Oulton Park Race Report
It was a cold start to the Oulton Park weekend with a wet practice session on Friday morning. Matt began the session running in a new engine which we had fitted the previous week therefore he had a steady beginning to the day. With 4 laps to go Matt put the hammer down and leaped up the grid into 10th place with his last lap being the fastest. This put the team in good stead for the weekend. However, Kurt suffered with mechanical issues during the initial stages of the session forcing him to retire again.
Friday’s qualifying 1 session soon came around but only one of the Sorrymate.com machines made it out onto the circuit as we struggled to get hold of a replacement component for Kurt’s bike; therefore, all eyes were on Matt to perform. Matt spent the sunny session putting together his ideal lap which he struggled to do as a result of the clutch slipping which couldn’t be solved until after the session because of the short time scale. Matt overcame this hindering factor and on the final lap put down his best time which was only 0.2 off his personal best. However, the fact that the grid was so close together this left him in 25th.
Qualifying 2 was another wet session which was Kurt’s only opportunity to get on the grid after not completing a lap in Q1. It was a tough challenge as he had to compete with times set in good conditions. From the first lap Kurt left the pits on a mission and chipped away at his lap times, by lap 8 he had reached the time he needed putting him on the grid for the race. Kurt stayed out on track for the entire session to make the most of the time he had after missing the first 2 sessions of the weekend. The team decided against letting Matt on track for the whole session as he had too much to lose because nobody improved their times in the damp conditions, there were very few riders who went out during Q2.
After waiting around until 5:20pm for Sunday’s race, both Kurt and Matt were ready to go and feeling eager. Matt didn’t have the start he had hoped for falling back to 31st for the first lap; Kurt on the other hand was right on his back wheel as he crossed the line in 32nd after starting last in 37th. Both of the Sorrymate.com riders battled it out with those around them and progressed up the grid. Kurt said ‘it was a difficult start to the race as I was so far back but I got stuck in from the lights changing and got my head down to make up some places’. Matt got caught up in a group and had an excellent race coming out on top leaving him in 18th. Kurt got to the front of the group he was with to find the next group had a big lead making it impossible to catch up with few laps remaining. This put Kurt in 21st position for Oulton Park’s Pirelli National Superstock 600 race.