A Backford student and motorcycle star will be looking to score top marks on the track when he races at his home circuit.
Joe Francis, who is studying A-level PE and engineering at Neston High School, races in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, a support class of the MCE British Superbike series, which comes to Oulton Park this weekend.
Francis, a member of the Traction Control team owned by Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint, sits in third place in the 12-round championship after two outings on the team’s 600 Yamaha machine.
He finished on the podium with a third place finish at the opening Donnington Park round before a practice crash at the second round at Brands Hatch left him struggling with set-up and he came home a disappointing seventh but just 6.857 seconds off the pace.
Now Francis is determined to get a few wins under his belt as he aims for the top of the championship table.
He said: “The plan is to challenge for the title this year and then see where we go. I need a few wins and put a gap between myself and the rest of the pack. It’s tough because there are some really good riders out there who are equally determined.
“The bike is great but they are so much harder to ride. The front wheel wants to come up all the time and you really have to wrestle it around the circuit, especially one as technical as Oulton Park. It’s physically very, very demanding.”
Francis is looking forward to gaining more experience on a larger bike having already being crowned 2013 British Motosport Champion on the smaller and less powerful Moto3 machine.
He said: “I now ride in the Superstock series, which is basically for road bikes that anyone can buy from a dealer. We can’t tune the engines and can only make a few modifications to make them safer for racing.
“All the riders are aged 16 to 25 and the series is designed to identify new racing talent. That’s why it’s so competitive.
“My two team mates, Andy Reid, from Ireland, and James Rispoli, from America, are riding in the Motorpoint British Supersport series which is also for 600cc machines but they can be highly tuned and you can modify them far more.”
He added: “I can’t wait to get out on track at Oulton Park, there’s always a massive crowd and the racing is really close. I just need to be ruthless and make sure it’s me that takes the chequered flag.
“Ultimately I aim to get to the very top of the sport and winning the Superstock Championship is another step on the ladder.