Jake Dixon propelled himself into the premier league of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill today (Sunday) as the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider followed up his debut win in the opening race to make it a double after an epic second contest in Scotland.
Dixon got his day off to a flying start in the opening race, celebrating a classy debut win in race one as the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider hit the front of the chasing pack and held off Luke Mossey to seal an emotional victory.
On the opening lap Dixon fired off the front row of the grid to lead the pack as Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Jason O’Halloran clipped on the run into turn one for the first time, pushing them down the order.
At the front James Ellison was tucked in behind Dixon with Mossey in close contention, but O’Halloran had made back some places and he was soon on the attack and by the start of lap four, the pair had pushed Ellison back to fourth.
Ellison fought back a lap later at the Hairpin to pass O’Halloran, but on lap six the McAMS Yamaha rider slid out of contention at turn three. O’Halloran was soon coming under pressure from his Honda Racing team-mate Dan Linfoot; the Australian was pushed back a place at the Hairpin, but on the brakes Linfoot lost the front end and tipped out of contention.
The leading pair of Dixon and Mossey had edged an advantage but the battle for third then became a three-way fight between O’Halloran, Byrne and home hero Taylor Mackenzie who was having his strongest performance of the season for Bennetts Suzuki.
Byrne was pushing to make a move and on lap 16 the Be Wiser Ducati rider emerged ahead after a decisive move at the Hairpin. The defending champion was able to hold off O’Halloran to the chequered flag to cross the line third behind Dixon and Mossey.
Josh Brookes had been pushing to bag the points for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team, but the Australian was another rider to crash out at the Hairpin unhurt.
Mackenzie scored his best result in fifth place with Peter Hickman moving to sixth for Smiths Racing BMW after Bradley Ray crashed put unhurt on the Buildbase Suzuki. John Hopkins ended the race in seventh place for Moto Rapido Ducati with Sylvain Guintoli, Lee Jackson and Michael Laverty completing the top ten.
Dixon then further cemented himself as a Showdown contender by following up his debut win in the opening race to make it a double after an epic second contest in Scotland.
Dixon had hit the front of the field on the opening lap to stake his claim from the start, holding off Mossey and Ellison with Linfoot and Byrne in the hunt. The opening laps saw an incredible dice between the leading group with Mossey and Ellison exchanging blows five times in one lap as they battled for the advantage at the front.
As the lead continued to change Dixon then made his move and he was defending hard until the seventh lap when Mossey then reclaimed the position at the front of the field. As the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider bid to make a counter attack, Ellison then fired his McAMS Yamaha into second place with Byrne stalking in fourth.
Byrne and Dixon were then inseparable and the defending champion made a move to put himself back into a podium position and relegate the race one winner into fourth place. At the front Mossey had edged a marginal lead but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki lost the ground with a mistake and it allowed his rivals to return to striking distance.
Ellison was first to take the advantage as the McAMS Yamaha hit the front to push Mossey back to second as Dixon moved to third to push Byrne back into fourth as the final five lap sprint beckoned.
Dixon then made a decisive move on Mossey to push the new championship leader back into third and into the clutches of Byrne, who waited until the final two laps to make his move and return to the podium for the second time today.
Dixon stalked Ellison and a last gasp attempt to make a move for the win put the young gun ahead which he held to the chequered flag to claim his second win ahead of Ellison and Byrne. Mossey narrowly missed out on the podium with Brookes returning to the top five for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team.
Linfoot was the leading Honda Racing contender in sixth place, just ahead of his team-mate O’Halloran with Michael Laverty, Hickman and Billy McConnell completing the top ten.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, race one result:
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, Race two result:
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Knockhill:
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RAF Reserves Kawasaki
“I’ve never had a podium in the Superbike class before this weekend so to leave with two race wins has left me a bit speechless to be honest, I can’t believe it!
Qualifying well is one thing but to do it in a race is a totally different ball game even if I did feel confident that I had the pace. It was hard leading from the front in the first race but the gap kept going up and it was almost like I was floating out there so I just tried to keep as focused and as calm as possible. I had a bit of a slide at the hairpin towards the end so backed it off a bit and brought the bike home for a dream win.
“We didn’t change a single thing on the bike for race two and I knew what pace I had so when I could see some of the riders sliding around, I knew I was in a good position as my bike was on rails and not using nowhere near the same amount of rubber. I let the race come to me and made my moves in the last third of the race but having taken the double, it’s hard to describe how I’m feeling right now. It’ll take a while to sink in but a massive thank you to the whole team and the sponsors and to all my family.”