Round 4 - Knockhill - MCE Insurance British Superbikes

MCE Insurance

After a six week break the riders and teams of the MCE BSB made the long trip up to Scotland for Round 4 of MCE BSB. Knockhill circuit was the venue for the epic battle on the weekend of the 14th - 16th of June and it did not disappoint. Knockhill is a short circuit with lots of tight and twisty corners and not much room for passing so it promised some exiting racing.

Fridays free practice sessions saw the usual suspects at the sharp end but a big surprise to many was that Ryuichi Kiyonari was back on the pace. He was second quickest behind his teammate Alex Lowes in FP1 and 6th quickest in FP2. During the break he's been back in Japan and also riding some motocross, whatever he's done it's great to see him back on form. Martin Jessopp had a massive off on the BMW which left him with a broken coxis and ended his weekend before it had even begun.

FP3 on Saturday saw Josh Brookes top the table with champ Shane Byrne way down the times but the feeling was he was just waiting for his moment to pounce. In qualifying he did just that. Q1 saw trouble for the Milwaukee Yamahas. Team principle Shaun Muir said that they were having lots of problems getting the bikes set up right for the weekend. Waters was well off the pace and did not get into Q2, Ellison managed a flying lap right at the end of the session which just got him through. Brookes led the riders out in Q2 and gave his teammate PJ Jacobsen a tow helping him get through to Q1. In the final stages of Q2, Robin Harms and Pete Hickman both had an off which meant the session got red flagged. Organisers decided to restart the session with only a minute to go. Bridewell sat in tenth at that point, he and the 6 other riders after that last qualifying spot headed back onto track and managed to all get a flying lap in. Keith Farmer on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki was quickest and pushed Bridewell out of Q1. Shakey decided then to pull out the fast laps, breaking the lap record in the process with a 48.333, Brookes almost matched him with a 48.343 and took second spot on the grid. The rest of the top ten were as follows, Lowes, Kirkham, Kiyonari, Jacobsen, Westmoreland, Farmer, Hickman, Walker.

Raceday came around and the sunshine shone down on the Scottish circuit, fans from all over the country descended on Knockhill making up the best attendance in 5 years. In the warm up session in the morning Danny Buchan had a big off and wrecked his bike and his elbow which ended his weekend. The rest of the riders lined up for Race 1 and it wasn't long before the revs were up and the race was a go. Brookes was quick off the line and took the lead from Shakey into turn one, followed by Alex and Kiyo. As the early laps progressed the front four started to edge away from the rest, before long Kiyo who was still sitting in fourth set the fastest lap, he's definitely on the way back to form. Then disaster for the Samsung Honda team as Alex lost the back end at the hairpin and high sided almost taking out his teammate who was running behind him. That gave the front two a three second gap over Kiyo making it a two horse race. Back down the order Kirkham, on the Buildbase BMW, was having a real battle with Farmer for 4th. Knockhill is a track not suited to Kirkham's style but the big man did his best to hold off the youngster. Shakey then finally made his move on Brookes on lap 26 at the hairpin, he attempted to out brake the Aussie but ran wide letting Brookes back through. On lap 27 he did the same move to perfection and made it stick. From there on he sailed to victory. Kirkha's battle with Farmer ended in disaster when he crashed out at Scotmans in the final laps of the race.

Race 1 Results

  1. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  2. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  3. 23 Ryuichi KIYONARI Samsung Honda
  4. 303 Keith FARMER - GBmoto Honda
  5. 9 Chris WALKER - Quattro Plant Kawasaki
  6. 27 James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW
  7. 77 James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha
  8. 4 Dan LINFOOT - GBmoto Honda
  9. 99 PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  10. 60 Peter HICKMAN - GBmoto Honda

Race 2 saw Lowes start from the front of the grid as he set the fastest lap in race 1 before he crashed out. Brookes and Kiyo were along side him with Shakey behind on the second row. Tommy Bridewell's bike had an electrical fault and gave up on him and he had to retire from the race before it began. As the flag was dropped and the riders left the line and somehow the reigning champ managed to squeeze his way through the front three and to the front of the pack as they went into turn 1. Ellison immediately crashed out and was sent flying onto the grass, Rutter who was close behind had to follow suit as Ellison was blocking his line. Not the best race for the Bathams Hondas. Shakey led and started to gap the rest by about a second. Lowes was trying to stay with him but was getting pestered by Brookes who had a point to prove after race 1. Kiyo was next in line followed by the consistent Chris Walker on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki. Brookes passed Lowes and began the march towards Shakey, but the champ was getting faster and faster. Back down the order Westmoreland and Farmer were battling for 6th. There was a big train of bikes behind PJ Jacobsen on the Tyco Suzuki in 8th, Kirkham, Hickman, Linfoot, Mainwairing, Harms and Smrz were all chopping and changing trying to get a foothold on a position. Tinmouth and Josh Waters on the Milwaukee Yamaha retired at around lap 10 both having problems with their bikes. Michael Howarth, team manager and rider slowed up at this point and started to creep round the track, he would eventually also retire. Back at the front Shakey had a 2 second gap with Brookes following. Lowes seemed to have lost some pace and his teammate found some and was beginning to catch him. Meanwhile in the battle for 6th Farmer went in too hot at the hairpin and ran wide and off the track, he got back on unscathed but was now in 15th. In the mid section Kirkham also ran wide at the hairpin letting Jacobsen and Hickman through. Kiyo made a move on Alex at turn 1 and made it stick. The 3 times Champion was performing like we all knew he could. Linfoot and Mainwairing were battling for 10th with Baiocco on the Moto Rapido Ducati following close behind. With 5 laps to go Shakey seemed to be slowing and let Brookes, who was pushing his Tyco Suzuki to its limits, catch up. There was not enough time for a pass though and Byrne took his second win of the weekend.

    Race 2 - Results:

  1. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  2. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  3. 23 Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda
  4. 22 Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  5. 9 Chris WALKER - Quattro Plant Kawasaki
  6. 27 James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW
  7. 99 PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  8. 10 Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW
  9. 60 Peter HICKMAN - GBmoto Honda
  10. 43 Howie MAINWAIRING - MH Kawasaki

Club MCE members had a great couple of days at Knockhill enjoying all sorts of benefits and experiences including, a day with Eurosport, Official Pit Crew with Quattro Plant Kawasaki, grid walks, Pillion Laps and Safety car laps to name a few. 'Hang out with a rider' took place with big man Jon Kirkham giving club members the chance to ask him about his move from Honda to BMW and how he thinks his season is going. Tracy and Scott Dickson got married on Friday at the circuit and Club MCE sorted her out a meet up with riders and Big Ed as well as giving out the trophies in Race 2! A fantastic weekend had by all!

Next round is Snetterton on the 5th, 6th, 7th of July. Keep up to date with Big Ed's Facebook for all the live updates, news and gossip around the paddock.

Top Six in the Championship:

  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

For Full results visit the MCE BSB website.

18.06.13 - Big Ed

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