Round 3 Oulton Park Writeup
Round 3 of the Pirellii National Superstock 1000 championship at Cheshires Oulton Park saw Evesham based Jones Dorling Racing,with riders Ashley Beech and Joshua Boyd, pushing hard in mixed conditions in an attempt to gain further points. The team with Ashley Beech had a great development day at the official BSB Test there the week before, with most of the Test being development and trying various setups and they had found a good base to work on during free practice. It was Boyd’s first outing at the Oulton circuit on the BMW, so the team had to work to a clean slate with no settings.
In both practice sessions minor adjustments were made and Beech finished comfortably within the top 10. After consultation with Maxton suspension and analysing the data from free practice, further adjustments were made to both bikes ready for Qualifying. Beech qualified in 9th for the 50 mile race, whilst Boyd was further back in the field but he had beaten his previous lap time with a personal best of 1.41 in Qualifying.
The mixed conditions hampered further adjustments to try before the race. Beech had a strong start from row 3 of the grid and was fighting in the group for 4th position. However, after the leading duo crashed out and the rain began to fall the race was red flagged after 5 laps to allow for tyre change to wets and setting adjustments. The race was restarted with a reduced distance of 9 laps in wet conditions. Boyd who had originally started from row 12 had worked his way up to 28th and the wet setting helped him to surge determinedly through the field to 16th place and was in contention for his first points. However, on the final lap whilst battling for 15th against Fraser Rogers and having to brake harder than he wanted he fell at Hislops. Ashley Beech had a harder race as the settings weren’t quite right and he suffered with chatter throughout the race, finishing in 13th place. Beech said he was gutted with the race result but knew he couldn’t challenge further up the field. He still managed to move up the championship standing to 10th place.
Although Boyd was disappointed with falling on the last lap, he was overjoyed with his good progress, his new found confidence with the bike and the great support from his teammate Beech and the Jones Dorling team. The large and very competitive field this year has several Superbike riders and Isle of Man TT veterans and it is therefore no surprise that the top 30 riders are separated by less than a second.
Team owner Chris Jones said “ I was impressed with both riders performances over the weekend, but says there is work to do for the team to help Ash and Josh get stronger and challenge consistently in the top 5 for Ash and move into the points for Josh, starting with our next race supporting the World Superbikes at Donington Park with the 2nd 100 mile race. Huge thanks to our top and new sponsor Aquila Trucks for coming and supporting the team this weekend, as without their support we wouldn’t be racing."