British Superbike Championship, Knockhill

by Mark Rowe

After posting his debut podium for Tyco BMW in this season’s British Superbike Championship with a hard-fought second place in race one – Michael Laverty was later demoted to fourth place after receiving a one second time penalty – for allegedly overtaking in a yellow flag zone.

Luck also deserted Laverty in race two: after leading for long periods from his pole position spot, he could not maintain the same pace in the re-start due to an electrical problem, after the race was red flagged for rain. Laverty eventually took sixth place in the 11-lap sprint race that determined the race two result.

It was a difficult weekend for Tommy Bridewell who crashed out of British Superbike race two following a seventh placed finish in the opening 30-lap encounter. Alastair Seeley was also on the wrong side of good fortune this weekend: the National Superstock 1000cc rider crashed out of the lead on lap three of the Pirelli sponsored series.

Michael Laverty said afterwards: “I’m angry yet satisfied that we were fighting for race wins today, which is a first for me this season. I’m feeling more at home on the Tyco BMW, so a big thank you must go to the team for their hard work to get me there. In race one I felt really strong in the latter stages; I made a few hard moves to finish in second place, but unfortunately I got penalised back to fourth due to making a move in a yellow flag zone. Neither Josh [Brookes] or myself saw any flags, as the incident happened as we arrived at the corner, but rules are rules so I must take it on the chin. I led for a long time in race two before the rain came; then for the restart we had an electronic problem on the grid, which caused me to go backwards instead of fighting for that win again. I’m feeling frustrated tonight but satisfied with my riding and really positive about the rest of the season as we have not reached our full potential yet.”

Tommy Bridewell said: “It’s been a tough weekend from start to finish and I’ve given the boys plenty of work to do with two crashes. We are still in the all-important top six and we will put Knockhill behind us and look forward to putting in two strong races at Brands Hatch.” Alastair Seeley: “I had a good last sector pace and was trying to break them, but got a little more lean angle when I was attacking, which caused the crash after clipping the kerb at turn three with my footpeg. I’m really disappointed as I felt we could have taken 25 points today and applied the pressure a little on Elliott at the top of the table. My S1000RR is working really well so we must now look forward to Brands Hatch.”

Philip Neill – Team Manager, said: “After a weekend that promised so much for us, we really do feel like we are leaving Knockhill with a lot less than we deserved. Alastair was odds on for another race win after dominating every session during the weekend, however he unfortunately made a small mistake which delivered a heavy penalty. “In Superbike we are very pleased with the progress made with the S1000RR. After setting a respectable lap time after only six laps Tommy suffered a heavy crash and really struggled to catch up the lost time after that. A decent result in race one however set him up for a push towards the front in race two and after recording a strong 48.5 lap time, he unfortunately suffered another crash ending his race.

“Michael showed his full potential this weekend, and as he is now finding a comfort zone with the BMW, we have high hopes for the remainder of the season. Despite receiving a heavy penalty for apparently passing under a yellow flag in race one – which dropped him to fourth place – in my eyes Michael fully deserved his second place. He leaves Knockhill just outside the top six, so we are really looking forward to Brands Hatch and the remaining rounds this season with both our riders on BMW Motorrad machinery.”

British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, amended race one result:

Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
2. Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +0.495s
3. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) +0.952s
4. Michael Laverty* (Tyco BMW) 1.345s
5. Jason O’Halloran (Honda) +3.657s
6. Danny Buchan (Kawasaki) +5.360s
7. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +9.178s
*Laverty received a 1 second time penalty for overtaking in a yellow flag zone

Knockhill, race two result:
Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +0.436s
Josh Brookes (Yamaha) +0.771s
Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW) +4.518s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda) +5.064s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +6.134s

British Superbike Championship standings after Knockhill:
Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) 201
Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 163
Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) 135
James Ellison (Kawasaki) 118
Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 96
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) 86

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