Rd2 Motostar – Oulton Park 2018

JJ oulton wheelie

We arrived at Oulton Park early Thursday evening – to miss any potential heavy traffic ahead of the bank holiday weekend chaos! The whole of #TeamCityLifting headed into the paddock Friday morning to set-up ready for the long weekend, the weather forecast wasn’t wrong – we’ve never had such a sweltering hot race weekend topping the best part of 30 degrees…. shock horror for a UK Bank hols!!

Saturday: FP1 as always it’s about getting the bike set up and dialling in for the speedy park land track – not overly focused on timing but of course a factor to gauge on, being 2 seconds down in P7 a few suspension adjustments required. Ready for the afternoons FP2 session the track was warming up and so was I, getting near on race pace and in P5 with only 1 second more to find – which I had all the confidence to do just that.

Sunday: Qualifying was good finding my lap times dropping throughout the session – coming in for a fresh rear tyre for the last 10 mins. I didn’t find just that the 1 extra second – took nearly 2 seconds off previous times resulting in a 1:44.232 and P2 on the front row – just 0.2 seconds off my team mate Archer’s #2 pole position.

Race1 (10 laps): Not my best start, with the front wheel slightly lifting – all front riders gunning for the race line! I was running with the front pack and battling for the lead. By lap 5 Archer #2 and I were building a gap from 3rd, 4th and 5th! I took the lead from Archer on lap 7 as we headed into Hislops chicane, a mechanical fault struck as I felt my left handle bar move (only by an inch) but the shift put me off and took to the grass and hit/grazed the barriers – BUT managed to keep the bike up right and able to re-join the track but back in 6th, with a slightly damaged fairing and holding the handle bar in place on the left to keep it from moving – I wrestled with the bike and lost about 5 seconds a lap – I crossed the line in a point saving 6th.

Monday (14 laps): Holding P2 on the grid from race1 lap times – 2nd fastest lap (still in the 44’s). An on the button start off the line and first into Old Hall Corner, leading the pack down the Avenue, into Cascades, the fast tyre ripping Lakeside and Island Bend, taking the banked corner through the first chicane. Completely my fault, at the time I thought I had completely over-cooked the braking point going into Hislops and bailed out at the last second and took to the dreaded grass “again” – but rider error this time! Re-joining the track in 4th but had completely lost speed dropping to 6th heading up the hill section and 7 seconds adrift of the leaders.
A deep breath and pin point focus was going on under my helmet – as I grit my teeth and looked ahead at the battle I presented myself. To be honest I was that focussed on undoing my error the race became a bit of a blur. Watching my pit board with time gaps dropping to the riders I was hunting down – at one point there was 4 second gap for 3rd as I pushed hard and held consistent lap times. Gaining on Rendell #12 and over taking on the penultimate lap and crossing line 3rd taking the final podium spot.

JJ oulton podium

Overall Happy …but frustrating weekend – mechanical faults unfortunately can happen in racing, and rider error well that’s just plain annoying, sorry and won’t happen again! Still coming away with yet more learnt about the KTM machine and still a long season ahead. #JJ55

We now have an 8 week break before Rd3 at Knockhill – due to the road racing events and also Motostar not appearing in the Snetterton schedule due to the British Talent Cup – which is even more annoying as I do love the Norfolk circuit.

Photo credits – Burnout media

Thanks to everyone that came along to Oulton Park always great to have you there trackside. #JJ55

Especially to our TranAm ticket winner Lisa – was great to meet you.

With massive thanks to all TeamJJ sponsors:

City Lifting

TranAm

Placid P. Gonzales & Associates

New Land Solutions

The Two Wheel Centre

Bering leathers

Falco motorcycle boots

Scorpion helmets

Silkolene

Spine sunglasses

Hel Performance

Supporting our chosen charity:  Willow Foundation

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