Round 2 - Oulton Park
It was a tough weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki team at round two of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park with their rider Ben Wilson, who secured 15th and 16th place respectively in the two races. In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship the two riders, Glenn Irwin and Luke Hedger had a very contrasting weekend to each other. Glenn gained a solid third place in race one and fifth in race two; Luke was unfortunate to not finish either race due to a technical problem.
Ben Wilson struggled all weekend to find a set up in his Gearlink Kawasaki and he was unable to repeat his fantastic performance at Brands Hatch only a few weeks ago. The team have no technical data or set up for any circuit for the powerful Superbike and around the difficult Oulton Park track it was a tough challenge for them. Ben lost a lot of time in the opening practice sessions and this relayed into qualifying and the races. Despite improving his time drastically in both races he had to settle for 15th and 16th place.
Ben Wilson - "Oulton Park is a really difficult circuit to master and we had a problem with getting the bike stable and set up for my riding style around here. I'm a little disappointed but it's tough having no testing here and having to start fresh in every first practice session. The team worked really hard but I had a couple of problems in both races and I just wasn't able to push any harder to improve my result. I like Snetterton and hope we can start on a good foot there and improve as the weekend progresses."
Motorpoint British Supersport
In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Glenn Irwin had a successful opening race in the Sprint race and took a solid third place which saw him leading the Championship as he headed into the main race on Monday. Luke Hedger had struggled all weekend with technical gremlins after a big crash at Brands Hatch; he was unfortunate to DNF the race with an electrical issue.
Glenn also had a successful main race and once again he showed the pace to run with the front boys and put in a very good performance finishing in fifth which now sees him lying in second place in the overall Championship standings. Luke once again had a disappointing weekend and was forced to pull in with a mechanical fault.
Glenn Irwin - "It was another good weekend for myself and the Gearlink Kawasaki team, the whole weekend we made improvements and each time I was out on the bike my times improved. It is the fastest I have ever gone round Oulton Park and I am really pleased with the progress we have made in such a short time. Both races were difficult and to run up at the sharp end certainly isn't an easy feat, I pushed hard and had to fight off several challenges. I suffered at Brands and here with arm pump so I will look into now getting that fixed up before Snetterton. I must thank all of the Gearlink Kawasaki team for working so hard this weekend and all my personal sponsors and everyone who has helped me so far. I hope we can continue this form and stay up at the front end. I'm looking forward already to getting to Snetterton."
Luke Hedger - "I'm really disappointed about this weekend, something must have happened internally in the crash at Brands that has upset my bike. I have to praise the Gearlink team for working so hard to try and fix my bike. On a plus note every time I did manage to get out on track I improved my times and just want to move forwards to Snetterton now and put this down as a bad weekend."
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "This weekend has been really disheartening and things have been bad from start to finish except for Glenn's results. Ben was struggling during all the practice sessions with an instability problem and we lost a lot of precious time trying to fix that. Come race day we still had a few set up issues and race one was ok but in race two we suffered with brake problems again. I am disappointed for Kawasaki Motors UK and all our team sponsors for this weekend and hope we can improve the situation at Snetterton.
I'm so pleased with Glenn in the Supersport class, he has really matured over the winter and has proved this weekend that he can run at the front with very experienced Supersport racers. He was riding hard in both races and secured a great podium on Sunday and showed on Monday he could run at the front again and made some confident passes and moves. He is now in second place in the Championship and if he can remain consistent like this all year he will have a very good season.
With Luke, it is very difficult with the Supersport bike as it is very fragile and with the big crash Luke had at Paddock Hill at Brands, something has gone wrong that we have been unable to find. We will have to strip the bike down before Snetterton and find out what was causing the issues this weekend and get him back out on track, the times he managed were good and he was placed in good positions when he was forced to retire."