Allendale rider Graeme Gowland rides to his best finish yet

Graeme Gowland scored his best finish of the season as he crossed the line fourth at Knockhill and later declared “it felt so good I felt like I’d won”

Graeme Gowland in action
Graeme Gowland in action

Graeme Gowland scored his best finish of the season as he crossed the line fourth at Knockhill and later declared "it felt so good I felt like I’d won."

The Allendale rider remains fifth in the title fight after the weekend’s two Motorpoint British Supersport Championship races at the Scottish circuit.

At what is now the nearest he has to a local round, the Seton Tuning Yamaha rider enjoyed a solid start to the weekend after posting his best qualifying result of the season to line up second on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s sprint race.

In a championship known for its fast and furious action, the drama began even before the race started as reigning champion Glen Richards crashed out on the warm-up lap, taking Jason O’Halloran down with him.

As the lights changed, Gowland grabbed a lightning-fast start and was leading by the time the pack reached the first corner.

He was just beginning to look strong out front when the safety car was deployed to deal with a crash further back.

This gave the pack the chance to bunch up and when the race restarted on lap four, a big slide out of the hairpin gave Ben Wilson and Billy McConnell the chance to sneak past.

Wilson took off at the front and Gowland found himself battling for third, eventually getting pushed down to fourth by a hard-charging Stuart Easton.

By mid race, rain had started to fall and a few laps later race chiefs were forced to stop the race, which was already three-quarters run and therefore declared a result.

Gowland crossed the line fourth, his best result of the season so far.

He said: “It was a good race, I really enjoyed it.

“We qualified second and got the hole shot into turn one and it felt great to be out in front, even if it was just for a short time.

“After a huge battle for the last podium spot we came out fourth which is our best result this year.

“It felt so good to get it I honestly felt like I had won!”

Sunday’s feature race saw Gowland start from seventh on the grid and heading the third row as a result of his seventh fastest lap time in the opening race.

Getting another good start he was soon up to fifth, and the race followed a similar pattern to the previous one as he stayed up with the podium battle for the full 26 laps.

By the final lap he was right behind the third and fourth-placed riders and, although it looked like he may have been in a position to sneak up to third as McConnell and Alastair Seeley came close to taking each other out at the hairpin, it wasn’t to be and this time he finished fifth.

Gowland added: “I was seventh on the grid for race two and got another great start. I only just finished off the podium again.

“It was a very strong and consistent weekend. We are so close to the front and the team is doing a fantastic job.

“Taking all things into consideration it’s going really well and I’m now sure on the right day we will put the Seton Tuning Yamaha on the box.”

Gowland remains fifth in the championship on 86 points while Easton has taken the lead with 156. His next event is at Snetterton on July 5-7.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer