Rispoli takes positives from Oulton Park challenges
MAY 10, 2016
American James Rispoli completed his first two MCE British Superbike Championship races at Oulton Park during the second round last weekend as he returned from an opening round finger injury to one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar.
The Bank Holiday event featured a mixture of conditions, challenging the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team as they targeted a repeat performance of a strong opening round at Silverstone when Rispoli qualified inside the top nine, before a crash in the first race halted his progress.
Rispoli continued to work hard throughout the changing weather, but a tough qualifying session saw him start from the seventh row of the grid and despite not having the perfect set-up for the conditions. The Rocket rode a mature race to finish in 19th position to gather valuable data.
Another change in conditions just before the start of the second race when the rain began to fall left the team forced to make a gamble on the tire choice, opting for intermediates, but as the track continued to dry during the race the selection proved costly and despite climbing as high as tenth, Rispoli was later forced to finish in 16th place.
Rispoli said: “It was definitely tough weekend for us. On Saturday we started off on the back foot as we hadn't been at the official test there and we went straight into the wet conditions. We didn't have that much time and it was my first time at Oulton Park on the Superbike and in those really wet conditions. Oulton Park is a difficult track and we came into the weekend knowing that it would be one of our toughest tracks, but we didn't expect it to be as hard because we have had good times there in the past.
“We had one dry session and we were a bit off the pace and the frustration does set in but you just have to keep working through it. I had a lot of good people in my corner this weekend and we managed to get through to morning warm up and use the time to get back to where we needed to be where we laid down some really good times.
“Race one was then wet and that was a bit of a fluke for us but there is a lot to learn there. I completed the race, it wasn't the result I wanted, and unfortunately from qualifying when the bike felt really good, to how it was in race one, was a bit unrideable for me. Watching the videos back after the race there is still a bit to learn there and I also need to loosen up a bit, but overall I feel that we learned a lot in race one.
“It was a really good positive to finish the race and we went into race two with a dry bike until literally about ten minutes to go to race start and it poured just down on the track. Again it was an experience thing, nobody had the experience to make a judgement call and talking with other teams and rides afterwards they had made their calls and guessed it would dry out. We struggled with the call as we only had an inter rear to put on, so that’s what we did and I think me and Dan Linfoot were the only ones to have that choice. Dan ended up crashing out after a good start. You could see he pushed from the go and then you couldn't do much with it.
"It was another learning curve for us and we have to take the positives. We finished two races and got those under our belt. We bought home the package and learned a lot for Brands Hatch. We know where we sit at this point but again this is one of the toughest championships around. You can lead and then be out of the race within a lap and for us we have to do our homework. I have a lot of good people behind me that constantly stand in my corner and keep me level headed. It's tough but that's racing and as my crew chief Fox would say - we have to pay our dues.”