Shakey claims Scottish pole despite qualifying crash at Knockhill
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne clung on to claim pole position for the fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill despite a crash at the end of the Datatag Qualifying session as the PBM Kawasaki rider pushed to hold his advantage in Scotland.
Shane Byrne – Datatag Qualifying position: 1st – 48.153s – “I’m a little bit surprised with the outcome of qualifying. We all know what we think is an achievable lap time, and I planned for the time I thought I could do in that last session. I pushed hard, but it seemed like I was sliding on every single corner exit on the last run. I did a time that was good enough for pole, and a couple more close to it – but I think the rear tyre maybe wasn’t as good. I thought ‘oh ok, I’ll run in a little hotter and be a bit more careful on the exit with the throttle,’ but trying that on my second lap I went into Clarkes like normal, released the brakes a little earlier to try and carry a bit more speed, and tucked the front tyre. It’s frustrating for that to happen, but at the end of the day I’m happy with the result. It’s PBM one-two, the times have been close; but I just thought we had maybe another two tenths or so there. I think for tomorrow we’ve worked really hard on race pace. Yesterday afternoon, my best lap time – that would have got us fairly high up today’s grid – came from the thirty third lap on the tyre. From that view, we should be cool – and with the times as close as they are, it should make for some pretty exciting racing! The qualifying is incredibly close, but I think tomorrow four or five of us will be able to go off at the front and hopefully one of those will be able to go off a little bit further! There’ll be come cool battles, because it’s a track that lends itself to that. “
The frantic action at the Knockhill circuit saw the order change consistently throughout the top ten in the final stages of qualifying and as Josh Brookes and Stuart Easton battled to bring down the champion at the top of the times; Byrne was sliding through the gravel in a bid to extend his advantage.
Byrne though had done just enough to hold on to pole position in the final minutes despite both his team-mate Easton and Milwaukee Yamaha’s Brookes also posting times inside the lap record as they closed in.
Josh Brookes – “It was quite tough but I am quite pleased with the lap time, although I am never happy with third! We have been trying to put a good race pace together over the weekend, of course we want to be fastest, but for us we have been working on various things to make us faster over the race distance. We have been working on fuel maps to try and use less fuel to try and make the bike better at the beginning of the race and it has felt better. The last lap that I did in qualifying was actually my fastest lap so that was good. There are a lot of positives to take from that session although we are not on pole position. I feel that we are in a place where we can be confident going into the races.”
Honda’s Jason O’Halloran heads up the second row after he was bumped outside the top three in the closing five minutes of the session, holding off an improving Ryuichi Kiyonari who was putting in his best times of the weekend when it mattered most on the Buildbase BMW.
James Ellison was sixth fastest for JG Speedfit Kawasaki despite the pain of a broken rib, forcing Michael Laverty back to the third row in seventh on his Tyco BMW. MCE BSB rookie Danny Buchan qualified in the top ten for the third time this season in eighth position with Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot and Luke Mossey on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki completing the top ten who are separated by just 0.684s.
Josh Waters and Christian Iddon will start the first race from 14th and 15th on the grid respectively after Iddon crashed at the hairpin in Q2. However, the team has made significant progress with its GSX-R1000 machines, with Iddon consistently inside the top-six in free practice and Waters taking chunks-off his lap-times over the course of the weekend.
Josh Waters: “Of course it’s not where we want to be on the grid but the Bennetts Suzuki is working well and I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and I’m feeling a lot better. I’m a bit frustrated with myself as we were pushing for Q3, we just didn’t put the lap-time together in Q2, but we’re not far away. We’ll try and get ourselves up the field tomorrow and try hard to improve.”
Billy McConnell pushed the Smiths BMW to 18th fastest while tt was another tough session for countryman Broc Parkes, as he continued to get to grips with Knockhill he narrowly missed out on a position in Q2 and now will start 23rd on the grid, one position ahead of Jed Metcher.
Broc Parkes – “To be honest I was starting to feel better in the dry conditions and I felt that we could have found some more time with some extra laps, but the weather kind of messed that up. I just missed out on the top 20 by a tenth and that shows just how close it is here and that a small improvement can make the difference. I made some mistakes on my best laps and I felt pretty frustrated to not have been higher on the grid. I think the only plan I can have is to attack as much as I can in the races tomorrow.”
Glenn Irwin held off the determined challenges of Luke Stapleford to take his second victory in as many races in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Sprint race to now share the joint lead in the title stakes.
Irwin said: “We had been quick in free practice and I knew where we were losing a bit of time, though the feel was good – we made a change and then the bike was just perfect and now I have got last year’s confidence back.”
Gearlink Kawasaki’s Irwin capitalised on that late change to his bike and it paid off for him as he was jostling for the lead, before charging through to hit the front on the third lap from Kyle Ryde.
Ryde onboard the PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha however was quick to attack back, regaining the lead on the sixth lap from Irwin with Stapleford riding hard to hold off the determined Smith’s Triumph rider Jake Dixon with Sam Hornsey holding fifth.
Irwin re-established himself out front next time around and was able to maintain his position while behind him Stapleford on the Profile Triumph battle for second with Ryde, finally taking the position on the ninth lap. Dixon was close despite the pressure from Hornsey on the second Profile Triumph with James Rispoli aboard the Team Traction Control Yamaha in sixth.
Dixon found a way ahead of Ryde but with three laps to go, he crashed out of contention while scrapping at the front. In the lead Irwin was pushed all of the way, crossing the line 0.368s ahead of Stapleford as Ryde took solid points in third, ahead of Hornsey, Rispoli, Luke Hedger, Danny Webb and the leader in Supersport EVO class, Matthew Paulo.
Levi Day was again on the Supersport Evo Podium and 10th outright.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Knockhill, Sprint race result:
1: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki)
2: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) +0.358s
3: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) +3.983s
4: Sam Hornsey (Profile Triumph) +11.344s
5: James Rispoli (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +11.379s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings:
1=: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) 156
1=: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 156
3: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) 146
4: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) 110
5: Joe Collier (Haribo Starmix Triumph) 74
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship starting grid
Also due to the schedule changes, the grid has been decided on the basis of performance in Friday’s free practice. Alastair Seeley aboard the Tyco BMW with a lap in 49.668s starts from pole, 0.239s up on series leader Josh Elliott with Michael Roberton third fastest. Ashley Beech, Luke Quigley and Alex Olsen start from the second row.
Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship starting grid
The grid has been decided on the basis of performance in Friday’s free practice due to the schedule changes. Mason Law is well placed to increased his lead in the title stakes having taken pole start with a best lap of 50.995s aboard his NMT No Limits Kawasaki. That time was just enough to hold off Tarran Mackenzie with Ben Currie running third faster. Joe Francis, Keenan Armstrong and Malachi Mitchell-Thomas start from the second row.
Santander Consumer Finance KTM British Junior Cup qualifying
Thomas Strudwick powered in a fast final lap to snatch pole position by 0.256s ahead of his series leading title rival Chris Taylor with Cameron Fraser completing the front row. James Nagy, Lee Hindle and Kevin Keyes start from the second row.
Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship qualifying
Andy Peach/Charlie Richardson claimed pole by a split second, actually 0.008s, over series leaders Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood whose lap in 52.915s fell just short. Tony Brown/Ashley Hawes and Stephen Kershaw/Rob Wilson start from the second row.
Ducati TriOptions Cup qualifying
Defending champion Dennis Hobbs, who has made his home at nearby Kelty, is ready to play catch-up in the title stakes after taking pole start with a best lap in 51.793s, a quarter of a second up on series leader Robbie Brown with Greg Gilfillan completing the front row. Leon Morris, William Monie and Aaron Brown start from the second row.
HEL Performance British Motostar Championship Saturday race
Taz Taylor aboard the RS KTM added a further five points to his lead in the standings over Scott Deroue as he comfortably headed off the Dutch rider by 3.313s to take his fourth victory of the season. Dani Saez ran third ahead of Ed Rendell and Charlie Newbitt. Josh Owens consolidated his lead in the 125GP category as he powered in his sixth victory with Andrew Sawford second.
Santander Consumer Finance KTM RC390 Junior Cup Saturday race one
Chris Taylor snatched the victory from long time race leader and title rival Thomas Strudwick by 0.037s in the process opening up a 14 points advantage over him. James Nagy ran third ahead of Cameron Fraser and Daniel Drayton.
Santander Consumer Finance KTM RC390 Junior Cup Saturday race two
Thomas Strudwick avenged his earlier defeat with a close victory, 0.265s, ahead of Kevin Keyes and Cameron Fraser but it might have been a different story as Chris Taylor had the lead at the end of the penultimate lap only to drop back to seventh.
Ducati TriOptions Cup Saturday race
Leon Morris, with his second victory of the season, took the lead in the points standings, 15 clear of Robbie Brown who was an early casualty in the race. Morris overcame the challenges of his team-mate, local favourite, and early race leader, Dennis Hobbs to take the win by over three seconds. Greg Gilfillan took third ahead of William Monie and Aaron Brown.
Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship Saturday race
Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood took a hard earned third victory of the campaign by barely half a second ahead of Andy Peach/Charlie Richardson whom they now lead by 27.5 points in the title stakes. Ben Holland/Lee Watson took third from Stephen Kershaw/Rob Wilson.
HEL British Motostar Championship starting grid
Due to the enforced changes to the schedule, the grid has been decided on the basis of performance in Friday’s free practice. Championship leader Taz Taylor, with a best lap in 53.095se, starts from pole with his closest rival Scott Deroue alongside him and Ed Rendell completing the front row. Dani Saez, Charlie Nesbitt and Jorel Boerboom start from the second row.