4 seconds quicker in race 2 than I did in qualifying. I have looked
at the lap times and I was the second fastest Yamaha in speed trap 2 in the
first race and fastest Yamaha at the same point in race two. If I had had
more time on the bike, I may have been able to qualify higher and who knows,
I could have gotten into the top 15?
I was on a high after the second Superbike race and I had to tell myself to
focus as I had to compete in my third race of the day and that was my
championship. Again I got a very good start but I went into Shell Corner
with Lee Jackson and Adrian Coats in front of me. The pace car came out and
this allowed us to close up. The pace car was only out for about one lap
and as soon as it went in I managed to get a better drive and moved into
second as we went into Old Hall and on the same lap I put a move on Coats
going into Lodge Corner. From that point on I just seemed to pull away.
Each time I went past my pit board I saw the gap increase and by the end of
the race I was 7 seconds in front and had broken the Superstock lap record 3
times. I was shocked as I felt comfortable with the bike, and did not think
I was pushing it that hard.
I have moved up to 6th in the Superstock championship and we still have two
rounds left. I still want a top five championship finish."
Alistair Flanagan went on to add "Les has done a real good job this weekend
and he has shown his ability to ride any bike. The Superbike is a hard bike
to ride and Les went out each session and improved his times. At this time
we are still waiting to hear the news about Chris's hand so until I have
spoken to all parties I don't know what is going to happen about Donington.
Today is about Les and his remarkable achievement in Superbikes and his
first ever win in Superstocks, we are very proud of him."