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  • Jeremy Ryan

Podium joy for Eugene McManus at Oulton Park

Eugene McManus returned to the British Supersport podium with a mature ride to third place in the feature Race on Bank holiday Monday. This followed his excellent 5th place in the Sprint Race the day before. His brother and Rokit Haslam Racing teammate James Mcmanus continued to show his vast improvement in pace as he entered his second year in this class although his run of bad luck in the races continued with no race finish again this round.

Free Practice

The Saturday morning free practice session took place on a damp track at Oulton Park. The free practice sessions were split into two groups with so many riders competing in the British Supersport class. The Rokit Haslam Racing Ducati of James McManus went out first in group A. On the damp circuit in FP1, James finished the session fifth fastest overall. Eugene competed in group B and was second fastest overall in his session.

By the afternoon the track had dried up with an obvious improvement in lap times. The number 14 of James finished eighth quickest with Eugene McManus second again in his group.


Sunday dawned with split qualifying sessions, mirroring the group setup from free practice the day before. James put on a spirited performance, initially clocking in as the 7th fastest before a minor mishap curtailed his session in the final minutes. On the other hand, Eugene showed early promise, only to face a setback with a fall after just four laps.

With the combined results from both groups, James secured the 11th spot on the grid, while Eugene settled for 12th, setting the stage for an adrenaline-fueled Sprint Race in the afternoon.

Sprint Race (12 laps)

With the lights out Eugene McManus wasted no time, catapulting himself into 8th place by the end of the first lap, showcasing his lightning start. However, on the opening lap, a mechanical issue struck James, forcing him off the track and unfortunately taking another rider with him.

Eugene continued to surge ahead, before engaging in a fierce battle for fourth place. With each lap, he pushed hard to pass his rivals eventually clawing his way into a well-deserved fifth-place finish at the chequered flag.

Feature Race (16 laps)

With grid positions based on fastest laps of the previous race Eugene was elevated to row two and sixth position for the bank holiday Feature Race of 16 laps. After his early exit in the Sprint Race James had to come from 26th on the grid.

Eugene made a solid start crossing the line in fifth position and in among the leading group at the end of the first lap. On the sixth of 16 laps Eugene McManus overtook two rivals with some great riding to slip into fourth position. Having been held up in those opening laps he skillfully opened a gap between him and his rivals behind and set about closing the gap on the two leaders who had managed to break away. The number 15 began to close up on the two but just ran out of steam in the last couple of laps and sensibly settled in to secure third spot and his first podium of the 2024 British Supersport season.

Meanwhile, James, undeterred by his starting position, showcased the tenacity and speed that had characterized his performance in the previous round. Charging through the field, he swiftly ascended to 20th place. By the third lap, James had carved his path to 17th position, demonstrating his skill and determination. However, his luck took a turn for the worse on lap five, when a collision with another rider brought his race to an abrupt end, dashing his hopes of a first race finish of the season.

Eugene said,” We knew we had the pace to run at the front and we showed that in the second race of the weekend. The fifth position in race one was good but it is always great to step on the podium. We have a really good set up with Rockit Haslam Racing. I’d like to thank all our sponsors for their support I hope this is the start of more good results.”

James said, “It was a frustrating weekend in terms of race results but I am confident our luck will turn around. We have shown we have good pace both here at Oulton Park and at the previous round in Navarra. It is only a matter of time before it all falls into place and we start scoring some points. Thank you to the team for all their efforts again this weekend.”


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