The best of British put on a show at an action packed Oulton Park.
Following rain during the first superbike race at Oulton Park the supersport bikes lined up on the grid in the worst conditions possible. With standing water in places but a definite dry racing line, tyre choice would prove to be critical. With triumphs throughout the grid all with different tyre choices there is no way to predict which way this race will go.
As the bikes set off for the sighting lap two bikes tangled showing just how slippery it is, Triumph rider David Hallett coming off badly ending up falling on the wet grass. Ross Walter was conspicuous by his absence on the sighting lap, after failing to leave the grid due to a clutch failure. Another piece of bad luck for the unfortunate Dorset based rider.
Paul Young hesitated on the start, jumping forward before stopping just to start again as the lights went out. This would lead to a ride through penalty for the MAP Triumph rider.
Lap one and Glen Richards was on a charge after a poor start seeing him drop to fourth. Just half way round lap one Richards puts a hard move past Kennaugh pushing him wide into the second chicane. As they crossed the line Richards showed a wheel to the leader Martin.
Cup competition leader Fitzpatrick showing many of the bigger teams how its done in the horible conditions in 6th place over all after lap two.
The track continued to dry with a wide dry patch forming over the full length of the circuit those on intermediate tryes started to come into there own.
Crossing the line again for the start of lap four Richards again showed Martin a wheel. Martin pushed back closing the door.
The red flag and pace car was dispatched among confusion following an unknown incident on track. As news filtered back a huge highside for an unsighted rider coming out of druids had stopped the race.
As the bikes pealed into the pits the gives all those on wet tyres time to change to more suitable tyres for the conditions completely changing their prospects for the second half of the race.
Part two will be a 12lap race, with the rider order at the end of lap two making up the grid.
Every rider set out for the second part on dry tyres. The warm up lap would prove more valuable than normal, as it gives the riders chance to work out how much grip the track has to offer the dry weather tyres. Paul Young is still required to perform a ‘ride through’ penalty for jumping the initial start.
As the lights go out for a second time Glen Richards swept across the track into the lead. Into the second corner Kennaugh on his Yamaha R6 pushed past the triumph into the lead. Coming out of druids BJ Toal held a massive slide to prevent a highside and impressively maintained his position. Paul young slid past Ian Hutchinson.
On the second lap Rob frost slide wide at Shell oils hairpin loosing contact with his triumph as they hit the gravel to drop out of the race. At the chicane McGuinness and Walker had a coming together forcing both off the track, falling on the grass. After a bit of a shove each way both men stepped back, took stock and made up with a pat on the back.
As Glen Richards flew across the line in second place his team mate Paul Young pealed in from 6th place for his ride through penalty. Dropping him a massive 13 places to 19th overall.
After getting past Martin by sliding up the inside into the final corner Lowry instantly picked up the pace pushing forwards towards Richards taking 0.6seconds out of his lead in just one lap. Richards continued to make pace with leader Kennaugh just 0.4seconds behind.
Lap 8 of 12 saw Richards set the fastest lap of the race with a fantastic 1.39.6. Only to beat it just a lap later by 3 tenths of a second! At the end of lap 10 of 12 Richards with within striking distance of the lead just 0.195 of a second back. Tracking Kennaugh corner by corner with the distinctive triple roar. Heading into the final lap just 0.04 of a second separated the two. Into the first corner Richards takes the lead, just to loose it in the second corner. Richards slides past again into cascades. Pushing hard heading towards Shell Oils Richards locks the font forcing him wide and allowing Kennaugh through. With four lead changes in four corners Richards stuck close approaching the final corner. Pushing hard with a fantastic move around the outside at lodge Richards takes the lead at the last chance to take the checkered flag for Triumphs first race win of the season.
After the race Richards commented on his last ditch overtaking effort.
“He moved over to cover in the inside line, I had the run on him so said ‘Oh thank you’ and ran it round the outside.”
Another fantastic supersport race with no less than five lead changes in the final lap!
1. Richards. Triumph
2. Kennaugh. Yamaha. +0.294
3. Lowry. Honda. +7.990
This win puts Glen Richards into the lead of the riders championships on 45points, 9 clear of second place Steve Brogan.
Other triumph finishers;
16. Paul Young.
21. Brendon Clarke.
22. Alistair Fagan.
24. Adam Tempest.
27. James Dye.