IT was a scintillating season opener for Keighley-based Appleyard Macadam Yamaha at Oulton Park as Bradley Perie marked his team debut with a win, to jointly lead the Quattro British Supersport Championship.

Eighteen-year-old series rookie Rhys Irwin made a strong start and sits inside the top 10 in the overall rankings.

The weekend started well for the team, with strong times through practice in both wet and dry conditions, despite a small slip off for Irwin in the closing moments of FP2.

Perie then took his first ever pole position by 0.089 of a second. Irwin battled through his first Supersport qualifying session to take eighth on the grid.

Saturday’s sprint race saw a masterclass debut from Perie as he scorched into the lead from and managed to hold off double Supersport champion Jack Kennedy (who took those titles for Appleyard Macadam).

On the penultimate lap, the more experienced rider swooped but then had to fend off Perie all the way to the flag.

For Perie, it equalled his previous best position of second but he clearly felt he could go one better.

Irwin continued his steep learning curve, having some great battles with some of series veterans to chalk up his first finish with a fine seventh in class.

Sunday’s longer 15 lap race was held in cooler conditions than the previous day’s outing as Perie and Irwin lined up on the grid in second and ninth slots.

Perie shot off into the lead, but was soon taken by a hard charging Korie McGreevy, which instigated a great battle between the two and the ever-present Kennedy.

Lee Johnson also joined the fray but it was Perie who managed to make a last corner lunge, his first ever victory for a well-deserved wheelie-filled celebration lap.

Irwin had a poor start and got away with a slower group to take 13th in the pure Supersport category.

With Perie now equal on points at the top of the Championship with inevitable rival Kennedy, the Yamaha squad look north of the border to Knockhill for round two, knowing they have a realistic chance of fighting for a fifth consecutive title.

Team owner Robin Appleyard said: “What a superb opening weekend for Brad, we’re so happy for him and his family.

“He got schooled by Jack yesterday (Saturday) but he learnt a lot and put it to good use today (Sunday).

“Yesterday he had to lead with +0 for the whole race and then today it was a great scrap throughout, so two different experiences for him, which has given him great belief for the next races.

“Rhys had a solid sprint race but got boxed in and dragged back through the pack today. He has maybe put a bit of pressure on himself not helped by a couple of poor starts but we’ll work on that and the results will come I am sure.”

Perie commented: “That was mega. I knew race pace wise we were really similar and it would come down to how the races went.

“Jack stalked me and made a great pass so I knew that in this race I needed to make a late pass and make it stick, so I went for it in the last corner.

“I think we are going to have some great battles this year and that’s how I want it.”

Irwin added: “I guess this was always going to be a massive first weekend and for sure we had to battle all the way through.

“I didn’t get a decent start and I was riding around some issues in the second race but it’s all good experience to put towards the next race.”