The MCE British Superbikes Championship came to Knockhill Racing Circuit this past weekend. Round five of the Rock Oil sponsored event brought some great results for the supported teams.
Peter Hickman for RAF Reserves BMW picked up a further 13 championship points bringing his total to 44 and placing him 12th in the overall rider standings.
Rock supported Gearlink Kawasaki's Glenn Irwin had a fantastic weekend and took a win in the sprint race on Saturday and a solid third place on Sunday. Luke Hedger on the satellite team gained a sixth and eighth place. Ben Wilson once again was unfortunate to crash out of both races.
Glenn Irwin: "It was really good to fight for the win at Knockhill and once again I feel confident and competitive. The Gearlink Kawasaki team have once again worked really hard to make adjustments and improvements to the bike and I feel we have a great package now. To take the win and fairly is a great feeling and I want to thank everyone involved in making that happen."
Michael Rutter returned to the Gearlink Kawasaki team this weekend riding the Kawasaki ZX-10R, and he made some more improvements to the bike qualifying in 20th position on the grid for the opening race on Sunday. He had a great first race and managed to get the team their first ever Superbike Championship points when he secured 13th place.
Morello Racing enjoyed their best meeting of the year so far in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship with Josh Elliott taking his third win of the season and team-mate John Ingram finishing in an equally excellent third.
Josh Elliott: "It’s awesome to win again and with both Alastair and Hudson crashing out, I’ve been able to gain some good points today. My strategy was to get to the front as soon as possible as I was afraid Luke and Michael might get between Alastair and myself, which is exactly what happened! I kept calm though and tried to be as consistent as possible and it paid off. The BMW’s were really quick along the straight but once I knew they were both out, I rode my own race, keeping my eye on my pit board, and brought the bike home. We’ve extended our title lead by a good chunk today and maintaining consistency is what you need to do to win these Championships so we’ll keep plugging away."
John Ingram: "I’m absolutely made with today’s result and it’s the fruition of all our hard work. I’ve been getting stronger with each and every round, gelling more and more with the bike and the team, so a big thanks to Steve for sticking by me. We’ve had a bit of bad luck with electrical problems but I think this will be the turning point in our season and whilst I might not be the youngest rider on the grid, I can still give these youngsters a run for their money!"
In Speedway news Rock supported rider Tai Woffinden extended his World Championship lead after finishing fourth in the British Grand Prix. Woffinden fought and achieved 15 points with some excellent racing skills at the Cardiff event, leaving the fourth round 12 points ahead of his nearest rival. Although narrowly missing a victory in the final race, Tai is sure to be happy with a great performance.
Woffinden said: "It doesn’t really matter too much about the final, I scored as many points as I needed to and extended my lead in the Championship.
"It obviously would have been nice to win the meeting, but I did what I had to do – I scored plenty of points and points make prizes.
"I’ll take that forward now, I’m feeling good about things and I’m in a good position so I’ll just keep working hard and hopefully it will pay off at the end of the season."
Wildcard Craig Cook put on a great show and managed to bag seven points on to his current standing. Just shy of a place in the semi finals.
Round six of the MCE British Superbike Championship will be coming to Brands Hatch (hosting its annual 'Big Brands Bash') on Friday 17th July til Sunday 19th July. Including supporting events such as the FIM Sidecar World Championship, Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and 600 Championship and British Motostar. The next Speedway FIM World Championship event occurs on the 18th of July at Daugavpils in Latvia at the Lokomotiv Stadium, with engines starting at 19:00 local time.
Engines roar into action at 17:00pm this Saturday for round 4 of the 2015 Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix, held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Rock supported rider Tai Woffinden will be looking to continue his point dominance in the biggest event on the speedway calendar. Leading the World Championship standings on 40 points, there's sure to be a Great British welcome in a stadium that can take over 62,000 speedway fans.
Tai has achieved fantastic results this year representing England in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup along with winning (and retaining) his British Championship title. Currently he's the bookmakers favourite but Tai is treating like another day on the track: “It’s another Grand Prix and another opportunity to score some points as far as I’m concerned. I’m just treating it the same as any other GP, although of course it will be different because it’s the British round, my home round.
“I’m not putting any pressure on myself going into the meeting, I’m just looking forward to it and I will give it my all.”
Joining Tai at Cardiff will be another Rock rider; Craig Cook, taking the wild card spot at number 16. Craig narrowly lost out to Tai at Monmore Green in Wolverhampton last month. Craig was looking in top form initially leading in first place, but sadly the race had to be restarted when another rider crashed out. In the re-run Woffinden made no mistake and finished ahead of Cook. Although thankfully the result still meant that Cook secured his wildcard spot for this coming Saturday.
Working through the line-up for Saturday's event, fellow rock Riders Chris 'Bomber' Harris (ranking 11th with 18 points so far), Matej Žagar (ranking 5th position with 24 points) and Troy Batchelor (ranking 14th with 13 points) will be joining the fray. Chris was the first Brit in seven years to win a Speedway Grand Prix back in 2007, and the first to do so inside the Millennium Stadium.
Rock supported rider Tai Woffinden has secured his third consecutive British Final title, winning four out of five heats at Monmore Green earlier this week.
At first the 24-year-old was trailing in the Grand Final, with fellow Rock rider Craig Cook leading in first place. But a crash caused another rider to fall on the second lap, meaning that the race had to be stopped and re-run. Tai made the most of his second chance leading right from the start, ultimately winning the trophy for the third time in a row. With Cook finishing as runner-up to Woffinden for the second year running.
Woffinden said: “I was pretty lucky to get the re-run because I made hash of the first one but that's the nature of the sport and I won the race that mattered most.
“I've been working really hard this year and it's great to see that it's paying off just lately.
“The fans were great with me once again and it was real good to be back at Wolverhampton.”
British Speedway Chairman Alex Harkess had this to say on the events of the evening: “As always, the 2015 Final had everything and it was a really great race meeting.
“The riders gave it their all and the huge crowd were treated to some great speedway.
“Our congratulations go to Tai Woffinden on another great achievement and I actually feel for Craig Cook after originally leading the final but he'll be delighted to be going to Cardiff.
“Overall it was another really good event but our thoughts are with Ben Barker after that really nasty incident in Heat 1.”
Rock supported rider Ryuichi Kiyonari finished in second place in the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship after a fractured collarbone prevented him from contesting last weekend’s three races. Kiyo was hoping to be able to ride after physiotherapy and pain relief, but it was too much to ask and he was just not fit enough in time.
Kiyonari fought a season-long battle treating fans to thrilling race action at circuits the length of the country. The disappointing final round comes at the end of Hawk Racing and BMW Motorrad UK’s most successful season ever in the series, with a total of seven wins and six further podium finishes in Kiyo’s maiden season on the BMW S 1000 RR.
In addition to Kiyonari’s second place in the championship, the team is also celebrating fellow Rock rider Lee Jackson taking third place in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship. Jackson, a regular podium finisher, raced consistently over the racing season securing third place two rounds ago.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I’m obviously disappointed not to get to battle with Shakey at Brands Hatch, but looking back at this incredible season I am very, very happy. Around one year ago I first spoke to Stuart Hicken and signed to ride the BMW S 1000 RR and we hoped, maybe, to win a race in 2014. We have done that seven times and we are second in the championship. I wanted to prove that I was still fast and now that is certain.
“Shakey was great fun to race against and we had some very good battles on track. Now I am looking forward to riding in 2015 and we start to think about that on Monday. There is a new BMW S 1000 RR which I am very excited to try and to start testing as soon as possible. I have come to realise this year just how much support I have had from the British public and the fans and it is amazing. I am very thankful for everyone who has been involved in my year- thank you all so much.”
Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: “It would be easy to focus on this weekend, but it comes at the end of an unbelievable year. If someone had offered us seven wins and second place in the championship at the start of the season, we’d have bitten their hand off. Kiyo has given 100% every race and between us, the team and support from BMW Motorrad, we’ve turned the S 1000 RR into an absolutely formidable race-winning package. The team and my three riders have given their all this year and I couldn’t be prouder.”
The final title-deciding round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place on the Brands Hatch GP circuit on the 17th 'til the 19th October this coming weekend. Rock supported rider Ryuichi Kiyonari has declared that the climactic battle for the Championship has him so excited that he can barely sleep. The veteran WSBK and MotoGP rider has three BSB Championships to his name, but this season has made him feel like a novice fighting for his first title.
Since joining Buildbase BMW Motorrad this year, Kiyonari has defied the odds and taken the BMW S 1000 RR to the brink of BMW Motorrad’s first-ever BSB title in his maiden season. Following the team’s first win in the series in June, Kiyo has been on a roll and has taken win after win, inexorably closing the gap on the early-season favourite.
With a total of seven wins and a further six podium finishes, Kiyo has thrived under the pressure of the season and Showdown, closing the gap to within just 12 points of the current Championship leader and holding it through the thrilling Silverstone round in which both riders each won a race and finished second once.
To guarantee his fourth title Kiyonari must win all three races at Brands hatch. This situation is almost identical to the end of the 2010 season, which saw Kiyo win all three races in the final round at Oulton Park. However with 75 points up for grabs, anything could happen at what is sure to be an incredible weekend of racing action.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I’m feeling like a little kid at Christmas, every time I close my eyes to sleep I get excited thinking about the races this weekend. Nobody knows what will happen, it’ll be a surprise. I’m so excited even I can’t sleep. The situation is like when I won the championship in 2010, and I had to win all three races to take the title. It’s the same situation but the rivals, the bikes and the circuit are different.
“But actually it feels more like 2006 when I won my first ever title. I feel the same excitement and enthusiasm as everything is new and enjoyable: new bike, new team and new rivals. Whether that’s good or bad I don’t know… I can tell you after Brands Hatch! Nobody expected us to be pushing for the title in year one, but I like to be P1 in everything. I want to be first in free practice, in qualifying and in every race. I want to win all three races and win the championship this weekend. I want my fourth title, BMW Motorrad’s first and to win it for Stuart Hicken and the Hawk Racing team.”
Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: “This is by far the biggest week of the year – probably the biggest week of any year that the team has had. We have a real, genuine chance to win our first BSB Championship title and that’s just an amazing feeling. Kiyo’s mind-set is win-win-win in all three races, so we’ve got to ensure he’s got a bike that can do just that. And we’re confident that everything is absolutely on form for Brands Hatch.
“Kiyo thrives on the pressure and he’s been here before, in this very situation, where he had to win all three to take the title and he’s done it as well. We as a team have nothing to lose – we are the minnows in the FA cup final. Everyone in the paddock and supporting the series is rooting for Kiyo; he’s a favourite of everyone - perhaps bar Shakey. I hope that all three races are good scraps like we had at Silverstone, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for three wins too.”
James Westmoreland will be hoping to end his season on a high with a trio of impressive results at Brands Hatch. Westmoreland suffered from a hand injury that forced him to miss three rounds; however the Yorkshire rider has found his pace after returning to racing and will be battling at his best for the season finale.
Lee Jackson has guaranteed himself third place in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, with the top three places in the series now decided following Silverstone. Jackson will be gunning for a final race win of the season on his BMW HP4.
Rock supported rider Ryuichi Kiyonari delivered two incredible rides at Silverstone last weekend, taking a second-place finish in the initial race followed by an outstanding win – his 50th BSB victory – after a one-on-one 14-lap duel. James Westmoreland took two top-ten finishes with a seventh and a tenth respectively.
Race one was a three-man race, with Kiyo trading places and paint with the other riders. The lead changing an incredible six times on the final lap with Kiyonari finishing just 0.084s behind the race leader on his BMW S 1000 R. Race two saw Kiyo riding a defensive race from the front of the pack, preventing anyone from getting past and earning him the maximum 25 points to claw back the five points he lost just hours earlier.
The victory marks 50 British Superbike wins for Ryuichi Kiyonari, a significant milestone for the 32-year-old Japanese rider. Seven of those wins have been this year on the BMW S 1000 RR.
These two results mean that Kiyonari has maintained the 12-point gap with the current Championship leader that he began the weekend with, piling the pressure on and ensuring that he has a serious opportunity to try and claim his fourth MCE British Superbike title at the Brands Hatch finale in two weeks time.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I am very, very, very happy! At first I thought ‘ahh no, another Assen!’ after race one, where I lost out on the win at the end. And then race two started very similar and then on the last lap Shakey got past and I thought ‘nooo! I will do anything to stop him winning’ and I give it full gas, not worried about tyre life or anything! But it worked. I had a sleep between the races and I woke up just before the second one feeling better and ready to go and fight. I like to nap, but I make sure I set an alarm!
“Now we are going to Brands Hatch and I like it there. But there is more pressure now! If there was a 17-point gap or 20 points maybe, you say I cannot really hope to win championship, but now it is very possible. At the start of the year our target was top six, then we hope maybe we can win a race in 2014...and now we are very close to the title! Also today was my 50th win which makes me think maybe I am old! Haha.”
Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: “I’m very happy with today’s results. Kiyo rode his heart out and took a win and a second. He’s now going into Brands Hatch with a very small gap on Shakey and, basically, nothing to lose. The pressure is all on Byrne and it is Kiyo’s favourite circuit.”
Lee Jackson qualified on the front row of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 grid but stalled as the race started, luckily being missed by the other riders. Jackson got his bike started and began a steady assault on the pack, clawing back an incredible number of places and finishing seventh. Jackson has guaranteed himself third place in the championship and now looks to Brands Hatch to try and steal a final win from the season on his BMW HP4.
Twelve times FIM Trial World Champion and Rock supported rider Dougie Lampkin will be at a unique trial event held this Saturday at Manchester‘s most famous shopping street Deansgate. Where he will compete against an international roster of riders from around the world.
The winner of this year‘s Red Bull City Trial will be decided over four rounds that will take place from noon onwards, as the elite group of riders race head to head over a new and formidable course designed and built by the legendary Martin Lampkin. Totalling more than two hundred metres in its entire length the course will include a section of canal complete with lock gates, a brick bridge, a pair of massive ‘M‘s‘, two large footballs, a couple of massive see-saws and a huge tower of shipping containers.
Whilst last year‘s winner will be amongst the pre-competition favourites, home hero Lampkin should not be discounted after his rostrum finish in Manchester last year.
Once again the Red Bull City Trial will provide World class action and entertainment in an incredible setting, and is a free admission event where you will have the opportunity to watch and meet Lampkin and the other riders right in the heart of Manchester.
Speaking ahead of Saturday‘s competition Lampkin said “Even I am starting to feel a bit nervous, as if this edition is like the two previous Red Bull City Trial events, it is going to be a massive occasion.”
“I have seen the overall course plan and most of the elements being built over the last few months and I can confidently say that it should create some great racing and will really bring out the skill of the riders as there is plenty of speed, but also some slow and technical parts too.”
“Having Toni (Bou) in town is really going to take it to the next level and is great for the event and the sport of Trial,” commented Dougie. “The Red Bull City Trial is once again going to expose the sport to the masses and showcase what is so special and different about what we can do on a bike. I can‘t wait for Saturday and to give it my best shot.”
Rock Gossip 24 for Summer 2014 is now available for download. As we reach the twilight of the racing season, we offer an insight into the struggles and successes on and off the tarmac for the Rock Oil supported teams and riders throughout this year.
From Rock Oil HQ we have the latest product information including brand new launches and revisions of established favourites, confirmation of our attendance at the Intermot and EICMA packaging expo's on the continent and a revised merchandising catalogue for our clothing range. We also have details on our continuing site improvements and a warm welcome to a new member of the Rock sales team.
More information on these stories can be found on the PDF below:
Rock supported rider Ryuichi Kiyonari pulled off two stunning podium finishes at Assen in both the wet and dry, closing the gap on the current championship leader from 27 points to just 12 in the overall championship standings. Two dramatic races in drastically different conditions saw Kiyo come third in the initial race. A nailbiting second race ended with Kiyonari only 0.12 seconds behind the race winner.
The Buildbase BMW Motorrad team also celebrated six points-winning finishes as all three riders scored in every race. With the standout result being young Superstock rider Lee Jackson celebrating a top-ten finish in the MCE British Superbike Championship aged just 19, followed by a 12th place finish. James Westmoreland continued his return to racing following a difficult hand injury, taking a top-ten finish and a 14th-place result.
The Dutch round of the British Superbike Championship has seen drastic changes to the Showdown scores, with Kiyo jumping from third to second and closing the gap on the current championship leader by 15 points. Josh Brookes suffered from two DNF results and has slipped down from second to third, and is now 39 points adrift of Kiyonari.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: "In race two I tried so hard for the win, so I am disappointed we didn't beat Shakey. There was a lot of pressure especially in the beginning and I was too slow at the start of the race compared to the pace we had in free practice. Then at the end of the race my lap times were getting better and better.
“The last five laps I thought I will try a bit more and push even hard and then maybe we can have a win, but Shakey tried to pass me and I thought, 'oh no he is coming', so I tried harder and I made a mistake on the last lap. He passed me in the last chicane and there was nothing I could do. I want to win again at Silverstone now!"
Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: “It’s been a good weekend for the team. Firstly, all three riders finished in the points every race – which is always the aim. On top of that, Kiyo rode an absolutely phenomenal race in the wet after dominating practice and most of qualifying. He took two podium finishes despite missing out on the Showdown test here earlier in the month. And Lee Jackson took a top-ten finish at a circuit he’d never ridden at before in a class he doesn’t usually ride in. The Showdown is proving exciting already – and we’re closing in on first place.”
Lee Jackson said: “After arriving here on Friday, and getting some time back on the Superbike S 1000 RR, I started to feel at home. Despite trying out some new brakes, I managed to do a 1:39.2 lap and almost made it through to the Q2 session. When the rain hit before the first race it changed everything, but I got a good start and started picking off bikes when I caught up with them. When I managed to bring the bike home in 10th I was so happy – it was a great feeling.
Race two was dry and I managed to avoid the first lap mayhem, and then started working through the field. I finished 12th and I was overjoyed – I can’t thank my family, the team and everyone who made this weekend possible enough.”
Rock supported rider Ryuichi Kiyonari celebrated his second double win of the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship by achieving first place in both races at Donington Park last weekend. Buildbase BMW team have also announced this week that Kiyonari has re-signed with Hawk Racing for 2015, with the Japanese rider showing a stunning return to winning form onboard the BMW S 1000 RR this season and both parties are eager to continue it going forwards.
Race one saw the ‘War for Four’ reignited as two triple British Superbike Champions sparred on track, with Kiyonari and the current championship leader trading paint and places in an epic opening race. Then a two-rider crash at Goddards led to the safety car being deployed and the pack slowing down. Once normal racing had resumed, Kiyonari kept up shadowing the race leader's every move and on the twelfth lap he made his first attack by passing his rival on the brakes into the Foggy Esses.
Kiyonari was trying to break the rider's hold of the front of the pack but the Rapid Kawasaki rider was focused on regaining the advantage, which he did two laps later with a move at the Old Hairpin. Kiyonari once again took the lead, before it was stolen back but, undaunted, Kiyo forced his way to the front and a win at Schwantz.
In race two Kiyonari was pushing from the start and he hit the front of the pack after the triple champions clipped into Redgate beginning the first lap. The Buildbase BMW Motorrad rider kept his rivals behind him and despite continuing attacks throughout the race, the Japanese rider held the advantage and crossed the line to secure his double.
James Westmoreland delivered a respectable pair of top ten finishes, coming eighth and tenth, further cementing his comeback from a wrist injury.
Lee Jackson took a fourth place finish in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race and guaranteed himself third place in the championship, whatever the outcomes of the next two races.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: "I am really happy because to stay with the team and sign for next year already is very good for me. I wanted to stay with the team and BMW again in 2015 and now for the final rounds I don't have to be worrying about what I am doing next year as that makes it more difficult. For me at every race meeting I have hunger and want to keep winning and that is why I have stayed with this team.
"We have worked really hard together to win races and have podium finishes this year and we all try hard together. I am also very happy to have done the double here at Donington Park for the team, as it is their home track. I am very tired after the racing though!”
Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: "The whole team are over the moon that Kiyo wants to stay with us for next season and that is important for building on what we have already achieved this year. It is fantastic news for all of us as he has been a pleasure to work with since joining the team. And to top that off with a double win, and close down the Podium Credits gap – and to deny Shakey another win yet again – is just a fantastic feeling all round.”
The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and the first race of the Showdown takes place at TT Circuit Assen on 19th to the 21st of September.