This weekend signals the opening round of the 2022 KMSC Bike Racing Championships. Over 130 riders will make their way to Fife this weekend to participate in two days of full-on racing. As with every passing year there are a few changes up and down the paddock, let’s have a quick look at this weekend’s entry list and pick out some notable names.
In terms of race action for fans this weekend… there will be plenty. 28 races split between seven different main-championship classes. But the main action of course will come from the top billing Superbike and Clubman Class – sponsored by Shirlaw’s Motorcycles.
Defending Champion, Callum Grigor heads back to see if he can defend the KMSC Superbike title he claimed in 2021. Sadly, the Gilfillan brothers (Greg & Sean) are taking a sabbatical this year and that means we need some other riders to compete at the front – of which there are plenty of candidates. Multiple champion, Bruce Burnie; his teammate Willie Monie, and of course entering the Superbike fray this year is 2021 Formula 600 Champion, Lewis Paterson. Not to mention, KMSC lap record holder and British Championship regular Matt Paulo who has also entered this weekend.
This weekend will actually be the second round of races for the Scottish Championship and judging by the first weekend we could be in for some exhilarating racing at the front with Paterson already chalking up a first win of the season. Bruce Birnie also claimed a win at the opening event of the year, with Willie Monie taking two solid 2nd places first time out.
In the Clubman side of things, former Champions Andy Buchanan and last year’s winner Steven Paterson move into the Superbike reckoning for 2022, that leaves a vacant opportunity for a new name to be added to the Clubman trophy for 2022. With nine championship hopefuls set to lock horns this weekend, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top this weekend.
With Paterson moving up to the Superbike class, that also leaves an open berth at the head of the Formula 600 Championship sponsored by Kirkcaldy Kawasaki. Arguably, Bruce Birnie could be a candidate for the title if he commits to the full season, but there is certainly an opportunity for a new name to stake a claim to the 2022 title.
Kenny Thirlwall was competitive in 2021 following his switch from the Lightweight category; Harry Pullar could be another candidate after winning the Pre-Injection 600 Championship last year, he’ll move up to the 600cc category hoping to build on that hard-fought championship win last year. Elsewhere, Oliver Barr moves up from Lightweights, Owen Fozzard – a former KMSC Champion –returns to the Formula 600 ranks this year alongside another experienced racer Jon Dickie. We won’t make any championship predictions at this point, but it will be great to see who rises to the top of the field this weekend.
The Lightweight class has a new sponsor for 2022 in the shape of AutoPerfekt with owner and racer Paul Marshall entering the fold on his Aprilla. Owen Paterson had a strong season last year and will be looking to piece together another title tilt in 2022 – indeed Owen will be one of three Paterson children on the grid this season with younger sister Zoe set to line up on a F300 this season. Elsewhere in the class, National competitor Keo Walker joins the grid this weekend and CB500 Scottish Champion from 2021, Ross McCulloch moves up to the Lightweight class for 2022. We’ll also have some competitors lining up on F400 machinery and they’ll battle it out for their own Championship title within the Lightweight races (For Rod Walker :-)).
The KMSC and Scottish Championship Pre-Injection 600 grid will see 22 racers line up for the off on Saturday with Kyle Harper and Michael McKinnon set to reignite their thrilling rivalry from last year. Both riders pushed Harry Pullar all the way to the end in the title battle and we’re sure they’ll be hoping to take top spot this season. That said, Jonny Stewart currently leads the Scottish Pre Injection Championship standings following a brace of victories at East Fortune back in April – will he reign supreme at Knockhill this weekend.
The KMSC and Scottish Championship CB500 class returns for 2022 with more strong numbers. 22 riders will take the start on Saturday with Finn Chalk back to defend the KMSC title secured at the very last round ahead of Ross McCulloch in 2021. That said, old foe Keith Shepherd re-enters the fray and Mark Fearn – blindingly fast on his day – will have his own aspirations towards a title challenge in 2022.
There are a few new names in the F300 category with Kade Watt and Liam Kiernan making their debuts this weekend at the tender age of 12 years old. F300 champion from 2021 Brandon Russell returns to see if he can fend off a strong line-up of young riders eager to make their way up the bike racing ladder. Perhaps, one day we’ll see one of these young riders grace the BSB stage like Rory Skinner – who started his big circuit career in this very class.
With the Isle of Man TT on the horizon, we have a number of front-running Sidecar entries here this weekend. Most notably, British F2 Championship and Jock Taylor Memorial Trophy winners Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie are here to test their F2 in preparation for their tilt at the TT trophy races this year. Similarly, the pairing of Greg Lambert and Ben McBride may also be using this weekend to iron any kinks out of their outfit before visiting the island. However, with 18 outfits ready for competition this weekend, with some mightily experienced pairings in the ranks, we should see some terrific three-wheeled action this weekend.
If you fancy joining us for a weekend of thrilling bike race action, tickets can be booked online via the Knockhill website, or simply head along to the gate on the day and make payment as you enter.
Hope to see you here!