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Articles Tagged ‘Oulton’

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.

Yambits Club Bike Gets Two More Bookings For 2016 Season

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The Yambits sponsored YPMRC Club Bike has been booked for two more rounds of the 2016 season, taking the total so far to three.

A number of current YPM racers took their first steps into the the class via the Yambits Club Bike, including last year's champion Matt Barber, and it will provide Denis Halil and Joe Dickenson with their first taste of the competitive-but-friendly two-stoke series.

Halil, from Hulbridge in Essex, is a self-confessed two-stroke addict, and has a history of racing TZ250s. After a break from racing, Halil is looking to return to racing with a two-stroke class that is more affordable than racing GP machinery, and has been following the racing vi the YPMRC Facebook page for some time. He will make his class debut at the Brands Hatch GP round in August.

Dickenson will contest the Oulton Park round in June, and hails from Northwich. The 25-year-old has raced CB500s, and is a fan of single make championships.

Looking for a change of scenery for 2016, Dickenson is also eager to ride and race a two-stroke; something he has yet to do.

For for information on the Club Bike, click here.

YPM On For Oulton Bank Holiday

Outon PreviewThe third round of the DFDS Seaways sponsored Yamaha Past Masters Racing Club takes place this weekend (23-26 May) at Oulton Park, with the picturesque Cheshire venue hosting the meeting over the bank holiday weekend.

With the circuit subject to strict noise regulations, a full day of Friday practice will be available, followed by qualifying and two seven lap races on Saturday. However, Sunday will see no racing action, with the paddock instead treated to a rest day, before action resumes on the Bank Holiday Monday.

After morning warm-up on the Monday, there will two extended, 10-lap races for the YPMRC, providing ample opportunity for some close and spectacular racing.

It also provides championship leader Graham Higlett with the chance to further extend his championship lead. The 2012 champion boasts an impressive 100% record so far this season, taking eight wins from all eight races. However, in a class of one at Silverstone, Higlett was pushed harder at the opening round by Matt Barber, who returns for Oulton Park and could make things interesting at the front.

Weather could also play a part, with rain forecast over the course of the weekend. While Higlett is a self-confessed loather of the rain, Barber has shown real speed in the wet last season. Changes in tyre rules may effect the outcome this season in any wet races, but on previous form it'd be hard to look past the likes of Barber.

Running at the sharp-end again this year is Doug Edmondson, who sits second in the overall championship. He will be looking to challenge for wins again, and if it rains, don't be surprised to see him taking a couple. The forecast rain may also favour the likes of Andy Wheeler, who took his only YPM win in the wet at Brands Hatch last term.

After a slow start at Snetterton, Pete Moore was well on the pace at Snetterton, and will be hoping to repeat that form at Oulton and battle once again with Barber, Edmondson and Higlett. Watch out too for Andy Davies, who took an impressive second place at Silverstone.

Oulton Preview2Lee Finney looks set to miss Oulton with a shoulder injury sustained at Silverstone, crashing out heavily while running in the Two-Stroke GP series, but Simon Braby will be aiming to bridge the gap to the front runners, after qualifying on the front row at Silverstone and a number of good rides, taking a best finish of fourth.

One to watch though will be Pete Fishwick, the only one who get close to Michael Smith during his championship winning year of 2011. Returning for a one-off ride, he's sure to get close to the front of the field.

Weather could also play a part in the battle for the Clubman championship, currently headed by James Sharpe, with Trevor Sharpe, currently third in the standings a fan of the wet. Again though, tyre reg changes could throw it all up in the air. Second in the standings Paul Whitby will be also be looking to take over at the top of the championship, but hasn't previously had good experiences in the wet, especially at Oulton Park, crashing out two years ago in the rain. Watch out for battles between those three though, as well as Mike Wake, Paul Davies and Kev Marshal.

This year's Rookie championship is providing the real excitement so far, with just one point separating Michael Stanley and Sacha Gyte at the top of the standings. Gyte's pace improved throughout the Silverstone meeting, with confidence high heading to Oulton, the scene of his first YPM experience last season on the Yambits sponsored TZR250 Club BIke. Tim Hall however, will be hoping to get back amongst the wins, missing out on a trophy at Silverstone.

The Oulton Park meeting runs from 23 - 26 May, with racing also taking place on the Bank Holiday Monday.

Photo: E.G.B Photography / Racing Line Photography