Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Jon Railton overcame his dislike of Oulton Park to snatch his sixth successive 848 victory and go ahead in the championship.
He acknowledges the venue isn’t his favourite, but after a three-week break was looking forward to riding the Boast Plumbing Ducati 848 again.
Practice went well and he felt relatively comfortable for the first session. Times were a little off what he expected but he was among the top five for the whole session. Nothing was changed to the bike for qualifying, held in similarly dry and sunny conditions.
The times improved and he was fourth for most of the session, just beaten to fifth in the final stages. He was also the leading 848 by some margin and although times were still off his best from last season he knew there was more to come.
Race one was held in good conditions and Railton got a good. Marty Nutt made a move at Cascades and Railton got into the leading pack but started to lose ground over the first couple of laps.
As the raced progressed he was under a bit of pressure from Chris Northover, a Superbike Magazine journalist making a guest appearance, but ensured the gap between him and the leaders never exceeded two seconds.
He couldn’t quite close in on the leading group but managed to pull clear of Northover until the eighth lap when Rob Guiver’s bike had a huge blow up which left oil over a large section of track. The race was and Railton was promoted to fifth overall and best of the 848s.
Sunday was completely different in terms of weather. The rain came and at one point it was suspected t the racing may be called off. The sun appeared briefly and the rain stopped, improving track conditions greatly.
Railton started from sixth but made a poor start and lost a few places into the first corner. The 899s have a distinct advantage in the wet conditions as they can use softer compound wet tyres, so it was difficult to pace himself against them.
He was passed by Mark Cheetham on another 848 but as the race progressed he found his rhythm.
And when Cheetham, who was leading the championship, crashed Railton held everyone off on the final lap for that 848 win.