British Superbike 2018
Round Five – Knockhill
It was one all in Scotland today as Jake Dixon became the fourth different race winner in the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship with a stunning victory in the opening race of the day at Knockhill before Leon Haslam claimed the victory in the race two.
Images by Dave Yeomans
How did the Aussies go in Scotland?
Josh Brookes took eighth in the opening race but suffered a mechanical DNF in race two.
Jason O’Halloran was 16th in race one but sat out race two as he continues to struggle to strength from previous injuries.
Ben Currie took two second places in British Supersport to strengthen his hold on second place in the championship but is 54-points behind series leader Jack Kennedy who won his eighth race on the trot.
Billy McConnell took second place in the opening Superstock 1000 race but crashed out in race two which saw the South Australian relinquish his lead in the championship to Keith Farmer who took the double at Knockhill.
Brayden Elliott took 24th and 22nd place finishes in STK1000.
Sharni Pinfold took a pair of 21st place finish in the Motostars category.
Knockhill Superbike Race One
In the opening race Dixon launched into the lead, forcing his way ahead of Leon Haslam, Glenn Irwin, Josh Brookes and Buchan, but the championship leader was instantly on the attack and he made a move at the Hairpin.
The leading five – Haslam, Dixon, Irwin, Buchan and Bradley Ray edged ahead, but Dixon was looking for his opportunity. Buchan though had other ideas and he targeted a move on Dixon at the Hairpin but it wasn’t enough and he had to tuck back behind the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki.
Dixon was pushing Haslam and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider made a mistake at the Hairpin which put him slightly wide and Dixon didn’t need an invitation as he carved his way ahead on a tighter line.
Buchan also had Haslam in his sights and the pair almost collided on the exit of the Hairpin as the pair dragged up the hill to the line, with the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider then holding the advantage to push the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider back into third place.
However Haslam was post race promoted to second ahead of Buchan who received a one position penalty for an undertake under the yellow flags between turn two and three.
Irwin held off Ray on the leading Be Wiser Ducati with the Tyco BMW pairing of Michael Laverty and Christian Iddon fighting all the way through the race but Laverty had the advantage at the finish line.
BSB 2018 – Knockhill – Race One Results
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki)
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.917s
- Danny Buchan* (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki)
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +2.779s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +4.421s
- Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +6.903s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +7.501s
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +7.611s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +9.304s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +14.458s
* Buchan – 1 position penalty – overtaking Haslam under yellow
Knockhill Superbike Race Two
In race two Haslam returned to the top, hitting the lead when race one winner Dixon had a huge moment, which he then fought to come back from in the closing stages of the race.
Dixon led the pack on the opening lap from Buchan, Ray, Haslam and Glenn Irwin, but soon Ray had pushed his Buildbase Suzuki into second place and was ready to fight for the lead.
Haslam had meanwhile moved up to third by lap four with a move on Buchan into the Hairpin and then he had Ray in his sights. However Ray was soon to come under fire and Haslam made his move with Buchan also making a pass to push the Buildbase Suzuki rider back two places in a single lap.
The Buildbase Suzuki star was later forced to retire into pitlane with a technical problem, shortly after Brookes had also been sidelined on the McAMS Yamaha, putting him out of a potential top six finish.
At the front Dixon and Haslam were duelling for supremacy, trading blows with three moves within as many corners, but a huge moment cost Dixon; he dropped back behind the JG Speedfit Kawasaki and then tried everything possible to regain the ground over the closing laps.
Haslam held the advantage to the finish line ahead of Dixon by 0.215s with Buchan celebrating a double podium finish, after securing the team’s first in the opening race, when he crossed the line in third place on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki just ahead of Glenn Irwin.
The Tyco BMW battle continued into the second race with Laverty again finishing ahead of Iddon at the chequered flag with Richard Cooper holding off the challenges of Andrew Irwin for seventh place.
James Ellison and Peter Hickman completed the top ten as the championship focus now moves to Brands Hatch for the next round of the season.
BSB 2018 – Knockhill – Race Two Results
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +0.215s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +1.891s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +5.228s
- Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +9.183s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.623s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +10.216s
- Andrew Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +10.523s
- James Ellison (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +16.356s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +17.859s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship Points
- Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 210
- Jake Dixon (Kawasaki) 136
- Bradley Ray (Suzuki) 112
- Glenn Irwin (Ducati) 105
- Shane Byrne (Ducati) 98
- Danny Buchan (Kawasaki) 95
- Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 80
- Christian Iddon (BMW) 67
- Michael Laverty (BMW) 67
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 63
Jake Dixon – Race One Winner
“I am over the moon to have won today. I need to thank the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki team, this has been coming for a while now and it feels extra sweet to do it again at Knockhill. Leon got away and then Danny Buchan showed me his front wheel and I thought it was time to get my head down. I bridged the gap back and then applied the pressure and he made a mistake so I cut down the inside and got my head down. Race two was a frustrating end to the race because I honestly thought I was going to be kissing the tarmac! It wasn’t great and I will have to change my underwear! I had to bridge a gap again to Leon which I did, but it was just a little too late and maybe if I had another lap it could have been a different story. We can try again at Brands Hatch that’s for sure!”
Leon Haslam – Race Two Winner
“I’m happy with the result in both races this weekend. We had a few problems in race one with some back-shift issues, which I believe cost us the win. We were still struggling a bit in race two but it was a really good battle so I’m really pleased to have taken another win. The team did a great job all weekend once again, we’ve extended our lead in the championship and I can’t wait to get to Brands. I’m heading straight to Suzuka now for testing before the main Suzuka race at the end of July.”
Josh Brookes – P8 and DNF
“We’ve definitely had no luck this weekend after showing such great pace in qualifying. I had no grip in race one and thought it was a quirk of the tyre but race two was only a little bit better and then we had a technical, so game over. We need to put this behind us and go on to the Brands Hatch GP circuit, which I love riding.”
Jason O’Halloran – P16 and DNS
“It was a hard decision to walk away today and miss the second race, but it’s been a tough weekend for me physically. We’ve had good speed through all sessions and I had a good day yesterday, but it took a lot out of me and I’m not over this injury yet. Knockhill is a really physical track and my legs just aren’t strong enough, I need to think about the next couple of races and not set my progress back any further. I’d made a good step from Snetterton, even with a small set back and managed to get strong for this weekend, but over the weekend it did become a struggle. We have to be sensible and there’s no point in hurting myself more, it’s not going to do us any favours in the long run. As soon as I am 100% fit again I know I’ll be back at the front, the Fireblade is working so well and the team are doing such a good job, which makes it even more frustrating. But I have to let my body heal and we can’t speed that up, so just need to stay focused and we will be back stronger at Brands.”
Supersport Sprint Race
Jack Kennedy continued his domination in the Dickies British Supersport Championship at Knockhill, winning the opening Sprint race to claim his seventh consecutive victory. It was the Gearlink Kawasaki of Ben Currie who led for the majority of the race, launching off the line to grab the holeshot he was able to fend off Kennedy until the final lap, when the Yamaha rider was able to squeeze through and take victory.
Behind the leading duo, James Westmoreland and David Allingham traded places for the final rostrum position with it eventually going the way of Westmoreland. James Rispoli claimed fifth ahead of Ross Twyman, Bradley Jones, Bjorn Estment, Sam Wilford and Josh Owens in tenth, the first of the GP2 machines.
Kennedy’s victory now gives him a 49 point advantage at the top of the Championship standings.
Supersport Knockhill Sprint Race
- Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha)
- Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.245s
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) +7.076s
- David Allingham (EHA Racing) +7.339s
- James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) +7.528s
- Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) +12.671s
Supersport Feature Race
Jack Kennedy took another Dickies British Superbike Championship win at Knockhill after a last lap thriller with Ben Currie. In a copy of Saturday’s Sprint race, Currie grabbed the holeshot, leading for the majority of the 26 lap race, however attempting a move at the hairpin at the end of the penultimate lap Kennedy was not able to make it stick, starting the last lap just 0.064s behind. Taking the lead again at the first corner, Kennedy was able to hold on to take an eighth consecutive win.
A string of fast laps at the end saw James Westmoreland able to pass David Allingham to claim the final podium position whilst Ross Twyman completed the top five. Josh Owens was again the leading GP2 machine, finishing seventh overall.
Supersport Knockhill Feature Race
- Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha)
- Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.190s00
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) +10.857s
- David Allingham (EHA Racing) +11.523s
- Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) +15.389s
- James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) +16.833s
Dickies British Supersport Championship Standings
- Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) 240
- Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) 186
- Ross Twyman (EHA Racing Yamaha) 118
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) 107
- James Rispoli (Everquip Racing Yamaha) 106
- Bradley Jones (Integro Yamaha) 77
Superstock 1000 Race One
Keith Farmer powered his Tyco BMW to a dominant win in the opening Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race at Knockhill, crossing the line 5s ahead of Billy McConnell.
It was McConnell who was the early race leader, however Farmer powered his BMW through on lap eight and was able to steadily pull away from the pursuing pack.
McConnell finished a lonely race in second whilst Joe Collier was able to get the better of team mate Andy Reid in the closing stages to claim the final rostrum position.
Brayden Elliott finished 24th.
Superstock 1000 Race Two
Keith Farmer doubled up on Pirelli National Superstock wins at Knockhill, taking the series lead in the process. It was a race long battle at the front as Farmer, Tom Neave, Joe Collier and Andy Reid fought for the rostrum places.
Moving into the lead again on lap nine, Farmer was able to pull a small gap over the pursuers but it was drama behind him as former series leader Billy McConnell crashed out on lap 13 whilst just three laps later Reid would crash too, bringing out the red flag.
Having completed two thirds race distance, the result was declared seeing Farmer take the victory ahead of Neave and Collier.
Brayden Elliott finished in 22nd place.
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship Points
- Keith Farmer (BMW) 145pts
- Billy McConnell (Suzuki) 133
- Joe Collier (Aprilia) 132
- Andy Reid (Aprilia) 79
- Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki) 69
- Chrissy Rouse (BMW) 68
The next round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship take place at Brands Hatch on July 20/21/22.