The round nine weekend at Oulton Park saw the Showdown races begin how Snetterton finished - with Ray dominating with a new lap record and sprint race win.
Race two was a turning point - good or bad - for just about every rider in a position to still make gains this season. That was won by Lee Jackson, with Tommy Bridewell finishing second despite all the incidents and penalties coming his way.
He went on to win race three, despite a further grid penalty starting him fourth for his part in the crashes which saw the second race need three starts - causing the first crash which again saw O’Halloran out at Druids after contact.
- 2022 British Superbikes Oulton Park - Race Results (2)
‘I slowed the race - and no-one passed me!’
With two seconds under his belt the Oxford Products Ducati rider was still hunting for his first win of the season, but thought he had gone too early and wasn’t sure if slowing and easing tyre wear was the right thing to do:
“I didn’t necessarily want to pass him (Glenn Irwin) that early in the race to be fair, but when you’re given an opportunity you don’t know when you’re going to get another one, so I had to make the pass.
In truth my mind switched and went ‘right Tom, slow the race’ because we are struggling with tyre life…
So I slowed the race - and no-one passed me!”
After Yamaha’s recent dominance of the championship, the #46 thought it was finally the right time to be on a Ducati:
“ I felt like I used the strengths of the Ducati, I stopped it in the corner, I accelerated really hard out of corners and I breaked as late and as hard as is possible and if you do that around here it’s near impossible to make a pass”.
The result and the way the races panned out for those around him sees Bridewell move from eight to second overall.
‘To us, this feels like a victory’
Second in the race went to Glenn Irwin. The result was all the more impressive as he considers the track to be a ‘bogey’ one for both himself and the Honda - he was impressed to have finished fourth in the first two races:
“To come away with a second here,for most guys probably feels like a second,to us this feels like a victory, it’s been an incredible run of races.”
The #2 had been working out where on track he could find an advantage, to bith pass his rivals and to give one final push for the win:
“I’d love to win in the last lap, I tried the maximum with Tommy - I could see he had a tyre drop off with two laps to go and I had to get Druids as good as I could, I’m already replaying it in my head - I felt like I got it as good as I could - certainly a little better than Tommy could get with the grip he had left, we just missed out a little bit with the power of the Ducati.”
Lee Jackson came in to race three on a high after victory in race two, and although that was just his second career win - the first also coming at Oulton Park earlier in the season - he must have felt a double was possible with so little between the leaders.
The Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki rider reflected on how sitting in the group may not have been the best plan:
“I kind of just wanted chill out for a few laps, but,you know, with BSB there’s no chilling out, there’s always guys coming thick and fast and that’s what happened”.
It was the wake up call he needed, climbing from fourth with three laps to go back into a podium finish.
Away from the podium Danny Buchan, though not in the Showdown, was giving everything he had left to claim the rider’s cup and broke up the Showdown riders to be in with a shout of the podium but just missed out.
Bradley Ray remains the overall championship leader after tyre issues hit him the hardest.The Rich Energy OMG Yamaha rider had a huge lead in both of the first two starts of the second race, but it was third time unlucky with the tyre change for the third grid starting the slip in his weekend.
Holding on to third in that race, the Kent rider was not so lucky in race three, with similar grip issues to deal with he was passed down form first to fifth.
There were several updates to be had on the worst injured at the close of the day.
Christian Iddon took to Twitter to announce that after his checks he had been diagnosed with a broken hand and was ‘ a bit bashed up’.
Similarly Cheshire Moudings FS-3 Kawasaki used the same channels to say that Rory Skinner had injuries to his hand and arm and had been transferred to hospital for ‘precautionary measures’.
McAMS Yamaha put out two statements on their riders, both of whom had multiple heavy crashes over the weekend.
On Jason O’Halloran they said that ‘following contact with another rider on the opening lap of race 2, Jason O’Halloran fell from his machine. While nothing was broken, he is battered and bruised and will take no further part in the meeting’.
They updated when information on Tarran Mackenzie became available adding ‘During race 2, Tarran Mackenzie fell from his machine at Hizzy’s chicane and was struck by another rider while on the track. He sustained a suspected broken femur and was transferred to a hospital in Stoke for further assessment’.