6th July 2009


Strong in qualifying, the 25-year old put the Honda into third place on the grid and a great start in the opening 30-lap race saw him take an early lead although championship leader Leon Camier pushed him back to second on the second lap. Easton kept the margin down to one-second whilst he also hand his hands full keeping HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes at bay but he did just that and for the remaining 29 laps, he ensured Brookes could find no way through. Despite the intervention of the safety car, Stuart held on excellently for his sixth podium of the year and with Ellison down in fifth he closed the gap to him significantly.

In the second race, Stuart made a slight change to the set-up with his machine and although he slotted in to third place he wasn’t quite able to run the same pace that he had in the first race and he dropped back slightly from the battle for the lead. He then came under pressure from Ellison and when his Yamaha rival slipped by at two-thirds race distance, he had to settle for fourth place at the chequered flag although the result more than consolidated his third place in the Championship table and he closed the gap on Ellison from 22 points to 16.

Team-mate Karl Harris will be glad to see the back of Knockhill though after a crash and a retirement saw him leave the Scottish venue pointless. A strong fifth in qualifying looked to have seen the Sheffield rider back to his best and hopes were high of two good finishes. However, a first lap spill at the hairpin ended his first race early and a mechanical problem in the second, when lying seventh, ended his second race at two-thirds race distance. The DNF’s mean the 29-year old drops back to seventh place overall in the Championship.

Speaking afterwards, team manager Shaun Muir said: “Stuart’s stepped on to the podium and had another good points haul today and whilst that’s obviously very pleasing, I think we’re both slightly disappointed not to have been on the box in both races. In the first race, I don’t think Stuart could have done any more and he kept Camier honest throughout also doing a great job fighting off Brookes. He made a few changes for the second but it didn’t quite work out and he was a lot further back from the front but overall it’s been a good day for him. It’s another podium and he’s also taken some more points off James Ellison in the battle for second place in the Championship so we’re still well in the hunt.”

“Karl arrived at Knockhill with quite a heavy bout of food poisoning and that’s affected his performance all weekend although he dug deep in qualifying to end up fifth. He’s still lacking a bit in confidence though and needs to improve his race craft slightly as he’s finding himself in positions that he shouldn’t be in. It was his own mistake in the first race and then in the second he got stuck a bit in no man’s land down in seventh when the chain jumped off. He needs to get his focus back and try that little bit harder and if he can do that I’m sure he’ll be back to where he was at the beginning of the year.”

“It’s been a long trip to Knockhill and maybe we expected a bit more but, like I say, we’re still in 3rd and 7th in the title race and there are still plenty of rounds left for us to climb even higher so we’ll remain positive, keep working hard and move onwards and upwards to the next round.”

The next round takes place in two weeks time at Mallory Park in Leicestershire, with the meeting taking place on July 17-19.

Hydrex Honda’s Stuart Easton put in two strong rides at his home round of Knockhill in the latest round of the 2009 British Superbike Championship and, for the second meeting in succession, the Hawick ace recorded 2nd and 4th place finishes in the two races. The results and 33-point haul saw him close to within 16 points of second-placed James Ellison in the Championship table.