Round four of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship took the AMD Motorsport team to their home round at Knockhill, near Dunfermline and Richard Kerr ensured it was a successful visit as he took a brace of second place finishes to maintain second overall in the championship standings.
Having taken their maiden win in the class at the venue twelve months ago, both Richard and the Dumfries-based team had high hopes coming into the weekend and they picked up from where they left off in Friday’s free practice sessions with a time of 48.497s putting them top of the leaderboard.
That form carried over to Saturday’s qualifying session where, with conditions again ideal, a quicker time of 48.252s on the factory-prepared CBR1000RR-R Honda Fireblade gave him pole position for the opening race later in the day and a slender 0.04s advantage over championship leader Dan Linfoot.
The 22-lap race was expected to be a close affair around the tight and twisty 1.26-mile venue and Richard made the ideal start, taking the holeshot and leading the field round at the end of the opening lap. It quickly became a two-horse battle between the Kilmacrennan, County Donegal rider and Linfoot but, on this occasion, the latter had a bit more pace and, after grabbing the lead on lap three, he went on to take the win, Richard having to settle for second on this occasion.
Starting Sunday’s race, this time held over the slightly longer distance of 24 laps, from second and the middle of the front row, Richard again got the better jump off the line to lead into the first corner with Linfoot again slotting in behind. In a near identical repeat of the previous day’s race, Linfoot got ahead on the fourth lap and although a safety car period brought the pack together, when racing resumed, he pulled away for the win.
That meant Richard and the team took a comfortable second place once more, to make it four podiums in a row, with the weekend’s result seeing him consolidate second in the championship table, the gap to Linfoot 14 points.
Richard Kerr: “We obviously go racing to win but sometimes you have to tip your hat to one of your rivals and Dan was the better rider this weekend. The bike was faultless, the team did everything right, we didn’t make any mistakes and our pace was good; just as Dan had that bit more pace than us, we had that bit more than the rest of the field, so we go away from AMD Motorsport’s home round pleased with our weekend’s work. Two podium finishes make it four in a row and it’s a good haul of points, so we’ve kept ourselves well in championship contention.”
Fraser Dykes, Team Owner: “It’s always good to compete at our home round and even better when we pick up some silverware so full credit to Richard and the whole team for a stellar weekend. Practice and qualifying couldn’t have gone any better and it was clear that the two races would be between Richard and Dan. On each occasion, Richard rode a fantastic race and although he couldn’t quite stick with Dan’s pace, he brought the bike home each time for an excellent second place. We’re consistently in the fight for the wins and podium finishes and that’s putting us in a championship-challenging position so, as always, a big shoutout for the men behind the scenes, Simon Bleasdale, Ivan Kerr, Steve Ramage and Bill Muirhead. Let’s see what we can do at the next round.”
Round five takes the series to Snetterton, Norfolk on July 7-9.
Pictures by Tim Keeton (Impact Images Photography)
Championship positions (after four rounds)
1 Dan Linfoot (Honda) 137pts
2 Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda) 123
3 Franco Bourne (Honda) 93
4 Joe Talbot (Honda) 92
5 Alex Olsen (Honda) 79
6 Alastair Seeley (BMW) 76