Knockhill

BSB – Dixon propels himself into BSB premier league with Knockhill victories

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Jake Dixon propelled himself into the premier league of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill as the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider followed up his debut win in the opening race to make it a double after an epic second contest in Scotland.

Dixon got his day off to a flying start in the opening race, celebrating a classy debut win in race one as the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider hit the front of the chasing pack and held off Luke Mossey to seal an emotional victory.

On the opening lap Dixon fired off the front row of the grid to lead the pack as Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Jason O’Halloran clipped on the run into turn one for the first time, pushing them down the order.

At the front James Ellison was tucked in behind Dixon with Mossey in close contention, but O’Halloran had made back some places and he was soon on the attack and by the start of lap four, the pair had pushed Ellison back to fourth.

Ellison fought back a lap later at the Hairpin to pass O’Halloran, but on lap six the McAMS Yamaha rider slid out of contention at turn three. O’Halloran was soon coming under pressure from his Honda Racing team-mate Dan Linfoot; the Australian was pushed back a place at the Hairpin, but Linfoot lost the front end on the brakes and tipped out of contention.

The leading pair of Dixon and Mossey had edged an advantage but the battle for third then became a three-way fight between O’Halloran, Byrne and home hero Taylor Mackenzie who was having his strongest performance of the season for Bennetts Suzuki.

Byrne was pushing to make a move and on lap 16 the Be Wiser Ducati rider emerged ahead after a decisive move at the Hairpin. The defending champion was able to hold off O’Halloran to the chequered flag to cross the line third behind Dixon and Mossey.

Josh Brookes had been pushing to bag the points for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team, but the Australian was another rider to crash out at the Hairpin unhurt.

Mackenzie scored his best result in fifth place with Peter Hickman moving to sixth for Smiths Racing BMW after Bradley Ray crashed out unhurt on the Buildbase Suzuki. John Hopkins ended the race in seventh place for Moto Rapido Ducati with Sylvain Guintoli, Lee Jackson and Michael Laverty completing the top ten.

Dixon then further cemented himself as a Showdown contender by following up his debut win in the opening race to make it a double after an epic second contest in Scotland.

Dixon had hit the front of the field on the opening lap to stake his claim from the start, holding off Mossey and Ellison with Linfoot and Byrne in the hunt. The opening laps saw an incredible dice between the leading group with Mossey and Ellison exchanging blows five times in one lap as they battled for the advantage at the front.

As the lead continued to change Dixon then made his move and he was defending hard until the seventh lap when Mossey then reclaimed the position at the front of the field. As the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider bid to make a counter attack, Ellison then fired his McAMS Yamaha into second place with Byrne stalking in fourth.

Byrne and Dixon were then inseparable and the defending champion made a move to put himself back into a podium position and relegate the race one winner into fourth place. At the front Mossey had edged a marginal lead but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki lost the ground with a mistake and it allowed his rivals to return to striking distance.

Ellison was first to take the advantage as the McAMS Yamaha hit the front to push Mossey back to second as Dixon moved to third to push Byrne back into fourth as the final five lap sprint beckoned.

Dixon then made a decisive move on Mossey to push the new championship leader back into third and into the clutches of Byrne, who waited until the final two laps to make his move and return to the podium for the second time today.

Dixon stalked Ellison and a last gasp attempt to make a move for the win put the young gun ahead which he held to the chequered flag to claim his second win ahead of Ellison and Byrne. Mossey narrowly missed out on the podium with Brookes returning to the top five for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team.

Linfoot was the leading Honda Racing contender in sixth place, just ahead of his team-mate O’Halloran with Michael Laverty, Hickman and Billy McConnell completing the top ten.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, race one result:

  1. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki)
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +3.740s
  3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +6.159s
  4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +6.670s
  5. Taylor Mackenzie (Bennetts Suzuki) +9.907s
  6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.730s
  7. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +15.038s
  8. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +17.152s
  9. Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW) +17.481s
  10. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +21.952s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, Race two result:

  1. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki)
  2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.437s
  3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.473s
  4. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +2.201s
  5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +4.610s
  6. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +5.502s
  7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.571s
  8. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +6.995s
  9. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.341s
  10. Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +10.022s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Knockhill:

  1. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 141
  2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 111
  3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 90
  4. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 86
  5. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 83
  6. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 78
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BSB – leading duo claim a win apiece at Knockhill

MCE British Superbike Championship

Honda Racing

British Superbike Championship titans Leon Haslam and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne claimed a win apiece at the fourth round at Knockhill in an incredible pair of races.

In the opening dry race at the Scottish circuit Kawasaki’s Haslam served up his third victory of the season after an intense fight for the win with Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot.

As the race got underway Jason O’Halloran had hit the front of the pack from Haslam and John Hopkins, with the ‘Pocket Rocket’ hitting the lead with a decisive move on the third lap. As the pair diced for the lead, Byrne was pushing to move up the order, but crashed out on the fourth lap at the Hairpin, collecting Briggs Equipment BMW’s Jake Dixon as he fell.

The incident bought out the safety car and the pack formed up with Haslam leading Hopkins. By Lap 11 Hopkins was looking menacing at the front, briefly taking the lead for the ePayMe Yamaha team, but as they streamed down to the Hairpin Haslam made a strong move to regain the lead.

Linfoot was also on the move, pushing ahead of Hopkins to go second as Luke Mossey carved his way through the field and then also made a move on the American to move into third.

Linfoot then began piling the pressure on Haslam for the lead, regaining the position on the run into Turn One. However, just two laps later Haslam repaid the move with a pass down the inside into the Hairpin and the pair continued to trade blows, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider crossed the line to claim the win.

Mossey held off Hopkins to take third, becoming the tenth different rider to claim a podium finish this season with Peter Hickman closing on the leading quartet to score fifth position from Richard Cooper on the Buildbase BMW.

Race Two saw conditions completely change and Be Wiser Ducati’s Byrne bounced back from his crash in the opening race to claim victory, scything his way through the pack before an intense scrap at the front.

Linfoot had initially hit the front ahead of Hopkins, but the positions rapidly changed as Hickman and Haslam moved ahead of the American.

Hickman was hounding Linfoot and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider pulled a move at the Hairpin to take the lead. However, Linfoot instantly responded, repaying the move to head back into the lead.

As Linfoot and Hickman diced at the front, race one winner Haslam and Byrne had moved into third and fourth respectively and soon the ‘Pocket Rocket’ was trading blows with his team-mate ahead of him. Haslam finally moved ahead of Hickman at the Hairpin with Byrne following him.

Byrne then pulled a pass on championship leader Haslam, moving into second before both Byrne and Haslam took advantage of a mistake by Linfoot when he ran wide, pushing the Honda Racing rider back into third.

Haslam then claimed the lead from Byrne and the leading two riders in the standings then diced intensely for the advantage. Linfoot wasn’t done though, and he moved back to the front of the trio with a move on the 25th lap. However, just one lap later Byrne was back ahead.

Four-time champion Shakey then wasn’t giving an inch and he edged away as the battle for the final podium positions intensified. Linfoot stayed ahead of Haslam, but in the final three laps a hard-charging Ellison continued to move up the order, passing Haslam and then mugging Linfoot for second place at the line.

Hickman surged ahead to fourth in the closing laps ahead of O’Halloran and Haslam who dropped to sixth after suffering with visor problems. Richard Cooper continued his run of strong point scoring finishes in seventh ahead of Tommy Bridewell turned his weekend around to score an eighth place for Bennetts Suzuki.

Howie Mainwaring and Christian Iddon completed the top ten, but it was disappointment for John Hopkins and Glenn Irwin who both crashed out unhurt.

Race One winner Haslam was bullish after the weekend, claiming he could have had a brace of wins bar the visor incident. He said: “We’ve extended the Championship lead over this weekend, but for me it should have been a very easy second win. With ten to 12 laps to go I couldn’t see anything, and I dropped nearly three to four seconds a lap at the end, it wasn’t anything to do with the bike it was purely because I couldn’t see.

“I felt good, I felt the pace I had at the front I could have gone quicker at any point but I just couldn’t see. I’m feeling pretty confident heading into Snetterton, I have a test in between in Japan but we will take the positives from this weekend.”

Race Two winner Byrne relished crossing the line first in challenging conditions. He Said: “It was a difficult second race to be honest. Before we started one of my mechanics said to me it is a long race and you are starting from the fourth row, there are a lot of chances for things to go wrong!

“I got to second quite quickly, then I got in the lead and then Leon passed me. I followed him for a bit and I felt quite happy there, then Dan Linfoot passed me and I thought ‘this isn’t in the plan, I don’t want to go backwards!’

“I got to the front, I had a few little issues to deal with and made a few mistakes and with all the work that I gave the Be Wiser Ducati team this weekend they deserved that win. I had two crashes this weekend and that isn’t like me, so thanks to them – it is onwards and upwards now!”

BSB – Bryne dominates for Scottish double

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Defending BSB champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne has set himself up perfectly for his home round of Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time  by scoring a Scottish double at Knockhill, holding off the challenges from his closest rivals in two intense races.

Byrne took the lead in the opening race with a decisive move over his team-mate Stuart Easton at the Hairpin on the opening lap and despite the Scot trying everything in his power to fight back, it wasn’t enough and he had to settle for a podium finish.

Michael Laverty had claimed second place on the Tyco BMW after a late surge to pass Australian Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha at the Hairpin, but following a review by Race Direction he was later issued a one second penalty for overtaking in a yellow flag zone which dropped him back to fourth. The issued penalty moved Easton to second ahead of Brookes.

The second race started with Laverty hitting the front of the field on the Tyco BMW from Easton and Byrne with Brookes in fourth place. Laverty was defending hard until Byrne made a move to take the lead on the 13th lap and then the pack were dicing for positions when the race was red flagged for a sharp rain shower.

The 11-lap restarted sprint race to the finish was held in dry conditions and Byrne hit the front, holding off the attack from Easton and Brookes as a rejuvenated Ryuichi Kiyonari claimed fourth place for Buildbase BMW after a race one crash.

Jason O’Halloran completed the top five for Honda Racing but it was disappointment for James Ellison at Knockhill as he crashed out of the opening race and then was forced to retire with a technical problem in the second race.

A delighted Shakey said: “It might have looked easy, but I can tell you it wasn’t! The first race was long and the pace was not as quick and I had expected it to be, but I was desperate to be in front.

“In the second race I was one of the riders who put my hand up to get the race stopped. There are people saying if it had run another lap or so it would have been two thirds distance and a result declared – OK, I would still have the win, but to those people I would say come and ride at 155mph into the first turn with rain and see what it is like – it had to be stopped for safety reasons.

“I had a plan for the sprint race and  that was to start at the front and finish at the front. I was able to push hard and the bike was perfect and I can’t wait for Brands Hatch now!”

BSB – Brookes all set for Scottish challenge

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Milwaukee Yamaha head north of the border this weekend (3-5 July) as the team get set for the fifth round of the British Superbike Championship and aim to add to their podium-finishing performances.

Josh Brookes was back on the podium at the previous round of Snetterton with a pair of second place finishes and is edging ever closer to the first victory in the championship for the next generation YZF-R1. The Fife circuit requires tenacity and determination and Brookes is eager to box off his first victory of his 2015 campaign this weekend.

Title contender Brookes said: “I have had mixed results at Knockhill in the past, I have had wins there but last year we just couldn’t perform like we would have wanted to and so this year we are definitely hoping for more. I am hoping to recover the pace that we had when I claimed victories there and I think the new Milwaukee Yamaha will react differently to the previous model like we have seen at other tracks.

“I want to get out there and do the job, which ultimately is to screw the life out of it until we get the results that we know we are capable of and I have the desire as always to win.”