JACKSON POWERS TO THIRD AT OULTON Krystal Racing Space Air celebrated their first podium of the season as Lee Jackson scorched to third place in Round Four of the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship at ...
JACKSON POWERS TO THIRD AT OULTON
Krystal Racing Space Air celebrated their first podium of the season as Lee Jackson scorched to third place in Round Four of the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship at Oulton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
After a difficult start to the 2007 season, the 32-year-old from Lincolnshire has finally found a set-up which works for him, and yesterday the former champion showed the rest of the field just what he is capable of.
Jackson (22) had qualified for the 15-lap race in seventh position, and despite dropping down three spots, was running back in seventh at the start of Lap 10 when rain began to fall prompting a red flag. A restart was scheduled an hour later, and again he found himself lining up in the same spot to run a new race of just eight laps.
This time he was quicker off the start, and by Lap Five had found his pace. As he began to slice through the field, he set the quickest lap on Lap Five, setting a blistering 1.40:051, a time which was to go unbeaten as the race wore on. In Lap six he slipped past Kieran Murphy into fifth, before quickly disposing of Luke Quigley and Ben Wilson. And as the final lap began he was closing in, and looked likely to make a move on Glen Richards, but rain sadly stopped play and the race was red-flagged. The race was won by former Krystal rider Howie Mainwaring on the MV Augusta.
"I'm well-happy with that, I've done it, I've got my first podium of the year," a jubilant Jackson smiled after the race. "I've finally got the set-up right now and the bike is working for me just how I want it to. I think if I'd got that last lap in, I'd definitely have been able to pass Glen as well. I think the restart helped as well, because I had struggled a little bit in the earlier part of the race, but once I got back out there, the bike was just behaving perfectly.
"It's a big relief to have managed to get my first podium of the season, and I know it is just the start. It's a shame that it has taken us a few rounds to get there, but now we've done it I don't think anything will stop us now."
It wasn't such a good day for Jackson's younger team-mate Paul Veazey (33). The 20-year-old from Middlesbrough had suffered yet more mechanical gremlins in the first qualifying session on Saturday, and having to face a wet track for Qualifying Two, he had been unable to better his grid position of 28th. After a slow start, he was running in 25th by the time the first race was red-flagged.
At the re-start, the youngster was much quicker off the line, shooting up six spots to 19th. But a couple of mistakes along the way saw him drop slowly back to 23rd where he was to eventually finish. "I'm annoyed at myself this weekend, I just made a few silly little mistakes and I've got no-one to blame but me for them," he admitted. "I am a bit angry, just because I know I could've run a lot better.
"But I've taken some comfort from he fact that the bike was running a lot better this weekend for me, so I'm hoping I can come back for Snetterton in a fortnight and really have a good race. Well done to Lee as well for getting the team's first podium of the year...now I have something to aim for!"
Team owner Tony Astle commented: "All in all it's been a good weekend. It's a shame for young Paul, but Lee had an amazing race. He was fast and as usual, he was Mr Consistent. He's a rider with the ability to bang in fast lap after fast lap, and he certainly proved he has what it takes to be a title contender. We've come away with a podium, some silverware and the fastest lap, so we're all happy and feeling a lot more confident."
Gary Jackson (19) meanwhile, finished sixth in the National Superstock Cup event riding the Newell Plumbing Krystal Racing Yamaha. The 35-year-old, also from Lincoln, had started from 11th spot, and enjoyed a quick race where he made up a number of spots to cross the line sixth. "I enjoyed that, it was a good race," he said. "I was fast off the line and was up to seventh by the end of the first lap, and it was good fun. Sixth isn't too bad, that podium is still in sight for me, but I'm just enjoying being out there and racing again."
The next round of both the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship and Cup will take place at Snetterton in Norfolk over the weekend May 18-20.