British Superbikes Oulton Park 2023 – Brookes, Bridewell and Irwin share the Bank Holiday spoils.

Bank Holiday weekend played host to British Superbikes for Round 2, Oulton Park.

Oulton Park – Image Official BSB

Known for it’s changing weather conditions, Oulton didn’t buck the trend for three seasons in one weekend when it rained solid for the Sunday sessions, dried up for Race 2 on the Monday and finally allowed the sun out for Race 3.

The rain finally abated for the Sunday ebay Sprint race long enough for the track to dry out and allow the Superbike riders to get out on their slick tyres.

After an eventful start to the race, which saw the Curse of Oulton Park strike again for Jason O’Halloran when a crash saw the McAMS rider slip off, a somewhat linear Race 1 ensued, with the top 6 riders braking away. Brookes, a resurgent Leon Haslam, G Irwin, Hickman, Bridewell and A Irwin ticking off the laps at a steady pace, while pulling somewhere around a 8-10 second gap to chasing riders Christian Iddon, Storm Stacey, Lee Jackson and Charlie Nesbit.

Counting down the laps and revving up for a last lap push, the typical North-West weather robbed the fans of any last lap shenanigan’s when a sudden downpour brought out the red flag handing another well deserved race victory to Josh Brookes. While Brookes openly admitted he doesn’t like to win under such circumstances, he’ll gladly take them where he can. The FHO BMW rider gladly banking another race win in the 2023 season.

Josh Brookes – Image FHO BMW Racing Team

Race 1 Top 10 – Brookes, Haslam, G Irwin, Hickman, Bridewell, A Irwin, Ryde, Iddon, Stacey, Jackson.

Race 2

Bank Holiday Monday, in front of a packed crowd, kicked off in Oulton Park style with Peter Hickman sliding off his FHO BMW at Turn 1 and saw him retire from the race. Hicky later mentioning a change in the tarmac surface potentially leading to a loss of grip whilst admitting he was clutching at straws for an answer as to what happened.

Another rider having a disastrous lap one was Jason O’Halloran once again. A slide on his Yamaha R1 while dropping down Cascades ended his race there and then, unfortunately collecting Josh Owens on the Crendon Hawk Honda.  Owens’ Honda was so badly damaged, he was unable to contest Race 3 later on in the afternoon.

Bridewell got on with the job and led from the front for the race, while 2-6th was battled for between G Irwin, A Irwin, Brookes, Ryde and Haslam. With Ryde dropping back in the early laps, but fighting his way back into the battle, Brookes bemoaning a lack of feel on the bike after opting for a stiffer rear spring for Race 2, both were unable to join in the position swapping with Glenn, Leon and Andy. It was ultimately Glenn Irwin whom made his way forward to try and challenge team mate Tommy Bridewell for the win. As we have seen before, when Bridewell gets in the groove at Outlon Park, generally no one can lay a glove on him. In the end a comfortable 1-2 for the Beermonster Ducati riders.

Beermonster Ducati – Image Courtesy PBM Double Red Photo

Race 2 Top 10 – Bridewell, G Irwin, Haslam, A Irwin, Ryde, Brookes, Iddon, Jackson, Kennedy, Dean Harrison. 

Race 3

This felt like the most action packed race of the day. Perhaps from where I watched, on the inside of Lodge Corner it’s probably true. Most overtakes of the race would no doubt go to McAMS Yamaha rider Jason O’Halloran who managed to put some of his demons to bed and see the chequered flag. Starting from near the back of the grid saw the Yamaha rider school many competitor on how to slip underneath someone on the brakes into the final corner on the lap. So a special mention to Jason for a gritty performance in the 3rd and final Superbike race of the day.

A strong start from Andy Irwin saw the Honda Racing UK rider lead off the start, chased down by brother, Glenn. Closely followed as expected, based on weekend form, Brookes and Haslam. After a hand ful of laps, the aparent lack of race winning pace from the Honda began to show as Glenn made his move for the race lead.

With the laps ticking down, the front 8 riders of G Irwin, A Irwin, Haslam, Bridewell, Brookes, Hickman and Iddon broke away from the chasing pack of Jackson, Stacey and Kennedy, pushing on to the flag.

The mainstay of the action came from Leon Haslam on the Rokit BMW, Glenn Irwin and Tommy Bridewell on the Beermonster Ducati. The pair swapping positions multiple times throughout the race, all looking for victory in the final race if the day. As usual though, there can be only one and resisting the pressure, and it was Glenn Irwin’s turn to take the spoils followed by Leon Haslam. A resurgent Kyle Ryde was able to get his head down and catch Bridewell, ultimately fending off the Ducati rider for the final place on the podium.

Glenn Irwin – Beermonster Ducati – Image Courtesy PBM Double Red Photo

Race 3 Top 10 – G Irwin, Haslam, Ryde, Bridewell, Brookes, Hickman, Iddon, Jackson, A Irwin, Jason O’Halloran. 

The current standings after Round 2 are :-

Standings after Round 2, Oulton Park
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