MOTORSPORT: Ben laments luck at favourite track

Frustrating weekend: Ben Wilson failed to replicate his recent success at Knockhill over the weekend. Photo by DAVE YEOMANS
Frustrating weekend: Ben Wilson failed to replicate his recent success at Knockhill over the weekend. Photo by DAVE YEOMANS
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BEN Wilson is still searching for a first British Supersport championship win of the season after a frustrating weekend at Knockhill.

The Gearlink Kawasaki ace finished in 11th and fourth place at the Scottish circuit, which drops him down a place to fifth in the overall rider standings.

The 30-year-old rider from Kirton was hoping to collect a couple of good results at a track that has always been good to him in the past.

But he was dogged by an electrical problem which hampered his progress in the first race.

This year the grids have been reduced to three bikes per row, meaning Wilson’s ninth-placed qualifying postion put him back on third row.

He got away to a trademark fantastic start though, rounding the first corner in fourth position, only to lose a positon before the end of the first lap.

The safety car was then deployed after an accident further downfield, which halted his progress.

As the car left the circuit on lap eight Wilson’s problems really kicked in and he began to lose ground, eventually crossing the finish line in 11th place.

“We had major problems with the bike in race one,” said Wilson. “And 11th was certainly not the result I either expected or wanted.

“But I did manage to finish and pick up a few championship points.”

As the 25-lap feature race began on Sunday, Wilson was uncharacteristically slow to get away and found himself boxed in down in ninth position on the first lap.

He soon recovered and began to mount a challenge on the riders ahead. But again his progress was halted when the safety car came out for two laps in the early stages of the race.

Once the race got back under way he began to move forward and overhauled Richard Cooper on lap 10 to establish fifth place.

He then passed Luke Mossey to settle into fourth and begin the chase after Jack Kennedy a few years ahead. Disaster stuck when he got within striking distance of his target, though.

Christian Iddon, who was a lap down on the leaders, moved aside to let Kennedy through – but then moved back onto the racing line in front of Wilson, who was unable to make a pass and had to settle for fourth place.

The race was won by Billy McConnell, who headed a Smiths (Gloucester) Racing Triumphs one-two ahead of team-mate Glen Richards – who took the spoils in the sprint race 24 hours earlier.

A frustarted Wilson added: “I was on for the podium. If I could have got past Iddon I would have caught and passed Kennedy for sure.

“Iddon was a lap down on us and was really only cruising. He should not have been on the racing line and subsequently I was denied the podium and the extra points.”

Wilson now drops to fifth in the rider standings on 121 points – but is only one point behind Sam Warren, who also crashed out of the race.

The next round is at Oulton Park in Cheshire on July 8 – where, back in May, Wilson scored two second places.

A repeat of this would move him right back into contention for a top three place in the rider standings, at what will be the halfway stage of the championship.

Rider standings: 1st J Kennedy 182.5pts; 2nd G Richards 164pts; 3rd B Mcconnell 129pts; 4th S Warren 123pts; 5th B Wilson 121pts.