Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 2:20pm
EDIasia Formula 400s
With Oulton Park only able to run a limited number of Sunday race-days a year, there was only one day’s racing for the British Motorcycle Racing Club at the glorious Cheshire venue.
The EDIasia Formula 400 series saw a return to action, with two hard-fought races that were both decided by less than half a second.
The opening race saw Chris Burrage starting from pole position, and despite taking an early lead, former champion Richie Welsh, Andy Gill, Gary Henning, and reigning champion Dan Ruth were in hot pursuit.
At the halfway stage Burrage still held the advantage, with none of the chasing pack able to find a way into the lead despite just four tenths of a second covering the riders in podium positions. However, with just a handful of laps to go, Ruth finally pushed through into second place and then the lead.
As they streamed across the line to start the final lap it was still Ruth who held a slender advantage over Burrage and Welsh. But a mistake cost him over 20 seconds, and dropped him down to sixth place.
That left Burrage and Welsh the fight it out for the lead, and as they crossed the line for the final time it was Welsh who took the win by two tenths of a second from Burrage. Gill inherited third place.
The runaway victor in the Sub-64bhp class was former NJC front-runner Harry Rowlings, as he crossed the line in seventh place, his nearest Sub-64 rivals - Darren Corkett and Dave Harviek - in 10th and 11th, a further 25 seconds back on Rowlings.
Adam Hartgrove took the win in the opening Rookie 400 encounter.
Race two was an even closer affair, with less than one tenth of a second splitting first and second.
Similarly to race one it was Burrage who hit the front early, with Welsh firmly in tow as they quickly gapped Gill in third.
Behind Gill, however, Emma Jarman was on the move, passing Gill for third place on lap two. However, she still had a two-second deficit to recover on the leaders. On lap six she still looked to have work to do, but a slower lap from Welsh saw her move through to second place, still one and a half seconds back on Burrage.
A blistering penultimate lap and an even quicker last lap, which was also the fastest lap of the race, put her right on the back of Burrage, unable to take the win, as Burrage crossed the line less than a tenth of a second ahead to take victory with Jarman second. Welsh, in the end, took a comfortable third.
Rawlings took another Sub-64 class win in eighth place, with Oliver Fooks and Darren Corkett on the podium in 10th and 11th, while Hartgrove made it a brace of victories in the Rookie class.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport
Qualifying for the Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Sport series looked like it would be a straight fight for race wins between two EDIasia Formula 400 runners, with Dan Ruth and Chris Burrage first and second on the grid, the duo over one and a half seconds faster than anyone else.
Come race-day and it was Burrage at the front, but he was joined by Oliver Fooks on his Surrey Engineering Plant Services Aprilia, along with Jake Povah and, eventually, after he pushed through from sixth place, Grant Robertson.
Starting lap five and it was Fooks who led the way, with Burrage, Povah, and Robertson close behind, just half a second splitting the four-way battle for the win. Unfortunately for Fooks and Burrage, it would be the last time they crossed the line in the race, as they came together and both crashed out of contention.
That handed the lead to Povah, and with three laps to go he held a half a second lead over Robertson. But Robertson pushed on, and on the last lap stole the win from Povah’s grasp.
Reigning champion Emma Jarman also made a last lap move on Andy Gill to take the final spot on the podium. Tony Coe’s 11th place gave him the win in the Rookie classification.
Jarman showed why she is running the number one plate in the second race of the weekend, cruising to a six second victory on her CommunityUK Kawasaki. Povah finished in second with Robertson third.
Coe was again the leading Rookie, as he claimed the final championship point in 15th.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme
In the Thunderbike Extreme class it was a fairly routine affair, with Jason Byard qualifying on pole before racing to two comfortable wins.
Former Minitwin racer Matt Hinnells took a brace of second placed finishes on his Moremoto April, as David Abraham also claimed two third placed finishes.
Adam Norton took both Rookie class wins.
ACU Team Green Kawasaki Junior Cup / Senior 300s
Steve Jordan put himself on combined pole in the Team Green and ACU-backed Kawasaki Junior Cup and Senior 300s, taking the fight to the younger Junior Cup riders.
He was in contention for his first overall win in the series too, and as the lights went out in the opening race he gave chase to the younger Elliot Pinson, who grabbed an early lead.
On the second lap he hit the front, only to be usurped a lap later by Pinson. But he was not deterred, and on lap four recovered the lead.
However, it was far from a two-horse race, and soon Joey Lambden had joined the fray, first taking second place away from Pinson on lap five before hitting the front on the penultimate lap.
His lead was short-lived, as Jordan passed him on the last lap, only for Pinson to pass them both and take the overall win and the win in the Junior class. Jordan’s second place gave him the Senior class win, with Pinson on the podium in third and second of the Juniors.
It was much of the same in race two, which manifested itself into a four-way fight at the front. That wouldn’t last the distance, however, as Pinson crashed out of second place with two laps to go.
That left Lambden, Jordan, and Luke Hopkins to settle the podium positions, the trio easily ahead of the rest of the field.
A last lap move from Lambden on Hopkins saw him snatch victory and the Junior class win, with Hopkins on the podium in second and the second Junior across the line. Jordan’s third place again saw him take the Senior 300 class win.
DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
2016 is just Scott Grant’s second year of racing anything bigger than a pit bike. In his maiden season he won the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters Rookie championship and finished on the overall podium. He also qualified on pole at Pembrey.
At Oulton Park he impressed with the second pole position of his Bemsee career, but topped it off with his first win. And It was by no means a comfortable victory either.
Mark Taylor, who also qualified on the front row, led the race in the opening stages before Grant assumed the lead on lap three. Joining in the fight for the win was also reigning champion Matt Barber, the three the clear class of the field.
Grant led the way until the penultimate lap, when Barber made a move and hit the front. But it wouldn’t last, and Grant attacked, taking the lead and pulled a relatively large margin of half a second at the chequered flag.
Barber took second place ahead of his main championship rival, Taylor.
A hard-fought battle for fifth saw Giles Harwood take the position, and with it the Clubman class win, while the Rookie honours went to Allan Sexton.
Mark Taylor was the victor in the the second race, fending off the attentions of Grant to take the win by half a second. Barber, meanwhile, was embroiled in a scrap for third place, as Doug Edmondson chased him down and pressured the reigning champion all the way to the flag.
Another fifth place for Harwood handed him another Clubman win, with Sexton the Rookie winner.
Chilton Motors BMZRC 250s
There was cruel misfortune for Chris Rogers in the Chilton Motors BMZRC series, who was unable to convert pole position into any kind of result after a DNF in the opening race also led to a DNS in race two.
That left Peter Woodall to take a comfortable win in race, with the main battle in race one coming in the fight for second place, which saw Greg Wright and Joe Baldry split by less than a tenth of a second.
Misfortune also befell Woodall in race two, as he was a retirement after leading the opening half of the race.
Wright benefitted from Woodall’s demise and took the win, as Chris Kent took second and Gary Howlett third.
ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins
Richard Hickling and Jake Povah took one win apiece in the MRO Minitwin races, both eventually coming in a comfortable fashion.
Hickling, who qualified on pole, assumed the lead of race one on the second lap, and from there pulled out his advantage over the rest of the race to take the win by six seconds.
Behind, however, things were far closer, as just over half a second covered the three-way fight for the remaining two podium positions.
Kurtis Butler held second place with three laps to go, but surrendered two places a lap later to drop to fourth, which is the position he held starting the last lap. But after a dogfight for the second step on the podium, he passed both Jake Povah and Ryan Folkes to claim second place, with Povah rounding out the top three.
Marc Cunningham finished in 11th place, and took the win in the Rookie class.
It looked as though Hickling was on course to take a double win, after he led the second race from the off until three laps to go. However, he was being made to work for it, with Povah close behind.
Unfortunately for Hickling, a mistake in the closing stages saw him drop out of the race, handing victory to Povah, who eventually cruised to the win with a comfortable margin.
Kurtis Butler bettered former champion Grant Robertson in the final laps to take second, with Robertson in third.
The Rookie win went to Daniel Singleton in 11th.
BG Products MRO Powerbikes
Billy Mellor took a brace of victories in the BG Products MRO Powerbikes, bettering Phil Crowe and Michael O’Brien in both of the weekend’s races.
Clubman championship favourite Jamie Tibble also took a brace of class wins, with a pair of eighth place finishes.
Kyle O’Donovan was also in dominant form in the Rookie class, taking two wins and staking his claim for the championship.