MCE British Superbike contenders feel the need for speed as Thruxton thriller beckons
The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship hits the high-speed Hampshire circuit of Thruxton this weekend (August 7/8/9) with top speeds of around 175mph. The two races at the fastest circuit of the season are set to see the battle for the top six in the standings intensify as just seven races now remain before the end of season Showdown.
Defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne moved ahead of Luke Mossey in the standings after the previous round at Brands Hatch courtesy of his double victory, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider is fully focused on his podium return, having missed out on the top three since Knockhill.
Fresh from his heroic second place in the Suzuka 8 Hour race event in Japan yesterday (Sunday), Leon Haslam will be gunning for the pair ahead of him as he bids to claim a haul of Podium Points at the JG Speedfit round of the season for the team. The ‘Pocket Rocket’ was back on the podium last time out at Brands Hatch and wants to hit the top spot again this weekend as he bids to make up the ground lost when he was sidelined from Knockhill after his free practice crash.
The Honda Racing team hold fourth place in the standings ahead of Thruxton with Jason O’Halloran moving ahead of his fellow countryman Josh Brookes after round six at Brands Hatch by just four points. The O’Show has bagged three podium finishes this season and knows that he needs another solid points score to try and keep ahead of the chasing pack who are all aiming to be in the Showdown six on his return from Japan and the Suzuka 8 Hour.
Brookes is another rider who will be jetting back in from Japan and the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider will want to make amends after crashing out of the second race at Brands Hatch last time out. The Australian ‘Bad Boy’ is ready to take the fight to arch rival Byrne and his Showdown opposition at one of his favourite tracks on the calendar.
Peter Hickman arrives at Thruxton completing the top six and just ten points adrift of Brookes ahead of him. However the Smiths Racing BMW rider knows that he needs to push again for podiums after his best result at Brands Hatch with a pair of fourth place finishes. He lies just nine points ahead of seventh and a queue of riders lining up to steal the positions.
Leading the riders pushing for a top six position in the standings is Christian Iddon; after making his debut at the Suzuka 8 Hour event last weekend he is determined to haul himself back into Showdown contention. The Tyco BMW rider had held a top six position after three podium finishes at the start of the season, but a free practice crash at Knockhill meant he missed four races and began a fight back at Brands Hatch with a podium finish.
Ten points separate Iddon from double Knockhill race winner Jake Dixon and the RAF Reserves Kawasaki team who are having one of their strongest campaigns to date and the young gun contender is pushing to qualify inside the top six for the first time.
However James Ellison and Dan Linfoot are both podium finishers from Brands Hatch and are fully focused on clawing their way back up the order after a tough first half of the season, with Glenn Irwin also aiming to be fitter for the next two races as he continues his recovery from injury.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings:
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 190
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 159
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 133
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 129
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 119
For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com