Hipwell happy as he matches fastest lap
Harworth rider Dean Hipwell said he was happy with a 12th and 19th place in the tenth round of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.
Hipwell and the CDH Racing team were competing in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.
Friday morning’s free practice session in dry, sunny conditions saw Hipwell equal his previous best time around the circuit as he finished fourth quickest.
For the late afternoon’s second free practice, the weather changed with showers creating a tricky damp track conditions.
Hipwell started well but on his fifth and second flying lap he high-sided, exiting the fast left-hand Cascades bend.
Fortunately the CDH Racing BMW slid on to the grass without causing any major damage, while Hipwell also escaped lightly with a bruised knee. He was 19th quickest.
Saturday’s mid-morning qualifying session started in bright, drying conditions.
Hipwell stayed out too long on the wrong tyres and had to settle for 19th spot on the grid for the first race.
Hipwell moving quickly up into 16th by the end of the first lap.
He continued to progress through the field and on lap nine overtook Jordan Weaving’s Kawasaki to go 12th, where he remained.
Had he qualified higher up the order, Hipwell might have finished in the top ten as he was matching the lap times of the rider in front of him.
Hipwell was happy with that performance, having set a new personal lap time and also picking up four championship points.
His quickest lap time meant the racer started from 13th spot on the grid for Sunday afternoon’s race.
A heavy rain storm hit the circuit prior to the race start. In sunny but drying conditions, Hipwell went out on the sighting lap with full wet tyres and wet electronic settings.
On the grid, however, as they formed up he decided to have dry tyres put on and the settings half and half between wet and dry.
The race got under way with Hipwell dropping back to 14th by the end of the first lap, two-tenths of a second behind 13th.
He was struggling to keep pace with the riders in front and over the remaining ten laps gradually dropped behind.
He was never bothered by the group behind, however, as he brought the CDH Racing BMW over the line in 14th spot, 13 seconds clear.
Hipwell said afterwards that they made the wrong decision and so had a few issues with the suspension bottoming out on the brakes as well as running wide on the corners.
The final round is at Brands Hatch in October.