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Unbeatable Higlett?

Higlett OultonGraham Higlett holds a 104 point lead at the top of the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters championship, after continuing his dominant run of form at Oulton Park.

Higlett boasts maximum points for his efforts so far this season, but it wasn't without effort and a stroke of good fortune at the Cheshire circuit, especially on Saturday.

A damp qualifying session saw Matt Barber snatch pole position, posting the fastest time of the session on his final lap. Impressive rides from Simon Braby and Andy Wheeler saw them join him on the front row. Higlett was fourth, alongside a returning Pete Fishwick and James Sharpe.

Race one started in dry conditions, with Barber accelerating away from pole position, barely able to keep his front wheel on the floor. Higlett was in tow, but lap after lap and Barber looked comfortable leading the way.

At the halfway point however, rain started to fall, first just misting the visors, but eventually it was sufficient enough to wet the track. With race direction declaring it a wet race from the off, no red flags came out.

One of the first to go was Mike Wake, crashing out at Lodge on lap four. Unfortunately for him the crash sent the bike backwards over the kerbs, wearing through the engine cases. Andy Davies was next to go, crashing at the second chicane a lap later. Rookie Sacha Gyte also crashed out on the same lap on the run up to Lodge.

With Rookie Tim Hall failing to make it past lap three with a fuelling problem, Michael Stanley ensure no Rookies finished the race, crashing on lap six, while Barber handed the race win to Higlett, crashing at the second chicane in the closing stages.

Braby took a superb second place, his highest YPM finish, with Fishwick managing the conditions expertly to take an excellent third place on his comeback.

Wheeler finished fourth, ahead of leading Clubman pilot Paul Bowling, with Trevor Sharpe and Paul Whitby rounding out the Clubman podium.

The heavy rain continued throughout the rest of Saturday, resulting the cancellation of the second race on the grounds of safety, but two 10-lap races awaited the riders on Bank Holiday Monday, after a rest-day Sunday.

Braby OultonHiglett took the win in race one but was made to work in the early stages by a hard-charging Simon Braby. With Higlett holding a commanding lead early on, Braby worked hard to reel him in and was closing by the final third of the race.

However, back-markers came in to play, and Braby lost the tow and was eventually unable to bridge the gap. He did take second place, with Barber coming through the field to third. Davies also came through the pack to fourth, followed by Doug Edmondson, who missed Saturday's races, who took fifth.

Wheeler finished sixth ahead of Trevor Sharpe, who took the Clubman win, with Sacha Gyte the lead rookie in eighth. Paul Davies put in an impressive ride to come through traffic to catch and pass both Paul Whitby and Paul Bowling to take second Clubman and ninth, with Whitby third Clubman and rounding out the top 10.

Higlett completed his hat-trick in the final race and extended his sublime 100% record. Just one second covered the fight for second, which went the way of Edmondson, ahead of Braby and Davies.

Gyte was the lead Rookie and headed a mid-pack train of riders, with a second covering him and the Clubman podium of Whitby, Davies and Bowling, after Trevor Sharpe retired at Lodge corner.

Tags: YPM, YPMRC, Yamaha, Yamaha Past Masters, TZR, TZR250, Bemsee, BMCRC, YPVS, Oulton, Oulton Park