Thursday, September 20

Podium places for Keyes and McGlinchey at Oulton Park BSB

Just as it proved to be earlier in the season, Oulton Park proved to be a successful stomping ground for Team #109 this weekend as the Bennetts British Superbike showdown kicked off, with both Eunan McGlinchey and Kevin Keyes both managing to make it onto the podium across the weekend.

The weekend got off to a fantastic start for Dickies Junior Supersport championship leader McGlinchey, topping Friday’s free practice session by over two seconds in the damp conditions, finishing ahead of his title challenger Brian Hart. Qualifying proved difficult for the twenty-year-old from Aghadowey, finishing the session in seventh, which meant he would have to start the opening race of the weekend from the front of the third row.

As the lights went out to start the first of his two races, McGlinchey set about passing a number of riders on the opening lap, making up for his third tow start. With a gap of almost four seconds to Hart in the lead, victory was looking like a task too far for the series leader. But as the laps ticked by McGlinchey was eating into the KTM riders lead by almost a second a lap, before making his move on the penultimate lap and taking the lead.

Holding off Hart’s attempts on the final lap, McGlinchey crossed the line to take an incredible victory and extend his lead in the series by another five points. As a result of taking the win, it gave McGlinchey the opportunity to wrap up the championship in Sundays second race, with another victory proving enough to wrap it up.

Starting from pole position, a three way breakaway group at the front, consisting of McGlinchey, Hart and Elliot Pinson battled it out for the victory throughout. As they began the last lap of the race it was all still to play for, and as they three entered the final corner McGlinchey went for the lead, and what would have been the title, but a slight mistake exiting the corner saw him slip back to third behind Hart and eventual winner Pinson.

Despite not claiming the championship title on the day, the Aghadowey rider enters the final round of the year at Brands Hatch in pole position to take the crown, with a forty-three point advantage back to Hart in second, and looks in good position to claim a British championship in his debut season, and what would also be the first for Team #109.

Commenting on his weekend McGlinchey said; “Coming away it was a good weekend, free practice started off brilliantly, finishing the session at top of the standings. Into qualifying it was a patchy track in terms of the conditions, so I didn’t push too hard knowing I could get off the line and make up the positions. In the opening race I had to claw back over three seconds of a gap to be able to challenge for the win, but the bike worked perfect in the tough conditions and I was able to take the win. Race two was a tight one between myself, Hart and Pinson, and as it has done many times before it all came down to the last corner on the last lap. I made a mistake coming out and ended up having to take third, but coming away with two podiums I am happy and looking forward to Brands Hatch, I know what I have to do and I am ready to go.”

In the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class Kevin Keyes had one of his most consistent weekends this season, setting a solid pace early in the weekend, finishing inside the top five in both a dry free practice one and a wet free practice two on Friday. Sitting inside the top ten throughout all of qualifying on Saturday morning, Kevin went out for a final stint in the closing few minutes, and a great lap saw him jump onto the front of the second row, finishing the session in an excellent fourth position.

In what was an incredibly wet race on Sunday afternoon, Keyes started the race smoothly, running as he had done all weekend inside the top five. As the race reached its halfway point Keyes began to close the gap to the riders ahead, passing firstly Joe Sheldon-Shaw, before having a great battle with Milo Ward for the final spot on the podium. As they entered the final few laps Ward was unable to reply to Keyes’ move for third, and despite the horrible conditions at the Tarporley track, Keyes brought the Team #109 Kawasaki ZX6R across the line in an excellent third position, matching the result he scored at the first Oulton Park event back in May.

Speaking about his return to the podium, Keyes said; “I really enjoyed the race to be honest, even in the wet conditions. After starting the race being just a little too cautious, I found myself battling in and around fifth and sixth in the opening laps. I had a big gap to close to the front but as I settled in I managed to close in the boys ahead and could see them coming back to me. I was feeling more and more comfortable on the bike and in the conditions, and I was able to get by and make it back onto the podium. I can’t give enough credit to my Dad and my team, including my teammate Eunan McGlinchey for getting the complete wet setting wheels and springs into my bike in under five minutes, it was incredible. I’m delighted to be back on the podium and bring some more silverware back to the Team #109 camp.”

A delighted Team #109 team manager Paul Tobin commented on his riders performances over the course of the weekend saying; We had a good setting for Kevin all weekend and when things are right for him he can push. He had a good qualifying that put him fourth on the grid for the race. The team done a fantastic job as it was all hands on deck when we had less than five minutes until pit lane closed to get the bike from full dry settings to wet. Kevin goes well in the wet and proved that again in the race, a great podium and just rewards for the teams hard work all weekend”.

Eunan rode an incredible race one on Saturday, coming from seventh on the grid, to closing a three second gap to the leader and then pass the more experienced Hart on the KTM UK backed machine to win was superb. He rode a shrewd race two and did have a look at Pinson for the win at lodge corner on the last lap, but took a sensible podium for more championship points. The whole team are now looking forward to the final round at Brands Hatch next month.”

Riding the second Team #109 Kawasaki Ninja 400 under the McManus racing banner, fifteen-year-old Eoghan James McManus unfortunately had a difficult weekend at the Tarporley track in what were incredibly difficult conditions, suffering two crashes in the two Dickies Junior Supersport races.

Commenting on the teenagers progress Team #109 team manager Paul Tobin said; “James had a tough weekend running off track in both races, but Oulton Park is a hard place to go and learn, especially when it’s mixed conditions all weekend. He had never ridden the bike in the wet before so did really well to learn so much with little track time, more pennies in the learning bank as they say and he can look forward to Brands.”

Team #109 Kawasaki would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support; TTS Surfacing, MMD Construction, EMS Copiers, Cork Motorcycle Racing and Vintage Club, LiftRite Ltd, Spears Racing, Fuchs - Silkolene, R&G Racing, Kawasaki UK, Ohlins Racing, HEL Performance, Glenn Irwin GI2, J-Tec Sports, SBS Brakes, JOG Tuning, Shoei Helmets UK, Feridax, James McCann Photography, Gorman Crash Repairs, Jim McCann & Sons Family Butchers, Unlimited Industries, MSS Performance, and Ross Motorcycles Cork.

Photographs courtesy of James McCann (

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