BSB – Cooper claims first race win in dramatic Oulton Park race

2016 BSB, BSB R02, Oulton Park, Cheshire, UK.

2016 British Superbike Championship, BSB R02, Oulton Park, Cheshire. 2nd May 2016. Richard Cooper, Nottingham, Buildbase BMW wins race 2 from Christian Iddon, Stockport, Tyco BMW and Leon Haslam, Smalley, JG Speedfit Kawasaki

BSB’s unpredictability continues to delight race goers as Leon Haslam claimed a Race One win before  Richard Cooper claimed a hard-fought debut win in the day’s second race to become the fourth different winner this season.

Kawasaki’s Haslam was forced to fight his way through to the front of the pack in the wet conditions, proving his determination to return to the top step of the podium for the first time since 2008 in the opening race. The Pocket Rocket instantly got stuck into the fight and first dispensed with Jack Kennedy at Lodge and then repeated the move just a few laps later on Linfoot with the pair almost inseparable.

Haslam then closed the advantage to the group ahead of him and when Dan Linfoot crashed out of the lead he had the opportunity he needed; that left him leading from Iddon and Ellison. The race winner would come down to the last lap and Haslam held the initial advantage, but Iddon was pressing hard and the pair almost collided at Island as they pushed to stay ahead.

The BMW-mounted Iddon tried everything possible but it was Haslam who held the slight advantage out of Lodge for the final time to score his first victory of the season by just 0.103s as Ellison completed the podium line up.

A rain shower before the start of Race Two left the teams and riders gambling on tyre choice and that would prove to be crucial with the track drying throughout the race. At the start Dan Linfoot had hit the front of the field, eager to make amends for crashing out of the lead in race one, with Jack Kennedy.

Cooper was then holding his position in the lead but Iddon was closing him down at a rapid rate with Kennedy holding third place until the JG Speedfit Kawasaki pairing hunted him after Haslam and Ellison had moved up the order when their choice of slick tyres paid off mid distance. Linfoot though had a double disappointment when he crashed out on the eighth lap.

Michael Laverty had also thrown himself into contention; moving up to third place, behind the leading pair of Cooper and Iddon, but ahead of the quarrelling JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Ellison and Haslam who were embroiled in their own battle of supremacy and by Lap 13 the pair were almost swapping paint in their quest to head the team charge.

At the front Iddon had hunted down Cooper and waited until the last lap to make his move; the Tyco BMW rider had taken the lead at Cascades and was desperately trying to defend as the pair both aimed for their first race victory in MCE BSB. A moment on the exit of Hizzys chicane didn’t stop Iddon from holding the lead, but he drifted marginally wide on the exit of Lodge and it was enough for Cooper to win the drag to the line.

The battle for third was equally intense with the JG Speedfit Kawasakis taking the fight all the way to the finish with Haslam emerging ahead as they crossed the line for the final time to return to the podium after securing his first race win of the season earlier in the day.

Iddon now leads the championship charge to Brands Hatch for the next round of the Championship on May 20/21/22.

 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race One result:

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.103s

James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +2.644s

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.750s

Alastair Seeley (Royal Air Force BMW) +14.162s

Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +14.682s

Jack Kennedy (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +19.710s

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +24.796s

Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +26.506s

Billy McConnell (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +34.773s

 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race Two result:

Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW)

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.135s

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.639s

James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +8.062s

Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +8.183s

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +17.447s

Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +17.836s

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +25.634s

Jack Kennedy (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +26.039s

Stuart Easton (ePayMe Yamaha) +34.027s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:

Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 72

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 58

Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 56

Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 52

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 44

Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) 41

For more information visit http://www.britishsuperbike.com

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