Wigan’s Josh Daley made the jump from Supersport to Superstock 1000 at Oulton Park’s BSB round with a set of solid debut finishes.
The 21-year old was having his first ever outing on a 1000cc machine and his learning curve wasn’t aided by the weather during Friday’s free practice sessions, his best time of 1m44.905s placing him 34th. However, Saturday saw a lot better conditions and, having qualified in 28th place, he lined up for Saturday’s 14-lap race with good, clear weather all round the 2.69-mile Cheshire circuit.
With a full grid of 36 experienced riders, it was certainly a baptism of fire for Daley on the Kawasaki ZX-10R but he got quicker and quicker as the race wore on, setting a succession of personal best laps towards the end of the race. Indeed, his quickest lap of 1’42.090s showed how he was getting to grips with the 1000cc machine and he was rewarded with 29th place at the chequered flag.
A full race distance now under his belt, Josh was more relaxed for Sunday’s race, held over the shorter distance of 11 laps but it was again tricky as the race started on a damp but drying circuit. Some parts of the undulating course were wetter than others so Josh opted for wet tyres which proved to be a wise choice in the early stages as he moved up to a fine 18th place on lap three. However, as the race wore on, the track dried up more and more which worked against Josh as his lap times increased but he kept plugging away to take a solid 23rd place which was a fine effort given the conditions.
“It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends to make my debut in the Superstock 1000cc category especially as I’d never even sat on the bike before Friday’s FP1 session compared to a field of riders who’d been on their bikes all year! It was a massive learning curve and with the extra power the immediate thing I noticed was that the bike just wanted to wheelie everywhere. I eased into it though and got more used to it with each and every lap,” said Daley, from behind his David Lee Roth wig.
“The first race went smoothly enough although I was a bit cautious at the start as I was quite tense. I felt more comfortable with the bike as the race wore on though and became more relaxed so I was really pleased to do my fastest lap towards the end of the race. It meant I went into Sunday’s race feeling more confident. I went with full wet tyres which were great in the opening laps but as soon as the track dried out they weren’t but I was pleased to get another full race distance under my belt and a 23rd place finish. Overall, I’m happy with how the weekend went and I’d like to thank all of my sponsors and my team for their continued support.”