British Superbike Championship – Round 4, Knockhill
Josh Brookes collected a double podium at Knockhill British Superbike round earlier today with two fine second placed finishes behind double winner Shane Byrne. The Australian rider also received the Flying Haggis Award – in memory of the late great Steve Hislop – for the fastest lap of the weekend; presented by Steve’s mum Margaret and his sons Aaron and Conor Hislop.
19-year-old British Superbike rookie PJ Jacobsen enjoyed his best weekend to date in the premier class with ninth and seventh placed finishes at the 1.271-mile Scottish venue. In Supersport Taylor Mackenzie posted 14th and 11th placed finishes from his two outings over the weekend.
“In race one I wanted to lead and push to try and make a break on Shakey, but I hit a bit of a wall with my lap times, as the rear tyre was spinning up more than normal – maybe with the track temperature today. We did come together at one stage when he tried to make a pass but it’s wasn’t a big impact, but Shakey came back past and I had to settle for second.
“In race two it was mentally tough watching Shakey ride away from me, but it also spurred me on and I actually made some time back on him towards the end of the race. I just focused on narrowing it down bit-by-bit and seeing the gap come down gave me energy and encouragement.
“I did a brilliant lap to win the Steve Hislop Award, which is a great honour to receive, and we are now second in the championship. It’s all about moving forward now and trying to bridge that gap to Shakey from the next round at Snetterton at the start of July.”
“After a good qualifying and getting up to sixth in race one I got a little bit tense and suffered arm pump, so I was disappointed to drop down to ninth. Race two was a lot better and I was able to hold off the guys behind me. To come away with two top ten finishes at the most physical track I’ve ever ridden at is quite pleasing. There is absolutely no rest at this place and it’s maybe not a track to suit the smaller riders like myself, but you have to ‘man-up’ and today I think I’ve done that.”
“That second race was a lot better today and I was happy to score points, although it’s not quite where we need to be, which is inside that top ten at least. In saying that it was always going to be difficult from where I was starting on the grid, but taking the positives: I’ve posted my quickest ever lap around Knockhill and my ideal sector times are really only about a tenth of the front runners – so that’s encouraging. We need to get a decent run at Snetterton, but that’s the best the bike has been all year; it’s a real rocket ship so thanks to the boys in the team for their effort.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager:
“Knockhill hasn’t been that kind to us in the past in Superbike. And just coming off a busy period, it’s fair to say our expectations weren’t that high, but I’m very pleased with how Josh came away with two second places and the fastest lap of the weekend.
“There was a bit of pressure on him to be fair with people asking the question, was the road racing going to disrupt Josh in his BSB, and although we always believed that it wouldn’t – there’s always a chance that it could have. Although I believe it made him slightly sharper and definitely more determined.
“PJ as I’ve said all along, this year is a learning curve for him and he’s finally accepted that. He knows where his place is and he progressed all weekend and had a super weekend. Taylor had a bit of a struggle after a slip off on Saturday and had to start from 20th on the grid, which is never easy at such a small track. He showed determination and moved forward in both races so we have got to be happy with that.”
British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, race one result:
1. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.069s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +5.013s
4. Keith Farmer (Kawasaki) +16.821s
5. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +19.033s
6. James Westmoreland (BMW) +23.733s
7. James Ellison (Yamaha) +24.080s
8. Dan Linfoot (Honda) +24.214s
9. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +24.265s
10. Peter Hickman (Honda) +24.711s
British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, race two result:
1. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.814s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +8.637s
4. Alex Lowes (Honda) +12.723s
5. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +15.620s
6. James Westmoreland (BMW) +19.802s
7. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +23.382s
8. Jon Kirkham (BMW) +23.867s
9. Peter Hickman (Honda) +24.092s
10. Howie Mainwaring (Kawasaki) +31.061s
British Superbike Championship standings after race two:
1. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) 166
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 136
3. Alex Lowes (Honda) 130
4. James Ellison (Yamaha) 80
5. Jon Kirkham (BMW) 76
6. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) 65