Round 5 - British Superstock 1000 Championship - Knockhill

Round 5 - British Superstock 1000 Championship - Knockhill

Round 5 of the British Superstock 1000 championship was held in the rolling hills of Scotland at Knockhill Racing Circuit over the weekend. The shortest circuit on the calendar makes for close and exciting racing and it is a track I always enjoy going to. Albeit probably one of the hardest tracks on the calendar to ride a 1000cc around.

We had two free practice sessions on Friday, I felt quite comfortable on the bike, but there were a few areas we could improve in the handling of the set up of the bike. We finished Friday in 10th position but with my feelings of the bike and the team going over the data we found some good areas we could look to improve on for Qualifying and race one on Saturday.

Saturdays Qualifying got off to a good start, and I improved the lap time posted on Friday within 3 laps of taking to the track, I went on to better this time further before crashing mid way through the session whilst 5th in class for the race later on in the afternoon. As there was still 15 minutes to go when I crashed it was a waiting game to see where I would end up. After what felt like a long wait, the session was chequered flagged and I had slipped down to 8th overall. This gave the boys quite a bit of work to do to get the bike ready for the race later that afternoon, but as usual they worked tirelessly to get me out on the grid for the race.

The 20 lap race got underway and I was sitting comfortably in 9th position when around lap 6 I could feel my right boot being dragged on the ground. I glanced down and realised my boot had somehow come undone, which was forcing my foot off the foot peg every time I went around a right hand corner. I tried to persevere to finish the race but it was becoming too dangerous and I had to make the difficult decision to retire from the race. After the crash in the morning, I desperately wanted to repay my team with a solid result and to have to retire due to this was hugely upsetting. Definitely something to put behind us and be positive we could have another crack at it on Sunday.

Lap times from Saturdays race determine the grid starting position for Sunday, and my time in the race meant I would start from P16 on Sunday, the weather at Knockhill is ever changing and up until about 30 minutes before the race my team were waiting to make a decision on what set up to go ahead with, and it was decided that even though it wasn’t raining it had been and the track was still wet enough for a fully wet set up. This was definitely the right decision as when we were on the grid, the heavens opened. I managed to get a good start and was up to 11th. From mid way through the race the conditions worsened, and was quite possibly the worst conditions I have ever had to race in. At this point I just wanted to bring the bike home after what had happened earlier in the weekend, and I crossed the line in P14.

I feel like we showed some good pace at points over the weekend, but not in the races, when it really mattered. We need to put weekends like that behind us and look forward to the next one, which this time we don’t have long to wait as we are back on the bike in 5 days time as a support class to World Superbikes at Donington Park. Donington Park is where I got my first ever British podium and British win so I can’t wait to get back on the Aprilia RSV4 there and keep enjoying riding this amazing bike for such a great team around me.

A big thank you to my main sponsor, AJN Steelstock, IN Competition Aprilia and everyone involved, for always having my back. I will continue to work hard and gain further experience to be fighting up the sharp end in one of the toughest classes in the British Championship!