— Hill regains BSB Title lead at Knockhill
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +1.199s
3: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +1.551s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +8.494s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +10.160s
6: Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +10.211s
Race two :
1: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.765s
3: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +3.091s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.119s
5: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +11.068s
6: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +11.227s
1: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 159
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 153
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 150
4: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 122
5: Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) 79
5: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) 77
Shane “Shakey” Byrne and Michael Laverty took the victories in a hard fought Scottish fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill in which title holder Tommy Hill scored a second and third place to regain the lead in the overall points standings.
Laverty, who had been on the pace across the whole weekend at Fife circuit, forced his Samsung Honda into the lead in the opening race but was soon taken by the hard-riding former two times title winner Byrne aboard his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki with Hill moving his Swan Yamaha into second shortly afterwards.
Laverty held on to a strong third place running clear of Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes who lost his lead in the overall standings. In race two the Ulsterman rewarded the hard work of his team who had made changes to his Honda Fireblade between races by powering to his second victory in three races.
It was hard earned as Hill rode determinedly out front but Laverty twice edged ahead at the Hairpin only to concede the position by running off line but on lap eleven he made the move stick and then edged out a defendable lead, taking the race by 0.755 seconds from Byrne with Hill third and Brookes again fourth.
“A few people had written me off after the opening rounds and said the win at Snetterton was a one off but we have really found our feet now. I always knew that we would come on strong as this win shows. We had some bad luck in the early rounds but four podiums in the last four races has consolidated my place in the top four in the standings and now my title bid is back on track,” enthused Laverty.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race 1 (18 laps)
1 Glen Richards (Triumph)
2 Jack Kennedy (Yamaha)
3 Sam Warren (Yamaha)
4 Billy McConnell (Triumph)
5 Richard Cooper (Triumph)
6 Luke Mossey (Triumph)
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race 2 (25 laps)
1 Billy McConnell
2 Glen Richards
3 Jack Kennedy
4 Ben Wilson
5 Luke Mossey
6 Richard Cooper
Championship standings (after five rounds)
1 Kennedy 182.5pts
2 Richards 164
3 McConnell 129
4 Warren 123
5 Wilson 121
6 Iddon 85.5
7 Mossey 73
Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (6 laps)
1 Ben Burke (Yamaha)
2 Michael Robertson (Yamaha)
3 Johnny Blackshaw (Smiths Triumph Racing Team)
4 James Rose (Yamaha)
5 Matthew Paolo (Yamaha)
6 Tom Fisher (Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after seven rounds)
1 Burke 116pts
2 Rose 104
3 Whitaker 72
= Dixon 72
5 Jackson 69
9 Blackshaw 54
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship (24 laps)
1 Keith Farmer (Kawasaki)
2 Jimmy Storrar (BMW)
3 Victor Cox (Kawasaki)
4 David Johnson (BMW)
5 Steve Brogan (BMW)
6 John McGuinness (Honda)
16 Patrick Medcalf (AP Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after seven rounds)
1 Farmer 95 pts
2 O’Halloran 92
3 Storrar 91
4 Buchan 85
5 Brogan 80
6 Cox 69
12 Medcalf 32
— Tyco Suzuki
Josh Brookes took a pair of fourth-placed finishes away from a dry round five of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill in Scotland and is now third in the championship standings – just nine points off top spot. His Tyco Suzuki team-mate Alastair Seeley also doubled up with two seventh-placed finishes and climbs to the same position in the championship table; now just ten points outside the magical top six.
Josh Brookes: “I was disappointed not to be in the battle for the podium in race one and having to watch the guys in front pulling away when you feel like you are giving it everything is not a nice feeling as a rider. The crash in morning warm-up probably didn’t do my confidence much good. The second race was different but also frustrating, as I couldn’t just bridge that gap to the podium positions. We’re still well in there in the championship and have two weeks to prepare now for Oulton.”
Alastair Seeley: “I’m a lot happier with the way things went this weekend, and although I want to be higher up fighting for podiums, seventh place today helped me edge ever closer to the top six. It’s nice to be passing people again on the big Suzuki but I need to go away and practice my starts. There’s no point qualifying well then throwing all the hard work away in the first lap of races. I can look forward to Oulton, now knowing we are back in with a shout of challenging.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager: “It was one of those weekends that promised a little more than we actually got. Both riders were very strong in the wet, which we expected, but with race day being dry we probably lacked a bit of pace today. Josh probably didn’t have the perfect start with a crash in morning warm up, but we scored solid results and it keeps the championship hopes well on track. From here we will look to moving on to the more flowing circuits, which suit us a little better.”
— Samsung Honda
Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty celebrated his second race win of the season at the fifth round of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill.
Laverty had qualified on the front row and finished the opening race of the day in third before charging to the front of the field in race two to give the Samsung Honda team their third win of the season. Team-mate Jon Kirkham, who is returning to full fitness following his crash at Oulton Park, just missed out on a top ten finish in 12th in the first race before scoring points in 14th in race two.
In Superstock 1000, Jason O’Halloran crashed out of the race whilst in contention; the Australian was disappointed but is now determined to regain his championship lead at Oulton Park next time out. Gary Johnson took a solid eighth place finish on his return to the Samsung Honda team as he continued to improve throughout the weekend.
Michael Laverty: “After Snetterton there were a few people that said my win would be a one off and wrote me off, but this weekend proved that we can be up fighting for the title too. I knew that the races were going to be tough today and Tommy and Shakey upped the pace again and I was pushing really hard. There were areas where we had a concertina effect where one of us was faster than the other but overall our lap times were very similar. I thought maybe on the last lap we could have had a sniff at Tommy in race one but I didn’t want us to tangle. I wasn’t overly dissatisfied with the first race but we made some changes that gave me more confidence in the front for the second one. I made some early passes and then controlled it from the front and it worked out perfectly. Our championship is really back on track now so we are looking forward to Oulton Park.”
Jon Kirkham: “It wasn’t the easiest weekend for me and something just didn’t click, which we will be looking at before Oulton Park. We made some improvements between the races but it wasn’t enough to give us the pace we needed. It was a tough weekend as I have only completed one race (at Snetterton) since the crash so I have been building back up. We have a bit of time now until Oulton Park to assess what we can do before the next round to put us back up where we need to be.”
Jason O’Halloran: “It was a tough race and I had a pretty good pace on the Samsung Honda and was taking my time to come through as there were a couple of places I was losing out a bit, but other areas we were stronger. I was waiting for the guys to make a mistake which they both did by running wide at the Hairpin and I stayed on my normal line and went under them both. I thought I was through but then they came back and I crashed. It was a real shame we couldn’t rejoin, but that is the rules and now we just need to look at coming back at Oulton Park.”
Gary Johnson: “I had missed a few rounds this season with the road races so I am always a little behind but we made some big steps forward and it was great to give the Samsung Honda team a top ten finish.
Havier Beltran, Team Manager: “Michael rode fantastically today and showed what we know he is capable of. We made some changes to the Fireblade which allowed Michael to ride his best race of the season. JK hasn’t been able to match some of his previous performances but we will be working with him before Oulton Park to try and improve. Jason’s bad Knockhill luck continues but a crash and no points was better than how we left here last year and Gary also improved throughout the weekend to score a strong finish on his return with the team.”
Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki pairing Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Keith Farmer gave the Paul Bird Motorsport Team a double reason to celebrate when they each took a victory at Knockhill in Scotland today.
After qualifying in fourth place aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R, Byrne, from the Isle of Sheppey, romped to a comprehensive victory in the opening 30-lap MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after seeing off the challenge from rivals Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty and the former double British Superbike Champion followed that up with a solid second place in the day’s second outing to move into second place in the title race, just six points adrift of leader Hill.
Farmer, from Clogher in Northern Ireland, added to the team’s success when he took a start to finish victory from pole position in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship race aboard his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Having won the opening two rounds, the reigning Metzeler National Superstock 600 Champion overcame the disappointment of his recent non scores at Oulton Park and Donington Park to get his championship firmly back on course as he left the Fife track with a slender lead after seven rounds of the 13-race series
The PBM team’s second BSB rider, Stuart Easton, was forced to miss his home round following successful surgery to remove some metalwork from his leg following on from his injuries last season. The Hawick rider hopes to be fit for the next round of the series whereby he is hoping to join Byrne and Farmer at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
Shane Byrne: “I should be happy with 45 points from the weekend but 50 would have been better although it’s never easy against the likes of Michael, Tommy and the rest. We made a big change to the bike in warm up and it really worked so having not had as much dry time as I’d have liked we had to gamble and it paid off. It’s vitally important to just score podium credits now and be in the mix for the Showdown but I’m feeling really strong right now and am really looking forward to Oulton Park where I’ve already won this season.”
Keith Farmer: “It was important to get a good result today and I’m very pleased with the win as after a few rounds in the doldrums, our championship bid is back on course. To leave Knockhill with the series lead is more than I expected but I’m pleased for the whole team as they put a great bike underneath me this weekend. From now on it’s just a case of racking up the points and making sure we are in with a shout as the second half of the season progresses.”
Paul Bird, Team Owner: “This has been a very solid weekend and great rides from both Shakey and Keith although I share Shakey’s disappointment with his second place in race two as we thought he had the pace to win that one too. Keith had to overcome a minor issue with the tyre in his race late on but either way, it’s kept both riders in championship contention. We now need to continue this form at Oulton Park and hopefully, get Stuart back and challenging for podiums as soon as possible.”
— AP Kawasaki
The AP Kawasaki team endured a tough day’s racing at Knockhill today at round seven of the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc and 1000cc Championship races but despite their problems, all three riders scored important finishes at the Scottish circuit.
It was a solid weekend for Josh Wainwright with the Thamesmead rider running strongly inside the top ten throughout the shortened Metzeler National Superstock 600cc race, which was halted initially after a crash had deposited oil on the circuit. The re-started 10-lap race also ended three laps early meaning he was duly rewarded with the eighth place which has maintained his 11th place overall in the championship total.
For team-mates Freddie Russo and Patrick Medcalf, it was a tough weekend in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc category. A podium finisher last time out at Snetterton, Medcalf was hoping for another leaderboard finish although learning a new circuit meant it was always going to be a tall order to repeat the rostrum result. The Australian circulated on the edge of the points throughout but just couldn’t quite move into the top 15 and had to settle for 16th at the end of the 24 laps.
Russo also struggled and after placing 14th in qualifying, clutch problems in both Sunday’s morning warm-up and race prevented him from making a major impression on the results. The Brentwood rider battled manfully but the technical issues meant he could only finish in 20th place.
Josh Wainwright: “I got a really poor start in the first race and dropped back a fair few places so the red flag did me a favour. In the re-start, I didn’t make any mistakes and got off the line cleanly to move inside the top six and put myself in really good position. After that though, the race went a bit downhill as I was really struggling for grip and I just couldn’t get any drive out of the hairpin. That meant I was losing a fair bit of time along the start and finish straight so eighth was the best I could salvage. It’s a solid result but I know we can be a lot higher so, hopefully, we’ll get back up front next time out.”
Freddie Russo: “It’s definitely been the most disappointing weekend of the season so far for me and from running consistently inside the top 12 at the early rounds, to only just scrape into the top 20 isn’t what I was hoping for as I want to be moving forward not backwards. The clutch gave me problems in morning warm-up and it came back again in the race so to come all this way and not get any points is both disappointing and frustrating. All we can do is put it behind us and move on to the next round.”
Patrick Medcalf: “It was always going to be a difficult race for me having only seen the circuit for the first time on Friday and with qualifying seeing both wet and dry conditions, we were unable to improve the bike as we would have liked. I ended up running a bike that wasn’t quite set up right whilst I also made a bit of a mistake in the race, which made it very tough. It’s the type of circuit where your qualifying position is really important so we’ll just chalk it up as experience and move on to Oulton Park, a circuit I know, where I’ll look to get back in the top ten again.”
Alan Greig, Team Manager: “Knockhill hasn’t been our best round, that’s for sure, but all the boys brought the bikes home for a finish so it could have been worse. Josh had a disrupted race, which is never easy for a rider, but it was good to see him running up the front again so it was a shame his result was compromised by a tyre issue. He just ran out of grip so it was perhaps fortunate for us that it didn’t go beyond the seven laps but he got some solid points and with the next round at Oulton Park being one of his favourite circuits, we’re all confident he’ll be right back at the front.
“Both Freddie and Patrick qualified reasonably well but they didn’t get the opportunity to improve due to the changing weather conditions. Both of them got a finish but, unfortunately, they were just outside the points and after all the points they’ve scored so far this year, it’s disappointing for them and the team. We’ll all dig deep, work that bit harder and come out fighting at the next round to hopefully pick up the results all three riders are capable of.”
— CN Racing
The Hebden Bridge-based CN Racing team were out in force at Knockhill this weekend with all three riders, Josh Day, Glenn Irwin and Cody Nally, putting in some strong performances in their respective championships.
Cirencester’s Day put in his best performance of the year in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship to finish in ninth place which was his second successive top ten finish. Strong throughout qualifying, Day was never outside the top ten and although he encountered a problem in Saturday afternoon’s final qualifying session, he regrouped strongly for the 24-lap race to put in a fine ride.
New team-mate Nally qualified superbly in tenth place aboard the ten Kate prepared Honda Fireblade during the opening, dry qualifying session but the changes the Irishman made to the rear suspension for the race didn’t work as planned and he slipped back through the pack. Although he was unable to score any points, the Athlone rider fought hard until the very end and crossed the line in 19th place.
The two Motorpoint British Supersport Championship races saw Carrickfergus rider Irwin take tenth and 21st overall, which also gave him second and fourth in the Cup competition as he again went head to head with main rival Luke Jones. The duo were never more than a few seconds and places apart in Saturday’s race but on this occasion, Glenn had to give best to Jones. The same battle looked set to take place on Sunday but gearbox problems on the Met Healthcare/Megastore 247 Yamaha intervened and although he dropped back to 21st overall, it was enough to give him fourth place in the Cup for some valuable points to maintain the series lead.
Josh Day: “I really enjoyed today’s race and after a slight problem in Saturday’s practice session, I was delighted to come back strongly. It knocked my confidence a bit so when the lights went out, it took me a few laps to get dialled in again but I soon found my rhythm and managed to push hard right until the end. The bike’s working really well now and because I’m more comfortable on it, I’m enjoying it too. It’s nice to finish inside the top ten so the aim now is to keep improving and get closer to the boys running at the front.”
Glenn Irwin: “It’s been a bit of a difficult weekend to be fair, which was a real shame as when we tested here a couple of weeks back we were right on the pace. All credit to the team, they never stopped working and were up until the early hours on both nights and the set-up of the bike was perfect. It was just a few gearbox issues that held me back and that made it hard to ride the bike but I dug in, kept going and in the end got two important results in the Cup competition. Obviously, I’m disappointed not to have finished higher up in the main race results but it’s just been one of those weekends and we’ll come back fighting at Oulton Park.”
Cody Nally: “Qualifying in the dry went really well but with the mixed conditions we simply ran out of track time to get the bike set up right. We changed to a stiffer spring for the race and went completely the wrong way so the race was certainly a struggle. I ended up going backwards, rather than forwards but I feel really good with the team and am sure that given more track time, we’ll be able to get into the points.”
Julia Taylor, Team Principal: “The whole team’s made really good progress all weekend and for Josh in particular, his confidence is improving all the time. I’m very happy with his result and it’s good to see him running in the top ten where he should be. Cody’s obviously new to the team and the bike so for his first time out, I think he did all he could. We’re all happy to have him in the team and happy with how he’s performed so with some decent track time, I’m sure he’ll be able to push on strongly.
“Glenn had another good weekend and it was just a technical problem that held him back. We managed to get him back out on track on Sunday and claim a very valuable fourth place to keep him in the lead in the Cup. Obviously, he’s been finishing in the top ten of the main race too so that’s what we’ll all be hoping for once again at the next round.”
— Smiths Triumph
The Smiths Triumph Racing Team enjoyed a superb weekend of racing at Knockhill in Scotland with both Glen Richards and Billy McConnell taking the race wins in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship.
Riding the Smiths-prepared Daytona 675cc Triumphs and following on from Richards taking victory in Saturday’s sprint race, the Australian pairing took a 1-2 in Sunday’s race to move into second and third overall in the championship with more than half the season still to go.
Saturday’s 18-lap race got underway in dry conditions and after a safety car deployment, Richards was able to dominate the race, leading for the remaining distance and crossing the line over a second clear of main championship rival Jack Kennedy. The battle for second saw no less than six riders involved and McConnell was able to take fourth with third team member Luke Mossey just over half a second back in sixth.
Sunday went even better for the team with Richards and McConnell leading the way from the start. The duo ended up in a battle with fellow Triumph rider Christian Iddon before he dropped out with technical trouble and for the last third of the race it was a straight shoot-out between the two team-mates. Positions changed with frequent regularity but on this occasion it was McConnell who came out on top for his second win of the season. However, with Kennedy back in third, Richards was able to reduce his championship lead further with it now standing at just 18.5 points.
Cambridge rider Mossey was able to regroup after a sluggish start which saw him down in 12th but by the chequered flag he had moved up to a fine fifth to claim 11 valuable points.
Johnny Blackshaw also had an excellent ride in the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship with the Stretton rider taking third place for his first podium finish of the year. After the original race was stopped due to a combination of rain and oil on the track, Blackshaw took full advantage of the shorter race to move up to ninth in the points table.
Glen Richards: “With pole position and a first and a second in the two races, it’s been a really good weekend and with 45 points, I’ve been able to claw back some of the gap to Jack, which was obviously very important. The weekend really couldn’t have gone much better and whilst it would of course been nice to get both wins, it wasn’t essential and the last thing I wanted was a DNF. There’s a long, long way still to go so I just want to keep finishing races and racking up the points.”
Billy McConnell: “After the disappointment of finishing in fourth on Saturday, it was important to get my head down from the start on Sunday and that’s exactly what I did. We made a small change to the bike, going down one tooth on the rear sprocket to give me more drive and it certainly worked. The longer races seem to suit me more as well and with the bike feeling strong, the race win feels really good. I’m a long way back in the championship but there’s a lot of races still to go so I just want to keep taking the race wins and creep up the table as best I can.”
Luke Mossey: “Two top six finishes is pretty good going but I was disappointed with Sunday’s race and it was the start that cost me. I was too slow off the line and that dropped me a long way back and although I was able to climb back to fifth, I’d left myself too much to do. The bike’s working really well and with my two team-mates winning, I’m desperate to get up there and join them but we’ll keep chipping away and hopefully get on the podium sooner rather than later.”
Johnny Blackshaw: “This podium’s been a long time coming so to finally get it is a really good feeling. To be fair, the bike’s the best thing out there so we should be on the podium week in week out but we’ve had a bit of bad luck at some of the rounds, which have prevented it from happening. Everything’s come together this weekend though so, hopefully, this is the shape of things to come.”
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “It’s been a brilliant weekend from the start and although there were a few little niggles with the bikes, there was nothing major and we actually had a 1-2-3 in two of the sessions which was fantastic. It’s such a competitive class and it’s so hard to be up the front all the time but the team are working so well with the riders doing the same on the track so we really can’t ask for anymore at the moment. Glen just got out front and did his own thing on Saturday and although Billy was disappointed to finish fourth, it gave him that added incentive for Sunday’s race and it showed!
“As well as the race wins, it was also a good weekend for Luke and Johnny too and their confidence is increasing all the time. Luke put in two brilliant races whilst the podium was just what Johnny needed so it really has been a fantastic weekend.”