Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty

Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty

The Samsung Honda team return to action in the British Superbike Championship this weekend as the series heads north of the border to Knockhill in Scotland for the fifth round of the series.

Michael Laverty is aiming to carry his winning momentum from the previous round at Snetterton and maintain his position inside the top six in the overall standings, whilst Jon Kirkham is ready to come back strong now that he is nearing full fitness following his crash at Oulton Park two rounds ago.

In the Superstock 1000 Championship, Jason O’Halloran returns to the circuit where a crash last season ended his campaign. He will be looking to put those painful memories behind him and seek another podium finish to cement his championship lead. The returning Gary Johnson will line up alongside – after returning from road racing duties at the Isle of Man TT – and will be aiming to get on the pace as quickly as possible.

Michael Laverty: “Knockhill should be good for us, generally in the past it has been a track I have enjoyed. The Samsung Honda should work well there, the track suits the Fireblade. The championship is wide open and there can be potentially ten riders that could win. We just need to be consistent now that we have got ourselves back inside the top six after the results from Snetterton. The pressure was on me a bit before Snetterton because I didn’t want to have to close a big gap to the top six once we got closer to the Showdown. We are looking forward to this weekend, we are relaxed and we want to go out and be fast from free practice and then maintain it for the whole event and fight off those that are snapping at our heels!”

Jon Kirkham: “I am feeling a lot better now in myself than I have done, so it has been good for me to have the break since Snetterton, although I really can’t wait to get going now. We know the Samsung Honda works well in all conditions and I have no excuses so I need to just go out and get on with the job now. The Honda Fireblade is really driveable and that means it should work well around a track like Knockhill. We are feeling good for the weekend and I want to try and start getting back the points we missed out on at Oulton Park and Snetterton.”

Jason O’Halloran: “I think Knockhill will be a tough one for me after my crash there last year; I spent a lot of time up in Scotland in hospital after the crash but at the same time I am looking forward to getting out and putting it behind me. I certainly want to change my memories of the track and if we can leave there with another podium or even a win that would be the way to do that. We have the championship lead and now we have it, I don’t want to give it up without a fight.”

Gary Johnson: “It is good to be back with the Samsung Honda team again this weekend after missing Snetterton with the Isle of Man TT. I have had less track time than the other riders but we know what the team is capable of and we will be looking to improve during the weekend.”

Havier Beltran, Team Manager: “After a few weeks since the last round the whole of the Samsung Honda team are keen to get the Knockhill event underway. Michael arrives at the event after his race win and second place at Snetterton, so he is feeling confident and ready to maintain that momentum. JK has had some extra time to continue his return to full fitness since his Oulton Park crash and he will be hoping for a strong points scoring weekend to get back up where he needs to be in the standings. In the Superstock class Jason is aiming to maintain his lead in the standings to well and truly turn around his memories of Knockhill. The circuit should suit the characteristics of the Honda Fireblade and we are looking forward to a successful weekend on track.”

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