Billy McConnell finished on the podium onboard his GSX-R1000 in the first National Superstock 1000 race at Knockhill for round five of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
The Australian’s second place finish the highlight of a tough weekend for the Buildbase Suzuki team.
McConnell qualified in second place, and finished runner up in the first encounter. However, he then made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed out of race two, collecting no points. He now sits second in the championship, 12 points off the series lead.
Despite having plenty to think about following the weekend’s racing, however, the team’s thoughts are currently with the Dunlop family following the passing of William on Saturday.
Team manager Steve Hicken, “It was a disappointing weekend on the whole. While fifth was the best we could achieve in race one with Brad, I think we could have gone better in race two, so it’s really disappointing to miss out on a result because of track debris. The stone through the radiator cost us a lot of points, and we also missed some track time with a puncture on Friday, so all-in-all quite disappointed with that.
“With Cooper, we found a lot of pace on Friday and he was strong all weekend after a really productive run-out at Mallory before we came here. It didn’t quite come together in qualifying again and that’s where we need to work. But we saw big improvements and they were two good results.
“Tipping off in the second race was a rare mistake from Billy. It’s a shame as it’s cost us the championship lead, but he doesn’t make many and has been having a great season so far. We’ll go away and regroup, we know where we need to work and where we can improve, and after a tricky weekend we will be coming back stronger at Brands Hatch. However, at the moment our thoughts are all with William Dunlop’s friends and family at this very, very sad time.”
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