A blistering weekend of sunshine welcomed the latest rounds of the Scottish and KMSC bike racing Championships to Knockhill, which featured a bumper 142 rider entry for the first Reverse Circuit meeting of the season. Additionally the paddocks were filled with the sights and sounds of iconic 2-wheeled machinery from the 70s, 80s and 90s – as part of our third running Rewind Festival.
KMSC Club President Niall Mackenzie was also on hand to witness the racing and generally catch up with the Club; however, more importantly for him, it was an ideal opportunity to debut his Yamaha RD400 which he has painstakingly restored over the past 15 months. Here’s what he a had to say after the first trackday session of the day:
“I always wanted to own one back in my youth (an RD400) and managed to find this bike, as scrap really about 15 months ago, and did a complete nut and bot restoration on it; today’s actually the first time I’ve rode it and it’s mint, absolutely perfect.
“You know it’s great to come and see some of these old bikes, some of them more than 40 years old. A soon as you see them, hear them and smell them they bring back so many memories from back in the day.
“It’s also great to come back up for catch up; our Club’s in a great place right now, there’s a lot of trust been built up with all those people who have supported it throughout the years; it has a real family atmosphere about it, the grids are filling up and we’re attracting more youngsters to the sport… and honestly, I’ve been blown away by the standard of machinery and attention to detail out there; everyone’s making a massive effort and I certainly really appreciate it; as does everyone at the Club.”
Niall certainly enjoyed his ride out during the Rewind tracks sessions and was joined by a few familiar faces including young Moto3 Junior World Championship rider Rory Skinner – aboard his Dad’s stunning LC 350. Rory was also on hand to pick up a sponsorship cheque from Alan Duffus – who along with his team and joined in the festivities to celebrate 40 years in business; whilst offering demonstrator rides aboard some of Yamaha’s latest flagship models to prospective customers in the paddock.
As for the racing action on track, the blistering sunshine provided ideal racing conditions for each of the seven championship classes; here’s a quick run down of what happened in each class over the course of the weekend.
Superbike and Clubman supported by Scotwaste:
It was the usual suspects in the Superbike class at the head of the field – Bruce Birnie, John Dean and Andrew Tasker provided another round of thrilling race action with approximately 1 second splitting the one-two finishers in each race. Birnie help the trump card this weekend taking three wins to Tasker’s two and setting the fastest time of the weekend, by posting a 50.939 sec lap during the final outing of the day. John Dean had to settle for three 3rd placed podiums whilst Kris Duncan secured his best two finishes of the season, ending up on the 3rd placed podium spot on two separate occasions.
A few highlights from the weekend:
In the Clubman series, it was a breakthrough weekend for both Graeme Bodel and Des Burns – taking out-right Clubman victories on-the-road, a welcome relief for both riders following a number of seasons in this class. Bodel triumphed in three races and followed that up with a number of strong podium spots for undoubtedly his best-ever KMSC points haul from a weekend. Burns took victory in one race with Rod Scott taking the other. Elsewhere, Kenny Paterson and David Prentice shared the remaining 3rd placed podiums by a score of four to one in Paterson’s favour.
In the Bitwise supported Superstock 600 Championship, there was a new name to add to the mix this weekend; Ryan Watson, back to bike racing following a 2 year sabbatical; the former BSB GP125 and Spanish Moto3 Championship runner, took the fight to the stand-out competitors in this class this weekend – Lewis Rollo, Ewan Gray and Paul McClung. Indeed, he even managed to secure a win on only his second outing aboard his Grant Racing supported machine following his return to racing this season. Ewan Gray also managed to wrestle a victory from Lewis Rollo who suffered some gearbox issues this weekend, and now faces a race against time to be ready for the BSB in two weeks time (24-26 June). In terms of times, this weekend saw four riders drop into that 51 second bracket – Lewis Rollo, Paul McClung (both consistently) and Ryan Watson and Callum Grigor. That all bodes well for the remainder of the season and if Watson, Grigor and Gray can add consistency to their game we might be in for a thrilling Superstock 600 season.
In the Scottish/Lightweight class sponsored by Shirlaw’s Motorcycles the race victories went to Paul McClung, who stole a march on his fellow competitors to seal all five on-the-road race wins aboard his ex-Dan Kneen Kawasaki. Following behind McClung on-the-road was Gillian McGaw in three of the races with Kris Duncan adding yet more silverware to his season’s tally with a couple of 2nd placed podiums on the day. The same pairing also took a brace of 3rd placed podiums each with Keith Dickie making a solitary appearance on the podium to round out the silverware winners. In the Fomrula 400 class, Ashley Robson maintained her fine run of form, securing her tenth straight win of the season.
Lewis Shand has been the dominant force in the Pre-Injection 600 class sponsored by Cupar Motorcycles this season, and that trend looks set to continue for the time-being following another multi race-winning performance from the Ladybank rider. Following Lewis home for some vital podium scores were Steven Haddow with four 2nd places (and one 3rd) and David McCafferty (2 x 3rd) and Kieran Murray two 3rd (and one 2nd) placed finishes.
Rishon Hickey remains at the head of the F125 Championship, following out-right victory in five of the races this weekend. James McLaren closed the gap to within a second on the Sunday but still had to settle for four 2nd placed trophies for his weekend’s work. Lewis Nicol, Cameron McPherson and Marc Gibson all stood on the 3rd placed rostrum over the weekend.
The weekend also saw a healthy entry for the Open Post Classic and Classic category with 10 entries aboard a variety of machinery. However, it was Jodie Chalk onboard her Honda CBR500 who would walk away with the majority of the race wins (four); with Neil Munro being her closest rival taking one win and three 2nd places over the course of the weekend. Dan James and Jimmy Shanks split the remaining podium spaces three to one!
Check out the latest Championship standings:
The next KMSC bike race meeting takes place on 6/7 August – tickets are on sale now via the Knockhill website. Hope you can make it; it really is a thrilling weekend of motorsport.