Season Opener at Oulton Park
Round 1 of the British Superbike Championship launched at the famous Oulton Park Circuit. With the limited amount of dry tests we had throughout pre-season I was confident enough with the bike and knew the areas we needed to work on coming into the first race weekend of the season.
The day started with rain which wasn’t ideal but the track dried quickly so by the time we made it onto the circuit there were only a few damp spots. We started out on wet tyres to understand how the track was, but it was apparent on my sighting lap that it was dry enough for slicks. Confident enough with the conditions I managed to post a reasonable time of a 1:42.6 with plenty of positives to take into the next session.
FP2: Unfortunately the weather was so hit and miss the track was not wet enough for wets nor was it dry enough for dry tyres so we ended missing the session with it looking dry for the rest of the weekend.
The session went according to plan going out on a scrub rear tyre initially to get up to pace and then we switched to a new SCO rear tyre. I had a great feeling with the bike and managed to put a benchmark lap in of a 1:40.4 but with only a few minutes left of the qualifying session I couldn’t quite managed to put a better lap together. But I was happy to be starting race 1 in P5 and only .078 off of 3rd place.
Race 1: P5
I managed to get a good start getting away with the other GP2 bikes holding a strong pace of mid 1:40s and posting my fastest lap mid way through the race of a 1:40.3 and an ideal lap of a 1:40.1. This meant I’d be starting Race 2 from P5 again.
Race 2: P7
Throughout the day I wasn’t quite feeling 100% which was frustrating as i knew we had a long 15 lap race round a very physical Oulton Park circuit. I didn’t get the best of starts which set me back in the opening laps and using a lot of tyre and energy to work my way through the field. However, I dug deep throughout the race but only managed to post a fastest lap of a 1:40.7 and having an average pace of low 1:41s. This meant I finished the race in 7th place.
The next race weekend will be held at Knock Hill race circuit in Scotland where i aim to take the success of this weekend and build on it throughout Round 2 of the championship!