Another Bank Holiday, another weekend of brilliant weather and great racing brought the crowds out at Oulton Park.
To top last weekend’s four rostrum places from four starts was always going to be a tall order for the three Team Colin Appleyard/Macadam Racing riders and so it proved.
In the 125cc championship, young “Brechiner” Ryan Watson, on his debut, found the unique Oulton Park circuit challenging.
Nevertheless, as each session progressed, he got a little quicker and eventually qualified thirteenth.
Unfortunately, during Monday’s warm up he had a 30/40 mph crash, which knocked his confidence slightly.
In the race itself the 125 “bogged” on the line as the lights went out and the 13-year-old got boxed in and dropped back in the field of 32.
He was just starting to make good progress and had got up to 15th when he lost his front end at Old Hall bend crashing out big style.
Luckily he was okay and afterwards his manager, Robin Appleyard, was philosophical.
“Oulton Park was a new experience for Ryan. It’s a difficult track that doesn’t give riders the chance to get many laps in during practice.
“Learning the tracks will take a little time, as will learning how to cope with the hectic, very aggressive starts, but the important thing is he’s making progress and I was pleased to see he was pushing hard when he came off.”
The move to Junior 600 Superstock is also proving to be a steep learning curve for Deane Brown, who is coming to terms with riding the much bigger and heavier 600 bike.
Although he was a little disappointed to qualify thirteenth considering the high speed crash he had at Druids Corner during Sunday’s evenings final qualifying session he couldn’t complain too much.
In Monday’s race he got off to a good start and was quickly up to eighth place at which point the course car came out following an incident.
When the race restarted, after more fun and games in the leading pack, he emerged in second place.
He, too, then got a bit excited and was pushing it when he hit a false neutral going into Shell Oils hairpin, ran wide and hit the dust before losing the front and went down.
Again, Robin was unperturbed.
“Deane is competing in a ultra competitive class on a much bigger bike that is harder to handle, and particularly on an undulating track like Oulton Park at high speed can take time to adapt to, but the pleasing thing is he is certainly improving.”
It was left to the team’s Supersport 600 rider Jack Kennedy to bring home the points, which, once again, he did in style.
As at Brands, both races turned into a scrap between Jack, Ben Wilson and Alistair Seeley.
In Sunday evening’s race, having qualified in fourth, Jack and the other two riders quickly got away and swapped places throughout.
In a blanket finish Jack just missed out and finished third.
Monday’s televised race was almost a re-run with all three riders on lap record pace before Wilson and Seeley got the upper hand in the final stages leaving the young Irishman to again cross the line in third place.
Afterwards his manager commented: “This was another impressive performance from Jack.
“Both Wilson and Seeley are experienced riders who know how to win.
“Whilst he may be a bit tired of finishing third I’m confident he will start to win races.
“He has the pace and is learning all the time, and the nice thing is people are starting to take notice of his good potential.”
In two weeks’ time the team heads up to North Yorkshire and the high speed Croft circuit, where both Deane and Jack finished on the podium last year.