Team T.D.B Recruit.com Yamaha rider Paul Young demonstrated why he is one of the most professional riders competing in the British Superbike's at the weekend.

Young showed his true potential with a superb second place finish at the 1.29 Mile Knockhill circuit at the fifth round of the British Superbike Championship.

Weather conditions for the weekend were less than favourable, however the team made the most of the difficult conditions. Both riders put in their best qualifying results with Young and Jon Kirkham qualifying in second and seventh places respectively.

Race one started on a damp but drying track with a downpour threatening. The worst possible situation. With the race being declared wet, the team opted for both riders to start on full wet tires. After some wheel-spin off the line, Young lost a few places on the opening lap, but quickly set about making amends. Out braking current Superbike champion Steve Hislop into the second gear Taylors hairpin, and then similarly despatching John McGuinness and Glen Richards, Young regained his second place.

With a drying track starting to tear apart the ultra soft wet tires, Young opted for patience and waited for the imminent rain while fending off John Reynolds and Michael Rutter as they made a charge. On lap 12 the promised rain shower came in a torrential downpour. The Midlands-based Aussie soon started to reel in the top three, making his way back up second place by lap 18 of the 30-lap race.

The eighteen-year-old Jon Kirkham was less fortunate. After a good start, Kirkham was forced to pull in due to poor visibility as rain has crept inside his visor.

For the massively faithful Scottish crowd, the weather conditions fortunately improved enough for race two to be declared a dry race.

From his front row start, Young launched his Colin Appleyard Racing run Yamaha R1 off the start line and looked to get the hole-shot into the first corner. However, he was forced to back off after touching series leader Shane Byrne.

With all riders on slicks (dry tyres), a downpour on lap 20 forced the organizers to stop the race. With two-thirds of the race distance already completed and the race result declared. T.D.B Recruit.com riders Young and Kirkham's progress was halted, and classified in ninth and 13th places respectively.

Young commented: "The first race was brilliant. The track was drying but I've raced here [Knockhill] enough to know that rain is never far away on a day like this. I made a conscious decision to save the tyres and so as it started to rain again it was only a matter of time before I would re-pass JR and Rutter.

"We know the bike has the potential to win races. The racing this year is so strong and no doubt it's world class, but with a bit more testing and me regaining full fitness hopefully we can start to mount a consistent challenge for the podium."

Kirkham was disappointed by the first race, but overall upbeat: "The rain is the first race bucketed down! Even with all the preparations to my visor, rain still managed to get in and just made it impossible and dangerous to continue. The second race was much better. My lap times were on target, but I lost a load of time when I had to avoid Crawford who high-sided in front of me.

"I had to go all the way back to first gear at the start of the start/finish straight and the pair of Kawasaki's got past. I was making up time on them but ran out of laps when the race was red flagged."

Team owner Colin Appleyard was elated at the team's first podium of the year. He said: "The team was brilliant this weekend. All round they got it right in very difficult conditions and what a result for Youngy! Paul demonstrated his experience and patience in race one, it's not just that he's good in the wet, but he still has some injuries and wet racing is easier physically so it levels the playing field somewhat. Jon was unlucky in both races but a solid result in the second race gives the team more valuable points."

The team now has some time to recover from the first five rounds, with a five-week gap to the next race at Brands Hatch on the 22nd of June.

 

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