BSB RD4 Review

Saturdays Qualifying was a mixed bag for the riders with Q1  being dry but the Q2 and 3 being soaking wet. Christian Iddon fell on a fast lap in Q2 forcing the TYCO rider to start from 15th his team mate Michael Laverty also suffered in the wet only managing 11th place.

Ryuichi Kiyonari,Luke Mossey and Tommy Bridewell all struggled in the wet failing to make it to Q3 BSB rookie Glen Irwin had his most impressive Qualifying to date finishing 5th and showing good pace int he wet but it was his team mate Shane Byrne who lead the way closely followed by Jason O’Halloran and Championship leader Leon Haslam.


The grid for race 1 :

1 67 Shane BYRNE GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
2 22 Jason O’HALLORAN AUS Honda – Honda Racing
3 91 Leon HASLAM GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
4 60 Peter HICKMAN GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
5 2 Glenn IRWIN GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
6 21 John HOPKINS USA Yamaha – ePayMe Yamaha
7 4 Dan LINFOOT GBR Honda – Honda Racing
8 47 Richard COOPER GBR BMW – Buildbase BMW Motorrad
9 83 Danny BUCHAN GBR Ducati – Lloyds British Moto Rapido
10 77 James ELLISON GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki


Race 1:

Race 1 started in the dry conditions with riders and fans alike hoping the rain that was forecast would stay away. Jason O’Halloran made the hole shot of the line leading the way from Leon Haslam and a resurgent John Hopkins while pole man Shane Byrne slid down the pack after a disappointing start. Michael Laverty made a bright start jumping up to 8th from 11th with Glenn Iriwn sliding back from 5th to 11th. After the first lap Byrne had fallen down to 8th place and looked to be struggling getting to grips with the Ducati in the dry conditions, Peter Hickman coming off an impressive TT was showing great pace at the start of the race running behind his team mate Haslam in 3rd place Hopkins was right behind him in 4th. Jake Dixon on his debut for the RAF racing team was running in 7th place ahead of his mentor Byrne and looked to have the pace to run with the front group.



Haslam took the lead on lap 3 as the leading group was made up of 6 riders all running DSC_5928-2together on track with Richard Cooper on the back of it. Iddon was struggling only gaining 1 spot from the start running in 14th place and not looking to have the pace to move further up at the early stage of the race. Byrne lost the front going through the hairpin and collected the unlucky Dixon who was right behind him while both riders attempted to pick up their bikes Dixon was hit by Josh Wainwright this of course brought the safety car out.





After the safety car went in Haslam backed up the group behind which by this point was 10 strong with Irwin bringing up the rear of the group. Linfoot took advantage of Hopkins of the restart passing him into turn 3 as he set about fighting Haslam for the win, Laverty also made a move on Hopkins going into the hairpin but the pair collided on the exit of the corner with Laverty coming off worse and falling back down the order.
DSC_1842-2The race split up at this point with Linfoot and Haslam battling for the win the pair swapped places each lap with Haslam eventually claiming the win. Hopkins and Mossey battled it out for the final podium position with the young english rider beating out the experienced american. Hickman maintained his fine start to the year finishing 5th,Laverty recovered from his off track excursion to finish 8th just ahead of O’Halloran.






1. Leon Haslam GBR JG Speedfit Kawasaki ZX-10R
2. Dan Linfoot GBR Honda Racing CBR1000RR
3. Luke Mossey GBR Quattro Plant Kawasaki ZX-10R
4. John Hopkins USA ePayMe Yamaha YZF-R1
5. Peter Hickman GBR JG Speedfit Kawasaki ZX-10R
6. Richard Cooper GBR Buildbase BMW S1000RR
7. James Ellison GBR JG Speedfit Kawasaki ZX-10R
8. Michael Laverty GBR Tyco BMW S1000RR
9. Jason O’Halloran AUS Honda Racing CBR1000RR
10. Danny Buchan GBR Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati Panigale R



Race 2 :


1 4 Dan LINFOOT GBR Honda – Honda Racing
2 12 Luke Mossey GBR Kawasaki- Quattro Plant Kawasaki
3 7 Michael Laverty GBR BMW – Tyco BMW
4 21 John Hopkins USA Yamaha – ePayMe Yamaha
5 91 Leon Haslam GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
6 60 Peter Hickman GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
7 77 James ELLISON GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
8 47 Richard COOPER GBR BMW – Buildbase BMW Motorrad
9 2 Glen Irwin GBR Ducati – PBM Ducati
10 83 Danny Buchan GBR Ducati – Moto Rapido Ducati



For the second race the heavens well and truly opened making conditions extremely tricky. Linfoot began the race on pole and got a great start on his fireblade leading the way into the first corner ahead of Hopkins and Haslam, Mossey and Laverty both seemed to get bogged down at the start falling down the order. Kiyonari unfortunately was involved in a collision with Jakub Smrz with the Czech rider coming off worst and dropping his Smiths BMW. Byrne made a brilliant start from 11th on the grid moving up to 7th by turn 3 his team mate Irwin unfortunately as in the first race didnt make a great start falling to 9th place. Hickman who excels in the wet was running right behind Linfoot on the opening lap as was Richard Cooper.


On Lap 3 as they went through the hairpin Hickman made his move and took the lead from Linfoot, Byrne had moved past Hopkins by this point and was hounding Cooper as the 4 time champ looked to have found good form in the wet on the Ducati. The two TYCO riders were again having a tough race with Laverty running 9th and Iddon running 12th both riders struggling in the wet conditions, Usually good in the wet O’Halloran did not seem to have the pace to match the front runners and was splitting the two BMWs with Ellison there as well.


Haslam had moved into 2nd on lap 6 but ran wide going into turn losing the palce to Hickman and Byrne, Byrne then moved through to 2nd place passing Hickman as he set about making up for his earlier mistake in race 1. Haslam followed Byrne though on his team passing him into the hairpin,Hopkins had regrouped and moved onto the back wheel of Cooper as he looked to be having his best weekend of the season the R1. Irwin was running well in 7th place and was showing good pace and looked capable of challenging for the podium.


On lap 10 Ellison made a harsh move on Irwin going through the hairpin colliding with the young Northern Irish man causing him to crash rightly Iriwn was visibly upset by this and made sure he made his point clear standing next to the track and pointing at Ellison as he came round on the next lap.  While that was going on the front guys were making their way through back markers Byrne moved to the front of the race with Haslam following him through at the hairpin. Hickman didnt look to have the pace of the front 3 guys as he he was running 4th with a decent gap to Cooper,Hopkins and Ellison behind.


DSC_3706Hopkins had a massive crash on lap 14 this was just after he had moved past Cooper to go into 5th place a massive shame for him as he had been showing strong form much better than he had since the start of the season.  At the front Haslam had passed Byrne and the two of them had slowly been pulling away from Linfoot in 3rd place.





Ellison found some pace late in the race after his incident with Irwin closing up on his team mate Hickman and getting past him on lap 18 with a little assistance from Jenny Tinmouth who unfortunately had no where to go and caused Hickman to slow in turn one costing him the place to Ellison.  Haslam had opened a bit of a gap back to Byrne who in turn had fallen back towards Linfoot at this stage the race was very much between these three,They were also very close to lapping both Laverty and Kiyonari Laverty suffering from vision issues with his visor steaming up.


After his accident earlier in the day Jake Dixon was having a brilliant ride in 13th place ahead of his team mate Seeley,Easton,Laverty and Kiyonari the young english man making the most of his debut weekend on the RAF BMW. At the front Byrne and Linfoot had both closed up right behind Haslam and were both putting him under alot of pressure, Linfoot made a pass on Bryne at the hairpin and then moved into the lead with a smooth pass on Haslam going into turn one. Byrne moved past Haslam at turn 3 with a quite forceful move making Haslam go wide and lose a bit of time and allowing his team mate Ellison to come into the action.


Byrne made the exact same move on Linfoot as he had on Haslam the lap before forcing the Honda rider to lift his bike and let him through or risk crashing this cost Linfoot time and allowed Haslam to gain back the ground he had lost after Byrne had passed him. Within 3 corners Byrne had opened the biggest gap any of the leaders had had and looked set for the win the real battle was now behind him between Linfoot,Haslam and Ellison for the final two podium positions.  Going onto the last lap Byrne had the race all but won Linfoot was secure in 2nd and Ellison had taken 3rd place from Haslam who fell behind Hickman and just in front of O’Halloran as he seemed to be having issues with his JG speedfit Kawasaki.




Byrne did cross the line a comfortable distance in front of 2nd and 3rd place but Linfoot had a massive moment coming out of the hairpin allowing Ellison to get the drag on him to the line and take 2nd place with the Honda man coming home third. Hickman  came home 4th a strong weekend for him, O’Halloran got the best of Haslam on the last lap to finish 5th it later came out that Haslam was struggling with his visor fogging up in the later half of the race. With his two podium places Linfoot won the Steve Hislop memorial award a big congratulations to him for this achievement .

Race 2 Result:

1 67 Shane BYRNE GBR Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati
2 77 James ELLISON GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
3 4 Dan LINFOOT GBR Honda – Honda Racing
4 60 Peter HICKMAN GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
5 22 Jason O’HALLORAN AUS Honda – Honda Racing
6 91 Leon HASLAM GBR Kawasaki – JG Speedfit Kawasaki
7 47 Richard COOPER GBR BMW – Buildbase BMW Motorrad
8 46 Tommy BRIDEWELL GBR Suzuki – Bennetts Suzuki
9 43 Howie MAINWARING SMART GBR BMW – Smiths Racing BMW
10 24 Christian IDDON GBR BMW – Tyco BMW


A great weekend of racing at Knockhill definitely one of my favourite tracks Byrne and Haslam are starting to look like the two main title contenders with the rest of the field struggling to get the level of consistency to challenge them. Laverty and Iddon both had bad weekends with both struggling with visor issues Iddon stayed 3rd in the championship while Laverty fell to 7th in the championship.

Next up for the BSB is snetterton 8th-10th of July same weekend as the WSBK paddock are in Laguna Seca a busy weekend for the blog be sure to keep an eye on my Twitter to find keep up to date on my previews of each event.

Thanks to @photography_rjd for the pictures from the weekend everyone should check out his stuff his pictures are far better than the quality of this blog deserves.Give him a follow on twitter and instagram for more BSB,Road racing and BTCC pictures.















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