Round 9 - MCE British Superbike Championship - Oulton Park - Race Day
Oulton Park is a fan favourite for many MCE British Superbike fans, and today demonstrated that perfectly with an incredible turnout ready to watch their heroes battle for the points that may decide their showdown contention.
It was Josh Brookes who made the best start in this mornings warm up session, the Milwaukee Yamaha rider was fastest for the majority of the session with Shane 'Shakey' Byrne finishing second quickest 0.269s behind. John Hopkins finished in third place, ahead of Tommy Bridewell, Dan Linfoot and Jack Kennedy.
Club MCE members were once more treated to pillion and safety car laps around the Cheshire circuit, delighted by the incredible speeds upon the stunning circuit. MCE BSB riders were out in full force for the MCE Insurance policy holder's priority pit walk, signing various posters and merchandise as well as posing for pictures and talking to fans about their bike set ups and plans for race day.
When race two rolled around it was Josh Brookes who was able to finish in the first place position as defending champion and championship rival Shane 'Shakey' Byrne was forced out of the race with a technical problem. Byrne started in pole position, however Brookes was hot on his tail from the offset and took the lead in the second lap. Then followed an excellent exchange between the two as they battled for the top spot, however Byrne was forced to retire when his PBM Kawasaki suffered a technical fault, of which the rider looked evidently annoyed that he was unable to continue his battle with his Australian rival.
Tommy Bridewell suffered a huge highside whilst chasing the leading pack prematurely ending his race for the second time this weekend. At the front it was Buchan who was able to make the most of Byrne's exit being pushed into second place and bagging his second podium of the weekend and of his MCE BSB career. It was Linfoot who made up the podium ahead of Mossey following a great battle between the two, trading places a number of times in the process. Ellison finished fifth ahead of Hickman, Laverty, Cooper and Iddon.
Race three saw Shane 'Shakey' Byrne return to the top step of the podium, finishing just under 0.4s ahead of Championship rival Josh Brookes, however this means the rider is still two points behind the Australian heading into the showdown opener in two weeks in Assen. Brookes took the lead in the opening lap and was evidently chasing a double win, ahead of Byrne and Bridewell, however with Shaun Winfield crashing out the safety car was deployed and the pack bunched up again. As the race resumed Byrne tried to make the most of it, lunging on Brookes however running wide and dropping back to fourth, however the PBM rider was instantly back on the offence and quickly forced the bike back into second position. The two riders at the front commenced another fantastic battle in which Byrne emerged triumphant, forcing Brookes to settle for second place.
Tommy Bridewell finished in third and made up the podium after two disappointing previous races, and Dan Linfoot was able to secure the final place in the showdown for Honda racing, with Easton being pushed out of the standings following injuries sustained in yesterdays qualifying session.
At the end of another incredible weekend at Oulton Park, the showdown spots are confirmed! When we head to Assen the riders who will battle for the title will be Brookes, Byrne, Ellison, Bridewell, Linfoot and Laverty, the top two riders have an advantage thanks to their podium points, however with seven races remaining it's sure to be full of thrills and spills! Roll on the showdown!
06.09.2015 - Big Ed