Top ten finish for Eugene McManus Junior at Oulton Park
Photo: David Watson
Eugene McManus Junior was back on circuit at Oulton Park at the weekend in the second round of the British Supersport championship. After a disappointing qualifying session McManus Junior fought back to fourteenth in the first race. He then went on to make a superb top ten in race two.
On Saturday there were two free practice sessions. The first saw the riders exit with wet tyres in place but it was soon clear the track was drying. After a short stay in the garage, waiting for the track to dry out further, Eugene McManus Junior returned setting a time of 1:42.339 and finishing sixth.
In the afternoon session the circuit was completely dry. Eugene McManus Junior took advantage dropping his lap time to 1:40.128 and ending the first day just 0.040 seconds outside the top five in the British Supersport class.
Qualifying early on Sunday afternoon didn’t go according to plan. After two very positive free practice sessions McManus Junior made a cautious start to Qualifying. He had set the 19th best time before returning to the pit box. With 12 minutes remaining he returned to the circuit. Unfortunately, he fell shortly afterwards and was unable to improve on his lap time.
The result was he slipped to 24th on the grid.
The first race was 12 lap races of the 2.7-mile circuit. Like the first race at Silverstone just a few weeks ago McManus Junior would have to try and fight his way from way down the grid to score points. He immediately attacked the field ahead and made up several places. At one stage he was in the battle for 12th position. However, he then suffered a small technical issue and he had to ease off. He still managed to cross the line in fourteenth picking up two more championship points.
After taking into account the lap times from race 1, Eugene McManus Junior started race 2 in 21st position. There was drama at the outset when the starting lights failed and the riders had to do a second warm up lap. The race was reduced from 16 to 14 laps as a result.
After a short delay he made a fantastic start gaining a place on each of the first two laps before overtaking two riders on the third lap. McManus Junior was in a group of around 11 riders battling for 10th place in the early stages. The riders then began to stretch out. The number 6 rider kept himself out of trouble before the feature race was cut short when a red flag incident stopped it on lap ten. He was classified a brilliant tenth in the British Supersport category.
Eugene McManus has now scored points in three of the first four races of the season and is 15th in the championship. The next round is at Donington Park on the weekend of 24 to 26 May 2019.