REIGNING Scotwaste KMSC Superbike Champion Bruce Birnie and Callum Grigor were the leaders of the 1000cc-charge at the club’s second round this weekend.
Coming off a winless first round thanks to National Superstock 1000 interloper Chrissy Rouse, the two Scots were looking to increase their points tallies in both the Knockhill Motor Sports Club championship and the Scottish championship, the latter of which shared the points from two of the weekend’s five races.
Birnie fired a warning shot in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, setting pole with a 51.441-second lap on the anti-clockwise layout of the Fife circuit, as Scott Shand missed out by just 0.2 seconds and Grigor completed the front row a further 0.3 seconds adrift.
Contending youngster Max Alexander was on for a swift lap in qualifying, but a massive Paul McClung-style crash (himself down at Cadwell undertaking Thundersport duties) and bent forks forced him to abandon his weekend before it had begun.
When the lights went out for race one, it was pole-sitter and old guard Birnie who led the opening lap, with Shand and Grigor nipping at his heels.
The three-way battle for first ensued at the beginning of lap two, as the leading duo went back and forth on laps two and three only to be joined by Grigor on lap four, who levered both front-runners aside as he took the lead on lap four.
Grigor looked to be on for a steady victory, but Birnie bounced back to the runner-up spot on lap six and pushed Grigor back to second on lap seven as he put his head down and stretched out a 2.4-second lead over Grigor and Shand at the chequered flag.
In race two, Adrian Clarke led the big bikes over the line for the first time of asking, but Shand was quick to regain momentum lost off the start and battle his way back up to first on lap two.
Shand seemingly had the race in his hands, but a gaining Grigor showed him a wheel on lap six and took the lead as they came over the line with four laps remaining, as Birnie retired following a promising charge up to fourth.
The two were back and forth over the next three laps, and it was only on the penultimate lap that the order was decided, Grigor taking the flag almost a second clear of Shand, with Alan Davison a further second adrift.
Things looked to finally be going Shand’s way in Sunday’s first race as the Falkirk man led over the half-way point, but Grigor pipped him for the lead on lap seven and never looked back as he took a second win on the Kirkcaldy Kawasaki ZX-10RR, once again ahead Shand and Davison.
After a fourth-place in race three, Birnie was keen to get another haul of maximum, and he made it look easy with a lights-to-flag victory three seconds ahead of Grigor, with Davison 6.5 seconds off the lead.
And it was much of the same story in the final race on Sunday. While Grigor led three of the ten total laps, Birnie took over on lap four and powered his Carnegie Fuels BMW to yet another win as he completed his hat-trick yet again ahead of Grigor and Davison.
Neil Brown and Steven Watson took two wins apiece in the KMSC Clubmans championship races, while Graeme Bodel took the other with his first top-step finish of the season.
Heading into the next Scottish Championship round at East Fortune in July, Birnie now leads the Superbike class on 96 points, with Shand on 77 and Grigor on 64. Shand leads the KMSC Superbike standings with 118 to Grigor’s 106 and National Superstock 1000 runner Lewis Rollo’s 105.
*Main and action image: Peter Lawrie
*Trophy image: Callum Grigor #99