6th July 2009
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.