Express & Star

Championship leads and race wins as riders return from over the border

Knockhill in the Scotland was the scene for an intense round of British Superbike races as all the region's teams and riders returned for a packed schedule.

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Another win for Black Country-based Bathams Racing's Taylor Mackenzie and two podiums for Cannock-based OMG Racing's Billy McConnell means the rivals now sit one and two in the National Superstock series.

In the BSB championships, OMG's Bradley Ray was in superb form, claiming at fourth, 10th and fifth place finish, while Eccleshall rider Storm Stacey, 18, also returned with three very consistent races having slightly struggled during the opening round.

Ray lined up on row two for the opening BSB race and finished fourth while team-mate Kyle Ryde crossed the line in 11th.

It meant the riders had netted 18 points for OMG Racing and set themselves up well for races two and three.

Ray scored another top 10, finishing ninth in race two, with Ryde back in 15th.

Race three was curtailed due to red flags but another stellar ride from Ray saw him scoop a fifth and 11 points, which moved him up to 10th the championship BSB standings.

Ryde made the best of a tough weekend and finished 17th the final race but gathered some good data ahead of round three.

Stacey was also back out in full BSB action with the GR Motosport team and returned from Scotland with a 17th and two solid 16th-placed finishes.

He said: "It was a slow start to the weekend but we definitely turned it round and had a good run in the last race, battling with some big names – and beating some.”

McConnell set out his stall early in the superstock series placing his OMG Racing BMW M1000RR on pole for the opening race.

And the Aussie took a brilliant second place, just missing out on the win following a close battle with Mackenzie.

McConnell followed up with another second place in race two, which saw him leaped frog Mackenzie in the standings – after the Bathams rider had suffered a crash – to lead the championship on 56 points – six points ahead of his rival.

David Allingham and Shane Richardson were back out racing in the superstock series for Brownhills-based Astro JJR – and value of the BSB's trackside medics soon became apparent.

After finishing race one in 10th, Allingham was in good spirits heading into race two when disaster very nearly struck.

Having crashed at the Clark right hander, his BMW actually flew over the safety fence, whilst Allingham bounced through the gravel trap in a 'normal' fashion.

The Northern Irishman was quickly onto his feet but seen to be frantically pulling his helmet off because he could not breathe.

Thankfully, a nearby paramedic jumped to the rescue and after realising Allingham's airway must be blocked in some way, he performed the 'Heimlich maneuver'.

Allingham coughed up a pebble and breathing was restored, potentially saving his life.

Team owner Stuart Tromans said: "David was perfectly okay and back out on track a couple of hours later.

"I've always got the greatest of respect and thanks to the marshals and medical staff at Bennetts British Superbike Championship."

Meanwhile, New Zealander Richardson suffered a DNF in race and took 16th in race two.

Astro JJR also confirmed the team had parted ways with Caolan Irwin before the start of round two.

Tromans said: "He thanked both James and myself for all the help over the last 18 months and we appreciate the courage and conviction it took to know when something wasn't right for him to continue with.

"We will now focus all our efforts on Shane and David while wishing Caolan every luck with his future path."

British Superbikes and all the support classes now head to Brands Hatch, in Kent, July 23-25.

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