With excellent conditions all round allied to the extra feel good factor of trackside fans returning, it wasn’t a surprise that the pace set at the latest BSB test at Oulton Park, was first class. Quickest in terms of the International road racers present was FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman, who set during today’s final Superbike test session a best lap time of 1 minute 34.854 seconds. Behind overall fourth fastest Hickman, Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin almost nudged into the 1.34’s registering a best lap time of 1 minute 35.042 seconds. Fellow countryman Michael Dunlop making an under the radar appearance piloting a DC Racing supported BMW, in spite of zero percent 1000cc race time during 2021, looked sharp on route to a best lap time of 1 minute 38.692 seconds. Meanwhile 2019 Senior TT winner Dean Harrison like Dunlop also completed 55 + timed laps, plus finished the day over 1.136 quicker than his respected Mountain Course racing sparring partner. The Republic of Ireland’s fastest TT racer Brian McCormack, was just under a second off the pace set by 19 times TT winner Dunlop whilst York’s Joe Thompson was also in consistent form, as he continues his adaptation to BSB level competition. National Superstock 1000 wise, 16 times TT winner Ian Hutchinson, Wilmslow’s Sam West led the road race challenge with the duo setting respective best lap times of 1 minute 39.825 seconds, 1 minute 42.046 seconds. Reflecting on timed British Supersport action, Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston as at previous tests proved his ability to mix it with the proven front running class forces. Fourth quickest overall, Johnston goes into this weekend’s Oliver’s Mount Spring Cup in excellent fettle. This article concludes with a prime mention for 23 times TT winner John McGuinness MBE, fifth quickest from this morning, afternoon’s Ducati TriOptions Cup practice stints. Although now considered by some a veteran, the Morecambe roads great has not lost any of his desire, willingness to compete and his pace today illustrates why you can’t discount from a podium finish or two at BSB events in 2021. Photo’s by Michael Wincott Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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