Hawk Kawasaki suffered extremes of emotions at Oulton Park: Having got off to an encouraging start, Kawasaki's officially supported entry stormed to a sixth-placed finish in the first Superbike race courtesy of Glen Richards - but teammate Mark Burr's crash in the same race signalled the start of a run of misfortune that would see both riders unable to complete the second race of the day.

Richards' first race result came via a great deal of hard work and determination. Despite giving away 250cc to almost every machine on the grid, the ZX-7RR proved to be a formidable weapon in the hands of its talented Australian rider. Richards was able to finish ahead of such experienced and respected 1000cc riders as John Reynolds, Sean Emmett and championship rival Simon Crafar.

"I had a good race," said Richards, "but it was definitely hard work, mainly due to the incredible pace that we were all running at. When the safety car came out after Mark's crash my tyres cooled down and I didn't have much grip for a couple of laps. I was sliding all over the place until I got some heat back into them and could really get on the gas again.

The second race saw Richards come into the pits after just eight laps with suspected engine problems. It turned out to be an unfortunate decision, as the noises coming from his bike were produced by nothing more serious than a split exhaust pipe, which had also become red hot.

Speaking afterwards, Richards summed up his weekend: " I'm pleased with the result but wish I could have repeated it in race two. I made a mistake but at the time I figured that it was better to be safe than sorry."

Teammate Burr's race one crash left him slightly disorientated and, under the advisement of circuit medical staff, he decided to sit out the second race.

"I really wanted to get back out there," said a disappointed Burr, "but the medics weren't too keen on the idea. It hasn't been a good weekend for me but that should be all my bad luck out of the way in time for our home event at Mallory Park. It's very close in the points at the moment and I should still be able to move a couple of places higher in the championship before the end of the season."

 

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