Double podium for Dixon
Double podium for Dixon

Jake Dixon and the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team enjoyed a superb round three of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship as they came away from Oulton Park with brilliant second and third place finishes to firmly get themselves back into title contention.It had been a tough start to the season for the team but, fifth overall in free practice, Dixon converted his pace into a good qualifying performance and he lined up for Monday’s first 18-lap race in a brilliant second place, race day again seeing the Cheshire venue bathed in warm sunshine. An equally brilliant start saw the 21-year old grab the lead on the opening lap and here he remained until the seventh lap when he was overhauled by fellow Kawasaki rider Leon Haslam.

For the remainder of the race, there was never more than half a second between the two riders and although it was Haslam who ultimately prevailed, Jake brought the bike home for an excellent second place, his first podium of the season.

It meant he started the second race from second on the grid once more and with another great start, he hit the front on the opening lap, a position he held until the fifth lap when Jason O’Halloran took over at the front. Two laps later and Jake had been pushed back to third by Haslam but it remained close until the final stages when the front two pulled away to leave Jake fighting off the close attentions of Shane Byrne.

He duly kept his rival at bay though and the haul of 36 points saw him leap up the Championship table with the Ashby resident now sitting in a strong sixth place overall.

Speaking after the weekend, Dixon said: “It was really warm out there today but from where we were on Saturday morning to where we were today, I’m very pleased with the results. I’ve struggled in the dry so far this season but we found something in qualifying and although Leon was stronger in the second half of the first race, particularly on corner entry, the team gave me a great bike today and one that I felt comfortable on”.

“For some reason though, the bike, especially the front end, didn’t feel the same in the second race and from lap one onwards, it was a battle not to lose the front. I could hear Shakey coming but knew if I hit all my markers and apexes, it would be difficult for him to get by so to come away with two podiums is fantastic. The whole team have done a mega job and it’s great to get our season firmly up and running.”

Images courtesy of PSP Images