Seen at the BSB recently:
I went down on the Saturday and Monday. It rained Saturday morning, forcing me to stand there at Cascades with my lid on like a twat, while very few riders ventured out on the wet track for FP-1, so I saw almost nothing. It was so wet, Fred Clarke didn’t even bother commentating.
On the other hand, race day on Monday was the warmest, brightest day of the year, generating the biggest crowd Oulton Park has ever seen. Sunburn everywhere, and a brilliant session with the 7D.
MSV’s spin on it this year is the “War for Four”, between 3x-champions Shane Byrne and Kiyo. Trouble is, Kiyo is nowhere – a shadow of his former self. Shane Byrne will win it. Unless: all Tuxworth has to do is tell Kiyo to shave his head again like in 2010. He shaved his head, he went quicker and he won the title. End of.
Alex Lowes was on fire, Michael Rutter clocked up his 400th start in BSB, and the quality of women seemed much higher too, but I still think Supersport and Superstock are more interesting this year than the main event. It’s not the same without Tommy H…
Go and get a brew first ‘cos this is two days’ worth. There’s a bit of the Superstock paddock thrown in as a bonus feature:
For full results and reports, check Official BSB.
Famously elusive and enigmatic “Kiwi Bomber” Bruce Anstey, 9-times TT winner, current lap record holder at the fearsome Dundrod circuit, is legendary for only ever riding a motorcycle at all in the three International road races (the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster Grand Prix). Seeing him outside those arenas is generally accepted to be as likely as seeing a banker in a confession booth.
This year, the TT’s organisation and the ACU have decreed that to gain the “Mountain Course Licence”, a rider must have completed at least two days’ racing somewhere in 2013 prior to the TT [see this], so to acquire that necessary signature, Clive Padgett brought Bruce to the BSB at Oulton Park last weekend to do the Superstock 1000 race.
He kept a typically low profile, took it steady on track and made sure to finish last, because that’s what you would do if you had to complete a formality a week before the North West 200 – stay right out of it. Superstock is a total melée anyway…
Random Woman: “What’s all this?”
Me: “The British Superbike Championship is at Oulton Park tomorrow. They did this two years ago as like a promo thing and it seemed to go down well. I only found out about this yesterday on Twitter.”
RW: “I didn’t hear anything about it. It wasn’t in the Echo.”
M: “It’s all about getting people through the door. You’ll see it on the telly later. Them with the camera look like Granada Reports.”
RW: “These are all the riders are they?”
M: “Some of them, yeah.”
RW: “Who’s that in the shorts?”
M: “I think that’s Howie Mainwaring. He’s from Frodsham up the road. He took his wife’s name when he got married.”
RW: “Who’s the blonde? Is she racing?”
“Jenny Tinmouth. Fastest woman round the Isle of Man TT she is. She runs a garage in Ellesmere Port.”
M: “Yeah. The Japanese guy is Ryuichi Kiyonari – 3-times champion he is. The other one in the blue Samsung jacket is Alex Lowes – he has an identical twin brother. The lads in the red are Jon Kirkham and Westy.”
M: “James Westmoreland.”
RW: “And this is on tomorrow is it?”
M: “Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Bank Holiday. If it’s nice weather they’ll get about 30,000 people there.”
RW: “Is this like what Barry Sheene used to do?”
M: “Er, yeah…”
One of the best club racing collectives out there returned to Oulton Park last weekend, the day after the BSB test I featured earlier. The highlight this year was the Wirral 100′s version of the BMCRC’s Golden Era Superbikes class, which was a big draw for me; the sight of the 1997 ex-BSB “Cadbury’s Boost” Yamaha YZF-750 detained me for hours.
This year they’re also into amalgamating various unrelated classes into one race to preserve grid sizes, so you had the bizarre and possibly unique sight of a 40+-year-old Norton beating a Gixxer…
As usual, part of the fascination of the day is seeing what other bikers arrive on:
For full results from all the classes, check the Wirral Hundred MC’s website.