The third round of the British Superbikes series saw Kyle travelling to the rural grounds of Oulton Park in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. This undulating racing circuit which has been hosting Motor racing meetings for over 60 years is rated as one of the most challenging on the race calendar. Kyle was at the circuit only a week before this Bank Holiday meeting for the official BSB test day, where he did manage a fair bit of track time to try the various settings on the bike. Kyle did improve his times during this test day and it did give the team more time to assess the bikes settings and performance prior to this next round.
Kyle’s free practise sessions started on the Saturday morning on possibly the hottest Bank holiday on record, with two 45 minutes sessions on this beautiful dry day and the 3rd session & qualifying on the Sunday, prior to the two races which are on the Bank Holiday Monday. Kyle’s first two free practise sessions saw him balancing around the usual 20th position on the Leader Board in 23rd & 22nd places respectively, with the last of the two sessions seeing him sandwiched between Ex World Superbike rider Jacob Smrz & veteran British & Japanese Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, so this just shows the true depth of field for these qualifying sessions and the racing in general.
(Free Practise session & Qualifying on Sunday)
Yet another fine dry day at this beautiful Cheshire circuit, with Kyle out on track for the final Free practise session prior to the Qualifying session later in the afternoon. Kyle & the team split this final free practise session down into three 4 lap intervals and with Kyle looking to improve on his best present place of 21st with a 1.37.228 lap. With 11 laps completed in this final session Kyle pitted again and was placed in 18th on the Leader Board with a lap of 1.36.423, so with minutes ticking away Kyle went out for a final few laps but couldn’t improve and was again sat between Smrz & Kiyonari , 2.11 down on the pole man Glen Irwin one of Kyle’s old adversaries from his Supersport days in the British Championship.
With the late afternoon sun shining on the circuit; Kyle & the team prepared for the late Qualifying session and was looking to improve yet again on the earlier FP. The first Q1 session saw Kyle place a 1.35.759 Lap which enabled him to go through to Q2, this was a good improvement and with all things going in the right direction, Kyle then went on to post a 1.35.230 in the Q2 session, placing him in a strong 15th place on the grid, sandwiched between fellow local rider Richard Cooper & another of Kyle’s old rivalries from a few years ago ‘Taz’ MacKenzie, Kyle’s Qualifying has hopefully given both himself & the team more confidence and it’s all looking good for race day on the Bank holiday Monday.
With the race day as all the previous days; a very hot & sticky one, Kyle was hoping for a good result after such an improvement during qualifying and with a good early morning warm up session, were he was 10th quickest. However; is race dream was short lived in the first race; as Kyle tipped into the sweeping right hander at Druids on lap 3 whilst sandwiched between the MacKenzie brothers, the bike slipped away from him and that was his first race over with and luckily only his pride hurt.
Later in the afternoon saw Kyle out again for the second race and this time he was really hoping to improve and make up for his race one tip-off.
As the pack set off towards the first right hander ‘old Hall’ corner and on towards the Avenue, Kyle worked his way up to 12th place, with Mossey in front and again the Mackenzie brothers close behind. By lap 4 Mossey had gone missing and Kyle was now chasing Tommy Bridewell down, the rider who he actually had an altercation with at the first round at Donington Park. At half race distance Kyle was now down in a strong 14th place with Laverty in front and Taylor MacKenzie behind, Taz MacKenzie the younger of the two brothers had suddenly gone missing on the previous lap.
Kyle was eventually taken by Taylor MacKenzie as this was a four rider battle with Taylor, Kyle, Martin Jessop & Japanese Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, but by the penultimate lap Kyle had fell victim to all three riders and was now back in 17th place.
Kyle bought his machine across the chequered flag finally in 17th place; ahead of TT ace Dean Harrison, with Kyle’s best performing race time came on his second lap, with a 1.35.849. A strong showing in the second race just placed him outside of his first points of the season.
FREE TEST DAY This week
Kyle’s next Superbike race is at the Norfolk circuit of Snetterton, just on the outskirts of Thetford Forest, during the weekend of the 15th-17th June.