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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Gareth Fullerton

BSB Oulton Park: Jack Kennedy hoping technical gremlins are banished for Oulton assault

Mar-Train Yamaha Racing hope the technical gremlins that disrupted a recent test session don't resurface at this weekend's British Superbike Championship.

The second round of the series rolls into Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday, a favourite hunting ground for rider Jack Kennedy.

Four-time British Supersport champion Kennedy is hoping he can translate his form on the 600cc bike to the Superbike class, with Mar-Train's R1 Yamaha machine impressing during the opening round at Silverstone.

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Kennedy claimed three top-10 finishes to kick-start his season in style earlier this month, and he hopes he can follow that up with more points at Oulton.

"Oulton is a track I really like, and I have had a lot of success there in the past. If we can get a good feeling on the R1 then I’m sure I will love it at Oulton on the Superbike as well.

"I think the R1, like most Superbikes, will be a handful around Oulton Park. I don't think there is any perfect setting for the track.

"So, managing the bike and the power, and setting a consistent lap time, will be important. I have set the bar quite high for myself, so we are looking for a strong start in Free Practice 1 and building on that for the whole weekend.

"If we can get three top 10 finishes like we did at Silverstone, and three good points scoring finishes, then I will be happy.

"And if we can get away with the front group, like we did at Silverstone, then that would be amazing. That's when you learn the most when you're at the front of the pack.

"I can't wait to catch up with the team and get in more laps on the Mar-Train R1. It was a really encouraging start at Silverstone and I have a really good feeling about the R1.

"We now want to bring that feeling and confidence to Oulton Park."

It hasn't all been plain sailing for Kennedy and the Lisburn-based Mar-Train team heading into this weekend's racing.

An official test session at Oulton Park earlier in April was disrupted by poor weather and some technical issues, limiting the amount of track time for the team.

"The test was so windy, and we had a few technical issues, so unfortunately I wasn't able to build any more confidence on the bike at a new track," he said.

"I am hoping we can get that good flow running again and get that feel-good factor back. A bit like we did at Silverstone when we got into the swing of things quickly and did everything so well.

"Hopefully we get a good start to Free Practice and take it from there. In hindsight it's better having all of the issues at a test rather than a race weekend.

"Hopefully that's all of them sorted now."

Mar-Train Yamaha Racing team owner Tim Martin described the team's performance at Silverstone as a "huge success".

And despite some issues at the Oulton test, he is hoping for another bold showing this weekend.

He said: "Two seventh-placed finishes and an eighth was a fantastic return at Silverstone. We qualified on the front row for Race 2 and 3 and every session we went quicker. Jack was mixing it with the front boys which we had hoped for.

"The Oulton Park test was difficult. Day one was wiped out due to the weather, and we had some technical issues on day two. But we have ironed out those issues now.

"We have something to start with at Free Practice 1, and Oulton is a track Jack has enjoyed much success at in the Supersport class.

"We did the double there last year, and Jack goes really well there.

"It is obviously a huge step up with the Superbike, and it is far harder on the rider with the undulations and braking. But Jack knows what he's doing, and we will go with a positive mindset.

"Our goal is to get points, and if we get into the top 10 again that will be another positive. The whole team are doing a fantastic job and it is a nice place to be. Everything is positive."

Tim added: "We have a number of our sponsors coming over this weekend which is great. We have Willoughby Bespoke Protection coming over, and a few others who are involved in the background who make this all happen.

"I can't thank them enough for all their support. Hopefully they enjoy some great racing and some strong results throughout the weekend."


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