The Gloucester-based Smiths Racing Team were at Oulton Park, Cheshire over this bank holiday weekend contesting the MCE British Superbike and Motorpoint British Supersport Championships whereby Jake Dixon gave them their second win of the season after a superb victory in today’s Supersport race on the factory-backed Triumph Daytona 675R.
It salvaged the weekend for the Dover rider after being the victim of another rider’s crash in the opening ‘Sprint’ race yesterday, crashing out whilst he was lying in fourth place. It looked like he’d finish in a similar position today but a safety car period meant the race all came down to a four-lap dash to the flag. With five riders in close contention, it became one of the races of the season and Jake took full advantage of Andy Reid’s mistake on the penultimate lap to hit the front for the first time. Despite coming under intense pressure on the final lap, he held on to take a brilliant second win of the season.
MCE British Superbike Championship team-mate Billy McConnell qualified his Smiths Racing BMW in tenth place for today’s opening BSB race but his hopes of a good result were dashed on the opening lap when he slipped back to 17th after a coming together with another rider. With lap times amongst the riders being so close, gaining places proved to be a tough task but the reigning British Supersport champion from Adelaide battled hard until the end and was rewarded with 14th place and two hard earned championship points.
Back on the fourth row for the second race, The Aussie had a much more enjoyable race second time around on the BMW S1000RR and by the fourth lap he was up to tenth. Riding on his own for much of the race, it looked like this would be where he’d finish but with Shane Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari crashing out with two laps to go, he was elevated to eighth place at the flag meaning he holds an impressive 12th overall after the first three rounds.
The team expanded to three riders for the weekend with David Johnson contesting the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race prior to racing the bike at the Isle of Man TT Races. The Adelaide rider enjoyed a strong meeting and after qualifying on the front row, he finished in a good fifth place after overcoming a problem early on in the race with his brakes.
Billy McConnell: “It’s been another weekend of ups and downs which is to be expected being a rookie rider in BSB again and with the team having their first taste of the premier class. We are loving every minute of it and although race one didn’t go to plan, I salvaged a result to get a few more points on the board. The second race went a lot better and although I was catching the riders in front of me battling for sixth I ultimately ran out of laps. I’m struggling a bit with my confidence mid race so I’ll be looking to fix this in time for the next round. I’ve got a great bike under me and am with a great team so we’re certainly heading in the right direction.”
Jake Dixon: “To end the weekend with a win is brilliant and the safety car period definitely helped me. I got duffed up a bit at the beginning and had to play catch up but was closing into the front three riders so when we bunched up again, I was in a lot better position. I made a small mistake on the final lap at Druids but braked as late as I could for the final corner and held on. Yesterday’s race was as much my fault as anyone else’s. The bike was working perfectly but I lost my rhythm a bit and slipped back into the group battling for fourth, which I shouldn’t have done. I started getting held up and lost my focus a bit so I needed to regroup for today’s race and so many people helped me out so it’s great to repay them with a win.”
David Johnson: “I felt really good in today’s race and was confident of a podium but unfortunately I had a problem with the brakes on one lap and it took me a while to readjust them and get going again. I was back in sixth but regrouped and made up about five seconds to get up to fifth, which would have been fourth had the red flag not come out. The bike was flying and it felt great to be running at the front again so thanks to the team for all their work this weekend.”
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “Jake had good pace all weekend although he did have a few issues with the set-up and there’s room for improvement from both him and the bike so we can overcome these sooner over the course of the three days. Yesterday’s race was unfortunate and very much a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time but he put himself under pressure during the race and knew what he needed to do to prevent that happening today. He did exactly that and whilst the safety car undoubtedly helped him, he was the one that grabbed his opportunity. Billy had a small off at the beginning of the weekend which put us on the back foot a bit and we’re trying so many different things to improve the bike, it’s difficult trying to get everything done. We’re battling away though and he worked as hard as ever and to end with a good eighth was very satisfying. It was also good to give David a run out on the Superstock bike prior to the TT so we’re all looking forward to going back to the Isle of Man to see what we can do there.”
MCE British Superbike Championship – Race One (18 laps)
1 Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
2 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
3 Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
4 Stuart Easton (Kawasaki)
5 Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW)
6 James Ellison (Kawasaki)
14 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW)
MCE British Superbike Championship – Race Two (18 laps)
1 Stuart Easton (Kawasaki)
2 James Ellison (Kawasaki)
3 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
4 Michael Laverty (BMW)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
6 Howie Mainwaring-Smart (Kawasaki)
8 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW)
Championship standings (after three rounds)
1 Ellison 109pts
2 Byrne 101
3 Brookes 94
4 Easton 80
5 Bridewell 53
6 O’Halloran 42
12 McConnell 31
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship – Race One (12 laps)
1 Luke Stapleford (Triumph)
2 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki)
3 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
4 Andy Reid (Yamaha)
5 Joe Collier (Triumph)
6 Luke Hedger (Kawasaki)
DNF Jake Dixon (Smiths Racing Triumph)
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship – Race Two (16 laps)
1 Jake Dixon (Smiths Racing Triumph)
2 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
3 Andy Reid (Yamaha)
4 Glenn Irwin (Kawasaki)
5 Joe Collier (Triumph)
6 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after three rounds)
1 Stapleford 111pts
2 Ryde 110
3 Dixon 99
4 Irwin 95
5 Reid 51
6 Collier 50
The fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Snetterton over the weekend of 19/21 June. For more information, please visit www.britishsuperbike.com and www.smithsracing.co.uk.
Pictures attached (courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography) Jake Dixon (7) and Billy McConnell (3) in action at Oulton Park this weekend.
Smiths Racing Team:
Smiths (Gloucester) Limited was started in 1982 by Alan Smith. Smiths is a family run business and provides services in construction, waste management and recycling, demolition, transport, skip hire, laser levelling, asbestos removal and plant hire. It has grown from a small, owner-operated construction firm to one of the region’s largest and most respected construction services and waste management companies.
Alan Smith developed his love of bikes and racing in the 1980s when he competed in local and national amateur motocross events, his highest achievement being several top three positions in the national four-stroke and superclass categories.
The Smiths Racing Team continues the family ethos with daughter Rebecca adopting the mantle of Team Manager and wife Anne, son Paul and daughters Helen and Lisa often seen supporting the team on race days.
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