After struggling last time out at Thruxton, Gary Mason was back to his best at Knockhill after qualifying on the front row, before starring on race day.
The Kawasaki ZX-10R performed brilliantly in wet conditions once again as Mason secured third on the grid for race one, hot on the heels of Alex Lowes' pole position in similar conditions at Thruxton.
Mason produced two more strong performances on Sunday finishing in a strong fourth in race one. The Lichfield rider was running closely behind second-placed John Hopkins before being caught by Shane 'Shakey' Byrne six laps from home, with the HM Plant Honda rider denying him a podium finish.
After starting the second race from fifth on the grid, Mason lost ground after being pushed wide at the first corner, but produced an impressive recovery to come back up to sixth.
“After such a good qualifying I was really looking forward to a dry race day at Knockhill”, added Mason. “I managed to hold second place for nearly half the first race but John Hopkins overtook me and when Shane Byrne came past he was so strong I had to settle for fourth as I started to suffer from arm pump which meant I couldn't challenge him. I got pushed wide at the start of the second race but the safety car incidents allowed me to regain position and 6th is a good result considering the conditions.”
After his impressive debut for the team at Thruxton, Alex Lowes struggled by comparison this weekend with a qualifying crash leaving him in 17th place for race one. The 20-year-old then hit the back of Jon Kirkham as he tried to make up ground and crashed out, with the resulting injury ruling him out of race two.
“Qualifying was disappointing, I had a rubbish superpole and crashed in Q2 which left me 17th on the grid but the Ninja ZX-10R felt really good in practice so I was looking forward to a dry race day”, said Lowes. “Knockhill is a tight circuit and unfortunately I hit the back of another rider in the first lap at the hairpin trying to make up positions, putting me out of the first race. I hit my head quite hard in the accident and the team decided that as we would be starting down the grid it was best to sit out the race for safety reasons. I'm obviously disappointed but it was the best thing to do. I have a test on the BSB bike scheduled before Snetterton so I'm hoping to get to grips with the Kawasaki and give the team the results it deserves at the next round.”
Team owner Nick Morgan believes the changes within the team since Thruxton have helped Mason, and offered his support to Lowes, backing him to bounce back at Snetterton in two weeks.
“Gary had a fabulous weekend and Andrew Pitt joining the team as his crew chief has certainly helped his confidence. Sometimes you need someone to help settle the rider and allow him get what he wants out of the bike and Andrew's huge experience allows him to do this. Gary rode so well in the first race and was very unlucky to get punted back to 16th in the second but recovered superbly to take sixth. Having confirmed Alex as our rider for the rest of the year we were hoping for some good results at Knockhill but it wasn't his day, I'm sure he will do much better at Snetterton as there is no doubting the lad's obvious talent and the scheduled test is certain to benefit him.”