The long winter break finally came to an end, as the Knockhill Motor Sports Club got underway for the 2017 season. And with racing across seven different classes, there was plenty of action on offer under the spring sunshine.
The Superbikes are the premier class, with the most powerful machinery and the top riders. A full grid of championship contenders was supplemented by Newcastle rider Chrissy Rousse, who had brought his Mission Racing BMW to the Fife track for some extra testing ahead of the National Superstock races at the BSB round in June. On this showing, Rousse can go into that meeting with some confidence, having topped the timing sheet in every session, winning 5 out of 5 races and setting a new KMSC Championship record with a blistering 49.839 second lap.
Haddington rider Lewis Rollo battled Rousse round every lap, finishing second in all 5 races. The MSS Kawasaki rider is in for a busy season, competing in the KMSC, Scottish Superbike and National Superstock championships. With wildcard Rousse not collecting any KMSC points, Rollo can be pleased with his weekend, taking an early lead in the championship with maximum 105 points tally and a best lap of 50.290 seconds.
Glasgwegian Max Alexander kept the symmetry going, by putting his M&T Racing BMW on the final podium spot in each race. Alexander sits second in the championship with 80 points.
It was a difficult weekend for the KMSC favourites, with Bruce Birnie suffering tyre problems forcing him into three confidence sapping crashes. With Andrew Tasker missing, Birnie will be disappointed not to have grabbed a better points haul to get his season started. It was a short weekend for Paul McLung, the Haddington rider having a horrific looking crash on the exit of Clark that left him dazed and his BMW in bits. Thankfully he escaped serious injury, but the concussion protocol meant he had to spend the rest of the weekend as a spectator.
There was better fortune for Scott Shand, with five solid 4th place finishes, and Sean Gilfilan marked his return to Knockhill with three fifth places and two sixth spots. Shand sits third in the championship table on 60 points, and Gilfilan fourth on 34.
With two of the five races also counting towards the Scottish Superbike Championship, Max Alexander leads the way on 62 points, with McLung, Shand and Rousse all tied for second on 50.
The next KMSC meeting will be on track at Knockhill on 27th & 28th May.