A double podium during the Bank Holiday meeting at Oulton Park was enough to lift Christian Iddon and Tyco BMW to the top of the British Superbike Championship table after just two rounds.
His team-mate Michael Laverty holds third place in the table after a brace of top six finishes on his Tyco BMW, in what proved to be a testing weekend in difficult conditions at his least favoured circuit on the BSB calendar.
In the opening race Iddon came through from sixth place at the end of the opening lap on his S1000RR Tyco BMW to challenge Leon Haslam for the win in the closing stages, just narrowly losing out.
Then in race two Iddon again challenged for the win after a storming ride in damp conditions. Despite a valiant attempt the Stockport rider took another second placed finish, making it four podiums from the opening four races this season.
In race one Michael Laverty bogged down off the start line but fought back from fifteenth to take sixth place. He also set the fastest lap of the race on the eighteenth and final lap, giving him pole position on his Tyco BMW for race two.
Having opted for a slick rear tyre in the drying conditions, the Ulsterman had to start tentatively, again fighting through the pack during the race. He did challenge for the final podium spot in the closing stages, but fifth place it was, which leaves him third in the championship standings – 16 points adrift of his team-mate Iddon at the summit and just two behind second placed man Shane Byrne.
Christian Iddon: “It could well have been two wins today, but in those conditions it could also have ended in disaster, so I’m not disappointed with two more podiums. Second place in both races leaves us top of the championship standings and even though it’s early days, we will take it.
“I felt like a bit of an idiot out-braking myself a little into that last corner but what a second race and fair play to Cooper for taking the win. A big thanks to the whole Tyco BMW team, as we couldn’t get much closer to winning races than we have done today. We are leading the championship and have had four podiums, so we will just keep chipping away and enjoying our racing.”
Michael Laverty: Conditions just made it a nightmare this weekend and it wasn’t clean and you just couldn’t build a rhythm. This isn’t my track and those aren’t my conditions. In race one I enjoyed it once I got going but in race two I don’t like riding slick tyres on a wet track. I pushed on and got through to third, but a few spots of rain came and Leon and James came past me after I made a small mistake.
“It was good to be in there fighting and this is certainly going to be my worst track this year. I know we can fight for the win everywhere else and even here at Oulton later in the year if the conditions are right. Things are going well, I feel we have a strong package with the Tyco BMW and I’m riding well, so we will take the positives.”
In the 1000cc Superstock class, Ian Hutchinson took his second consecutive podium of the season with a fine third place, which sets him up well for the upcoming International North West 200 on his stable of Tyco BMWs. Hutchinson now holds third place in the championship standings.
Josh Elliott fought back from thirteenth place at the end of the opening lap to secure fifth place, with leaves him on 31 points and fourth in the standings after two rounds completed.
Ian Hutchinson: “Yeah it was good steady ride but after a big effort in those conditions, but I’m a bit disappointed not to have held onto second spot. There was a narrow dry line and apart from losing my quickshifter the Tyco BMW worked well. Next stop is the North West 200 and I’m really looking forward to racing there and stretching the legs on my Superbike.”
Josh Elliott: “I opted for dry tyres and had to be careful in the opening laps, but we’ve scored strong points at Oulton despite missing out on a podium. The gap to the top of the table is just fourteen points, so I’m now looking forward to Brands Hatch where the goal is to be back up there challenging for the win and a top spot with Tyco BMW.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager: “Although the conditions made things difficult for everyone this weekend, it was great to be part of another exciting day of BSB rcaing. Our Tyco BMWs really are working fantastic in all conditions, and once again the credit must go to the guys in the team for their efforts. Both Christian and Michael are doing a great job with consistent points scoring finishes, which is exactly what we need at this stage of the season.
“First and third in the championship standings at this stage is a dream start for us, however there is a long way to go and we are fully aware that we need to keep working hard to keep this current level of progression. In Superstock Hutchy continues to impress are we are now looking forward to our challenge at the International North West 200 next week. It may not have been a perfect weekend for Josh Elliott, but we know how talented he is and have lots of positives to take from the weekend. We are confident he will be back challenging for race wins very soon.
“Thanks as always to Tyco Security Products, BMW Motorrad and all our partners for their amazing support. I hope our guests had a great day.”
British Superbike Championship Standings
Christian Iddon [Tyco BMW] 72 points; 2nd – Shane Byrne [Ducati] 58; Michael Laverty [Tyco BMW] 56; Leon Haslam [Kawasaki] 52; 6th – Jason O’Halloran [Honda] 44
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship Standings
Taylor Mackenzie 45 points; 2nd – Keith Farmer 35; 3rd – Ian Hutchinson [Tyco BMW] 32; 4th – Joshua Elliott [Tyco BMW] 31; 5th – Hudson Kennaugh 26; 6th – Michael Rutter 21
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