Barnsley’s Wilson Racing Moto3 team secured the 2017 Hel Performance Motostar British standard class Championship when Max Cook won the second race at Oulton Park last weekend.
Gary Wilson said “It’s just reward for the effort the team and Max have put in this season. He has applied himself well all year and thoroughly deserves the championship title. All of us at Wilson Racing are very proud of him as we are of all our riders.”
The weekend started on Friday with a wet free practice session FP1 was very much a non-event. In FP2 a dry line began to appear very quickly so the team riders returned to the pits to switch to dry tyres. Max Cook finished the session third, Charlie Atkins was seventh and Jake Clark eleventh.
The Motostar riders had the first qualifying session of the day. The track conditions were wet and being early in the morning it would take a while for them to improve. Cook posted the third best lap time for the standard class and Atkins made a late charge to qualify sixth fastest. Clark’s qualifying session ended early. He had to avoid a fallen rider and he went down too, at Hislop’s. It meant he had to line up almost at the back of the grid.
Max Cook made a superb start from third in the category to lead the first lap. He was later caught by Victor Rodriguez, who is second in the championship. Cook and Rodriguez battled to the line with the Spanish rider taking race 1 by 0.110 seconds. Charlie Atkins got a good start to the race but was sat up in just the second corner. Having lost a lot of time he battled back to finish in sixth place. Jake Clark was out of luck in race one. He set off at a great pace but was foiled by an electrical problem on the third lap ending his race prematurely.
Cook had a lead of 100 points in the championship going into race two so with only 100 points remaining after this round a win would give Cook the title. His main rival, Rodriguez, needed a victory to keep his slim hopes of the championship alive. Just before the start of the race, it began to drizzle so all riders were on wet tyres.
It was the ideal start as Rodriguez took the lead with Cook in second. The lead changed hands various times throughout the race including twice on the final lap. However, Cook took the victory by over a second in the end to win the race and take the title.
Charlie Atkins started fifth for the second race but was struggling with the bike at Cascades in the drizzle. Unable to find his usual rhythm he battled on and took ninth at the flag.
Jake Clark made a fantastic start to race two and was running in the middle of a pack of riders, rising to ninth at one stage. Clark was feeling confident despite the slippery surface and was lapping well. Unfortunately, an error on the third lap saw him clip a kerb at turn ten and crash out unhurt.
Despite there being four races of the season remaining Cook has an unassailable 105 point lead. Charlie Atkins maintained fifth position in the championship, whilst Clark slipped a place to 13th.
The team are back in action at the famous Assen TT circuit in two week’s time.