Reigning British champion Ryuichi Kiyonari took the honers in the first race at Oulton Park.Kiyonari had a poor start dropping back places but then started to move up the field taking the lead from Michael Laverty on his Pipercross Swan Yamaha on lap 10. Laverty had had a good start but couldn’t quite hold onto it and eventually finished 5th. It was better news for another Pipercross rider,John Hopkins finished in second place on the Samsung Crescent Suzuki after keeping pace with Laverty while he was in the lead, Unfortunately he wasn’t able to keep with Kiyonari. A final Pipercross bike of Stuart Easton took 3rd spot on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki, a cracking result for the teams in race one.
Race 2 was all about one man, John Hopkins as he wrote motorcycle road racing history today when he became the first American to win a British Superbikes Championship race. After a close fought race between 3 Pipercross riders it was Hopkins that emerged victorious, closely followed by Stuart Easton, both riders with their second podiums of the day. It would have been a Pipercross 1,2,3 but unfortunately Laverty ran off the track giving up 2 places finishing in a still respectable 5th spot.
With the new BSB rules in action this season again only the top 6 riders will be able to challenge for the title, after the weekend Hopkins has moved into 4th spot, with 3 other Pipercross riders in the top6 in the shape of Stuart Easton, Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty in 2nd, 5th and 6th respectively.
One thing was clear this weekend, if you weren’t running a Pipercross filter you were struggling to get in the top 10. With 5 top 10 finshes in Race 1 and 6 in Race 2, and 2 top 3 finishes in both races Pipercross and the teams we work with are the dominant force in the BSB.