- Jeremy Ryan
A stunning comeback sees James take race victory at Oulton Park
James McManus showed no loss of confidence after an early fall in race one saw him lose the British Junior Supersport Championship lead. The rider from Randalstown showed his true racing credentials launching from 11th on the grid of race two to take his fourth victory of the season. This superb comeback after the blow in race one leaves him just five points behind the new Championship leader with four races left this season.
Completely Motorbikes / Affinity Sports Academy rider James McManus made a positive start to qualifying on Friday afternoon. The Randalstown rider was in the top three early in the session. He dropped to seventh mid-session. After pitting and returning to the track he pushed himself back up to fifth on the grid.
James McManus lined up in the middle of the second row having qualified fifth for the first race of the weekend. He made his customary good start sweeping through turn 1 in third place and then briefly up to second. His great start came to nothing, however, a small error saw the number 14 crash out before the first lap was over.
McManus was forced to start Sunday’s race from 11th on the grid after his early exit from race one on Saturday. Yet again the number 14 Kawasaki made a great start moving up to 8th by the second corner of the first lap. He wasn’t finished though as he gained another two places to cross the start-finish line for lap two in 6th place.
At the second corner of the second lap and McManus had made up another position moving through into fifth and his storming start continued with two more overtakes to pout him third going into lap three.
It was a completely Motorbikes /Affinity Sports Academy one, two, three at the time with McManus following his two teammates wheel to wheel. On lap four McManus slipped into second position and by the end of the same lap, he crossed the line leading the race.
With all the riders on similar motorcycles, it is often hard to stay at the front. As we entered the second half of the race there were 14 riders in the leading group. McManus slipped back to second, then regained the lead. He then found himself fourth and have to work back to the front of the pack once more.
McManus timed his move back to the front of the race to perfection. He re-took the lead a couple of corners from the end of the penultimate lap and managed to open a few tenths of a second gap as they crossed the start-finish line to commence the final 2.7 miles.
He continued to lead and took his fourth race win of the season. The result leaves him just five points down on the current Championship leader with four races to go.
James McManus said, “It was a bit of an up and down weekend at Oulton, struggled a bit in qualifying and the off in race 1 made it a bit more difficult for race 2 but happy to come away with a win.”
It was a superb recovery after the disappointment of race one. The next two races of the championship are at Donington Park from 30 September to 2nd October.