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World Supersport Championship met British Supersport Championship when Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments fielded Hikari Okubo on the team's 2024 CBR600RR Honda in the traditional BSB May Bank Holiday round at Oulton Park. 

Although a vastly experienced competitor, this was only Okubo's second appearance at Oulton, after team boss
Ian Lougher had taken advantage of the Official BSB test there a couple of days previously to get the Japanese star familiar with the circuit and the bike. 

Okubo and the team quickly set to work in Free Practice, and in the third session over a second was knocked off the previous best time in testing, so things were heading in the right direction.
It was a pattern that would continue into First Qualifying and throughout the weekend as Hikari kept chipping away whilst relaying superb feedback to the team, and it soon paid off as he improved further to move into the 1:39's for the first time, good enough for 16th fastest in the combined Supersport/GP2 class and a sixth row start for Sunday's Sprint race in which he had a great dice with Jamie Coward and Max Wadsworth, with two GP2 riders also involved. 
Okubo bettered his previous best lap time on Lap 10 and came home in an excellent 12th.

His efforts moved him up a row on the grid for Monday's Feature race and he went one better to finish 11th and record his fastest lap of the weekend at 1:39.118, a testament to his undoubted ability and the superb teamwork involved. 

Hikari now returns to the World Supersport paddock, whilst for Team ILR preparations are already underway for the Isle of Man TT races in a few weeks time, with no fewer than five riders entered under the team banner. 
It promises to be a busy one!

ILR principal Ian Lougher
"I can’t say it wasn’t without some stress for myself especially when we arrived at Oulton Park for the second round of the BSB “Supersport 600cc” Championships!!
Having such a class and experienced WSS rider like Hikari join us was fantastic, but brings with it high expectations from everybody. 
We needn’t have worried how the Japanese rider Okubo san would learn the difficult Cheshire track, as after just one session he was already lapping in the 1m 42’s….very impressive. 
After the dust settled at the end of his two races he had knocked another three seconds off his lap times, and finished just outside the top ten, and in amongst the 636’s, 765’s,  750’s and 959’s….it’s clear the Supersport 600 class has turned into something very peculiar these days!!
All the team really enjoyed working with Hikari, and I’m sure it’s speeded up our development of the latest Honda CBR600RR no end.

Hikari Okubo:

"Although this was my very first BSB race meeting for everything, new circuit, new bike, new team, but I could concentrate well and complete the racing until the end, because of the Team and all of the sponsors…I really appreciate this. 
Competing for such a high level championship, even by being a wild card entry I could gain a lot of confidence from my riding the new Honda at Oulton Park. 
If there is a chance again, I would definitely love to try another BSB weekend." 

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