Danny Buchan became the third different race winner in the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Knockhill, claiming the first victory for the new BMW M 1000 RR, and awarding the TAS Racing team their first win since Michael Laverty at Thruxton in 2016.
Buchan arrived at Knockhill as the only rider on the current grid who had been victorious at the Scottish track previously, maintaining the circuit as a happy hunting ground again in 2021. Now as the championship chase arrives in Kent, can the SYNETIQ BMW rider carry that momentum to Brands Hatch?
“I hope that we can carry the momentum from Knockhill into Brands Hatch,” said Buchan. “It’s a difficult track. I don’t know what it is about Knockhill, maybe my size helps, but I just seem to get on with the track. What we had last weekend was obviously amazing, the bike was working fantastically and it is a credit to the team as they gave me an easy bike to ride.
“That was good, I know I had a lot of expectation put on me there, but to be honest I was ignoring that because with a new team and bike, it was unproven at Knockhill. The same with any track really; look at Oulton Park; Pete [Hickman] rode really well on the BMW and was on the podium.”
After the opening round at Oulton Park, Buchan had bagged a best result of fourth place, but admits that he didn’t expect to have been in the position he is ahead of round three.
“I went to Knockhill open minded and focusing on the championship and being there at the end. I had hoped for three strong rides, I didn’t realise I would have such a strong pace there,” reflected Buchan. “We had a good test there, but the bike is improving all the time I am riding it, so I have to thank the team for that.
“If someone had said pre-season that we would be winning at round two I probably would have laughed to be fair! I had always hoped that we could be on the podium at some tracks. I haven’t had bad results at Brands Hatch in previous years looking back. I think some of the other bike will be strong there because of the way the engine works, but I think the BMW can be strong too. I am looking forward to seeing where we can be stronger.
“I think it is going to be more difficult at Brands Hatch as we haven’t tested there like we had at Oulton Park and Knockhill, but we all know the track well and it should click straight away and it will just be like being home again.”
Coming off the back of his first double win last time out, expectation is high for the SYNETIQ BMW rider now to prove that he can repeat the feat again, but admits he isn’t fazed by his current position.
“I expect myself to do well at every round so to have that expectation from other people going into Brands Hatch doesn’t bother me, as I always expect more from myself than anyone else could anyway,” added Buchan.
“The championship is massively important and you could see from Knockhill I did pull a few harsh or brave moves, however you want to put it, but this is a championship and I need to take as many point as I can, when I can. I knew I had to get through to win those races and the championship is always at the forefront of everything you are doing, so at Brands Hatch we need to take what we can, when we can. If we are only good enough for a top six we take that, if we can be there fighting for the win, then we fight.
“I think it’s going to be crazy next weekend! Everyone is going to be aggressive, everyone is out to win at the minute and stamp their authority. We all want to win as many races as we can and I don’t think that will stop any time soon!”