Rounds 10/11/12 were difficult for Bennett’s British Superbike rider, Joe Francis, after crashing out of qualifying. A mistake from the #44 rider left him no choice but to lie the bike down. However, Francis still managed to earn an a respectful P17 qualifying start going into race one.
With the bike fixed up and looking as good as new thanks to the hard work of one of our partners, APM Customs, Francis was ready for race one. The race started positively for the local lad as he set his fastest lap time of the weekend posting a 1:36.6. But disappointment struck again as Francis was forced out of race one for a second week in a row, this time due to an electrical failure.
Race two followed the same suit as the BSB rider was again forced to retire after starting the race from the pit lane, as the same electrical problem struck a second time on Sunday. With nothing to lose in race three, Francis did manage to end the weekend on a positive note, climbing from P22 to P16 and posting a new personal best of 1:35.9 for the weekend.
After the action on Sunday, Francis reflected on the weekend. He said: “We have to rectify these problems. Obviously, we wanted points at our home round, but after the weekend we have had, just to have a solid race like that fighting for the points was what we needed.”
Dan Jones was active in the GP2 though he also endured a challenging round and said: “A difficult but fun weekend here at Oulton Park. It was my first time on anything above a 250 single cylinder so as you can imagine it was quite physical with a lot to learn.”
This was evident as the number #44 rider grew into the weekend with his best performances coming in race two on Sunday. P8 in the GP2 and a personal best of 1:40.3 helped the Welshman end the weekend on a high.
Even after coming off the back of another frustrating weekend, the unity and ambition of the team shines through. This was clear when Jones said: “The team stuck together and worked hard, so I thank them for that. Hopefully, next year when we come back, we will be a lot stronger with the knowledge we have gained.”
The whole of the Honda British Talent cup class was out of action this time out at Oulton Park, meaning Sullivan Mounsey missed out on racing for a second consecutive week.
All eyes now turn to Donington Park where we started this interesting season without the fans who were greatly missed this weekend in Cheshire.
Photographs by Dave Yeomans Photography.