Top four finish at round one
Rocket Ryan Hitchcock from Melksham achieved his best result of 4th place on a Moto3 machine at Oulton Park last time out, although it turned out to be a weekend of mixed fortunes for the 13-year-old.
The British Talent Cup season, the standard Moto3 class of British Superbikes, finally got underway last weekend at the Cheshire circuit. It has been a long wait since the end of the 2020 season and even the last pre-season test was all the way back at Snetterton in early May.
This season the British Talent Cup riders have three free practice sessions before qualifying. The first two were on the Friday. In FP1 Hitchcock posted a 1:56.975 placing him 13th but his real objective was to get comfortable on the moto3 once more and familiarize himself with the Cheshire circuit.
The second free practice session proved much more difficult. The track was wet and Hitchcock struggled to feel confident on his Wilson Racing Moto3 machine. Despite the difficulties of FP2 Hitchcock was upbeat after his 1:56.270 left him close to the top ten in FP3.
Just two and a half hours after the final practice session on Saturday morning Hitchcock was back on track for the 30 minute all important qualifying session. Track conditions were good and his 1:52.808 put him 12th on the grid for the first race of the weekend.
Race One 14 laps
The British Talent Cup riders normally compete in a 14-lap race around the 2.7 mile Oulton Park circuit which is the same length of race as the full British Superbikes riders. However, after the original race had to be red-flagged due to an accident the re-started race was then reduced to ten laps. Starting from the original grid positions Hitchcock made up one position on the first lap. He then pushed on and got into the group of riders who were all battling for fifth place. On lap seven he slipped up into 7th position and just one lap later had overtaken two more riders and was running in a superb fifth place. Not content Hitchcock made a move late in the final lap, at Lodge Corner to slip into fourth position for his best ever result in the British Talent Cup.
Race Two 14 laps
After his superb race one on Saturday Hitchcock started Sunday’s race from fourth on the grid. In a competitive field he didn’t get away as well as he would have liked dropping to 8th in the early laps. However, he managed to settle in the group battling for fifth place. The three riders were separated by only tenths of a second lap after lap. On lap eleven he ran wide into Hizzy’s chicane and unfortunately crashed out of the race. The race was red-flagged although after a short delay Hitchcock was thankfully able to stand up and walk away from the incident.
Ryan Hitchcock said, “It was great to get back on my Wilson racing Moto3 bike. It seems ages since we were racing. I struggled a bit in the wet and in qualifying but it all worked well in the first race. Fourth place is my best result in the British talent Cup so far. Then I made a small mistake in the second race as I was trying to chase the two riders in front. Thankfully I am just bruised so now I am looking forward to the next round at Knockhill. I would like to say a big thank you to Gary at Wilson Racing for preparing the bike and also all my sponsors who keep me racing.”
The next round of the British Talent Cup is at Knockhill on the 10th to 11th July 2021.