Goole rider Charlie Atkins collected another seven points after finishing a difficult weekend at Oulton Park in the Motostar British Championship.
The two free practice sessions on the Saturday were very different as inclement weather hit Oulton Park. Shortly after the first free practice session began it started to rain so it was necessary for Charlie to return to the pits for wet tyres. This cost some valuable time but he managed to record the ninth best time for the Motostar standard class. The conditions for the second free practice session were much improved and on a drying track Charlie Atkins set about learning the Oulton Park circuit. He improved to finish with the eighth quickest lap time.
On Sunday the riders were greeted with damp conditions again for Q1. The session was about getting more experience in the conditions as it was forecast that the weather would improve for Q2. Charlie worked hard again on learning the track and in the poor weather he finished Q1 with the eighth quickest time for the standard Motostar class.
Late in the afternoon when Q2 started, a dry line was beginning to form around the circuit, although there were some puddles. Charlie set off from the pits and quickly began chipping away at his lap times. On returning to the pits after 8 laps he had reduced his time by over a second. There was still enough time to get back out and put in a final three laps on his second qualifying stint. In doing so Charlie Atkins further cut his lap time to 1:57.338 and secured 8th spot on the grid for race one. In the warm up the following morning he slashed the lap time to 1:53.653.
By the time the race started on the Monday afternoon the weather had improved and the sun was shining meaning the track was almost completely dry. Although Atkins had qualified 8th in his class the grid was combined with the MotoGP class so he started on row nine in 26th position. As the lights went out Charlie Atkins was unable to make up many positions at the start of the race and was unable to repeat the lap times he had shown in warm up.
However, Charlie Atkins battled on and he never gave up and finished 9th in his class and picked up valuable championship points.
Charlie Atkins told Our Goole: “I’m disappointed with the result, but we know what to work on. We’ve got some time to re-group before the next round at Brands Hatch and we’ll come back stronger.”
Charlie Atkins is in his first year in Moto3 and is sixth in the championship standings after the first two races of the 22 race championship.
Photo: Johny Wills