-- Byrne doubles Knockhill from Brookes
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.069s
3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +5.013s
4: Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +16.821s
5: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +19.033s
6: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +23.733s
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.814s
3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +8.637s
4: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +12.723s
5: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +15.620s
6: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +19.802s
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 166
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 136
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 130
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 80
5: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 76
6: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 65
Knockhill was packed to the rafters to witness reigning champion Shane “Shakey” Byrne celebrate a double win at the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in Scotland as he took the lead in the overall standings before dedicating his performance to his wife who underwent surgery on raceday.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider had bettered his own seven year old out right fastest lap to take pole position for the opening race but he was out-gunned at the start by Aussie Josh Brookes who led for Tyco Suzuki until closing stages.
Byrne and Brookes made contact before the reigning champion snatched the lead at the Hairpin, he then held off his Australian rival to take the victory. Byrne said: “My wife Petra called me five minutes before I went into that race to say sorry I can’t be with you, but get a good result and be safe. To hear her was magic and that fired me up and I really wanted to win the race for her.”
Brookes took second ahead of the rejuventated Ryuichi Kiyonari, returning refreshed from time back home in Japan to take his first podium of the season. It was consolation for the Samsung Honda team who had seen Alex Lowes crash out of contention at half distance.
Despite starting from the second row, Byrne made a stunning start to take the lead into the first corner of the second race and control the race from the front, reacting strongly in the closing stages as Brookes threatened to close him down.
Byrne took his sixth victory of the season, while Kiyonari was showing the form that had taken him three times to the MCE BSB crown as he again took third place, ahead of his team-mate Lowes.
The podium for both races represented the international talent in the Championship with Britain, Australia and Japan locking out the top three positions.
Gearlink Kawasaki's Ben Wilson scored his first double win since 2011 after a storming performance in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Feature race at Knockhill whilst the home fans celebrated a podium finishes from Stuart Easton.
In the Sprint race Wilson had taken charge once he had seen off the early threat of Graeme Gowland, who had led for the opening laps. Wilson took the victory from his team-mate Alastair Seeley and local hero Easton. The Flying Scot had ridden hard, overcoming a fifth row start, as he repaid the hard work of his Martrain Yamaha team in rebuilding his bike after a big crash in qualifying.
Wilson was determined to do the double and got off to a flying start from Billy McConnell and Seeley with the Gearlink Kawasaki rider pushing hard to start to edge out an advantage. Easton was ninth at the end of the opening lap and determined to give his home supporters something to cheer about as he continued to carve his way up the order.
Easton was soon in contention for a podium finish and the Martrain Yamaha rider made a move for second. He was aiming to close the gap to Wilson but despite his best efforts he had to settle for second, but left his home circuit with the standings lead. The battle for third was intense over the final laps as McConnell, Seeley and then Gowland scrapped for the final podium position. The trio fought it out but it was McConnell who claimed the position from Seeley in fourth.
It was a tough round for the Australians as Smiths Gloucester Triumph’s Glen Richards tipped off on the warm-up lap with the unfortunate Samsung Honda rider Jason O'Halloran also caught up in the incident. Richards was unable to compete in the Feature race with an injury to his arm whilst the Samsung Honda rider was forced to retire from the second outing.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Knockhill, Sprint Race:
1. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki)
2. Alastair Seeley (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.865s
3. Stuart Easton (MarTrain Yamaha) +3.722s
4. Graeme Gowland (Seton Tuning Yamaha) +5.083s
5. Glen Irwin (MarTrain Yamaha) +6.041s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Knockhill, Feature race result:
1. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki)
2. Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) +1.459s
3. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) +5.340s
4. Alastair Seeley (Gearlink Kawasaki) +5.475s
5. Graeme Gowland (Seton Tuning Yamaha) +5.860s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings after Knockhill:
1. Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) 156
2. Alastair Seeley (Gearlink Kawasaki) 155
3. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 124
4. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) 123
5. Graeme Gowland (Seton Tuning Yamaha) 86
Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship (17 laps)
1 Tristan Palmer (Ducati)
2 Joe Burns (Kawasaki)
3 Hudson Kennaugh (Kawasaki)
4 Adam Jenkinson (Kawasaki)
5 Filip Backlund (Kawasaki)
6 Josh Day (Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after five rounds)
1 Jenkinson 91 pts
2 Burns 77
3 Kennaugh 60
= Backlund 60
5 Victor Cox (Kawasaki) 49
6 Daniel Johnson (Kawasaki) 46
-- Milwaukee Yamaha Report
Milwaukee Yamaha left the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill disappointed after two challenging races despite hard work from the team during the event.
The weekend had been tough for the team as they worked hard to close the gap to their title rivals, with the demanding and short nature of the Knockhill circuit meaning that the smallest of margins are exaggerated over the 49 second lap.
In the opening race of the weekend James Ellison fought to try and move up the order from his thirteenth on the grid, pushing on to secure a seventh place. In race two he had aspirations of further improvements but after making a lightening start his hopes were dashed with a crash at Leslies. Josh Waters also had his hopes of making steps forward shattered in both races, finishing nineteenth in the first race before retiring in race two.
Ellison said: “It has been a disappointing weekend for me. I came here with bags of confidence after our run of good results and a nice break where I kept busy on the MX bike to stay bike fit, but despite that, things just didn't click for us from the start. At this level you cannot afford to be on the back foot. I tried my hardest in race one but from thirteenth on the grid at a tight circuit like Knockhill, seventh was all we could do. As for race two, with starting from eighth on the grid, I knew if I got in the top five on lap one I could push with the front four so I made a great start. Going into turn two I was tight on the inside curb when Chris (Walker) seemed to just stop mid turn and I hit the back of his bike. I'm gutted for the whole Milwaukee Yamaha team as we shouldn't be fighting just for top seven finishes. We will group together and test before Snetterton to make sure this doesn't happen again. It's just a blip, we will be back!”
Waters said: “It really has been a tough weekend for me and although we have worked through some changes to try and help it just hasn’t come together. I obviously feel disappointed for the Milwaukee Yamaha team because we were hoping that this weekend we could turn things around to give us a bit of a boost. Hopefully we can test before Snetterton again as we want to be moving up the order as it is so important now to be scoring good points to try and make the Showdown.”
Team Co-ordinator Mick Shanley concluded: “Unfortunately Knockhill has been the worst weekend of the year for us so far. In both races James’s performances really were a consequence of his qualifying, because with a short lap here it is hard to make up positions. He was trying to make positions up in the second race and he just got caught out really. We need to try and find a solution to make Josh a bit more comfortable to give him some more confidence, but we are a strong team and we will do whatever we can to solve it. We want to turn it around at Snetterton.”
-- Tyco Suzuki Report
Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes collected a double podium at the Knockhill British Superbike round on Sunday with two fighting second places behind double winner Shane Byrne.
The Australian GSX-R1000 rider also received the Flying Haggis Award - in memory of the late great Steve Hislop - for the fastest lap of the weekend; presented by Steve's mum Margaret and his sons Aaron and Conor Hislop.
Teenaged British Superbike rookie PJ Jacobsen enjoyed his best weekend to date in the premier class with ninth and seventh placed finishes at the 1.271-mile Scottish venue. And in the Supersport class Taylor Mackenzie posted 14th and 11th places aboard the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600.
Josh Brookes: "In race one I wanted to lead and push to try and make a break on Shakey, but I hit a bit of a wall with my lap times, as the rear tyre was spinning up more than normal; maybe with the track temperature today. We did come together at one stage when he tried to make a pass but it's wasn't a big impact, but Shakey came back past and I had to settle for second.
"In race two it was mentally tough watching Shakey ride away from me, but it also spurred me on and I actually made some time back on him towards the end of the race. I just focused on narrowing it down bit-by-bit and seeing the gap come down gave me energy and encouragement.
"I did a brilliant lap to win the Steve Hislop Award, which is a great honour to receive, and we are now second in the championship. It's all about moving forward now and trying to bridge that gap to Shakey from the next round at Snetterton at the start of July."
PJ Jacobsen: "After a good qualifying and getting up to sixth in race one I got a little bit tense and suffered arm pump, so I was disappointed to drop down to ninth. Race two was a lot better and I was able to hold off the guys behind me. To come away with two top 10 finishes at the most physical track I've ever ridden at is quite pleasing. There is absolutely no rest at this place and it's maybe not a track to suit the smaller riders like myself, but you have to 'man-up' and today I think I've done that."
Taylor Mackenzie: "That second race was a lot better today and I was happy to score points, although it's not quite where we need to be, which is inside that top 10at least. In saying that it was always going to be difficult from where I was starting on the grid, but taking the positives: I've posted my quickest ever lap around Knockhill and my ideal sector times are really only about a tenth of the front runners - so that's encouraging. We need to get a decent run at Snetterton, but that's the best the bike has been all year; it's a real rocket ship so thanks to the boys in the team for their effort."
Philip Neill - Team Manager: "Knockhill hasn't been that kind to us in the past in Superbike. And just coming off a busy period, it's fair to say our expectations weren't that high, but I'm very pleased with how Josh came away with two second places and the fastest lap of the weekend.
"There was a bit of pressure on him to be fair with people asking the question, was the road racing at the TT going to disrupt Josh in his BSB, and although we always believed that it wouldn't, there's always a chance that it could have. I believe it made him slightly sharper and definitely more determined.
"PJ as I've said all along, this year is a learning curve for him and he's finally accepted that. He knows where his place is and he progressed all weekend and had a super weekend. Taylor had a bit of a struggle after a slip-off on Saturday and had to start from 20th on the grid, which is never easy at such a small track. He showed determination and moved forward in both races so we have got to be happy with that."
-- Smiths Triumph Report
The Smiths Racing Triumph Team had a tough weekend at round four of the 2013 Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at Knockhill in Scotland with Billy McConnell's third place in race two being the best result the Gloucester team achieved.
More concerning, however, was the injury to reigning Motorpoint British Supersport champion Glen Richards after the 39 year old crashed out in Saturday's sprint race and eliminated himself from the rest of the weekend with damage to his arm and shoulder.
Saturday's qualifying session saw the pair of Australians take first and third with McConnell claiming his second pole of the year but later in the day, the race started in the worst possible fashion when Richards suffered a freak crash on the warm-up lap which ultimately ruled him out for the remainder of the weekend.
McConnell was challenging for second place in the early stages of the race only to find himself shuffled back to seventh by half race distance and when the race was stopped on lap 13, he had to settle for what was his worst result of the season of seventh place and just nine championship points aboard the Smiths Racing Triumph Daytona 675R.
With the shoulder injury ruling Richards out of today's race, it was left to McConnell to fly the flag for the team and he did exactly that with a truly spirited performance. Second on the opening lap, the Adelaide rider found himself pushed back to fourth with just a quarter of the race distance to go but he fought hard and after exchanging places on a couple of occasions, he finally took third place off Alastair Seeley to claim his fifth podium of the season.
Billy McConnell: "I ran the same compound tyre as Glen in the first race and nearly ended up in the gravel with him so I was very lucky. The drizzle didn't help me whilst we also had a bit of damage to one of the fork legs from a previous crash so it wasn't the greatest of races to be honest. Today was a lot better and I dug really deep to catch Seeley whilst the bike worked really well as the tyres got worn. Seeley and I swapped paint a few times but I made the pass stick in the end and it was good to repay the team for all their hard work especially with Glen being on the sidelines. I was a bit lucky to get third but this time the race worked in our favour. We still need to do a little bit of work just to find that last little bit but we're a lot closer now than at the beginning of the year and aren't a million miles away."
Glen Richards: "We both opted for the zero compound tyre on Saturday as we felt it would be better for the overall race distance but it just hadn't got up to the necessary temperature and caught me out before I could do anything about it. Unfortunately, as well as taking Jason O'Halloran down with me, I also landed hard on my shoulder and although I tried to ride on Sunday morning it just wasn't possible. I've chipped my humerus bone and with damage to the ligaments and tendons as well there was simply no strength at all. It's very frustrating as the bike was working well but I'll go and see my specialist next week and look to return as soon as possible."
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: "The weekend didn't start well for us with an engine failure and two crashes on Friday and that pretty much set the tone for the weekend. Qualifying went well and we were more optimistic but the tyres that Glen and Billy opted for just weren't the right ones for the conditions. Glen unfortunately got caught out and the injuries were quite bad so we're hoping the visit to the specialist next week will give some indication as to the recovery period.
"Billy rode well all weekend with his ride today being very good indeed. The development work we've done is clearly paying dividends and has left Glen even more frustrated as we're now one of the quickest bikes through the speed trap but it's been a wearing, costly weekend. Billy's podium has lifted the spirits of the team and is a reward for everyone's hard work."
As a result, McConnell dropped to fourth place in the series but just one point behind double winner Ben Wilson and still only 33 behind series leader Stuart Easton. Richards holds sixth place in the standings going into the next round at Snetterton on July 5/7th.
-- Samsung Honda Report
Samsung Honda celebrated a successful outing at the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill today as Ryuichi Kiyonari scored his first double podium finish since 2010.
The triple BSB champion has had a challenging start to the 2013 season, however he arrived in Scotland determined to turn his season around and he was able to do just that, claiming third place in both races. Team-mate Alex Lowes had a more difficult weekend, crashing out of contention at the Hairpin in the opening race. The Lincolnshire lad fought a hard battle in race two to take a respectable fourth at the flag.
In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Jason O'Halloran also had a tough weekend. The Australian rider was taken out by Glen Richards’s crash on the warm up lap of the Sprint race, ending any hopes of a strong finish on Saturday. In the Feature race today he was caught up with another rider yet again, causing damage to his Samsung Honda and forcing him to later retire.
Havier Beltran – Team Manager
To start with Alex, this has been one of his tough circuits in the past so to bounce back with a fourth place in race two was pleasing, but we were all obviously disappointed with the crash in race one. He is now ready to move on from here to the next round at Snetterton and get back to the podium again. I am very happy for Kiyo, it has been a difficult season but we believed he had the potential which he showed today. Clearly something hasn’t been right, perhaps we were going in different directions but since the last round we have been able to understand what we need to do and now he is more confident again.
In Supersport it has been a really disappointing weekend and Jason never seems to have any luck here at Knockhill. We don’t seem to be in the place we had planned to be in at this point of the season and so we hope we can improve at Snetterton.
To take this double podium is very good, but now I want better results next time out. For sure I’m very happy and now I hope for more results and I will be trying to do my best to go faster as I want wins. I will keep trying to improve my performance in every round to build on these results. It’ll be difficult but I will work hard with the team. I feel much happier and I have to thank the team.
In the first race I was going good, but was struggling in the last sector compared to Byrne and Brookes and the crash was just unlucky. We made some changes for the second race but they didn’t work as well as we had hoped, but if you can’t be third you may as well be fourth because points are important for the championship, especially here at a circuit where I have struggled in the past. It is never nice to drop back in the standings, but I used my head as points are more important than having another crash.
I think me and this circuit just don’t get on as I never have any luck here. It's been a difficult weekend where not much went right for us, I had a decent pace right from the start, but instead of some good results we left a bit battered and bruised. We will come back at Snetterton and try again!
-- Gearlink Kawasaki
It was a fantastic weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki team in the Motorsport British Supersport Championship at the Scottish circuit of Knockhill. Ben Wilson took a stunning double victory the first for the team this season and his team-mate Alastair Seeley secured a great second and fourth.
Ben was dominant in both the Supersport races and won race one on the Saturday by 2.8 seconds from Seeley and in the longer main race on Sunday he won by another big margin beating local man Stuart Easton by 1.4 seconds.
Ben qualified in fourth place for race one and was keen to get to the front and try and bridge a gap from his nearest rival, he was leading after the first lap, was briefly passed by Gowland but then on lap four made his move and led and extended his gap for the remainder of the 13-lap race. With his stunning fastest lap of the race time this put him on pole for race two on Sunday. As the 26-lap race progressed Ben was once again eager to lead from the front and he was totally dominant leading every single lap and taking the team's first double win of the season and Ben's first double win since Cadwell Park 2011.
Ben Wilson - "I'm so pleased with the results I have had here this weekend, it's been a long rocky road the last year but now after this I finally feel like I'm back. It's such a relief and the Gearlink Kawasaki team have worked so hard to get me to this point and I'd really like to thank them for everything and I hope this repays all their hard work. They were two really great races and I really wanted to try and get away as knew everyone would be scrapping and I didn't want to get involved in any of that. The bike has been brilliant all weekend and hope this form will continue now for the rest of the season, there are still a lot of points to gain. I'd like to thank the team, all my personal sponsors and to wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day."
Alastair Seeley also had a great weekend and despite being locked in a battle and scrap in both races he took a solid second place in race one but struggled slightly with arm pump in race two and slipped to fourth after a great battle with Stuart Easton and Billy McConnell. Alastair is now lying in second place in the Championship by one point to Stuart Easton.
Alastair Seeley - "That was my worst weekend so far this year but a second and fourth can't be classed as a bad weekend. The Gearlink Kawasaki was set up well and but I was only able to qualify sixth, my start was ok and I made up a place after the first lap then I was locked in a battle with Stuart and Billy, I was pleased to get second. On the Sunday I really struggled with grip on the track. It was very slippery compared to yesterday and as I was pushing harder I was finding I was getting arm pump and this really had an impact on my race result. I want to make sure I'm back up there again at Snetterton and back on the podium again."
Pirelli National Superstock 600s
In the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class it was another fantastic weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki team and another podium for Luke Hedger, his third in a row now hoisting him to third in the Championship standings. The current Motostar British Champion has adapted well to riding the Kawasaki ZX-6R and after qualifying in seventh position the youngster from Bristol rode another confident race to gain second. His new team-mate Australian Mark Wilkinson gained his best ever Superstock 600 result of seventh place.
Luke Hedger - "This is another great result for myself and the Gearlink Kawasaki team and we've managed to be really consistent in the last three races and made big progress in moving forward and getting some really good results. I got a great start but the leaders made a small break, the safety car coming out this time played into my hands and it bunched the pack together. Once the car went in I wanted to ensure I got my head down and didn't let them bridge a gap. I managed to get to second but was unable to catch the leader, I'm so pleased for another strong result and would like to thank all my sponsors and everyone who has helped me get here."
Mark Wilkinson - "I had an exciting race today, it was a tough weekend though. I qualified in 23rd place meaning the race was always going to be very hard for me. I made a good start and chipped away all race long and eventually placing in seventh place, which is my best result ever in the BSB Superstock Championship, so I am very happy with the overall race result.
"It was good to have my brother Micka over from Australia this week and I would like to thank all the Gearlink Kawasaki team for all their work this weekend. Also a big thank you to everyone back in Australia for their support and Plaza Auto Sales, GS Automotive, ROMP Design, The Oil Warehouse for all their help in 2013."
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "It's been a great weekend and gone really well, we had a good set up on both bikes and Ben and Alastair progressed all weekend. Ben found a bike set up faster than Alastair but the results in the first race were great. You cannot ask for more than first and second in a race and that is what they managed to achieve.
"Ben was on a mission this weekend and we are delighted with the results he has gained here and to gain a double race win is brilliant. Alastair had a tyre issue in race two and slight arm pump but second and fourth is still a very good result and we are not disappointed at all, he is still lying in second place in the Championship standings.
"In the Superstock 600 class both Luke and Mark were very impressive, their qualifying positions did not reflect how they were riding but their race results certainly did. Luke has gelled with the bike now and his results have been brilliant the last three races. Mark has settled in really well into the Gearlink Kawasaki team and he gained his best result in the class here today which is brilliant and I am sure he has more to come.
"It is a really positive weekend for the team and we are looking forward to going to Snetterton on a high and looking to gain some more results like today."
-- Be Wiser Kawasaki Report
The British Superbike Championship travelled up to Scotland this weekend for round five of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship at Knockhill. In the Superstock 1000 group the Be Wiser Kawasaki riders had a good weekend with Josh Day securing a fantastic sixth place and Josh Wainwright in 23rd. Nick Anderson racing in the National Superstock 600 class secured a points scoring position in 15th.
With the changing weather conditions over the weekend at Knockhill and the two groups having wet and dry sessions the times were taken as one from each group as opposed to fastest laps. This was a disadvantage to the Be Wiser riders with Josh Day ending up qualifying in 17th place and Josh Wainwright in 23rd position.
Josh Day got a great start and was 14th after the second lap and was eager to keep pushing through the pack setting some good lap times and making some strong passes to secure a great sixth position. The scheduled 24 lap race was cut short to 17 laps after a red flag incident.
Josh Day - "Luckily I managed to have a good race here at Knockhill despite the qualifying system not quite falling into our hands. With the session dry on Friday and we had a few problems with the set up and the bike and so it was difficult to put a quick lap in especially as Knockhill is so tight and twisting, with the rain coming on Saturday the rules state that if the sessions are mixed weather conditions then one is picked from each group but that dropped me five places back on the grid.
I knew I'd have a lot of work to do in the race and was keen to get a good start, luckily that was the case and I had to be aggressive on the first few laps to ensure I was able to get into the front pack. I really enjoyed the race and everything with the bike is just falling into place now and working really well. The Be Wiser team have been brilliant and helped me get everything sorted just once again we lack dry track time so to get everything right and sorted in one session is difficult. Colin at 100% and the entire Be Wiser team worked so hard all weekend and I'm glad I got the result I did and still know I've the pace to run up at the front I just need to put it all together in one weekend now."
Josh Wainwright also lost some positions from the qualifying sessions and ended up in 23rd on the grid, with little dry track time and using new suspension he had no data for the bike until Friday. Despite some problems during first qualifying he was able to get one faster lap in and it was a battle in the race to get a good result.
Josh Wainwright - "With swapping our suspension system at Donington I have no date for it at any track so we were coming to Knockhill a little blind and without a good understanding on what set up we needed. I only got a couple of dry sessions in and it's not much time to try and get things sorted correctly. We are going to do some testing over the next few weeks to get a good base set up with the new suspension so when we go to the next race we won't need to make any massive changes.
With the changes we made I was really struggling for grip during the race as we weren't getting the power down in the right places. It was a tough race but I have taken the positives from here and I'm looking forward to getting to Snetterton in a few weeks' time. I've learnt how to ride a 1000 and now we just have to make a few tweaks to get everything set into place and get some good races under our belt."
In the Superstock 600 class Nick Anderson qualified in 25th position and on his first time ever racing at the Scottish circuit Nick rode a stunning race gaining 10 positions and finishing in the Championship points in 15th place.
Nick Anderson - "I'd never been to Knockhill until Friday and I tried to walk and cycle as many laps as I could so I could get a feel for the circuit. I enjoyed the race today and pleased I managed to salvage a point from it, considering the weather conditions and lack of dry track time I was able to make up several places during the race and despite running wide at the hairpin and losing a few places I worked my way back to 15th. The track was really slippery during the race and it was hard to find any grip and seemed to get worse as the race progressed. Luckily we've tested a bit at Snetterton so it should help with a bit of a base setting when we go there in a couple of weeks."
Team Owner/Manager Alan Grieg - "We've had trouble in all the qualifying sessions all season and Knockhill seemed to be no different. With the Superstock series being split into two groups and with the changing weather conditions at Knockhill between qualifying one and two, there is a strange formula to calculate grid positions. Sadly this didn't work in our favour and Josh Day lost out on five positions to where he should have been. Despite this Josh (Day) was 17th into turn one on the first lap and to come through and finish in sixth is fantastic, this has also moved him to ninth in the Championship and within grasp of the top six.
Josh (Wainwright) has had a lot of work to do with his switch to Ohlins suspension and therefore we have no data at the circuits for him and this made it difficult with the weather to get the set-up he requires. We have a test booked at Snetterton so this should help move things in the right direction and hopefully get things sorted for the remaining rounds of the year.
Nick had never been to Knockhill before he got here so to race like he did and get a Championship point was brilliant we are really pleased with his progress within the Be Wiser Kawasaki team. He is really showing his progress and settling in well now and we continue to try and move him forwards and more points.
In all it was a good weekend for us, the weather on race day was lovely and a huge crowd was here as always at Knockhill. We had some bad luck in qualifying but if we can get that sorted out and the boys moved up towards the front end after qualifying I know both are capable of good results. We're looking forward to getting to Snetterton in a few weeks' time."
-- MWR Kawasaki Report
The MWR Kawasaki team were back in action today for round five of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at Knockhill in Scotland where James Egan put in a solid ride to claim 22nd place at the chequered flag.
The South African rider was racing at the track for the very first time and his cause wasn't aided by inclement weather during practice and qualifying. It all meant he had to take part in the qualifying race yesterday but he duly took his place on the grid for today's race and soon moved up inside the top 30. Lapping quicker than what he'd done all weekend, James moved forward throughout the race and was lying in 22nd place when the race was stopped following a crash at the Hairpin.
The team were down to one rider for the weekend with Burnley's Harry Hartley being forced to miss the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship race due to the 15 year old sitting school exams.
James Egan: "I'd never even seen the circuit before Friday's first practice session let alone ridden around it whilst the weather made the task this weekend that little bit harder. The bike was handling really well though so it allowed me to concentrate on learning the circuit and riding the bike rather than having to search for a good set-up. We made a gearing change prior to the race and whilst it allowed me to run quicker lap times, I ended up making a few mistakes, running wide into corners and not gaining as many places as I would've liked. I know Knockhill now so that's good for future reference whilst all the next circuits are ones I've either ridden at or tested at before. My learning period is over and it's now time to start getting results."
Mark Webster, Team Owner: "Considering James had never seen the circuit before this weekend, he put in a strong race and ran with, and beat, riders who've been coming here for a good few years. Qualifying saw mixed conditions so he had to contest the qualifying race but he came through that and improved his position throughout the race so we're pleased with that. The weather worked against us somewhat but we now head to circuits which we all know and with a good testing programme outlined, James and the team are all confident we'll now see him finishing further up the leaderboard. We've got the mileage in on the bike and James is happy with how it's working so now we want to really get stuck in and start getting in amongst the points.
"Unfortunately, this weekend was always going to be difficult for Harry to compete in but he'll be back with us at Snetterton and we're all very much looking forward to building upon the result he achieved last time out at Donington Park."
-- Karl Harris Report
In round four of the BSB Championship, Karl Harris suffered what is thought to be a potential trapped nerve in his left shoulder during Free Practice One, which left him unable to race at the Scottish circuit. As the round went on, Karl’s shoulder did not ease. Therefore, after a visit to the Medical Centre, both the medical staff and the team owner, John Jameson, decided that Karl should withdraw for the remainder of the round on safety grounds.
John Jameson commented. “Karl felt a sharp pain in his shoulder during Friday’s first free practice, which affected his performance throughout the early part of the weekend. After talking to the medical staff today, we believe it would be better if Karl did not race, due to the pain in his left arm, as he is unable to control the bike for prolonged periods.” He continued. “Karl has an appointment with a specialist tomorrow (Monday) in Birmingham and will have an MRI scan later in the week. We will obviously wait on that result before making any decisions regarding Snetterton.”
-- Mason Law Report
Mason Law riding on the Chris Walker Race School Kawasaki secured his best result of the year so far at round five of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship at Knockhill gaining a great sixth place in the 20-lap race.
At another circuit he has never ridden before the 17-year-old got his best qualifying position of 14th in the changing weather conditions. This gave him a good opportunity during the race to secure a strong race result. The race was held up for several laps whilst the safety car was deployed to attend to an injured rider but once the lights went out Mason got his head down and worked his way through. Mason was locked in a battle with James Lodge for fifth place when the race was red flagged on lap 20 and declared a result.
Mason Law - "Despite never riding here before I found it was a track that really suited my style and reminded me of my moto-crossing days. I managed to pick it up quite quickly and was looking forward to getting out in qualifying; the one-one rule didn't apply to me as either way I would have been 14th which was ideal.
I've known in the last few races that if I got qualifying sorted it would give me a much better chance in the race. I got a good start and when I saw the safety car out I ensured I was as close to the guys in front to get a good drive when the car pulled in. I got tucked in and made some really good passes to get up into fifth place. James and I were having a scrap for fifth when the race was red flagged but it was great to be at that end of the field and fighting near the front and not getting tied up in all the melee mid pack.
My lap times were really consistent and I was really pleased with my position and my overall result it's a great confidence boost and I hope this helps when we go to Snetterton in a few weeks' time. I have to try and get a good qualifying lap in early on in the weekend as this is a huge help, every race we've made big improvements and steps forward and keep scoring points. I'm now lying in 13th in the Championship standings and can't wait for the rest of the season."
-- Seton Tuning Yamaha
Seton Tuning Yamaha’s Graeme 'Gowla' Gowland posted a brace of top five finishes in two exhilarating races at the fourth round of the 2013 Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at Knockhill, Scotland (14-16 June).
Gowla posted his best qualifying of the season to place his Yamaha YZF-R6 second on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s 18 lap sprint race.
A rocket start saw the Northumbrian lead into the first corner as the 23-rider field flowed down the hill for the first time. Gowla looked strong onboard his Seton Tuning Yamaha, but the deployment of the safety car after Dixon crashed down at the chicane on the opening lap bunched the field together. With the action back on track for the fourth lap, a big slide out of the hairpin allowed Wilson and McConnell to pass on the run into the first corner.
Wilson instantly began to break clear of the field to claim what would be the first of two Supersport wins over the weekend. Gowla continued to push hard for the remainder of the race, locking horns with Seeley, Cooper and McConnell.
With rain starting to fall by mid-race, and the field sporting dry tyres, it became a battle of position in case of stoppage. Gowla would prove the victor in the battle with the two Triumph riders, pushing through to claim fourth - his best finish of the season to date - as the red flag finally halted proceedings on lap 14.
Posting a fastest lap time of 51.186s, Gowla was pushed back to the head of row three in seventh position. A strong run from the lights elevated him to fifth, then fourth as an almost identical race unfolded at the start of the 26 lap Main Event.
Once again, Gowla would lock horns with Seeley and McConnell, this time for the final step on the podium, as the riders were matched lap for lap. As McConnell made a lunge on Seeley at the hairpin on the penultimate lap it looked as if Gowla may take advantage as the pair forced themselves wide. However, it was not to be and Gowla would take the chequered flag in fifth, another strong result to solidify fifth in the title race.
James Mutton faced a baptism of fire at Knockhill, as the 22-year old Australian made his debut for Seton Tuning Yamaha in the hugely competitive Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship. The 1.27-mile circuit is one of the most physically demanding on the calendar, requiring plenty of track knowledge and confidence in order to post fast lap times.
With the grid limited to just 36 riders, James’ fastest qualifying lap time of 53.967s was just short of automatic qualification, meaning he would have to do battle in the 12-lap Last Chance Qualifier on Saturday afternoon.
The weather turned and the race was declared wet. Starting ninth on the grid, James made a solid start to his debut race for the team. Pushed back to 14th on the opening lap, he made his way forward as his lap times tumbled to move into tenth on lap ten. Just as it looked like he would hold on to the final qualifying position, Stamper made a move on the final lap pushing Mutton out of contention for this round.
The Team will now move on to what is arguably their ‘home round’ at Snetterton in three weeks time, for round five of the 2013 series (5-7 July).
Phil Seton, Team Principal: "Graeme was awesome. He was trying so hard, riding at 100%. His riding style is incredibly smooth and we have the utmost confidence in his ability to post the results he and the team deserve. He worked tirelessly throughout the weekend and was rewarded with second in qualifying and only narrowly missed out on podium finishes in both races.
It was a tough start to James’ career with the team. Knockhill is not the easiest place to come to for the first time. The very changeable weather conditions didn’t help but he worked hard all weekend. I’m really pleased with his performance.
With just a skeleton team to run the two riders at Knockhill, I must say that everything worked amazingly well. The whole atmosphere in the team at the moment is superb. The communication from the riders is excellent and bodes well for future rounds.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linxcel for their support of the team over the years. It is a shame that they have had to withdraw their sponsorship but we wish them well and hope that we may be able to work together in the future.
The door is now open for a new headline sponsor to come onboard with the team for the remainder of the season. At this level, in order to remain as competitive as we can and to maintain a challenge on the title, it is imperative that we find a new sponsor to work with. Without one it may be a case that we will have to reduce our presence within the BSB paddock. With the excellent results that we are posting at every round as a ‘privateer’ team, we are able to offer unrivaled TV coverage and an excellent return on investment."
Graeme Gowland #81: "We have had another strong and consistent weekend. We qualified 2nd and got the holeshot into turn 1 in first race and it felt great to be out front on the Seton Tuning R6 for a short while. After a big 8 rider battle for the last podium spot we came out 4th, which is our season best and to be honest it felt like a win! I was 7th on the grid for race 2 and got another great start and only just finished off the podium again! We are so close to the front and I think taking all things into consideration we are doing a really good job and I'm sure on the right day we will put it on the box."
James Mutton #34: "I can't thank the whole Seton Tuning Yamaha team enough for all their help and support throughout my first weekend on the Yamaha. I'm pretty disappointed within myself that I wasn't able to learn the Knockhill circuit fast enough to qualify straight into the main race and get the team a result that their hard work warrants. I'm looking forward to some testing in the upcoming weeks and am staying positive for the next round."
-- Qualifying - Byrne under lap record to take pole from Brookes at Knockhill
Datatag Extreme Qualifying:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 48.333s
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.010s
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.316s
4: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +0.650s
5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.653s
6: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +0.735s
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, the defending champion set an incredible pace in this afternoon’s MCE Insurance British Superbike qualifying session at Knockhill to claim pole position for the fourth round with a time inside his own lap record set back in 2006.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider had been embroiled in a three-way fight for the pole position as standings leader Alex Lowes and Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes both made an assault for the top spot, but Byrne proved that he means business at Knockhill.
Byrne said: “I’m really pleased with this, my first flying lap was good, but then Josh Brookes came through and I thought I just had to go for it. I had a few moments on the lap, but here we are. I wanted to get that pole position for my wife Petra who is unwell; hopefully that will give her something to smile about and thanks to everyone for sending her their best wishes.”
“Our race pace is good but we have a bit of work to do and a few little tweaks to make to perfect it for the race, but to come here and do this, ahead of teams who have tested here before, is good and we are in pretty good shape for the races,” added Byrne who is intent on overturning the single point deficit he has on Lowes in the standings.
Tyco Suzuki’s Brookes was just 0.010 seconds adrift of Byrne after admitting to some mistakes on his final lap dash to try and claim the pole position, whilst Lowes qualified third fastest aboard the Samsung Honda to secure an all important front row start at this short, but demanding circuit.
Jon Kirkham just missed out on a front row start for Buildbase BMW and heads the resurgent three-times title winner Ryuichi Kiyonari by just 0.003 seconds on the second Samsung Honda. Young American rider PJ Jacobsen aboard the second Tyco Suzuki completes row two.
-- Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The Milwaukee Yamaha team returned to Knockhill today determined to make steps forward following a tough opening day at the Fife circuit in free practice with both James Ellison and Josh Waters making improvements to move them closer to their rivals.
Ellison qualified thirteenth on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race but the Brands Hatch race winner and his crew have some changes to make for warm up in their bid to come out fighting in the races tomorrow in Scotland. Waters was unlucky to miss out on Q2 as he returned to the garage he dropped two positions in the final seconds which saw him finish in nineteenth position.
Ellison said: “We made some big improvements and that showed if you looked at the times we did today, but we just needed to find that extra tenth to get inside the top ten for Q3. Unfortunately we had the red flag and I went out knowing we had one shot and I made a few mistakes trying too hard and equalled the time I had set already. We can do these times now so now we just need to raise the bar again in the morning; I have my homework for tonight and we will work hard again in warm up to see if we can make some more steps for the races.”
Waters said: “I feel it was better today after we made a big change and I went 0.6 seconds faster than yesterday. We thought that would be ok to put us through to the second qualifying session but after the chequered flag I got knocked back two places and that put me out. It was unlucky and now looking at it at the end I should have been out on track pushing to try and get a better time but you can never be sure. I’ll try hard whatever the conditions tomorrow to try and just get more feeling. I think I have some things we have looked at this evening and I will sleep on it which hopefully will make the difference.”
-- Tyco Suzuki Report
Josh Brookes was instantly back in the BSB groove today following a fortnight at the Isle of Man TT, taking second place in British Superbike qualifying at Knockhill in Scotland.
The Tyco Suzuki rider narrowly missed-out on pole position by just a100th-of-a-second to title rival Shane Byrne in the third and final qualifying session, but will start tomorrow's opening race at round four from the front row in second place.
Tyco Suzuki team-mate PJ Jacobsen also had a productive day on his BSB debut at the Scottish venue, impressively making the final qualifying session, before taking sixth place and a second-row grid spot for tomorrow's opening 30-lap race at 1pm.
Josh Brookes: "People were quick to say that it would take me a while to get back up to speed on the short circuits after the TT and I sort of resented that. If you can do 10 years of what I've been doing, and then go to the roads and go as quick as I did, then you should be able to turn around and go back to the circuits and be on the pace quick enough - like I have done.
"I've done my personal best round here in qualifying and the bike is working well. I've done quite a few quick laps and a couple at the peak time so I'm happy enough with that. The qualifying is more about the front row than pole position, as it's really difficult to pass around here, so we are in a good position to fight it out in race one."
PJ Jacobsen: "It's really good to get a decent qualifying in; my best so far in British Superbike. I'm just learning the track more-and-more so the more laps I get, the better at this stage. It was also really good to get behind Josh and see what he was doing different than me, so yeah it sets me up well for the opening race tomorrow."
Taylor Mackenzie scored points in today's opening British Supersport race posting 14th place on his GSX-R600 in a shortened 13-lap encounter.
Philip Neill - Team Manager: "It's good to see Josh getting back into BSB mode so quickly after his TT exploits and his consistency today was impressive. As he says, the front row is an important starting position and sets us up well for race one. I'm also delighted for PJ who arrived here with a successful test at Kirkistown under his belt, which was a confidence-booster after such a long break. He's done well today and the second row will give him an opportunity to run with the faster guys and learn even more in the first race tomorrow.
"The shortened Supersport race didn't give Taylor a good shot at a top 10, but thankfully he will get another run tomorrow over 26 laps."
- British Superbike Championship 2013 -
RND 3 - LOWES TAKES BSB SERIES LEAD
RND 2 - BYRNE DOUBLES THRUXTON
1 - BYRNE AT BRANDS
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