Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty in action at Knockhill

Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty in action at Knockhill

Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty celebrated his second race win of the season at the fifth round of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill.

Laverty had qualified on the front row and finished the opening race of the day in third before charging to the front of the field in race two to give the Samsung Honda team their third win of the season. Team-mate Jon Kirkham, who is returning to full fitness following his crash at Oulton Park, just missed out on a top ten finish in 12th in the first race before scoring points in 14th in race two.

In Superstock 1000, Jason O’Halloran crashed out of the race whilst in contention; the Australian was disappointed but is now determined to regain his championship lead at Oulton Park next time out. Gary Johnson took a solid eighth place finish on his return to the Samsung Honda team as he continued to improve throughout the weekend.

Michael Laverty: “After Snetterton there were a few people that said my win would be a one off and wrote me off, but this weekend proved that we can be up fighting for the title too. I knew that the races were going to be tough today and Tommy and Shakey upped the pace again and I was pushing really hard. There were areas where we had a concertina effect where one of us was faster than the other but overall our lap times were very similar. I thought maybe on the last lap we could have had a sniff at Tommy in race one but I didn’t want us to tangle. I wasn’t overly dissatisfied with the first race but we made some changes that gave me more confidence in the front for the second one. I made some early passes and then controlled it from the front and it worked out perfectly. Our championship is really back on track now so we are looking forward to Oulton Park.”

Jon Kirkham: “It wasn’t the easiest weekend for me and something just didn’t click, which we will be looking at before Oulton Park. We made some improvements between the races but it wasn’t enough to give us the pace we needed. It was a tough weekend as I have only completed one race (at Snetterton) since the crash so I have been building back up. We have a bit of time now until Oulton Park to assess what we can do before the next round to put us back up where we need to be.”

Jason O’Halloran: “It was a tough race and I had a pretty good pace on the Samsung Honda and was taking my time to come through as there were a couple of places I was losing out a bit, but other areas we were stronger. I was waiting for the guys to make a mistake which they both did by running wide at the Hairpin and I stayed on my normal line and went under them both. I thought I was through but then they came back and I crashed. It was a real shame we couldn’t rejoin, but that is the rules and now we just need to look at coming back at Oulton Park.”

Gary Johnson: “I had missed a few rounds this season with the road races so I am always a little behind but we made some big steps forward and it was great to give the Samsung Honda team a top ten finish.

Havier Beltran, Team Manager: “Michael rode fantastically today and showed what we know he is capable of. We made some changes to the Fireblade which allowed Michael to ride his best race of the season. JK hasn’t been able to match some of his previous performances but we will be working with him before Oulton Park to try and improve. Jason’s bad Knockhill luck continues but a crash and no points was better than how we left here last year and Gary also improved throughout the weekend to score a strong finish on his return with the team.”

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