Team Suzuki Press Office – September 22.
Buildbase Suzuki raced through some high and lows at the fourth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park in the UK at the weekend.
After the highs of the previous Silverstone round, where the team scored three victories, it was a tough weekend for the team that included slip-offs for Kyle Ryde in the Superbike class and Leon Jeacock in Superstock 1000, who suffered a broken collarbone as a result.
However, there were positives to take as Gino Rea made strides in his pace throughout the weekend and Keith Farmer returned from injury.
The weekend started strongly for Silverstone double-winner Ryde, as he placed his GSX-R1000 fourth on the time sheets in FP1 and qualified in seventh. However, he crashed at the Shell Oils Hairpin on the opening lap of race one and could only race to 13th place finishes on Sunday.
Rea, who after deputising for the injured Keith Farmer, and remaining with the Buildbase Suzuki team for the rest of the season, qualified an impressive 10th despite a distinct lack of experience – compared to the rest of the BSB field – at the tricky Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire. He finished 10th in race one on Saturday but was most happy with the feeling from his GSX-R in race three where, were it not for the difficulties that come with overtaking, he felt he could have been higher up in the battle for a top-10. He finished both of Sunday’s races 12th.
Farmer’s return from a serious shoulder injury saw him take a hard-won point in 15th in race one. He retired from race two with a problem with his steering damper, before crossing the line 18th in the final race, but the former Superstock Champion was happy to get out and compete for the first time in over a year.
“On paper the end results don’t show our progression this weekend. I’m really happy with the steps we’ve made and my adaptation to the Buildbase Suzuki. I don’t have a great amount of experience at Oulton Park, so to qualify P10 and lap in the 1:34s was a good start. Then to finish P10 in race 1 was great, but I was happier with how the bike felt in race three. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind a Ducati for most of the race which was really frustrating as I had better pace. We were in the battle for eighth and I had the speed to be at the front of that group but just couldn’t get by [Tommy] Bridewell. Still, it was a solid weekend, so thanks to the team once again for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to be back at Donington Park.”
“It was really good to be back racing again. Obviously, I made it to qualifying at Donington but this was my first race for 15 months so it was just nice to get some under my belt. I was really nervous beforehand and my head was all over the place, but the team – especially Leon [Jeacock], who stuck around after breaking his collarbone to work with me and go through the data – worked really hard for me. My shoulder felt good; it aches a bit now but it didn’t cause a problem during any of the races, but I was just riding a bit tight. The results aren’t what we want but I have to remind myself of how long I’ve been off the bike and that everyone has nine races behind them. My pace was okay, I struggled mostly on new tyres and with a full fuel load, but my race pace from about half distance to the end of lap three would have been good enough to battle for a top-12, so, I’m pleased enough with that and hopefully can pick up from there at Donington.”
In the National Superstock 1000 Championship Jeacock’ s weekend ended prematurely after his crash in free practice. Silverstone race-winner Tim Neave qualified on the second row in sixth. He went one better in the opening race and one better again in race two, picking up a fifth and a fourth to add solid points to his championship tally.
Roads specialist and Senior TT winner, the Hawk Racing squad’s Michael Dunlop, raced his GSX-R1000 to 19th and 17th.
Superbike race one result: 1. Jason O’Halloran, 2. Christian Iddon, 3. Danny Buchan, 10. Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), 15. Keith Farmer (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), DNF. Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000).
Superbike race two result: 1. Jason O’Halloran, 2. Christian Iddon, 3. Danny Buchan, 12. Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), 13. Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), DNF. Keith Farmer (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000).
Superbike race three result: 1. Josh Brookes, 2. Christian Iddon, 3. Lee Jackson, 12. Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), 13. Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), 18. Keith Farmer (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000).
Superstock race one result: 1. Lewis Rollo, 2. Chrissy Rouse, 3. Brayden Elliot, 5. Tim Neave (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), 19. Michael Dunlop (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000).
Superstock race two result: 1. Chrissy Rouse, 2. Lewis Rollo, 3. Fraser Rogers, 4. Tim Neave (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000), 17. Michael Dunlop (Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000).