The British Superbike Championship's form man, Michael Laverty, has strengthened his position in the championship showdown with victory in the second race at Knockhill. The Samsung Honda rider has now finished on the podium in each of the last four races, a record that is currently unmatched.
After setting the fastest lap in race one, Tommy Hill started from pole position again and unlike the opener, he converted it into the lead at turn one. Shane Byrne went with him but it wasn't long before Laverty demoted him to third, diving up the inside of the Kawasaki at the Real Radio Hairpin. The Ulsterman was looking ominously quick at the final corner and after one failed attempt, he finally grabbed the lead on lap 12.
Byrne took over second place at exactly the same corner next time around and although he prevented Laverty from streaking off into the distance, that was all he could do as the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki lacked the pace to reel in the Samsung Honda. Hill was no match for either of them and had to settle for third, a second ahead of Josh Brookes who missed out on a single podium in the weekend for the first time since Brands Hatch.
The standout ride came from James Westmoreland who claimed a tremendous fifth for Team WFR. The Hull rider made up ground at the start before holding off a charging Tommy Bridewell in the closing laps. The Supersonic BMW rider scored yet more valuable points though and has moved up into the all-important top six after a consistent weekend. Alastair Seeley was seventh ahead of the two remaining WFR Hondas, Alex Lowes and Graeme Gowland, with Ian Lowry completing the top ten.
Noriyuki Haga was one of the big losers in terms of the championship after a crash on lap 18. The Swan Yamaha rider was looking good for a top-six finish before a fall at Scotsman and now trails the showdown places by 12 points.