Oulton Park - Round 3, 2015
Oulton Park - Round 3, 2015
Round 3 of the British Superbikes was held over the weekend at Oulton Park in Chesire. This is the first time here this season, with another round here later in the year. It’s one of my favourite circuits, and one of the most challenging on the BSB calender, with a variety of types of corners, from tight chicanes to very fast and bumpy sweepers. It’s undulating nature makes for a demanding workout on the bike, but a very rewarding feeling when you come to grips with the circuit.
Our first practice session on Saturday was dry, and we got back in to a good rhythm, after we had tested here a week prior. I’d had a high side here in the test, so we just made sure everything was working right again and that I was feeling comfortable on the bike. Free practice two was wet and I was pleased to get some wet time on the bike, as I hadn’t ridden in the wet since last season. Although my times weren’t great, we were able to look at the data from that and find some big areas of improvement to take as positive direction. I felt much more comfortable in the wet than last season. I feel that doing some flat track in the off season back in Australia and working on my body position and subtleness on the bike has helped create a much better feeling in the wet.
Sunday we had qualifying and a 12 lap sprint race. I was on the pace straight away in Qualifying and was fastest Evo for the first half of the session. We opted not to put a new rear tire in, and that was probably where we lost out. A few of the other riders managed to pick up the pace better at the end of the session with bettering track conditions and go slightly faster. I ended the session 7th fastest.
I was pumped for the race on Sunday afternoon. I got away well and sat in behind a bunch of faster riders. Unfortunately on the second lap I got pushed wide at turn 1 and ran on to the grass. I lost quite a few positions and the tow to the faster guys. I had a race long battle with Marshal Neill and Matthew Paulo. I got to the front of that battle before a bike blew up which caused the race to be red flagged. Fortunately I was in front of them at the time, so I finished the race in 5th position, a reasonable result after a little mishap in the early stages of the race.
At the first two rounds of the championship, my lap times in the race haven’t been very good, which has then qualified me bad for the second race. I was pleased to have turned that around at Oulton Park. I qualified back in 7th position and knew we had made improvements to pick up the pace for Mondays 16 lap feature race. I ran a much better first lap in race two, and set my best lap of the race on my first flying lap. I had gapped a group of riders behind me and was able to keep putting in quick laps by using the riders ahead of me as a gauge. A crash mid-way through the race saw the safety car come out for a few laps. This bunched all the riders up together and this is probably where it cost me a podium. I made a mistake when getting back up to pace after the safety car went in, and lost some time to the riders in front. Marshal Neill then passed me and created a small gap. From there I was unable to close in on him enough to try and make a pass. I came across the finish line in 4th. Some great points for the championship, but upon reflection, there were some key points in the race that I made some little mistakes that cost me a podium. Never the less, I feel we made some great improvement over the weekend, in our race strategy and in progressing in every session.
I’m currently 4th in the Supersport Evo Championship. We now have 6 weeks off until round 4 at Snetterton. I’ll be using this time to look at the area’s that need improving and giving everything to make sure we come back stronger. We will have some tests in this break to make some improvements with the bike also. Thank you to CPE Motosport for all their hard work and always giving their all. Also a huge thank you to my Sponsors, Supporters and Family who make my racing possible!