Has Britain found its next Superbike superstar in Rory Skinner?

Teenager Rory Skinner announces himself on a bigger stage with a superb double podium in only his second-ever British Superbike Championship event

Rory Skinner - FS-3 Kawasaki


It has been a while since a homegrown rookie has entered the British Superbike Championship with such buzz ringing around him, but even the most optimistic of optimists will have been taken aback by Rory Skinner’s performance at Knockhill this weekend.

Only 19-years of age, Skinner enters BSB on the back of a dominant title charge in the British Supersport Championship that was so dominant he won 10 of 12 races and ended the year just 30 points shy of the maximum 300.

After a solid debut at Oulton Park, Skinner flourished on the FS-3 Kawasaki ZX-10RR on home soil at Knockhill, proving quick from the word go and getting his elbows out against his more storied rivals in the fight for victories.

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A fourth and a pair of second place results were his reward, while he was unlucky not to have secured victory in the final race of the weekend having led from lap two to lap 23, when he was overtaken by Danny Buchan, before the race was red flagged on lap 25 with the results counted from lap 24.

"I came into this weekend just hoping to build on the performance we had at Oulton Park - maybe get a top 10 or maybe be up there in the races for a while… I never expected to come home in P2,” he beamed.

"You know to be right up there with the best in the country in BSB in my second round on a superbike, I was blown away!

"I’m so, so happy with it and just have to say a massive thanks to FS-3 Kawasaki for giving me a home and giving me the best package possible.

"I had no plan; I was just going with the flow of things. I was watching my board and I just rode my heart out and to bring home podiums is amazing."

Is Rory Skinner the real deal?

Turning down WorldSSP opportunities in favour of a step into Superbikes, the leap to 1000cc machinery has caught out a number of precocious riders in recent years - think Jack Kennedy.

But while many were willing to give Skinner time to ease into his new berth at FS-3 Racing Kawasaki, two podiums - including one agonising victory near-miss - at Knockhill showed he’s well up to speed already.

Though certainly buoyed by being on home soil, Skinner showed the full range of his abilities over the weekend; he qualified well, he didn’t fluff his starts - including one from pole position - under pressure, was consistently quick throughout, he advanced with some excellent overtakes and he was unflustered in the lead.

In short, he looked seasoned, rather than a teenager in only his second BSB event.

Knockhill is a particular type of circuit and one he knows well, so we’ll reserve some judgement for the coming rounds but he’s not fluked his route to Superbikes and he has the right attitude and aptitude on and off the Kawasaki to swiftly look at home.

Britain may dominate WorldSBK still but its been a while since we’ve seen such a young, developing rider stamp his mark so quickly. And there is clearly much more to come.

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