Inclement weather conditions at Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend meant it was a challenging weekend for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team but whilst British Superbike Championship riders Luke Mossey and Filip Backlund found the going tough, Andrew Reid and Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood gave the Bournemouth-based team plenty to cheer about with excellent results in the British Supersport and Sidecar Championships respectively.
Reid’s weekend didn’t start too well though as a spill in qualifying put him on the back foot and the fourth row for Sunday’s first race and the wet weather in the race made it treacherous for everyone. Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman put in a solid ride to take seventh place and extend his title lead. However, there were to be no problems at all come Monday’s feature race and having grabbed the lead in the early stages, he was never headed to run out a comfortable winner, his second victory from three rides.
Stevens and Charlwood, meanwhile, were having their first outing of the year in the team’s colours with the British Sidecar Championship having its opening round at the Cheshire venue. Third in qualifying, the duo occupied the same position up until lap six and this was where they finished getting the defence of their British title underway in fine style. They also had the honour of claiming the fastest lap of the race.
For Mossey and Backlund, the weekend proved to be a lot tougher affair. The qualifying conditions on Sunday didn’t work in Luke’s favour and the wet weather saw him end his day in 13th overall and with work to do in Monday’s opening race. Further rain meant he slipped back to 16th and he then retired from the second race, the first time he’d failed to score at least one point from a weekend since joining the team at the beginning of 2015.
Backlund also ended the weekend pointless but the Swedish rider was making his return from injury and the three days saw him improve his pace and performance throughout. Still suffering discomfort with his collarbone, he completed both 18-lap races, finishing 17th and 20th to get some valuable mileage under his belt.
Ricky Stevens (British Sidecar):
Ricky Stevens: “There are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend and we’ve continually built our speed with each and every session. It’s been a long winter and it’s been a while since we’ve raced in anger and that resulted in me suffering a bit of arm pump. It took me a while to get going in the race and should have gone harder from the start but we’ve scored some good points and set the fastest lap so it’s a solid start to the season.”
Pete Extance, Team Owner: “It’s certainly been a mixed weekend at Oulton for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team and the weather didn’t play into the hands of either of our Superbike riders. Luke set superb times in the dry but in the wet, he didn’t have the same feeling and this is the first weekend he hasn’t scored at least one point since joining us. Filip is still battling back from injury and he felt the pain during race day but he brought the bike home for two solid finishes.”
“Andy had a mixed weekend too with his spill in qualifying and then seventh in the opening race but he showed his true ability in the feature race on Monday to score another great win. The sidecar boys put in a great effort too and second place is a great way to start the defence of their British title.”
The team now heads to Northern Ireland for the first International road race of the season, the North West 200, with James Hillier expected to be in contention for the race wins across the classes. The event takes place from May 10-14.