Eugene McManus starts new season on a high at Oulton Park
Randalstown’s Eugene McManus started the 2021 Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship on a high with a podium at Oulton Park.
Fresh from deputising for the injured Danny Webb in the WRP Wepol Racing team in the World Supersport rounds at Estoril and Misano, McManus arrived at the Cheshire circuit race-ready and claimed a strong third place in race one on the Affinity Sports Academy Kawasaki.
The 22-year-old, who qualified in fifth position on row two, was in contention for the race win after moving into second place on the final lap, passing Joe Talbot into the first corner. He then lined up a move on leader George Stanley at Lodge but both riders touched, allowing Jack Nixon to squeeze through on his Yamaha to snatch victory.
Stanley held on for second with McManus next, as the trio were covered by only four-tenths-of-a-second on the line.
In Sunday’s second race, McManus finished in fifth place and set the fastest lap in the race as he came home a second behind race winner Nixon in another tight race.
McManus said: “Race one was tough all the way through. I sat patiently and waited until the end, but we managed to get the podium. It was a really enjoyable race.
“We made some changes for race two and the bike was even better. Although we weren’t on the podium the finish was so close I am not disappointed and we leave with some very valuable points.”
The young Northern Ireland rider is in fourth place in the championship standings after round one, 23 points behind double winner Nixon.
Round two will take place on the undercard of this weekend’s World Superbike round at Donington Park, with three races scheduled over the weekend.
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