Round 3 at Oulton Park started on a positive for our team, with Aaron qualifying fantastically in 4th position, heading the 2nd row. After a brilliant start, Clarke found himself challenging for the lead, on lap 3, but unluckily, crashed out of a comfortable 2nd position on lap 7. He got away without injuries, and with minimal damage to the bike.
Aaron explained: “I felt really strong in the race, but I missed my downshift going into Shell Oils, went in too hot and wide, and as I was turning the bike as hard as I could, I cracked the gas and the rear just broke away and slid out. Very disappointing but lots of positives to take away from this weekend!”
It was a challenging weekend for our Sidecar duo, Gilbert and Tritton. Having suffered an electrical problem in Practice 1 and 2, and finding out the problem was not cured for qualifying, meant they had to start the race from the back of the grid. In the first lap Simon and Jack moved on to the 7th position which they held comfortably until the engine decided to go pop, and the race was red flagged.
“It is incredibly frustrating, knowing we have what it takes to fight for the podium, and yet not being able to give our best, as we are constantly experiencing technical issues. We have a lot of time before the next round and we are going to use it to focus on getting our machine in top notch condition. Onwards and upwards!” said Simon.
Brilliant qualifying for Tommy, who was 12th in his class, and 13th overall, heading row 5 in his Sprint Race. He finished the race 11th in his class, picking some more championship points. He was 13th on the grid for the Race 2 and after a spectacular start and very consistent pace throughout the race, despite a handling issue with front forks, he finished 9th. Philp currently has 32 championship points.
Tommy said: “We had a good weekend, still trying to push for the front, but slight problems with the front end and arm pump got a little in the way. Still, we come away with a few points and a good set up for the next Oulton.”
Next Round is at Snetterton, 15-17 June. In the meantime, Aaron will be entering the Superstock 600 support class at Donington Park, which is part of the World Superbike Round (25-27 May).
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Photography: Barry Clay