- Johny Wills
Motostar Round 2 Review - Oulton 5-7 May 2018
Eugene McManus Junior by his own admission had a challenging time this weekend at Oulton Park but still collected 18 valuable Championship points.
Round 2 of The Hel Performance British Motostar Championship took place at the Cheshire circuit in three days of glorious weather and near perfect track conditions, with McManus Junior looking to take full advantage and close the gap to the early series leader Jake Archer.
FP1 and FP2 were challenging sessions with The Wee Bull struggling to stay with early pace setters Jake Archer and Storm Stacey. Junior finished P12 and P11, a couple of seconds down on his best Oulton park time of 1:44.677 which he set in 2017. Qualifying for race 1 continued in the same vein with McManus Junior 2.4 seconds off pole man Archer and struggling to find that extra pace.
" I'm struggling with the gearing around here this weekend and cant get a settled rhythm which is frustrating, we are looking for more during race 1 but starting from 9th gives me an awful lot of work to do. I have to be honest my confidence is not where it needs to be so a good race 1 result would help,"
Mike King - Chief mechanic
"Junior is having issues back shifting so we are going back to the ktm gearbox which we hope will give him a better feel and set up for race 1"
Race 1 on Sunday saw the Wee Bull put in a valiant fight to secure 9 points and eventually finish in a solid 7th position. It was RS Racing stable mate Jake Archer that romped to victory with Storm Stacey second and Asher Durham in third. McManus Junior found himself embroiled in a battle with several riders, initially slipping to 11th by the end of lap 1, a good recovery to seventh was a reasonable return. Junior would start Race 2 on Bank Holiday Monday in 8th.
Race 2 - A tale similar to race 1 with McManus Junior getting a good start and pushing his way up to 4th by the end of lap 2 with the leading trio in his sights. McManus was being tailed by Jack Scott, Asher Durham, Ed Rendall, Taz Taylor and Brandon Paasch who all began pushing hard. The group traded positions throughout the last 12 laps with The Wee Bull finishing 7th behind Paasch in 6th, Durham in 5th and Rendall in 4th. Jake Archer collected his second win of the weekend with Storm Stacey second and Jack Scott in third.
The early season break now gives McManus Junior and the team time to regroup and come back stronger for the next Motostar round which takes place at Knockhill over the weekend 6th-8th July.