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Kershaw and Clark lead the way to Oulton Park (5-7th May)

 

A dramatic opening round at Brands Hatch two weeks ago saw Scots Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark leave Kent leading the British Sidecar Championship for the first time in their career. Their 1000cc Santander Salt Kawasaki was freshly rebuilt after a crash testing in France, and they were still sorting the geometry. That however, did not stop them following the Birchall Brothers home in race one, and claiming third behind the Founds brothers Peter and Alan in a wet second outing.

At Oulton Park for round two, there will be plenty of crews lining up for revenge, not least of all the aforementioned Birchalls (Mitchells of Mansfield Yamaha), who along with John Holden/Lee Cain (Barnes/Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) left Kent early ahead of the opening World Round in France. They sacrificed vital points to make sure they were in good shape for Le Mans. The gamble paid off, Ben and Tom go to Oulton lying second in the World rankings, with the Holden/Cain duo bagging fourth ahead of former British Champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki).

As yet, there is no planned appearance by defending champion Tim Reeves. He won in France, so his year has started well, and seems to be concentrating on the FIM World series having achieved unbeatable domestic success in 2017.

The 600cc bikes now score on level terms with their big brothers for 2018, and Oulton Park has proved to be popular with all sidecars regardless of engine size over the years. The undulations and fast bends, coupled with what is a fairly long lap, provides a great platform for close racing.

Another crew determined to be in the hunt are reigning 600 Cup Champions Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson. They had issues at Brands, but sit fifth in the overall title chase, and third in class. The Santander Salt Honda is bound to be fast in Cheshire, so keep an eye on these youngsters.

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood return here to Oulton Park intent on making up lost ground from a dismal opening round. They have just eight points to their credit to date.

Other “big-bike” exponents who will shine include Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde (GBR Kawasaki), Rupert Archer/Tom Bryant (Hannafin Adolf RS Suzuki) and Phil Bell/Stuart Ramsay (Marin Motorsports Kawasaki). Add to these the series leaders Kershaw and Clark (Santander Salt Kawasaki) and the sparks are bound to fly between these 1000cc monsters.

With just one race on the programme for the charioteers, you can be sure that everyone will be wanting to make it count. Eurosport will show the race live, and the highlights show can be seen on Motorsport TV and Frontrunner in the UK. Check the schedules and TV guides for information.

Race weekend timetable available on www.britishsuperbike.com

Media Matters - Barry Nutley - barry.nutley@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

BSB / British Sidecar Championship Partners

Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley
Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley


Race Action
Race Action


Race Action
Race Action

Copyright: Photos: Impact Images

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