The Smiths (Gloucester) Racing team enjoyed another excellent weekend of racing at Oulton Park in the third round of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship protected by Datatag with Glen Richards taking another race win for the team.
With a fourth place in race one by the Australian and strong top ten finishes by Triumph 675 team-mates Billy McConnell and Luke Mossey, the squad left the Cheshire venue with a solid haul of points and with all three riders handily placed in the 12-round Championship.
Richards was the best of the trio in qualifying for Sunday's 10-lap Sprint race and was joined by Mossey on the front row of the grid with McConnell in seventh meaning the team had high hopes for the race. A great start for Richards saw him slot into second place with McConnell and Mossey giving chase and as the race wore on, there were no less than six riders battling it out for the win. Although Glen slipped to the back of the leading pack at mid race distance, he regrouped and fought his way back up to fourth at the chequered flag. Aussie McConnell was just over half a second back in fifth whilst Royston rider Mossey also improved to eighth place for some more solid points.
Richards posted the quickest lap of the team members and so lined up in fourth on the grid for Sunday's longer 16-lap race with McConnell and Mossey a row further back. Although he briefly dropped back, Glen was able to move his way through to the front of the eight-strong group of riders fighting it out for the win and was back in the lead by lap 10. It proved to be the right place to be as the race was stopped prematurely on lap 11 and he was duly awarded the win. McConnell and Mossey were part of the same group and finished in seventh and ninth as less than two and a half seconds separated the leading nine riders.
There was disappointment for Johnny Blackshaw in the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc race when he crashed out on lap 11 after colliding with race leader Josh Wainwright. The Stretton rider had qualified in eighth place for his 14-lap race and had moved through the pack to run inside the top three but just as a podium finish looked likely, Wainwright crashed and Blackshaw had nowhere to go although he luckily escaped injury in the nasty looking spill.
Glen Richards: "It was nice to get the win as I thought I was going to be awarded second place after the race was stopped as I was unsure of the ruling. It's been a solid weekend and there's still a long way to go in the championship so it's important to keep scoring in every race and I'm really pleaed for the team and for Triumph."
Billy McConnell: "I'm absolutely made up for Glen, Triumph and the team to win but it's not been my best weekend with regards to the championship so we need to come back stronger at the next round at Snetterton."
Luke Mossey: "I'm a bit disappointed with how the weekend's gone. I had high expectations and the bike's been awesome but I've been struggling a bit and just didn't have the pace to run with the front guys. I can do one fast lap but have been unable to string them all together so if I can find that consistency I'm sure I'll be running with the front pack."
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: "It's been a great end to the weekend for us and another fantastic win for the team. Glen got his head down in the second half of the race and was in the lead when it mattered most so it's put us right back in the championship fight. The first race on Sunday was a bit disappointing as the boys had a few small issues which was just enough to hold them back but all three were inside the top eight and scored well. Likewise on Monday although I'm sure if the race had gone full distance both Billy and Luke could have finished higher than what they did.
"It's been a bitter-sweet day though with the unfortunate crash of Johnny's. It wasn't nice to watch and it certainly shook him up but the good thing was that he went all through the weekend without any issues with the bike. There was a bit of pressure riding at his home round but he was running in the front group and was looking good for a podium so it was shame it happened, thankfully he's ok though so can take the positives onto the next round."
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race 1 (10 laps)1 Jack Kennedy (Yamaha)2 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)3 Sam Warren (Yamaha)4 Glen Richards (Smiths Gloucester Racing Triumph)5 Billy McConnell (Smiths Gloucester Racing Triumph)6 Christian Iddon (Yamaha)8 Luke Mossey (Smiths Gloucester Racing Triumph)
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race 2 (16 laps)1 Glen Richards (Smiths Gloucester Racing Triumph)2 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)3 Jack Kennedy (Yamaha)4 Sam Warren (Yamaha)5 Christian Iddon (Triumph)6 Richard Cooper (Triumph)7 Billy McConnell (Smiths Gloucester Racing Triumph)9 Luke Mossey (Smiths Gloucester Racing Triumph)
Championship standings (after three rounds)1 Kennedy 96.5pts2 Wilson 873 Warren 844 Richards 835 McConnell 606 Iddon 56.59 Mossey 39
Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (10 laps)1 Grant Whitaker (Yamaha)2 Alex Olsen (Triumph)3 Niall Campbell (Yamaha)4 Jake Dixon (Yamaha)5 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)6 Ben Burke (Yamaha)DNF Johnny Blackshaw (Smiths Gloucester Racing Triumph)
Championship standings (after three rounds)1 Dixon 54pts2 Whitaker 433 Rose 404 Hastings 335 Fisher 256 Wainwright 2311 Blackshaw 17