Tough weekend at Oulton for Quattro Plant Kawasaki
Mermaids Professional Scuba Diving Internships sponsor the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team endured a tough and frustrating weekend of racing at Oulton Park where they were competing in round 7 of the 2013 British Superbike Championship and more misfortune saw Chris Walker slip back to ninth overall in the title chase.
With the Cheshire circuit hosting the first of the two ‘Triple Header’ weekends on the BSB calendar, scoring points in all three races would be crucial and, after taking a solid 11th in qualifying, Chris was well placed to do just that. Indeed, a strong ninth in the first race got his weekend off to a good start and with a lightning start in the second, hopes of clawing back some points in the race for sixth spot, and a coveted Showdown place, were high.
However, Chris’ race was over before it had really begun as he soon coasted to a halt with a gearbox issue. Going out so early in the race meant he had to start the third and final race of the weekend from the sixth and penultimate row of the grid but in true ‘Stalker’ style, he fought his way through the pack to give himself a great chance of a top ten finish. Completing the first lap in 15th place, he’d worked his way up to ninth by half race distance only to be shuffled back to 12th at the chequered flag after a hectic final few laps.
The weekend’s results mean that the Buildbase BMW of Jon Kirkham now sits in sixth place overall on 126 points with Chris slipping back a place to ninth with 86 points. There are now just two rounds and four races remaining before the six Showdown spots are finalised.
New team-mate Barry Burrell was having his first British Superbike outing of the season and his first ride on a Kawasaki since 2010 but the Bishop Auckland rider rode solidly all weekend. Although he didn’t manage to pick up any points from the three races, narrowly missing out in the second with 16th, he improved each and every time he took to the circuit thus gaining valuable mileage for the next round.
Pete Extance, Team Manager: “It’s been a tough weekend for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team and despite working incredibly hard throughout the three days, we’ve come away with little to show for our efforts. Chris battled hard as always and was rewarded with ninth in the first race only to have a gearbox issue on the first lap of the second. It meant he had to start the third and final race from the back row of the grid but he put in an amazing ride to put himself in contention for a top ten finish, eventually taking 12th.” “Barry had his first meeting with the team and improved throughout the weekend, which was exactly as we would have wanted coming into the three days. He was unlucky not to pick up any points but we’re extremely confident he’ll be running comfortably inside the top 15 next time out at Cadwell Park. We look forward to a better meeting there and, hopefully, claw back some of the ground lost in the battle for a Showdown place.” The next round of the series takes place in two weeks time at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire on August 24-26.
Pictures by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Phil Wain Freelance PR
Mermaids Professional Scuba Diving Internships sponsor the Bournemouth Quatro Plant Kawasaki Team.