by Giles Spencer
Tooting born motorcycle racer, Gino Rea scored three solid point scoring rides last weekend in the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
Qualifying in 10th, just 0.625 of a second off pole, Rea looked in good form for the races.
Lights out for Saturday’s race one and Rea makes the most of the start to hold his position whilst fending off the unwanted attentions of the BMW pairing of Luke Mossey and Peter Hickman to take 10th at the flag, less than half a second ahead of Mossey to pick up 6 valuable points.
With the grid positions decided on the previous races best lap time, Rea started race two, held on Sunday morning, from the back of the 4th row in 12th.
Again, as on Saturday, Rea was able to hold his position to the flag in 12th place, just behind the Ducati of Tommy Bridewell and nearly 11 seconds ahead of his team mate, Kyle Ryde on the Buildbase Suzuki for 4 points.
Starting 12th on the grid for the third race of the weekend, Rea makes a good start to move up to 11th at the end of the first lap and demote his team-mate a place before moving up to 10th almost immediately as the Honda of Andrew Irwin crashes out of proceedings early on.
Six laps down and Hickman slips past Rea to put the 31 year old back to 11th but in a tight group of six, it’s still anyone’s race.
Nine laps in and Rea ups his pace but it’s not enough to stop Mossey from squeezing past Rea’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 to put him back in his 12th place starting position.
The 18th lap and final time of asking, Rea’s closed in on the back of Bridewell but try as he might, just can’t find a way past the Wiltshire man to finish 0.135 seconds back in 12th for 4 more points.
Rea said, “On paper the end results don’t show our progression this weekend. I’m really happy with the steps we made and my adaption to the Hawk Racing Suzuki.
“I don’t have a great amount of experience at Oulton Park, so to qualify 10th and lap in the 1:34’s was a good start.
“Then to finish 10th in the first race was great but I was more happy with how the bike felt in race 3.
“Unfortunately, I got stuck behind the Ducati (of Bridewell) for most of the race which was really frustrating as I had better pace.
“We were in the battle for 8th and I had the speed to be at the front of that group but just couldn’t get by Bridewell.
“Still, a solid weekend, so thanks to the Hawk Racing team once again for the opportunity. Can’t wait to be back at Donington Park!”
The series heads back to where it started at Donington Park in Derbyshire from the 2-4th October for the penultimate round of the Championship.
Photos by Tim at Impact Images
Please support your local paper by making a donation