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Eazi Grip

Christian Iddon on the podium in all 3 races and Ben Currie takes a win and a second for Motorapido Racing

Oxford Products Racing Ducati collect more silverware with Christian Iddon on the Oulton Park BSB podium in all three races, and Ben Currie taking a win and a second in Supersport

Oxford Products Racing Ducati’s team manager Ian ‘Hammy’ Darbyshire reports back from Round 2 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, held at Oulton Park over the bank holiday weekend.

Sunday

Following the recent test at Oulton we stared the Sunday with a garage full of nervous energy. This was manifested due to us knowing we were still heading in a good direction, but also trying our best to keep building and not try and grab things to early. The team were composed, prepared and ready to overcome whatever the day served us.

Qualifying was a content result from both bikes in all honesty. Nothing ground-breaking, but equally a good position for Oulton as it’s a tricky place to start on the outside of the grid or mid-pack.

Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati #21)
“Good first race here at Oulton Park. Managed to eat some podium pudding which the team always enjoy. The bike’s been amazing all weekend which is a follow on from the work that’s been done from Navarra. I feel like I’m gaining so much confidence with the bike now. The improvements the team are making are happening session on session which is making me ride better session on session. There’s still more to come but we are really taking our time and trusting the schedule Wilf has built. The pace that was set today was pretty crazy but I really enjoyed the race. I thought at mid race distance I had the pace to challenge for the win as I was lapping very comfortably, but after making a mistake into Cascades it made sense just to re-group and try and smooth out my laps to bring some mega points home.”

Ben Currie (Oxford Products Racing Ducati #1)
“Sprint race complete and pretty happy with starting second and finishing second. Feel like we could have got a little more from the race as the bike’s feeling good. Just a small mistake from me saw me loose two places which broke my rhythm shortly. Managed to overtake Jack just before the end to come over the line in second. I also set my fastest lap on the last lap, showing that we are in a really good place in a stacked field. Can’t ask for much more. The bike’s working well and the team’s working well. Just want to thank everyone for all the support throughout.”

Monday

The main objective was to maximise the most possible points, but without detriment to fragile championship standings. So early in the season, an avoidable DNF at this stage can really hurt the team momentum and also the rider’s race weekend. Morning debrief with both boys instantly proved they were ready and motivated to not only go again, but to progress on our learning from the previous track action.

Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati #21)
“After yesterday’s racing and a long debrief into the evening with Wilf I felt so focused and really keen to go again. Track was dry to our surprise, but the track temperature was lower than Sunday. Twelve laps here doesn’t always feel like a sprint. It’s so demanding both physically and mentally I knew I was going to be tough. Pushed through a good but tough race with Glenn really on it and controlling things from the front. Found myself in P2 for a lot of the race. Tommy managed to get past me in sector three but I felt comfy with loads of pace. Unfortunately I let the race get the better of me and missed my board, meaning I didn’t get a chance to get Tommy on the last lap and finished third. Still, to secure two consecutive podiums was an amazing result for us but more importantly I did my fastest ever lap around Oulton and qualified Pole Position for the feature pace.

Before I knew it, it was feature race time. After a schedule change and a bit break in track action due to a large incident from the BMW race it felt like the anticipation had ramped up. Me and all the team hope all riders involved are ok, and wish the injured ones a speedy recovery. Pole Position almost felt like uncharted territory for me. Even though we did manage one pole last year this was different. I was pole and knew I had the machinery under me to challenge for maximum points. The Feature Race started and I tried to stretch the race. I very quickly started to see my gap increase lap on lap. By lap five my board showed me in two groups and by lap ten, it was three groups showing just hot the pace was. The lap times the four of us (at the front (Glenn, Me, Danny, and Ryan) were doing were crazy but in the race it just felt natural. Glenn came through at around lap twelve. He tried to break the pace and he was riding very clever, to hamper my rhythm. I tried to play it cool as sector one and sector three I was strong, but respect to Glenn he was blistering through sector two which made it hard to race him in sector three as I was gaining time instead of being in a position to pass. 18 laps completed in what felt like seconds. I had a mega first sector and was touching his wheel all the way into Shell. I didn’t want to pass there as I knew he would attack back into the chicanes where he is stronger. I stayed glued to his wheel up over the hill and had a great drive. Stayed there into his shadow and tried to take first into Lodge. Both of us kept it classy and I felt our craft was amazing with nothing but respect swapped. Glenn pipped up to the line but it was another amazing podium finishing second and a great point haul for the round. This leaves us third in the championship with only a six point difference from the top. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible the team is working. I’m just feeding on them and the bike to make me feel so happy and confident going into Donington. Thank you to all the fans for an epic weekend and supporting all of us.”

Ben Currie (Oxford Products Racing Ducati #1)
“Where do I start. I felt so good on the bike from yesterday and knew we had the package to go one more today. Spent a long time with the boss last night watch the race back and being super critical of the race to really fine tune the areas we could improve. I was actually comfortable starting from P3 as it’s nice to be on the inside here. I got an amazing start and straight into turn one in first. I knew Luke had legs in this race so wanted to do some fast laps to take the pressure off the boys behind. I wanted to manage my straights if Luke passed to play the race out and wait for the perfect moment. My board changed pretty dramatically and I knew Luke was out. With that I pulled the pin hoping they would be scrapping it out behind me. My board gap kept growing and just as quickly came back down. I knew it would be Jack and he ramped up the heat with some fast lap times. I just focused on what was in front of me and got into a really nice and crazy relaxed rhythm and just pulled a nice enough gap to manage me and bike to our second win of the season. I couldn’t be happier with the race and so glad to reward the team with more silverware.”

We are going to have huge ups and down because unfortunately in this sport there’s not much in-between that. But as a team to go home with six trophies from five races is testament to all the staff, sponsors, and the fans’ dedication to the team. We feel a real change in energy towards the team from the fans, and we are so grateful for each and every one of you. See you all at Donington!

 

Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 in News

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