The JG Speedfit Kawasaki team made history at Oulton Park this afternoon by becoming the first team to lock-out the MCE British Superbike podium in the series’ 20 year history.
Leon Haslam took victory in the opening race at Oulton Park and was joined on the rostrum by team-mates James Ellison and Peter Hickman after a dominant showing for the Louth-based Kawasaki squad.
Ellison led the early part of the race before Haslam took over at the front at the mid-way point, but the rejuvenated Cumbrian was never far off his team-mate in the lead.
Starting a further back on the grid than his team-mates, Hickman pushed on to make progress through the pack to move into what would have been a strong fourth place until disaster struck for third place man Shane Byrne, who ran into the gravel after almost highsiding at Knickerbrook. The Lincolnshireman held off a late race charge from Honda’s Jason O’Halloran to celebrate his first podium since taking victory in the opening round at Silverstone.
The result marks a remarkable turn in form for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, who have endured a number of challenges so far this season as they’ve worked to get to grips with the 2016 ZX-10R.
“What an incredible result, the odds of achieving a podium lockout are hugely stacked against us but we dreamed of this day all season and to do it here at Oulton is unbelievable,” said team boss Mark Smith-Halvorsen.
“Sure, we had a bit of help but what an achievement and I’m so pleased for the entire team, our riders and our sponsors. I want to dedicate that result to all of the team, they’ve put in a huge effort to get us here. It’s not been easy but all three riders have done wonders for their Championship challenges and now we turn to the most important task and try to get all three in the showdown tomorrow.”
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