SAMSUNG HONDA SET FOR OULTON PARK BANK HOLIDAY TRIPLE HEADER
The Samsung Honda team return to action this May Bank Holiday weekend at Oulton Park as Jon Kirkham and Michael Laverty resume their assault on the British Superbike Championship, whilst in the National Superstock 1000 Championship the team have both Jason O'Halloran and Gary Johnson vying for victory.
Cheshire circuit is one of the most challenging on the calendar and Kirkham is aiming to build on his third place in the overall standings, whilst Laverty is determined to kick start his campaign in the three races. The postponed race from Brands Hatch will take place on Sunday and will see Kirkham start from the front row in second whilst Laverty faces a tough challenge from the eighth row of the grid.
In Superstock 1000, O’Halloran has taken a brace of third places from the opening two races and is now looking to build on that form as the title race reaches Cheshire. He is 18 points adrift of standings leader Keith Farmer and ready to close the deficit. Johnson meanwhile returns to the Samsung Honda team following his recent duties with the Honda TT Legends team in the World Endurance Championship.
Michael Laverty: “I am ready for Oulton Park now after the break between this round and Thruxton. I know it is going to be a tough first race with the grid position from Brands Hatch but there are lots of opportunities to pass at that circuit, more so than the shorter Indy circuit, so I am not too worried. We will be looking to pick up with the settings we finished testing with at Oulton Park and then we should be able to get into our stride and have a clean weekend with some good results.”
Jon Kirkham: “Oulton Park should be good for us and I am looking forward to getting back out on the Samsung Honda at what is one of my personal favourite tracks. The Fireblade should work well there and we have a good base setting that should put us in the position we need to be to push at the front. In the past I have won races in the Superstock class so I want to translate that now into Superbike results.”
Jason O’Halloran: “I am definitely hoping for a dry weekend after the first two rounds but either way we are ready for the event. We saw at Thruxton how close everyone is in the Superstock class, barging and really fighting for it, and I would think we will see that again at Oulton Park. The podium at Thruxton was a good result and solid points and we want to be up there again this weekend.”
Gary Johnson: “I suppose I am a little on the back foot after missing Thruxton as everyone will have moved forward, but as a team I know that Samsung Honda will give me the package to be competitive. Oulton Park is one of the best circuits we go to during the season and I am open-minded going into the weekend but I know the Fireblade should be strong. I may have missed the big fight at Thruxton but hopefully I can be amongst it this weekend.”
Team Manager, Havier Beltran: “Oulton Park is a round we are looking forward to and where we expect the Fireblade to perform well. JK has already had some good results and we want to build on that again this weekend and we know with Michael we need to move forward and turn things around, which he is more than capable of. In the Superstock class it is great to have a full line up again with Jason and Gary. Jason has shown good race pace and has been building over the first two rounds and Gary is certainly looking forward to getting back on it at Oulton Park.”