Bradley Perie continued his lightning progression in this year’s Quattro British Supersport Championship, with two wins at Knockhill, giving him a 14 point lead. Young Appleyard Macadam Yamaha teamster Rhys Irwin took consistent finishes to sit ninth in the series.
With a compressed (3 days into 2) programme, the Supersport teams had a frenetic day of action on Saturday, as they contended with two practice sessions, qualifying and a race, leaving no room for error. The highly experienced Keighley based team were up for the challenge keeping the riders on schedule and fresh tyres ready to go for each piece of track action.
Brad hit the ground running going second fastest in Free Practice 1, just 0.04 of a second behind Jack Kennedy. He repeated that feat in FP2; showing good pace whilst Rhys was seventh fastest.
The leaderboard changed many times in qualifying with Brad eventually taking a front row slot in third. Rhys struggled a little giving him a fifth-row start.
It was high drama in Saturday’s Supersport ‘Sprint’ race, as World Supersport star Kyle Smith fired into the lead on his factory supported Triumph. Brad put him under pressure and closed the gap, arguably forcing him into a mistake and slipping off, leaving Brad to control the race and take the Championship lead. Rhys found himself in a series of battles which yo-yoed him through the pack, to eventually take ninth in class (excluding the GP2 machines).
With rain threatening but never materialising, Sunday’s longer Feature race seemed destined for more of the same. Brad had different ideas though and after quickly dispensing with Kyle Smith, he eked out a good lead, finishing a massive five seconds ahead of Lee Johnston. Rhys found himself in a similar position for ninth, taking some well-known scalps on the way.
Brad’s dominant display makes him a clear leader in the series points at 95 to 81 from ex-champion Jack Kennedy.
Team Owner Robin Appleyard said, “What a dominant display from Brad, he just cleared off. If you look at his laptimes he was also really consistent. He is so impressive, he just takes what gets thrown at him. Rhys has improved throughout the weekend and finished with his best ride of the year in the last race. He’s a complete Rookie here and is settling down a bit, we just to help him sort his qualifying out and he’ll be in with the next group.”
Bradley Perie commented, “That actually surprised me to be honest, it came quite easily in the final race. My main aim was to stop Kyle clearing off like yesterday but it panned out completely differently. Coming into Knockhill I wasn’t too sure as it’s one of my weaker tracks, so I'm over the moon really!”
Rhys Irwin added, “I feel like I learned a lot and I’m happy with the improvements, if I can start the weekend a bit quicker it will all come together I’m sure. I’m looking forward to Brands Hatch and keep on progressing.”