BMCRC Round 4 – Oulton Park

Grant RobertsonYamaha Past MastersThe British Motorcycle Racing Club headed north to Oulton Park for the fourth round of the season, taking in the long Bank Holiday weekend, with racing taking place on Saturday 24 and Monday 26 May. Unfortunately however, only half of Saturday’s programme was completed, before the rain became too torrential and the track unsafe for racing to continue.

In the MRO Minitwins Grant Robertson came away as the highest points scorer, taking third on Saturday before doing the double on Monday, and now leads the championship by 22 points from Paul Wilby, who took a win and two seconds.

Paul Wilby took Saturday’s win from Kurtis Butler with Robertson third, but it was Robertson who really ripped up the form book on Monday.

In a series famed for its close and exciting racing at the front, and indeed all the way through the field, Robertson stormed to victory in Monday’s opener, crossing the line nearly six seconds ahead of Wilby and Jake Povah.

Robertson’s second win again came ahead of Wilby, albeit this time by a tenth of a second, with Richard Goode third.

Tasting victory for the first time since his debut win at CadwellPark last season, he said, “I’m so pleased to take my first wins of 2014 at one of my favourite circuits too. When it’s normally so tight at the front I was surprised but very happy with the margin of victory for the first win, and I’m feeling confident now for the rest of the season.”

Butler took two wins in the Junior class with Mark Piper taking the other, while Mason Williams was the leading Rookie on Saturday before Ben Body scored a brace of class wins on Monday.

Three different riders tasted victory in the Team Respro MRO 600s, with Tommy Philp coming away with a 62 point series lead.

Chris Mort stormed to victory in Saturday’s race on his Crewe Honda Centre CBR600, crossing the line nearly 20 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Jamie Devine and Dan Helyer were second and third, split by two seconds. James Puttrell continued to impress, finishing fourth and lead Clubman, while Stephen Draper was the lead rookie on his Suzuki GSX-R600.

Devine and Philp shared the spoils on Monday, with just half a second covering the podium in race one. Devine took the win from Helyer and Philp, before Philp took the win in the final race, with Helyer again second and Devine third on his SP Landscaping Kawasaki.

Puttrell took two more fourths and two Clubman wins, as Draper scored a brace of wins in the Rookie class.

Just 10 points separate Barry Chapman and Steve Murphy at the top of the Morello Services MRO Powerbike championship after Oulton Park.

Less than half a second covered the podium on Saturday, with Chapman taking the win from Murphy and Dean Brown. Mark Fincham kept himself at the top of the Clubman championship with another class win in fourth, with Mark Rusted fifth and lead Rookie.

British Championship regular Tom Tunstall failed to finish Saturday’s race, but was in fine form on Monday, dominating both races and taking two wins, the first by over 30 seconds.

However, with Tunstall not eligible for championship points, Murphy was awarded the 25 points, coming home second, ahead of Roger Marsh in third, who was also the lead Clubman. Jack Croucher was lead Rookie in sixth.

Tunstall’s second win came 20 seconds ahead of a thrilling battle for second, which went the way of Morello sponsored Chapman, two tenths ahead of Michael Honey’s Digital Barriers Suzuki. Honey was leading Clubman with Croucher lead Rookie in sixth, behind Murphy who was penalised 10 seconds for a jump start.

Ben Gallaway dominated the Steve Jordan and ELP backed BMCRC Thunderbike and Thunderbike Extreme races at the weekend, taking all three overall wins and three wins in the Extreme class. Steve Speed was second in Saturday’s race and winner in the Thunderbike class, ahead of Jake Povah, second in the Thunderbike class.

Gallaway’s wins on Monday both came ahead of Dave Shelvey, who claimed two seconds in the Extreme class. Luke Harris, winner of the Bob Winter trophy at Silverstone, took an excellent third in race one and the win in the Thunderbike class, while Denzil Davies took third in race two and third in the Extreme class, with Harris fourth and lead Thunderbike.

After a huge crash at Silverstone, Richie Welsh recovered to take a brace of wins on the Monday at Oulton Park and heads the championship by 42 points.

In a soaking wet race one 2012 champion Colin Martin took the win ahead of Andy Saunders and Keith Povah, who was leading Sub-64 runner. Andrew Pitt was leading Rookie in 13th.

Welsh fended off the challenge of Dan Ruth in Monday’s opener, taking the win by less than two tenths, with Martin third, before bettering Steve Palmer and Francesco Cavalli in race two.

Joe Muncey and Graham Higlett shared the spoils in the Sub-64 class, with Mark Thompson and Pitt taking a Rookie win each.

Despite not competing at the opening round of the Freshdrop sponsored BMZRC 250 championship, Dean Stimpson sits just six points off the championship lead, held by Mark Taylor, after nine straight wins.

Stimpson took Saturday’s win at OultonPark before crashing out of the first race on Monday, denying himself 10 straight wins, gifting victory to Taylor. He recovered in the final race however, coming through to take the win.

In the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters, Graham Higlett continued his 100% win record for 2014. He held second in Saturday’s race, but was gifted the win when Matt Barber crashed out of the lead.

On Monday he was pushed hard in race one by Simon Braby, but fended off the challenge, before dominating the last race, taking the win by over 13 seconds.

The chase for the 2014 ACU National Junior Cup, supported by Kawasaki, closed right up at Oulton Park, with two points separating Joel Marklund and Ryan Folkes, with Folkes taking two wins to Markulnd’s one at the Cheshire circuit.

The Bonhams Lansdowne Classic Series was also in action over the weekend, with Mike ‘Spike’ Edwards taking a hat-trick of victories on his Ripley Land sponsored Matchless