This weekend sees the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team head to Oulton Park for round nine of the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship and, without doubt, it’s the most important round of the season so far as it will ultimately decide whether team member Luke Mossey can secure one of the coveted top six Showdown positions.
The Cambridge rider is currently lying in joint seventh overall in the Championship table but, after a good run of form, is only seven points adrift of the top six. With two podiums at the last four rounds, the 23-year old has been outscoring his nearest rivals and has every chance of moving up into the top six by the conclusion of this weekend’s races particularly as he took two top six finishes at the corresponding meeting twelve months ago.
The 2.69-mile Cheshire venue is also playing host to three races this weekend which means there’s even more to play for and with three Showdown positions still up for grabs, Luke will be aiming to make sure he has one of them. As predicted, this year’s Championship has been one of the most competitive ever and, including Luke, no less than nine riders are still in with a mathematical chance of securing a Showdown spot and ultimately fight it out for the Championship at the final three rounds.
Team-mate Filip Backlund has been out of luck in recent meetings suffering falls at both Brands Hatch and Cadwell Park and whilst no bones have been broken, it’s left the Swedish rider feeling decidedly second hand. However, he’s now back to full fitness and keen to end his season on a high. With four rounds still remaining, he’s aiming to have a strong final third to his campaign and will be looking for points in all three races this weekend.
Meanwhile, Dickies British Supersport Championship runner Andrew Reid has also found good fortune to be in scarce supply and two disappointing rounds has seen him slip off the pace. Now 45 points adrift of Championship leader James Westmoreland, the Northern Irishman won at Oulton back in May and knows only two victories will count this weekend.
Luke Mossey: “I’m really looking forward to Oulton Park this weekend especially after a disappointing time of things at Cadwell last time out when things didn’t quite go to plan. You live and you learn though and I’m getting stronger all the time so with three races on the programme this weekend, it’s all about getting into the Showdown. There’s 75 points up for grabs so there’s plenty of opportunities to get the results we need and I’ll be going all-out for the podium – the podium has to be the aim and if we can achieve that, we should be in the mix for the Showdown. The bike works well at Oulton and it’s a circuit I really enjoy so I’ll be digging deep and doing everything I can to be in that top six for the final three rounds.”
Filip Backlund: “After Cadwell Park and my off in the second race, I’ve been mainly focusing on getting my fitness back which has been good. I love Oulton Park both as a venue and as a track and it’s very special racing motorbikes around a lake and on a circuit that goes up and down everywhere! I know we will have a good weekend ahead of us so I’m just looking forward to getting it started.”
Pete Extance, Team Owner: “This is possibly Luke’s biggest weekend in his career so far with a Showdown place up for grabs and the whole team is desperate to ensure we’re in the top six come Sunday night. Andy needs to get his Championship back on track with two strong rides and Filip is returning after his crash at Cadwell. All of the riders love Oulton Park so we’re keeping our fingers crossed – I’m sure it’s going to be tight for the top six places but we will be trying our very best.”
The three British Superbike Championship races are due to take place on Saturday (16:00) and Sunday (13:35 and 16:35).