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BUILDBASE SUZUKI AND BILLY MCCONNELL

BUILDBASE SUZUKI AND BILLY MCCONNELL WIN AT OULTON PARK

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Billy McConnell raced his Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000 to victory at Oulton Park this weekend, winning the first of the two National Superstock 1000 championship races.

McConnell set pole in qualifying and won race one in dry conditions, despite the threat of rain ever-present over the weekend.

It fell on Sunday, but McConnell was again at the sharp end of the field in a wet race two, battling to make it a double victory. He was in podium contention until the closing stages when he ran wide at Lodge and had to take a trip through the gravel, rejoining in seventh place. He held the position to the chequered flag.

Billy McConnell, "The weekend started really well for us. The bike was working well, we got dialled in quickly and were fast from the off, and qualifying on pole gave us a lot of confidence for the races. The pack was quite close at the front but we managed to grab the win by half a second or so in race one and it set us up well for race two.

"It was obviously wet the second time out but we were up there again and in the mix. I definitely think we could have had a podium if not the win, but I made a little mistake and it’s cost us another good result. We’re behind Keith [Farmer] in the championship but it’ll be all to play for at Brands Hatch. We’ll go there and try to win and see how it plays out."

In the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park marked a difficult start to the Showdown for Bradley Ray.

Qualifying in seventh, the wet conditions for race one made it tricky for the youngster, and he took the chequered flag in 11th. His teammate, Richard Cooper, enjoyed his best qualifying of the season, starting the opening race from the second row of the grid, but also struggled to make headway in the conditions and finished 13th.

A dry line had appeared for race two, but it made overtaking treacherous and mistakes costly. Unfortunately for both Ray and Cooper, they were punished at Old Hall corner just a handful of laps apart, running wide and losing the front on the still-wet asphalt, and crashing out of contention for two non-finishes.