2021 British Superbike Championship
Round Two – Knockhill
Images by David Yeoman
Christian Iddon kicked off the weekend at Knockhill with a Superbike win in Race 1, holding off Australian Jason O’Halloran and Danny Buchan to win the opening race.
Danny Buchan then celebrated victory for SYNETIQ BMW in the second Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at Knockhill, becoming the third different race winner of the season as Rory Skinner delivered an incredible second place finish in only his fifth race.
Buchan then followed it up with a double victory, making a crucial move on Rory Skinner just a lap before the final Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the weekend was red flagged.
Christian Iddon now holds the Superbike lead on 111-points, six-points ahead of Jason O’Halloran, with Buchan third. Josh Brookes is currently 11th on 38-points.
Bradley Perie took the British Supersport wins, with Ben Currie second in Race 1 and finishing 11th in Race 2. Perie now leads the standings from Jack Kennedy and Lee Johnston, with Currie fourth overall.
Taylor Mackenzie and Fraser Rogers shared the Pirelli National Superstock wins, with Billy McConnell second in both races. South Australia’s Billy McConnell leads the standings on 56-points, from Taylor Mackenzie (50) and Fraser Rogers (32).
In the British Talent Cup Evan Belford won both races, with New Zealand’s Cormac Buchanan racing to a 4-3 result. As a result Belford currently leads the standings from Johnny Garness and Casey O’Gorman, with Buchanan fifth.
2021 British Superbike Championship – Race 1
As Race 1 kicked off, O’Halloran launched off the pole position to grab the lead ahead of Iddon and Buchan, but the order shifted as the SYNETIQ BMW rider moved into second on the third lap with a decisive overtake.
Meanwhile Iddon had grasped the lead, but the VisionTrack Ducati rider soon was relegated to second as Buchan hit the front of the pack on lap six.
As Buchan tried to make a break on his chasing rivals he saved a huge moment, when he tucked the front at the hairpin, and his incredible reactions meant he may have lost the lead but he was able to regroup from fourth place.
Iddon had taken command at the front of the pack, but O’Halloran was stalking him all the way to the chequered flag as the pair continue their duel from Oulton Park.
Peter Hickman had taken advantage of Buchan’s mistake to move up a place into a potential podium position, but a problem on the final lap meant he was forced to retire the FHO Racing BMW, handing the final top three place back to his BMW rival.
Bradley Ray had a strong performance in fourth to score his best result of the season so far for the Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW ahead of rookie Rory Skinner, who delivered a stellar performance to claim fifth place in only his fourth Bennetts BSB race with FS-3 Kawasaki.
Tarran Mackenzie bounced back from a crash in qualifying to score sixth after a battle with Ryan Vickers on the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki in the closing stages, as Tommy Bridewell, Lee Jackson and defending champion Josh Brookes completed the top ten.
2021 British Superbike Championship – Race 2
At the start of the race, Iddon had launched his VisionTrack Ducati into the lead on the opening lap ahead of Buchan, Peter Hickman and Skinner.
Hickman was fighting hard and within six laps, he had forced his way into second place with a move at the Hairpin, before Skinner also made the same pass a lap later on the SYNETIQ BMW.
It was a disastrous race for the championship leader Jason O’Halloran, who relinquished his position at the top of the standings when he crashed out unhurt on the eleventh lap.
Meanwhile in the leading pack, Iddon was holding off his rivals as Buchan had moved back into second position with Mackenzie and Skinner in close contention.
Buchan bided his time before executing a move at the Hairpin on the 17th lap to claim the lead and then despite initial early pressure, he was able to bridge a gap of just over a second to claim the first race win for the all-new BMW M 1000 RR.
The battle for second though took a turn on lap 20 as Skinner claimed the position by passing Iddon and he was able to hold off the pair behind him, scoring a superb second place for FS-3 Kawasaki.
On the final lap, the scrap continued for the final podium position as Mackenzie lunged ahead on the McAMS Yamaha to push Iddon back into fourth place at the chequered flag. The VisionTrack Ducati rider though moved ahead in the title standings.
Tommy Bridewell completed the top five, as he was able to gain positions after Hickman saved a huge off track moment after a promising start, which saw him in the podium fight for FHO Racing BMW, dropping him to seventh position.
2021 British Superbike Championship – Race 3
Mackenzie led the pack off the line at the start, but it wasn’t long before Skinner was on the attack and he instantly grabbed the lead at the Hairpin. The Scottish rider was heading the field as Iddon moved into second, pushing Makenzie into third by the end of the second lap.
Hickman was also getting stuck in, fighting for a podium position, firing the FHO Racing BMW ahead of Mackenzie on lap four.
Buchan was holding fourth position by lap ten, but ahead of him, Hickman had dived up the inside of Iddon at the Hairpin to claim second.
The VisionTrack Ducati rider was targeting his counterattack and as they reached the Hairpin the next time around, he dived up the inside ofs Hickman. Buchan also saw his opportunity when Hickman was forced to sit up, and he stuck the SYNETIQ BMW ahead, but the pair touched and they subsequently lost ground.
Buchan was determined to fight back for the podium and after hunting Mackenzie, he was able to edge ahead on lap 15, but the McAMS Yamaha rider instantly reclaimed the position. Buchan eventually made a move that stuck and he then had Skinner and Iddon ahead of him.
A lunge into the Hairpin put the SYNETIQ BMW rider back into second as Iddon was nudged back into third and then he was duelling with Skinner for the victory.
Skinner was fighting hard to hold the lead and as Buchan moved ahead the FS-3 Kawasaki rider was desperately trying to retaliate, but the race was red flagged when Glenn Irwin crashed a lap later, leaving his stricken Honda in the track.
Mackenzie held on to claim his second podium finish of the day for McAMS Yamaha with Iddon in fourth place to remain on top of the standings by six points ahead of the next round at Brands Hatch.
Bradley Ray was back in the top five for Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW ahead of O’Halloran, who bounced back from a race two crash to finish in sixth place.
Danny Buchan – 3-1-1
“To bring home wins for the SYNETIQ BMW team is fantastic – they’ve had a hard few years so to repay those guys on the new M 1000 RR is obviously a fantastic thing for everyone involved. It’s very early days in the project still and we’re still building on it, so I am over the moon. To get the double hasn’t quite sunk in just yet, but it’s fantastic. It was a hectic last race and there was a lot going on, and I sort of knew if I got in front I could pull a gap, so the plan was to get my head down and go and that’s what we started to do. I started to edge away and then the red flag came out, so I timed it right, lady luck was on my side there definitely, but credit to SYNETIQ BMW. To get two wins today is fantastic for them, so massive credit to the team, my sponsors and everyone involved.”
Christian Iddon 1-4-4
“I’m delighted to get the win especially so early in the season. It’s been a bit of a strange day as I haven’t quite got the feeling with the bike I’m looking for although it’s doing what I want it to do. I have a lack of sensation at certain places on the track where I’ve been strong in the past, but the good thing is that our form is good and we’re improving all the time. I learned a bit more when Danny was ahead of me and have a small change to make for tomorrow which should help us further. The weather may have a part to play but we’re on the front row for the first race and whilst it’s very early days in the season, it’s definitely a case of so far, so good.”
Rory Skinner – 5-2-2
“I came into this weekend just hoping to build on the performance we had at Oulton Park – maybe get a top 10 or maybe be up there in the races for a while… I never expected to come home in P2! You know to be right up there with the best in the country in BSB in my second round on a superbike, I was blown away! I’m so, so happy with it and just have to say a massive thanks to FS-3 Kawasaki for giving me a home and giving me the best package possible. I had no plan; I was just going with the flow of things. I was watching my board and I just rode my heart out and to bring home podiums is amazing.”
“It’s been a similar situation to Oulton in the sense that I’ve got no grip and it’s frustrating as a race winner and British champion to be rolling around in tenth. The bike’s not behaving badly or getting out of shape but for some reason the set-up is not there and in today’s race, I had three to four moments every lap. Christian’s settings and mine are as close as they’ve ever been but he’s won and I’m in tenth so it’s hard for us all to get our head around at the moment. All I can keep doing is relay the information to the team and hope something can be found. I’m sure our hard work and perseverance will see everything come good.”
Peter Hickman – DNF-7-8
“Disappointing weekend for us especially when we had the pace which was probably the most disappointing thing. We had the pace for the podium it just wasn’t meant to be this weekend. Everything that could go against us went against us. It looks like we could have a possible gearbox issue on the new motor, as in both races I missed a gear going into turn one and had to go straight on. Not ideal, not ideal in the slightest! But we have to take the positives and the positives are we’re fast, competitive and right at the front. So onwards and upwards, we will get things sorted for Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks time.”
Bradley Perie took a dramatic win in the opening Quattro Group British Supersport race at Knockhill as long-time leader Kyle Smith crashed out on the final lap. It was Smith who scorched away from pole, extending his lead over the opening laps to a dominant 1.7s, with Perie and Jack Kennedy maintaining positions behind him.
As the race reached the half way stage, Perie, Kennedy and a fast-charging Lee Johnston had closed the lead down to just 0.5s. A tense game of cat and mouse followed, with the gap holding at a steady few tenths. Responding over the final laps, Smith was able to extend his lead up to 0.6s but disaster struck on the final lap when he crashed out of the lead.
This left Perie to take the win, and the Championship lead, ahead of Kennedy and Johnston. Ben Currie was fourth, with Charlie Nesbitt the first GP2 machine in fifth ahead of Perrin and Scott.
British Supersport/GP2 Race 2
Perie made it two from two in the Quattro British Supersport class, taking a dominant victory in the second race at Knockhill. Just as he did in Race 1, it was Kyle Smith who grabbed the holeshot, but the Dynavolt Triumph rider was unable to pull away this time and Perie had soon found a way into the lead.
From there, the Appleyard Macadam Yamaha rider edged away from the rest of the field, taking the win by over five seconds. It was an intense battle behind him however, with Lee Johnston holding second place for much of the race before coming under heavy pressure from Jack Kennedy. The two traded places over the final two laps, with Johnston re-taking second place on the final lap.
Charlie Nesbitt was again the first of the GP2 machines, ahead of Jack Scott, Smith, McGlinchey, Perrin, Truelove and Paasch.
Taylor Mackenzie continued his winning form in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, taking victory in the opening race at Knockhill.
It was OMG Racing’s Billy McConnell who grabbed the holeshot to lead for the opening ten laps, however Mackenzie had soon found a way through and was able to edge away to take the win by 2.8s.
McConnell had a somewhat lonely race in second, crossing the line 3.3s ahead of Chrissy Rouse, with Tom Neave and Tim Neave fourth and fifth. Lewis Rollo was sixth, ahead of Olsen, Hedger, Rogers and Allingham.
Pirelli National Superstock Race 2
Fraser Rogers claimed his maiden Pirelli National Superstock Championship win in an action-packed second race at Knockhill.
It was Chrissy Rouse who stormed into the lead on the opening lap, but Lewis Rollo swiftly found his way through to the lead on lap three. However, the reigning champion wasted no time re-taking the lead, with race one victor Taylor Mackenzie and Billy McConnell finding their way past too.
Mackenzie made his move into the lead on lap seven, setting a string of fast laps but disaster would strike on lap 11 when he crashed out.
This left a five rider front group, with Rouse heading the pack until lap 18 when McConnell found his way through, however two laps from the end Fraser Rogers squeezed his way through to take the win and the lead ahead of McConnell and Rouse.
There was key Cup drama ahead of lights out for two competitors, too. Casey O’Gorman (Microlise Cresswell Racing), the points leader going in after doing the double at Oulton Park, crashed in FP2 and was sidelined for the rest of the weekend. Then, on a Warm Up lap ahead of Race 1, Carter Brown (City Lifting/RS Racing) found himself on the end of bad luck as a technical issue forced him to bail off his machine and out of the race, also leaving him well down the grid for Race 2.
As the lights went out though, Belford got a great start from pole to get the hammer down early and the number 52 was able to pull out some breathing space even by the end of Lap 1. From there, his advantage only increased as he pulled the pin and, by the time he met the chequered flag, the City Lifting/RS Racing rider was over eight seconds clear for his first victory of 2021.
The fight for the other places on the podium went down to the wire, however, with Scotsman Troy Jeffrey (Stiggymotorsport) getting the jump into second place off the line and duelling with Lucas Brown (Amphibian Scaffolding / SP125 Racing) early on. It didn’t take long for Garness to move up into second, however, before Lucas Brown then crashed out from fourth as James Cook (Wilson Racing) tried to get in on the action. The Wilson Racing rider then ran wide and dropped down to seventh, however, taking himself out the podium fight.
That left Garness in second, with Crosby picking his way past Jeffrey into third. Cormac Buchanan (Microlise Cresswell Racing) then swept past both to take over in P3, and the New Zealander was there to stay in the podium fight.
As the last few laps dawned and Garness started to get reeled in, lapped riders in the latter stages left that Garness-Crosby-Buchanan train split by similar gaps, and it was all going down to the final corner.
Garness was ahead and stayed ahead, the number 57’s speed in a straight line guaranteeing him a first podium of the season. Behind, Crosby attacked Buchanan into the hairpin and got ahead, with the two then tucking in for the uphill drag to the line. Over that line, it was mere hundredths but Crosby took it for his first rostrum of 2021.
That left Buchanan in fourth, with Cook taking fifth at the flag as he was able to get the better of the fast-starting Troy Jeffrey. Bailey Stuart-Campbell (Team 151s) took seventh, just a tenth ahead of Ollie Walker (Moto Rapido / SP125 Racing). A little further down the road, Dutchman Kiyano Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing) held off Jamie Lyons (C&M Motors Ltd/Tooltec Racing) to take ninth as the duo completed the top ten.
There were a number of crashers, including Ryan Hitchcock (Wilson Racing) and Sullivan Mounsey (iForce Lloyd & Jones).
British Talent Cup Race 2
Belford got the holeshot from pole, with Garness soon up into second from the head of the second row. It wasn’t quite the immediate replay of Race 1, however, as Garness was able to make an attack not long after and the number 57 briefly took the lead. It didn’t last though, with Belford gathering it back up and slicing back through to begin pulling away once again.
That left a big squabble behind Belford, with Garness enjoying some close company from Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing), Buchanan and Cook as they fought it out and the number 52 got the hammer down in the lead.
Meanwhile in sixth, Bailey Stuart-Campbell (Team 151s) was holding off an incredible charge from Carter Brown (City Lifting/RS Racing). Down well outside the top 20 on the grid after not making the start of Race 1, the number 74 made up nearly 20 places in the early stages of the race. Stuart-Campbell then headed a little wide as well, allowing Brown to sweep past to try and hunt down Cook down the road in fifth.
After some shuffles through backmarkers and with five to go, it was still a close squabble but the outcome for Crosby was decided early as the Banks Racing rider slid out of the fight, leaving Garness holding off Buchanan and Cook.
That fight went all the way to the wire, but the number 57 was again so quick in a straight line and Garness just took it by a tenth, with Buchanan nevertheless taking a first ever podium in third place. Cook, although close, was forced to settle for fourth although one better than his fifth place in Race 1.
Cormac Buchanan – 4-3
“After being agonisingly close in race one, it felt unreal to finally step onto the podium and celebrate a hard fought race – just 0.1 sec from P2️ which reflects the intensity of the battle out there. Lap time of 54.808 which was second fastest overall. This round was a special one for me as it’s the first time I’ve been to Scotland where my great-great-grandfather hailed from. Very proud to represent Clan Buchanan out there. Stoked to reward dad, John and my entire Microlise Cresswell Racing crew with this one after their efforts. I couldn’t do this without you guys. Thanks to everyone at home in Aotearoa 🇳🇿 for their amazing support, especially Squadra Mac Attack.”
Carter Brown came home in fifth after Crosby’s crash out of podium contention, the number 74 gaining an incredible 21 places. Ollie Walker (Moto Rapido / SP125 Racing) made his way through past Stuart-Campbell to take sixth, with Kiyano Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing) taking eighth. The Dutchman won another close duel in Race 2, this time against Ryan Hitchcock (Wilson Racing).
Jamie Lyons (C&M Motors Ltd/Tooltec Racing) completed the top ten a little further down the road.
That’s it from Round 2 at Knockhill, with Brands Hatch GP circuit playing host for Round 3 in a couple of weeks… make sure to tune in for more Honda British Talent Cup action!
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