A life long biking fanatic, Tony Cooper is a regular visitor to British Superbike races, and was on hand at Oulton Park for Round Eight of the Championship as winner of the THINK! Road Safety and MCN Reporter competition.
I’ve always been mad about bikes and try to get to about five or so BSB races every year, so it was amazing when I found out that I’d be going to Oulton not just as a spectator but as a THINK! and MCN reporter.
Unfortunately the weather was wet again so despite having spent three hours on Saturday cleaning my CBR 600 F2, I decided it was safest for my wife and I to make the journey up the A50 by car.
We arrived at the track just in time to meet John Reynolds, who was carrying out his ambassadorial role at the THINK! Motorcycle Academy. It was a great honour to have a one to one and he personally took the time to tell me all about the importance of the academy
Even though I’ve always been a big biking fan it’s only in the last nine years that I’ve had my licence. Unfortunately I had a few friends who suffered horrendous bike crashes when I was younger and I was put off riding myself for a long time.
So it was great to see someone as important and famous as a three time British Superbike Champion taking the time out to talk to the massive crowds about road safety, and encouraging them to the learn how to give their bikes the skills they deserve.
With the rain having drenched Oulton Park by the time the first BSB race was underway track conditions were nothing short of treacherous. The first lap saw Championship contender Gregoria Lavilla crash out causing the safety car to be deployed, while rival Jonny Rea fared little better surviving a scare early on before skidding out on lap seven.
That left the way clear for the series leader and defending champion, Ryuichi Kiyonari to grab an emphatic victory. The battle for second place saw some of the most exciting racing of the season with Leon Haslam, Shane Byrne and Chris Walker fighting it out in wheel to wheel action.
Byrne produced some nerveless overtaking manoeuvres to come from fourth and take second, while Walker claimed the final podium position having started back in 11th on the grid.
The second race saw Jonny Rea make up for his earlier mistake, as he capitalized on team mate Kiyonari crashing out early on, to take an easy victory and close the gap in the Championship back to just 11 points.
I know can’t wait to get to the next round at Mallory! See you all there.
For your chance to be an MCN THINK! Motorcycle Academy reporter at the BSB simply check out MCN on the Wednesday in the week preceding each round or visit www.thinkmotorcycleacademy.co.uk