The 2018 season has almost come to a close; before it does, Matt and Kurt Wigley of Wigley Racing take a look back at their recent time in Oulton Park for round 10 if the British Superbikes Championship. Here’s their race report:
Round 10 bought the team to the remote circuit located on the outskirts of Tarporley – Oulton Park. It was an action-packed weekend for the team; Free Practice 1 got off to a good start with both riders feeling confident on the bike and putting down some respectable lap times from the off. Kurt rounded just outside of the top 15, running the majority of the session within the top 10. Matt was also soon to find his feet matching his personal best lap as the session progressed.
Free Practice 2 kept the team on their toes and a quick tyre change was needed due to the rain making its appearance for the weekend. It was a slow start for both racers, however as the session progressed Kurt really came into his own. On lap 10 of 12 he managed to put his best lap time down of the session, going 8th quickest overall. Matt also put his fastest lap time down on lap 12 of 12. Despite the session being cut short after a red flag incident, he felt there was plenty more to come for the next day’s qualifying.
Qualifying got off to a dramatic start: Kurt was first out on the track with Matt being held back due to some technical issues. After joining the session late, Matt managed to knock 0.3 seconds off his FP1 times, putting down his personal best, leaving him in 17th place. Unfortunately, a persisting water leak left Matt with no choice but to retire early from the session, meaning he finished to qualify in 21st for Race 1. Kurt did exceptionally well, slashing his personal best by a second. He continued to push hard and qualified in 15th ready for Race 1.
Race 1 was declared dry despite the rain appearing throughout the day. Both riders got off to a good start and made their way up the grid. Kurt found himself battling for points with the group around him. He pushed hard and finished the race in 14th and putting himself 16th on the grid for Sunday’s race. Matt also had a battle on his hands working his way through the group he had found himself with. He worked hard and beat his qualifying time by half a second but just missed out on points, finishing in 16th. He would start Sunday’s race from 19th place on the grid.
Sunday brought more rain for the team. Starting from behind one another on the grid, it was declared a wet race. Matt got off to a great start and pushed his way up the grid and battled with the same group he was with during Saturday’s race. Continuing to put in fast lap times, he made his way up to 14th place. Kurt was also putting in faster lap times and making his way up the grid. During the last few laps, Kurt could see Matt with the group ahead and closed the gap towards them. With both riders together, the battle continued until lap 14 where an incident at Knickerbrook meant Matt’s race was over on the last lap, losing his position firmly within the top 15 and ahead of Kurt. Kurt fought with the group around him, finishing in 13th place. Not the outcome Matt or the team wanted but they had a lot of positives to take from the weekend.
Another big thank you to the team for their continued efforts.