RD7 - Oulton Park - MCE Insurance British Superbikes
Last weekend saw riders and teams of the MCE Insurance British Superbikes return to Oulton Park for round 7 of the championship. It was a triple header weekend with plenty of points up for grabs and podium credits to secure so fireworks were expected.
After a qulifying session that saw Ryuichi Kiyonari crash out and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne capture pole, things looked like they might be turning in the off-form triple champs favour. I say 'off-form', just because we haven't seen Shakey take a win for a while! Race 1 kicked off and it was he that took the lead. Brookes who also started on the front row went with him though and didn't let him move off. By lap 3 he and Byrne were swapping the front spot in a fashion we've become used to from the pair. Meanwhile Kiyo who started from 11th on the grid after his qualifying crash was carving his way through the field on his Buildbase BMW. By lap 5 he had positioned himself behind Byrne who now sat in second behind Brookes who had started to move off. On lap 9 Kiyo made the move on Shakey and instantly closed the gap on Brookes. On the same lap he passed the surprised Australian and went onto take the win decisively.
Race 2 on the Sunday at Oulton was a slightly wetter affair than the day before. The back end of Hurricane Bertha hit the country and the rain poured until 12 noon when racing was due to start. Race direction and the marshals did a fantastic job of clearing the track and getting the timings right and race 2 was set to go on time. It was declared a wet race due to some sections of the track being still very damp but many riders changed tyre selection after the sighting lap. Noticeably the front three of Shakey, Brookes and Kiyo all took the gamble to go on slicks. It paid off and the track had just enough of a dry line for them to race at almost dry pace. Brookes led the charge initially but Kiyo was soon past him, which was how things stayed till the end of the race. The battle for fourth was an epic one between Linfoot, Easton, Walker, Bridewell and Kirkham. Any of them could have taken the spot but eventually the consistent Dan Linfoot held strong and took 4th.
Race 3 came and the weather was still threatening but it was declared a dry race. Again there were a lot of tyre changes on the grid but most went for slicks this time. Byrne sat on pole with Kiyo and Brookes alongside him. The lights changed and Shakey swerved in front of Kiyo forcing him to move over, giving his teammate Easton the chance to also dash past Kiyo from the second row. Kiyo was blocked out by both Rapid Solicitors riders and forced to sit back in 4th. Brookes meanwhile had charged off at the front and had already started to build a gap. Kiyo was then stuck behind Easton as he watched Shakey and Brookes disappear off into the distance. It was clear no one was catching Brookes and when rain threatened at 2/3 race distance Shakey seemed to slow his pace. Very quickly the group of riders from 3rd back led by Linfoot caught the triple champ. Linfoot passed him but Shakey was soon back in front and gapping the rest. Shakey had realised the race was not going to be stopped and he had to pull his finger out. Kiyo was still trapped behind Easton until the final two laps but by that point Linfoot was out of reach and he took his first MCE BSB podium behind Brookes and Shakey.
In amongst all the racing Club MCE members took part in fantastic VIP experiences including pillion laps, safety car laps in the Nissan GTR, hang out with Josh Waters, Official Pit Crew with Milwaukee Yamaha, Grid walks and more! To be part of Club MCE all you need is an MCE policy and to sign up here on the Club MCE app.
With only two rounds to go to the showdown every point counts now. Cadwell Park is the next venue and will host the bank holiday weekend spectacular. Shakey and Brookes have already secured there title fighter status but will still be after those vital podium credits. Kiyo will continue to battle for wins and I'm sure Linfoot, Bridewell and Walker will want to keep their spots in the top six safe from the returning Ellison and recharged Easton. Keep up to date with Big Ed's Facebook for all the live updates, news and gossip around the paddock.
For more information on the series visit MCE Insurance British superbikes.
12.08.2014 - Big Ed