Gino in the points again at Knockhill

by Giles Spencer
Gino Rea increased his points tally in his first visit to Knockhill in Scotland for round 5 of the Bennetts British Superbike championship last weekend.

With Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne realistically looking to miss the rest of the season, Tooting born Rea takes over charge for the South London representatives.

On his first visit to the Scotish track, Rea, 28, showed strongly in practice carrying that form through to make the cut for the 2nd round of qualifying for the first time this year, eventually putting himself 15th on the grid, 0.798s of the pole time set by RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki rider, Jake Dixon with a 47.956s lap.

After the strong build-up, race one didn’t go to script with Gino struggling to match the pace on the short, tight track he’d previoulsy found, eventually losing a long battle with Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran to cross the finish line in 17th place, 37.942s behind race winner, Dixon, the double race winner from Knockhill in 2017.

Race two saw better results for Rea, learning the track every lap, finishing 15th to grab the final point and close his time in on the winner, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam, to 35.516s.

Reflecting after the races, Rea said, ‘We’re leaving Knockhill with a point scoring ride but I expected more. Over the weekend we gradually closed the gap to the leaders and for the first time this year we made Qualifying 2.

We made some changes for race 1 which in hindsight didn’t work, but we rebounded in race 2 to score points. I felt really good on the bike so we’ll build on that feeling and keep moving forward. We are taking the positives and I’m thankful for team OMG Racing’s continued hard work this weekend.’

‘Roll on my home race at Brands hatch!’

Round 6 of the championship will take place at Brands hatch in Kent on 20-22 July.

Championship Positions after round 5

1. Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki  – 210
2. Jake Dixon, RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki – 136
3. Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki – 112
4. Glenn Irwin, Be Wiser Ducati – 105
5. Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati – 98
6. Danny Buchan, FS-3 Kawasaki – 95
20. Gino Rea, OMG Racing Suzuki – 12

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