Following his maiden British Superbike Championship victory at Brands Hatch last month Josh Waters finally came of age in his short BSB career to date with three impressive finishes during the weekend’s triple header at Oulton Park.
The Australian build-on his ninth place in race two on Sunday with sixth in the third race whilst battling for the final podium position.
John Hopkins’ cruel lucked continued at Oulton Park with a retirement from race one; then in race two the American came to grief after a coming together with another rider, just three laps from the end. The former GP rider will have an X-Ray today (Monday) to hopefully rule out any significant damage to his left ankle.
In race one the conditions were a bit iffy and we went with an intermediate front and slick rear, so I was happy to finish where I did, especially with the track drying fast. In race two I got a good start and was amongst the freight train battle for a podium position, so overall I very pleased with the weekend having three top-10 finishes. I felt like I rode a lot better and the boys put together a good package on the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 so I’m leaving Oulton satisfied, but there’s more to come.”
“I’ve banged up my shin and foot so will have it X-rayed on Monday morning. Unfortunately it was another tough weekend. Again we proved that the potential is there and we’re no doubt crawling our way towards the front, but we just need to put it all together and turn it into race results.”
Taylor Mackenzie gained valuable set-up experience during the weekend at Oulton Park and added a 10th-place finish in Sunday’s second outing on his GSX-R600. He said: “I was really confident in the early laps when it was wet and was in the leading group but once it started to dry I struggled to keep with the front guys and am disappointed with 10th. We can take the positives away from the weekend and look ahead to Cadwell now.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager:
“A triple-header weekend is always hard work and the weather changes at Oulton certainly added to the tension. Overall we still aren’t quite at the level we want to be but I am really pleased with the turnaround in Josh Waters.
“In my opinion this was Josh’s strongest weekend since he arrived in BSB. After running comfortably in the top-10 throughout most of the sessions, three fighting top-10 race finishes will do wonders for his confidence.
“Hopper once again started the weekend strongly and showed signs of his undoubted ability during qualifying and race one. Unfortunately a wrong tyre choice and a rear wheel vibration problem ended his hopes in race two during the early laps, and also left him starting race three at the back of the grid.
“Unfortunately whilst trying to fight through the field he was unlucky to come together with another rider and the accident has left John with an ankle injury, which will be diagnosed later today.
“Taylor is pushing hard in the ultra-competitive Supersport class and again he showed some great potential this weekend. However we know what he’s capable of and with some set-up changes over the weekend providing a confidence boost, I’m certain we will see him run with the front group very soon.”
British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race two:
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW) 2. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) +0.167s 3. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) +1.199s 4. Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki) +23.664s 5. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +23.819s 6. Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +23.842s 7. Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha) +24.081s 8. Jon Kirkham (Kawasaki) +24.224s 9. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +26.377s 10. Patric Muff (BMW) +30.284s
British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race three:
1. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 2. Shane Byrne [Kawasaki) +7.509s 3. Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki) +7.986s 4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW) +8.111s 5. Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +10.049s 6. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +10.430s 7. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +11.067s 8. Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha) +12.451s 9. Jon Kirkham (Kawasaki) +12.948s 10. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) +24.728s