This year’s British Superbikes was already something of a rollercoaster after just two rounds, and the third at Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend was possibly the most intense and surprising yet. Fierce clashes and hard-fought races were the order of the day as the championship hopefuls tore up the tarmac at one of the country’s most picturesque circuits – not that anyone had any time to pay attention to the scenery!
Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes seemed determined to break ahead after fighting his way up the leaderboard over the last two rounds, but his pole position start in race one didn’t quite end in glory – a shaky start saw him fight to regain ground at the first bend, and his many grabs for the win ended in failure, ending up in second place – sure to be a disappointment for the Aussie.
Instead, victory in race one came from an unexpected source: despite struggling to break in to the top six over the past two rounds, Tommy Bridewell’s storming performance earned him and the Tyco BMW team their first win by a split-second over a chasing Brookes. The two left rivals Shane Byrne, Stuart Easton, Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Ellison well in the dust as they battled for their positions in the top six.
Race two turned up the heat even further on the tarmac, and not everyone could handle it. Despite his race one win Bridewell crashed out early on, shortly after taking the lead on lap three, leaving Byrne and Kiyonari fighting it out for first place for most of the race.
Unfortunately, Kiyo’s luck in BSB over the past two seasons has not been in his favour, and he clipped Byrne’s back wheel in lap 15 to send them both crashing out on Hizzy’s Chicane and denting both of their competition chances. Both riders were unhurt, and were spotted amicably making up after the race.
With the leaders out of the way, the top three became a hotly-contested melee between Ellison, Brookes and Easton. Cheered on by his teammate Byrne from the sidelines, Easton went on to clinch the win for PBM Kawasaki, with Ellison and Brookes following with barely a millisecond between them.
|1||James Ellison||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||109|
|2||Shane Byrne||PBM Kawasaki||101|
|3||Josh Brookes||Milwaukee Yamaha||94|
|4||Stuart Easton||PBM Kawasaki||80|
|5||Tommy Bridewell||Tyco BMW||53|
|6||Jason O’Halloran||Honda Racing||42|
The day’s results sees a bit of a shakeup to the overall top six, with Shakey losing the top spot, Bridwell’s win bumping him up to fifth, and Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran breaking through thanks to his solid performances throughout the competition so far.