Round 2 – Oulton Park
This weekend was the second race of the 2016 British Superbike season at a wet and cold Oulton Park. The team had an excellent start to the weekend with Kurt running in second place for the majority of the morning practice session and Matt in 4th. It was difficult conditions as some areas of the circuit was dry and others wet. We completed the session in 4th for Kurt and during the final couple of laps Matt got pushed to 10th out of the 40 competitors.
Qualifying one took place on the Saturday evening which began wet before beginning to dry up and finally followed by hail. The fastest qualifying times were set during the initial stages of the session due to the change in weather conditions which left Kurt in an impressive 6th position on the grid and after being in the top 5 also Matt completed the session with a strong 10th position.
The second qualifying session of the weekend was the most challenging as there was a tough decision between a new wet or new rear tyre, this was a last minute decision due to the instant changes on conditions presented. During the beginning stages the lap times were around 8 seconds off the previous session due to the water on track but this soon disappeared as the qualifying progressed and by the final 5 minutes new fastest lap times were being set. Kurt planned ahead and ensured he had a bit of clear circuit in front of him for the final lap where he crossed the line jumping up to 5th position after narrowly missing out on 3rd on the grid but leaving the team with great excitement. Matt spend the session building on his times and racing with other competitors but when it came down to the final laps when the dry line began to appear he struggled to put his lap together despite having faster sectors meaning he started the race from 15th.
The bank holiday race finally came around mid-day on Monday just in time for the rain. We were all in good positive spirits for the race especially with Kurt starting in the middle of the second row which also gained the team additional television coverage whilst the delayed start took place due to the standing water on the circuit. As soon as the lights went out Matt began his mission to battle his way to the front in the heavy rain with visibility due to the spray of other bikes. It didn’t take long for Matt to enter the top 10 but by this point Kurt had already been caught out by the slippery conditions and lost the front in the chicane crashing out. Matt continued to progress after watching Kurt’s race end early and found himself in 6th position. During the final two laps, Matt almost joined Kurt on exiting a turn as the bike pitched him out of the seat which unfortunately resulted in the two places previously gained being lost. Matt crossed the finish line to take 8th position for the second round of the season.
After such a great performance this weekend we are all looking forward to Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks and are feeling determined to achieve some good results.