Due to the strict noise regulations at Oulton Park, double points were up for grabs in Cheshire this weekend as the Thundersport gang rolled into town for an action packed day of racing.
Wall-to-wall blue skies greeted riders as they prepared to get underway, and there was little chance that anyone would need to be doing any last minute swapping of wheels with no rain forecast.
After winning from the back of the grid at Donington, RS Racing’s Ryan Strafford was hoping to make life a little easier for himself in the GP1 Classic series this time around. His ContiTrack Slick tyres were certainly working in harmony with the Yamaha R1 in qualifying, as he put in a 1:44.825 to put the bike on the front of the grid, with title rival Sam Cox 0.413s behind him.
The opening race saw Cox retire on Lap 3, giving Ryan a great opportunity to open up some clear daylight early on in the championship. The Yorkshireman certainly didn’t disappoint, taking the overall and class victory, picking up where he left off at Donington several weeks earlier. Race Two would be a much tighter affair, but with a clear line in front of him, Ryan put in his fastest lap of the weekend as he fought off a strong challenge from fellow Yamaha rider Martin Stanier who finished a close second.
Sadly for Ryan’s teammate Andy Meachen, an spill on track saw him heading for the hospital, and we of course wish him a very speedy recovery. That left it to William Swift to fly the RS Racing flag in the Golden Era Superbike class, riding his modified Honda RC51 SP1. An 8th and 7th placed finish were just rewards for Will, who made some real improvements over the course of the weekend in his maiden Thundersport season.
Spearheading RAP Racing’s Golden Era Supersport title fight this season, Richie Harrison was keen to extend his championship lead at Oulton after picking up two wins in the opening round. Qualifying in 4th place, and with the top four separated by just 0.564s, Richie fought hard in the opening race to bridge the gap to Andy Windsor, but eventually had to settle for second. In the final race of the day, the RAP Racing Yamaha clung on to Windsor’s rear wheel, but once again Richie just couldn’t find a way past, although eh remains on top in the championship fight after two rounds. After two podiums at Donington, Ian Lawton had to settle for 6th in both races at Oulton, after losing valuable time to work on bike setup. There were also top ten finishes for Andy Batner and Liam Vella. In the Golden Era Steelsport class which shares the same grid, Tyres 4 Bikes backed Dave Langley made the podium once again on his Honda, taking two 2nd placed finishes behind Ryan Garside and Mark Biswell.
After winning our ‘Rider of the Meeting’ award at Donington, Greg Madero continued his great run of form with a 3rd place in the highly competitive Supertwin class. Running on the same grid as Greg were the Stocktwin riders, with Paul Williams and Alberto Solera both unlucky not to make the podium as they both came away with a 4th placed finish. Showing some great improvement as the day progressed at Oulton, we’re delighted to announce that Alberto has been named as our ‘Rider of the Meeting’ for round two, and he earns himself a free race tyre for Cadwell next month.
In the Sportsman 600 class, Alun Brooks continued to adapt well, with the Welshman taking a strong 5th and 6th placed finish.
Next up it’s Cadwell Park in the final weekend of May, with racing also running into the Bank Holiday Monday as they vie to be crowned ‘King of the Mountain’.
Photos courtesy of Ian Boldy Superbike Photography.
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