Thomas Strudwick secures third at Oulton Park despite technical failure in opening race

Although Thomas Strudwick failed to finish his first race, he managed to claim third in the second race of the British Moto3 Championship held at Oulton Park. Picture by Colin Hill.
Although Thomas Strudwick failed to finish his first race, he managed to claim third in the second race of the British Moto3 Championship held at Oulton Park. Picture by Colin Hill.

Horsham-based Thomas Strudwick and his Case Motorapido Moto3 Racing team were back on the road again for the drive up to Cheshire for the next round of the British Moto3 Championship at Oulton Park.

In Saturday's qualifying for race one Strudwick wasted no time in taking full advantage of the favourable, dry conditions and was soon putting in consistent top three times and by the end of qualifying he had secured himself third on the grid for the afternoons' opening race.

However by the time the bikes lined up on the grid, considerable rainfall meant the track was now wet and the race would be one of survival.

When the lights went out Strudwick and all the other riders dodged and weaved to get track position in readiness for the first corner which, by some miracle, they all managed to get through upright.

Strudwick soon managed to break away with the other two riders he shared the front row with but sadly a rare technical problem forced him out of the race and out of contention.

After the disappointment of failing to finish race one on Saturday the feelings were compounded by the fact that his fastest lap of the race was only good enough for 17th on the grid for Sunday's race. Fortunately the track had dried, despite heavy early morning rain.

As he took up his position at the back of the grid Strudwick was aware of the mammoth task ahead of him but he had soon jumped the three riders ahead before the first turn and another three before the end of the opening lap.

By the end of lap four he had climbed impressively to fourth where the real fight would start with the fastest riders. Lap five saw Strudwick slip past the championship leader up into third and set about bridging the four second gap to the front two.

Having found some pace he began to pull away from the riders behind but by the time he crossed the line, and took the chequered flag after ten laps, he missed out on second by just 0.3 of a second.

Speaking after the race Strudwick said: "Back of the grid to third, I'll take that."

Strudwick's next race will be in two weeks at Assen's "Cathedral of Speed" in the Netherlands where he will compete in the penultimate round of the British Talent Cup, which he has led since the opening round of the season.

The week previous Strudwick had competed at the iconic Silverstone circuit and secured third in his first race, and fifth in his second.