The biggest news of the opening Bennetts BSB qualifying session was the elimination of Tarran Mackenzie from proceedings following a crash at Turn 1. Mackenzie had jumped to P1 in the session, but another fall at Duffus, his second of the day left him sweating on the side-lines for the remainder of the session. Unfortunately, there were further improvements from Haslam, Vickers, Ray, Kent, Mossey and finally Andrew Irwin who eventually edged Tarran out of the running.
That leaves Mackenzie with a row six start for the opening eBay Sprint Race later today at 4:430pm. The McAMS Yamaha team should manage to fix the bike and get Taz back in the hunt later this afternoon – if he’s had any luck in 2022… it’s been nothing but bad luck for the defending champion.
Moving in Q2, with the top 12 riders from yesterday joining the Q1 qualifiers from today, it was Rory Skinner who went straight to the top of the time sheets in the opening laps. Then Brad Ray arrived with a stunning 47.131s lap – the fastest 2-wheel lap ever at Knockhill. Over the session, there were further improvements for Buchan, Bridewell and Iddon, whilst both Vickers and Skinner would fall and fail to end the session.
In the end, another super lap from Jason O’Halloran in the 47.1 bracket rocketed him into P2 on the grid for the opening race of the day this afternoon. Lee Jackson took third place for the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki team with Danny Buchan making additional improvements to his lap time to round out the session in P4.
Rory Skinner will start the first race of the weekend from the second row and he’ll be joined by Kyle Ryde – making it three Yamahas in the top six here at Knockhill.
“I’m really happy with that. We had a tough day yesterday and only had a handful of laps. But the bike is feeling mint and I’m feeling good,” commented a delighted Ray.
Jason O’Halloran who takes up a front row berth for the eBay Sprint Race said:
“I’m really happy with that. I couldn’t get a clean lap early on. But once I posted that 47.1s lap, I knew that would be good enough for the front row.”
Jackson, who is having a great start to his 2022 campaign was equally pleased to be starting on the front row for race one:
“That’s my first front row start I’ve managed to secure in BSB from qualifying. We tested here at the start of June, the bike and the team are working well.”
The first race of the weekend gets underway at 4:30pm today. The action should be very-close and it will be interesting to see if anyone can halt the progress of the Yamahas.