The R&G British Talent Cup heads north to Scotland and across the Fourth Bridge to the smallest circuit on the BSB calendar: Knockhill.
By Ed Lewis.
25 days have passed since the last R&G BTC wheels rolled out of Donington Park. School exams completed, engines rebuilt and young minds reset for the circuit that probably most suits the Honda NSF250R motorcycle: Knockhill Just 2km long, a heather lined ribbon of tarmac with its 60 meter elevation changes and challenging off camber blind apexes, you can bet each lap will leave your heart in your mouth……. It’s not for the faint hearted.
Statistics tell us that current championship leader Evan Belford will be the man to challenge, the RS Racing rider won the breath taking race one at this venue in 2022 and is brimming with confidence with his nine point advantage over crowd favourite Harrison Dessoy, the Microlise Creswell rider returning back from a disappointing Jerez European Talent Cup (ETC) team adventure taking in valuable experience in the Andalusian heat.
RS racings Amanuel Brinton is also back in the UK from his ETC exploits, the Valencia based British teenager certainly stepped his game up a gear in the last two Spanish events running with the front pack and with only a harsh long lap penalty in both races for qualifying pit lane rule infringement potentially denying `Manny` his first European podium. The question is how Amanuel will take to the twists and undulations of Knockhill, a far cry from the wide open GP circuits that favour his immaculate classic GP style.
One young man who this circuit is made for is last of the late breakers, the fearless Sullivan Mounsey. The Wilson Racing Honda teenager is no stranger to the Knockhill podium with a runner up spot in 2022. With a point to prove after two DNF’s so far this term, it’ll be all or nothing from the brave Manic Mounsey currently sixth in the standings on 36 points
Another British “Road To Moto GP” prospect Rhys Stephenson also returns from continental travels guest riding with Mlavs British Talent Team, Rhys had a clutch failure during the Jerez (ETC) last chance race after previously showing good pace to qualify, followed seven days later by a Red Bull Rookie KTM disaster in the Tuscan hills of Mugello, a crash in a soaking wet race one followed by a lonely ride to 18th in race two. The Lincolnshire rocket will be hungry to make amends back on his own familiar Honda stead and hopefully salvage a poor start to 2023.
Local hero Troy Jeffery is back for a wildcard ride with familiar faces, the former Thorneycroft outfit now transformed by ambitious team owner Chris Barnes re-branded `Talentum Motorsport` – Troy won the hearts of the Scottish fans last year with a double podium and will be one to watch. New Talentum team mate the sensational Ryan Frost will be wise to study Jeffery’s track maps.
So fasten your seatbelts and hold your breath- coming up are frenzied – action packed round three, episodes five & six of the R&G British Talent Cup. Who will be the bonnie Prince of the hill?
Featured Images: Michael Hallam Photography.