BSB Stock 600 Round 5 – Knockhill
After missing the previous round at Snetterton and having to retire at Donington Park due to electrical issues, it was nice to get back out and back on it at Knockhill! Massive thanks to Paul at Dynobike for resolving the electrical issues. I knew this round was going to be a challenge as we had never raced there before and the majority of the field had, plus some riders were at an official test there a few weeks previous, so we were up against it from the start but nonetheless we were keen to show what we can do.
Free Practice 1
I just did as many laps as I could to learn the circuit and get an understanding of how the bike was handling. I did 30 laps and we finished P22 with a time of 53.76, so there were plenty of improvements to be made.
Free Practice 2
We changed one or two things on the bike and I was starting to get to grips with what is a very tricky and technical circuit, very different to the circuits on the calendar. We finished P20 in that with a time of 52.87, so we took a big chunk of time out in that session and although we were quite a way down the field, I was happy to be improving every time we went out.
Qualifying and Warm Up
Qualifying came around and it was once again a glorious day. I felt a lot better on the bike and I felt quicker, but unfortunately we were not able to improve the position; finishing P21 with a best time of 52.08. I improved by nearly a second again so for my first time at the circuit it was definitely going in the right direction! 0.8 sec. separated 10th position all the way down to me in 21st, so it gives you an idea of how tight the times were!
The race came around and I got a mint start, probably the best I’d had all year, and I was instantly in the battle for a top 15 finish. I was running in a group of 5 and I felt really comfortable lapping in the 51’s, but there was sadly a big crash and the safety car came out for 3 laps. My bike after that felt a lot worse and I was struggling for grip and to get it stopped; the same thing happened at Oulton Park earlier in the year. After a few laps I got back into my rhythm running 15th and I caught the two lads in 13th and 14th and I was lapping quicker until the penultimate lap where I hit a false neutral and dropped two places. On the final lap i was pushing hard and nearly crashed twice so i had to just settle for 17th which was frustrating because i thought we had the pace for much more than that.
I was disappointed on missing out on a points scoring finish, but i was pleased with the progress over the weekend on a track i’d never been to, so its certainly something to build on for the rest of the season.