The weather threw everything it had at the short and technical Scottish circuit with conditions fine and sunny for free practise on Friday, to heavy rain on Saturday afternoon and then saved the worst conditions for race day when they had rain, hail, thunder and even a few sunny spells.
Qualifying saw Steve secure 13th place on the grid for the start of Sunday’s double-header having posted his quick lap in the dry conditions before the rain came to spoil the show.
Free practise was run in the dry and we had quite a lot of things to test as we try to move forward with the bike again. But in qualifying we only got five or six laps in the dry and then it started to get wetter and wetter and that was that. I was P8 for a while but then dropped to 15th before banging a fast lap in to get up to 13th before the rain started.
But by the time the delayed first race got underway on Sunday the heavens had opened and flooded Knockhill to the point of near cancellation. Most riders went out on full wet weather tyres but a few brave souls opted for intermediates on a track that although sodden from the rain was beginning to dry.
Steve began well, moving through to hold 12th position for a while but then as the bike developed a technical problem he faded to eventually complete the 24-lap race in 18th place.
Adjustments were made to the Yamaha R1 prior to the second leg, which again was affected by the weather. The race was declared wet and this time Steve brought the AIM Yamaha home in 12th place to pick up a further four championship points.
We had the same weather conditions as the first race. The guys made quite a good improvement to the bike so I could lap probably two seconds a lap quicker but we are still not fast enough and we are still struggling for rear grip as much on corner entry as exit but we have made a step forward and tried a different tyre from Dunlop and did find a bit more grip but we really do need some more testing time.
“Considering how much rain has fallen today the track was actually not too bad. There was a drying line as the race went on and it was a case of rolling with it and just going with the flow. I did my fastest laps towards the end but that was because I was trying to stay in front of Kennaugh, which I did and was pleased to find I was the first Yamaha rider home.
The bike development is going nicely now. We have a test at Croft on Tuesday and Wednesday so more improvements will be made prior to the next race at Oulton Park.
Steve has brought some more points back from Knockhill and I am delighted that the AIM Yamaha was the first Yamaha across the finish line in the second race. That is a good sign that we are making progress with the bike.
The next round is at Oulton Park on July 15 where it is hoped the weather will be kinder to the riders and spectators who got a soaking at Knockhill on Sunday.