GREG Gilfillan, Lewis Rollo and John Dean shared the Scottish Championship and KMSC Superbike spoils in a record-shattering round at Knockhill this weekend.
And despite a big highside in the penultimate race, Dean came away from the club’s second round holding onto both the KMSC and National points leads.
The reverse-circuit weekend started off in the worst possible way for Highsparks Ducati rider Rollo, in his first competitive outing on the big 1199 Panigale, when he stalled on the grid of race one as Dean nabbed the holeshot with Gilfillan and Callum Grigor in tow.
But Kircaldy Kawasaki’s Grigor and Reid Roofing’s Gilfillan soon moved through to the lead, pushing Dean back to third as they began to break away from the chasing pack.
It was chop and change at the front nearly all the way home, but Grigor stuck his ZX10RR underneath the BMW of Gilfillan at the Hairpin on the final lap and held on all the way to the flag to take the opening win ahead of Grigor and Dean.
Gilfillan got the best start in Saturday’s second race ahead of Dean’s Blinkbonny Quarry BMW and Grigor, but just a few laps later Grigor moved ahead of Dean then slipped into the lead at McIntyre.
Dean then levered Gilfillan aside before sliding up the inside of Grigor at the Hairpin to take the lead. But a win wasn’t yet to be for the Hawick man as Gilfillan powered ahead two laps from the finish and bagged his second win of the day, with Dean less than 0.2s off the win and Rollo, who started at the back of the grid, just 0.2s further behind in third.
Gilfillan was back on pole for Sunday’s first race, and once again it was the usual suspects – Grigor, Dean and Rollo – out into the leading quartet from the off. But Dean was on a charge, and he set a new lap record of 50.139s before smashing that the very next lap with a 49.997, the first club lap in the 49s, as he moved to the front.
Despite both Grigor and Gilfillan grabbing the lead in another nip-and-tuck battle, Dean took advantage of backmarkers on the final lap and pulled nearly a second over Gilfillan and Rollo as he took his first win of the round.
Gilfillan led once again in the early stages of the weekend’s penultimate superbike race before Grigor took the lead. But Rollo, who was finally getting to grips with the 1199, went up the inside of Grigor at the Hairpin on lap four and was never seen again as he extended a 1.793s lead at the chequered flag, busting Dean’s record with a 49.939 while Grigor, Dean and Gilfillan locking out the top four – separated by just half a second.
Rollo finally took the holeshot in the final race as he led Dean away from the line, but red flags halted action just two laps in as Dean high-sided at the Hairpin – luckily escaping with only bumps and bruises.
When the race was restarted, Gilfillan hit the front and led Rollo and Grigor on the first lap, but the double-winner ran wide at Clarks and Rollo took advantage to hit the front. Moments later, Grigor went down at the hairpin and took Gilfillan with him, putting paid to their races and leaving Rollo to cruise to victory as Sean Gilfillan and Ewan Gray completed the rostrum.
Gavin Jones bagged a hat-trick of Clubman wins as Clint Walker took the remaining two, while Alan Rennie, Charlie Bunyan, David Suddes and Des Burns all shared podium honours.
BSB paddock regular Rollo admitted he was happy with his first weekend on the big Ducati, despite grip issues and some troubles early on.
“I just struggled with grip from the start, those tires have done all the races this weekend,” he said. “I was worried because they all had new tires on at the beginning of the day so I thought I was going to struggle.
“It was a shame for John, Callum and Greg to go down in that last one, but it’s been mega racing all weekend. I’m really happy, that’s my first two wins on the big Ducati so I’m buzzing.”
While his crash meant no points for Dean in race five, he clings onto the Scottish Championship and Scotwaste KMSC Superbike leads.
*Images: Jennifer Charlton