With limited testing time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, free practice one was Whakatane rider Rees’ first time to ride the circuit.
Heading into the practice session Rees, felt confident that with every lap he would be getting more experienced and quicker. Completing a total of 24 laps within the 30-minute session, Rees ended the session in 16th position, 1.273 seconds off the fastest time set by Danny Kent.
Free Practice two was held later in the day, Rees, now more familiar with the circuit, as well as making adjustments to his BMW S1000rr, Rees dramatically improved his lap time and finished the session in 6th position, just 0.216 off the fastest time set by Chrissy Rouse. The top 17 in the session were covered by one second demonstrating how competitive the British Superstock 1000 championship can be.
With the free practice times being close, it was vitally important for Rees to get a good starting position for race one of the weekend.
After making a few set-up changes during the qualifying session, Rees managed to improve his lap times on each circulation eventually posting a lap time of 54.394 seconds which was good enough for second position on the grid, only 0.218 off Kent’s pole position time.
Race one of the weekend was held over 24 laps. Rees who was starting from his best qualifying position of the year got off to a fantastic start, managing to get the hole shot and lead into the first corner.
By the end of the opening lap, Rees was leading Tim Neave and Rouse, by 0.297 seconds. Rees would hold onto the lead of the race until the end of lap 7 when he was passed Tim Neave. By mid race Rees encountered an issue with his quick shifter and dropped back into fourth position behind his championship rivals, Tom Neave, Kent and Rouse.
For the remaining five laps of the race Rees battled with Kent and Lewis Rollo for third position, eventually just missing out on the final step of the podium by 1 second.
“I’m really happy with the race, of course I would have loved to been on the podium, but P4 finish is great toward overall championship points,” said Rees afterwards.
The second 24-lap race took place Sunday afternoon in warm sunny conditions. Rees started from 6th position on the grid, which was determined by the riders fastest lap time in race one.
The race got off to a frantic start with Rollo taking the lead on the opening lap while New Zealander, Rees held on to his starting position of sixth. By lap eight the leading six which included Rees had pulled away from the rest of the field. After conserving his tyres for later in the race, Rees, with two laps remaining, passed Rollo for fifth position which he would hold until the finish, Rees finished 1.827 seconds off the race winner Tim Neave.
Fellow Kiwi Shane Richardson continued his strong weekend and finished in 13th position.
After three rounds of the championship and scoring points in each race Rees is in 3rd position in the National British Superstock 1000 Championship on 66pts, now 36pts behind championship leader Tom Neave.
Round four of the British Superstock 1000 Championship will take place at the picturesque Oulton Park Circuit over the weekend of September 18-19.
Words by Michael Wincott
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
Points after round three (race five):