Double points were up for grabs this weekend as the Thundersport GB series rolled into Oulton Park, where a single day of racing saw all the competitive action squeezed into a single day.
The Cheshire circuit is a popular one with riders, with it’s fast and flowing layout set in the stunning surroundings of the old Oulton Estate, once used as an army staging camp.
Despite the shortened race weekend, competitors still saw a real mixture of conditions thanks to the Great British weather, with very heavy rain setting in during the afternoon after a dry start to proceedings.
Golden Era Superbike leader John Dieterman started well on the Team Baxi Yamaha, qualifying in 1st with a 1:47.007 lap on new ContiTrack Slicks. In practice, he went even faster and dropped into the 1:45s. Ryan Strafford on the Continental backed RC51 could only manage 7th place on the grid, as they worked hard to find the right setup for Oulton.
In the opening race Ryan scythed through the field and climbed up to 2nd place, pushing John hard all the way to the end of the final lap to make it a Continental one-two in this highly competitive class. The second race took place in torrential rain, with John just missing out on the podium to take 4th place, and Ryan in 9th. Solid points see John extend his lead in the championship to well in excess of 100 points, with Ryan lying in 3rd overall on the Honda.
In the Golden Era Supersport class Ryan Cooper and Martyn Bloomfield were both in action, qualifying 5th and 3rd respectively. With a nasty crash right at the end of the session, Martyn and his EB Racing team had a real task on their hands, rebuilding the bike just in time for the racing on Saturday. A poor start in the first race saw Ryan with some hard work to do, but he clawed his way to the front of the pack and held off several spirited attempts to overtake him in the final stages to take his first win of the season on the Race HQ prepared Yamaha R6. The second race would see another poor start, with Ryan dropping back to 12th place, but again fighting his way back up to 2nd to take more valuable points. Ryan now lies 2nd in the championship, with Martyn taking a 5th and 6th place on a hastily rebuilt machine to consolidate 4th position overall in the points table. Both riders ran our ContiRaceAttack Comp treaded race rubber.
Dave Langley missed the Cadwell Park round of Thundersport which saw his lead in the Golden Era Steelsport class slashed, and the Tyres 4 Bikes supported rider quickly set about his work to qualify 2nd on Friday. Struggling with illness on the Saturday, a lack of concentration saw him slip back to 5th in both races, and more importantly 14 points behind the new championship leader.
GP1 Freshman rider Lee Ewbank of #WeR1Racing qualified in 4th on his return from injury, and finished 5th in his opening race in the dry on the big Yamaha. With Lee’s second race edging ever closer, the heavens opened and the team failed to make the grid, left without enough time to change from dry tyres to the ContiRaceAttack Rain.
In the Supertwin and Superstock classes respectively, there were top ten finishes for George Lawson and Teo Papadopoulos, whilst Michael Tustin made a solid start on-board his Triumph after moving to the 600 Elites. Sam Holme, who is supported by Village Motorcycles near York, also had a solid weekend with a top ten finish in the Pre-National Sport 600.
The next round will see riders head to Rockingham at the end of this month, and as always, we will be in the paddock with A&R Racing to offer tyre advice.
Photo credits to Ian Boldy Superbike Photography (top) and Mike Mandley (centre).
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