Podium return for Xavi Forés and Honda at Knockhill
Xavi Forés returned to the podium today after placing the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 third in today’s opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at Knockhill. With the British weather once again throwing everything it could at the Scottish circuit with rain earlier in the day, but warm temperatures, a drying track awaited the 30-lap race.
Lining up on the grid Forés had a clear view of the 1.3-mile circuit after taking pole position in yesterday’s qualifying, but as the lights went out he dropped back into second place after Tarran Mackenzie made his way past. Dropping to third briefly as Danny Buchan moved up, Forés moved back into second after a crash for Mackenzie. For the remainder of the race the Spaniard maintained his position and a second place finish looked to be on the cards. However on the 28th lap a charging Scott Redding made his way past, and Forés crossed the line third to take his fourth BSB podium of the 2019 season.
Teammate Andrew Irwin had a disaster of an opening race after crashing out, unhurt, on the 12th lap at Turn 3. Starting the race from the second row of the grid in fourth place, he had dropped back into sixth but had started to make his move back through the pack and was up to fifth when he crashed out.
Lining up for Race 2 the Honda duo were 13th and 14th respectively on the grid with some work ahead of them to make up places. Launching the Fireblades off the line both soon made progress with Irwin 10th and Forés 11th. Wanting to make up for the DNF in the first race, Irwin was on the hunt and set about tracking down the group ahead. Picking off his BSB rivals he had chased down fifth position.
On the 25th lap the race was red flagged due to track contamination and the results declared over two-thirds race distance, which saw Irwin secure fifth and Forés finish 12th. The results from the weekend see Forés maintain sixth place in the overall championship standings with Irwin ninth.
The National Superstock 1000 race was held in wet conditions this morning and a full-wet set-up was required for Tom Neave aboard the Fireblade. Starting from the second row of the grid Neave made a strong start off the line, but had dropped places by the first corner. With good battles on-track throughout the 24-lap race with his championship rivals, Neave at one point was tenth, but pulled it back to take the chequered flag eighth. The results from the weekend see the Superstock contender maintain his sixth place in the overall championship standings.
There is now a two-week break in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship and the series will return for Round 6 at Snetterton on 19/20/21 July. The National Superstock 1000 Championship will be in action next weekend (5/6/7 July) as they take to the track at Donington Park during the UK round of the World Championship.
Knockhill Circuit Statistics
1.3 miles (2km)
Lefthand : 3
Pole Postion : Right
BSB Lap Record: Leon Haslam - 47.462 (2018)