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Racing News


17 Sep 2018
Dominant Dixon Takes Oulton Park Double

Jake Dixon and the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team got their Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown underway in the best fashion possible at Oulton Park on Sunday with two dominant rides seeing the 22-year old take a double victory, reducing Leon Haslam's lead in the title race from 45 points to 31.

A good opening day of Friday saw Jake top the leaderboard in both the dry and wet conditions and although qualifying on Saturday saw some moisture in the air, he was confident of a strong showing once more. And he more than delivered the goods as he set the fastest ever lap of the 2.69-mile circuit - 1m33.758s - to take pole position by 0.399s.

With Championship leader Haslam having to start from the back of the grid for Sunday's first race, Dixon was keen to capitalise and he was faced with a wet race after heavy rain fell at the Cheshire venue, completing the first lap in a strong second place. With the race cut from 18 to 16 laps, Jake shadowed early leader Tommy Bridewell in the early stages before making his move at half race distance.

Once in the lead, a succession of quick laps, including the fastest lap of the race, allowed him to pull clear and, despite a slight issue changing gear, his eventual winning margin was 6.1s as he took his second victory of the year. And despite Haslam climbing all the way up to third, he crucially cut his Championship lead back by nine points, from 45 to 36.

Starting the second race later in the day from pole position once more, the track was dry all round and Jake got the perfect start at the end of the opening lap. With a series of fastest laps, by half race distance he'd opened up an unprecedented gap of 5.4s but there were some nervous moments in the closing stages as he lost grip from his rear tyre. Haslam reduced the gap considerably but he duly took his second win of the day by 1.1s to cut Haslam's lead to 31 points.

Jake Dixon "The team gave me a great bike this weekend and come wet, dry or in between, I had good pace so I felt confident but nervous too as I knew I had to try and make the most of Leon starting from the back of the grid. Tommy set a good pace in the first race and the rear tyre on the Kawasaki takes a little bit longer to get to full working temperature than the other bikes but once there, I got my head down. I had a bit of an issue changing gear and had to go back to the old school method of using the clutch but I got the job done so full credit to the team."

"I got my head down from the start in the second race and the bike was fantastic but in the last eight laps, my tyre fell to pieces, so I had to manage the closing laps as best as I could. I was so fast at the beginning that I was able to open up a good sized lead and that was crucial in holding on for my second win. I'm over the moon to get the double and we've cut Leon's lead back by a reasonable amount so with five races still to go, there's everything to play for."

Lee Hady, Team Owner. "It's been a fantastic, textbook weekend and with pole positions, fastest laps and two wins, what more could we have asked for? The bike has worked fantastic, all weekend Jake has ridden amazingly well in all conditions and he was the fastest rider in both the wet and dry on all three days. In race one, he bided his time behind Tommy before making his move and once in the lead he commanded the race."

"In race two, the majority of the circuit was dry but there was still the odd damp patch around but he got his head down from the start and to have a near six-second lead at one stage was phenomenal. We thought everything was under control so the tyres issues in the closing stages gave us a few nervous moments when Leon started to close in, but Jake managed the situation perfectly. We've started the Showdown in the best manner possible so are feeling confident heading into the next round."

The series now moves to Assen, Holland with the penultimate round taking place on September 28-30.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (16 laps)

1.Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki)

2.Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)

3.Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

4.Andrew Irwin (Ducati

5.Michael Laverty (BMW)

6.Jason O'Halloran (Honda)

 

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (18 laps)

1.Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki)

2.Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

3.Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)

4.Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)

5.Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

6.Glenn Irwin (Ducati)

 

Championship Points (after 10 rounds)

1.Haslam 604pts

2.Dixon 573

3.Brookes 530

=Irwin 530

5.Ray 524

6.Hickman 520