It was a mixed bag for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team at Oulton Park this weekend with Leon Haslam winning race one in spectacular style before crashing out in equally dramatic fashion in race two.
Haslam’s weekend got off to a promising start on the opening day at Oulton Park; he was quickest in the two practice sessions dropping under the existing lap record with a time of 1m 34s.
On day two, defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne Fought back in the final free practice session pushing Haslam into second place closely followed by Mossey. It was a similar story in qualifying with Shakey claiming his first pole of the season followed by Haslam in p2 and Mossey in p3.
However, Haslam quickly put paid to Shakey’s advantage in race one by snagging the holeshot and maintaining the lead ahead of Byrne in second and Mossey in third for the duration of the race.
In race two Haslam got off to a strong start claiming the holeshot once again but he got challenged early on by Jason O’Halloran who grabbed the lead and then James Ellison who pushed him back into third.
Ellison then made his move taking the lead ahead of O’Halloran while Mossey took advantage of Haslam running wide briefly moving into fourth along with Byrne who moved into second before taking the lead.
On lap 14 Ellison who was in third suffered engine failure and with nowhere to go, Halsam, who had already committed himself to coming up on the inside, crashed into the back of the McAMS Yamaha at full throttle, narrowly escaping serious injury.
Double race winner at the last round Luke Mossey also had a good start to the weekend with strong performances in free practice and qualifying putting him just behind team mate Leon Haslam in p3 on the grid going into race one. He held on to this position for the entire 18 laps despite being challenged early on by Australian Josh Brookes.
Mossey started race two sixth on the grid before moving up into fifth and following Haslam into fourth on lap eight. Following a battle with O’Halloran on lap nine, he managed to hang on to fourth until lap 14 when he had to back off to avoid the huge collision between Haslam and Ellison, finishing the race in fifth behind O’Halloran.
In the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship JG Speedfit Kawasaki duo Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood finished first in qualifying but narrowly missed out on pole to Tim and Tristan Reeves.
Unfortunately, Steven’s and Charlwood’s team mates Maria Costello and Kirsty Hauxwell failed to qualify after finishing last on their debut sidecar outing.
In the only sidecar race of the weekend Stevens and Charlwood got off to a good start but were unable to find the extra push they needed finishing in second behind Reeves and Reeves.
Haslam said: “Well that was big! I felt comfortable in the second race and I was making good progress catching up with James. I came out of Druids and was flat out in fourth gear going about 150mph. I briefly saw James sit up but there was absolutely no time to react.
“James pulled right when his bike cut out and that was it. It’s one of the biggest crashes I’ve had in a long time. Thankfully, despite being pretty sore, I’m OK and nothing is broken. The air bag in my leathers went off straight away which made a massive difference to me walking away.
“We’ve got a long break now until Knockhill and I think my team might need that time to rebuild my bike as it was totally destroyed – we were all lucky to walk away.”
Mossey said: “I certainly can’t say it was a bad weekend; the bike was running well and we had a good set-up from the test last weekend. I was happy with race one and it was another valuable podium in the bag.
“I felt OK in the second race and was managing to do some consistent lap times. I didn’t feel like I was struggling and I was happy with the pace I was setting but when Leon and James collided, I had to roll off the throttle as there was dust and debris all over the place. James’ bike was like a sidecar and I had to ride really wide to try and get past.
“I lost all of my drive into turn one and then everyone came past me. I knew they were on softer tyres and as much as I tried I just couldn’t make ground on them. However, I’m still in second place in the championship just three points behind Leon so I’m happy with that.”
Stevens said: “We had a much better round at Oulton Park than the opening round at Brands Hatch. It was nice to gain confidence in the bike, getting good lap times and coming in under the existing lap record trying to catch Tim.
“It’s great to be making progress and feel comfortable on the bike again. We are looking forward to the next round at Knockhill in six weeks’ time.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 111
Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 108
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 86
Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 67
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 63
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 61
To keep up to date with the latest news from JG Speedfit Kawasaki you can follow the team on Facebook @JGSpeedfitBournemouthKawasaki on Twitter @JGSpeedfitKawa or visit the website www.jgspeedfitkawasaki.co.uk