First points of the Season for Eugene at Oulton Park
Eugene took his first British Supersport Championship points of the season at Oulton Park with a seventh-place finish in race one. The Completely Motorbikes /Affinity Sports Academy rider looked to be doubling his points tally running seventh in race two before an electrical fault brought his race to a premature close, just a lap and a half from the chequered flag.
The weekend got off to a bright dry start on Saturday where Eugene McManus set about setting the bike up for the weekend over the two free practice sessions. In FP1 he was quickly out of the blocks finishing 5th with a 1:39.964. During FP2 he knocked another half a second off his lap time ending the day in a very encouraging 9th overall.
Drizzle fell on Sunday morning but the track was drying for the Birtish Supersport class qualifying session. After initially going out on wet tyres riders returned to the pits to switch to dry. With time pressing on McManus had slipped to 24th before returning to the track with just 4 and a half minutes of the session remaining. With new rubber he quickly improved his lap time, managing two more laps before the chequered flag came out. Perhaps not as high as he was hoping McManus registered the 13th best time of the session.
Just a couple of hours after the qualifying session 27 British Supersport competitors lined up on the Oulton Park circuit for the 12-lap Sprint race. The sky was cloudy but more importantly the track was dry.
Eugene made a superb start streaking off his grid position and into 10th into turn one. He managed to gain a further position before the first lap was completed. On the second lap he managed to move up to 8th position as he maintained his pace.
Through Island bend on lap three and Eugene was able to sweep into seventh place. He maintained the position until the flag despite a late charge from Luke Jones on his Ducati.
After losing a place off the start line McManus was back into seventh position by the end of lap one. He was again showing great pace riding with Stapleford, Corderoy and Luke Jones. At the final corner of lap four McManus had his Kawasaki sideways as he overtook Stapleford for sixth position. However, the Gearlink rider got the better drive onto the start-finish straight and McManus slipped back to seventh as they cross the line. McManus then had a look at Islands on the following lap.
As the race went on McManus’ lap times began to drop and both Corderoy and Stapleford were able to make a gap between them and the number 15 Randalstown rider. Whilst looking set for a comfortable second seventh-place finish of the weekend McManus suffered an electrical fault which ended his race with just one and a half laps to go.
Eugene McManus said,” It was great to get some points on the board after the problems I had at the first round. We had great pace all weekend and we were just unlucky in race two where we were unable to make it to the finish line. In that second race I set my fastest laps of the weekend and the fifth quickest of the race. We have loads of positives to take with us to the next round at Donington Park in a couple of week’s time. Thanks to the Completely Motorbikes / Affinity Sports Academy Team and all my sponsors.”