Fine margins make all the difference at Silverstone

Motorbike racing can be defined by the smallest of margins – and that rang true for Bridgnorth's Michael Rutter and his Bathams Racing team as the British Superbike series returned to Silverstone.

Round eight of the National Superstock championship saw continued improvements in the performance of the Bathams Racing BMW M1000RR.

However, with the closest racing of the season so far in the ultra-competitive superstock championship, team rider Taylor Mackenzie was unlucky to be at the wrong end of the pack while racing for victory in both races.

Mackenzie finished just 2.6 seconds behind the winner after 22 laps of the Northamptonshire circuit in race one, which was only good enough for seventh position.

The team made a number of set up changes for race two, which paid dividends as faster lap times followed throughout the whole race for Mackenzie who started from 10th position on the grid.

His lap times were good enough to be able to compete with the podium finishers on pace, but not enough to make up for track position starting on row four.

Mackenzie eventually finished in eighth position, just four seconds away from the podium, while the two results left him fifth in the National Superstock championship standings, 45 points behind the leader.

Bathams team boss Rutter said: "Not going to lie, that one was tough to take.

"Being so close to the podium at the end of both races but to only come away with a seventh and eighth is frustrating, but that's racing.

"Sometimes you're just at the wrong end of the line."

Newport's Harry Rowlings, 21, was also back in British Supersport action, in the GP2 class, at Silverstone.

"After missing FP1 due to dodgy conditions and not wanting to risk any damage to me or the bike, we were left with FP2 later in the day where it had dried up," he said.

Coming into the weekend without a previous set up for the track, the team made "an educated guess" for FP2 but got it wrong.

Rowlings added: "We made some more changes for qualifying but we still weren’t 100 per cent there. However, I got under my previous PB time from 2019 so there was some positives.

"For the sprint race, we again made some changes thanks to help from GP Sport and Steve Jordan Motorcycles after having looked through the data, coming home in seventh with good pace towards the end of the race.

"For the feature race, we again made some changes, which helped massively, dropping my lap times by another half a second.

"I was enjoying the race battling with [Isle of Man TT star] Michael Dunlop but unfortunately hit a false neutral, which made me run on and drop back.

"It ended in another seventh but we made a really positive step forward with the bike, which will help us in the coming rounds.

"Massive thank you to all my sponsors for everything they do and I’ll be pushing hard for these final three rounds to get some good results."

The BSB series and all the support classes now head to Oulton Park, September 24-26.

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