Silverstone will host the next crucial stage of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship this weekend (September 8/9/10) when the six Title Fighters will finally be decided in an intense triple-header race weekend.
For the first time in the history of the championship, there is not a single rider confirmed in the Showdown title fight ahead of the top six decider, so the battle to be in contention to push for British championship honours will come down to three crucial races in Northamptonshire.
There have been seven different race winners and a further five different podium finishers so far this season, so it really will be a battle of the titans this weekend.
Leading the standings into Silverstone is defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne. The Be Wiser Ducati rider holds a narrow ten point advantage over arch rival Leon Haslam and the record-breaking champion will be pushing for a victorious return to Silverstone, but his JG Speedfit Kawasaki opponent was the victor last time out at Cadwell Park.
Peter Hickman has soared up the standings in recent rounds and the Smiths Racing BMW rider heads to Silverstone and will be bidding to repeat his victory from 2016 as he bids to make the cut for the Showdown for the first time.
Just adrift of Hickman is Australian contender Jason O’Halloran; the Honda Racing rider is gunning for his first win of the season onboard the all-new Fireblade, but his fellow countryman Josh Brookes is only eleven points behind as he bids to add to his 2015 title crown.
Luke Mossey holds the final place in the top six ahead of Silverstone as he aims to return from injury for JG Speedfit Kawasaki. Mossey trails Brookes by six points, but closing rapidly is RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon and he is only five points off in seventh place with Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon also pushing for a Showdown position.
The final rider with a shot at the Showdown six is James Ellison as he heads to Silverstone after becoming the seventh different winner of the season at Cadwell Park.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings:
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 219
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 209
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 193
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 178
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 167
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 156
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 153
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) 119
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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne
Be Wiser Ducati
Championship position: 1st
“Silverstone is an event I am really looking forward to because if I am honest I left Cadwell Park a bit angry and frustrated about the last two rounds and how many potential podium points we have given away to our rivals. That is a bitter pill to swallow.
“With three races at Silverstone we have an opportunity to get some back and so we need to work as hard as possible to make that happen. However we need to remember that the Showdown starts just a few days later.
“I have spent the time since the last round in Spain and I really feel fired up and ready to go because I want to put right the wrongs of the previous races at Silverstone.”
JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Championship position: 2nd
“I am feeling confident for Silverstone and so are the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team. We have some things we want to test before the Showdown and this is the perfect place to try it before the final three rounds.
“We have a good plan and know that we need to have three consistently strong races, because at this stage of the season nobody can afford a DNF. I am sure at this point of the season and the importance of it will spur some people on a bit more to make some moves, but I know what I need to do.
“It really is business as usual for me. I have missed four races this year through issues and injury so we need to collect as many Podium Points as we can this weekend and get back to that consistency we had at the start of the season.
“I feel we are coming into this weekend in a strong position and I am ready to fight for the three wins.”
Smiths Racing BMW
Championship position: 3rd
“I think excited is the key word for me ahead of Silverstone this weekend. I have been close to making the Showdown a couple of times before and I have missed out because of a couple of points here or there and this year we have jumped in at the moment, but it is still all to play for.
“We have three races so there is a lot that can still happen. I am 37 points ahead of seventh so I have a good cushion but it only takes one DNF and someone else to win one and suddenly that goes down to 12 points.
“ I think there will be some interesting moves going on, especially in race two and three! It is going to be hard fought like it is every weekend in this championship and it will be tough. Silverstone lends itself to that kind of close racing though and it’s fast and the racing is always close! We might see some harsh moves being pulled as people fight for their place in the Showdown.”
Championship position: 4th
“I knew when we started the season that we would have development work to do with the new Fireblade, but we have been building and scoring consistently even when we have had a tough weekend. I would definitely like to have won a race by now and scored some more podiums but the important thing is that we are fighting for a position in the Showdown.
“I love Silverstone; it has been a strong circuit for Honda in the past. It is one of those tracks that should suit it and I think we can come out and have three strong races. Once you are in the Showdown it is anyone’s game, but I feel that we deserve to be there.
“I am focusing one race at a time and I am going out to do the best job I can for Honda Racing. I think it will be a round where everyone will be pushing the boundaries a bit more; myself, Josh [Brookes] and Luke [Mossey] are not as safe as the guys in front of us so we need to really attack the weekend as usual with a clear head and remain as consistent as possible.”
Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha
Championship position: 5th
“Silverstone is a good circuit; I look forward to going there. It’s no different to any other round at this stage, its business as usual, and not in a secure manner. Nobody is completely secure, but being fifth in the championship is just job as usual. I just have to go and get the results and head towards the championship decider.
“I don’t feel like there is any pressure put on me, I only put pressure on myself! The only pressure in our team should be in the tyres! The job has always been to win races, even from the first round of the year – the idea and the expectation is to win races. That’s what we aim to achieve, and that’s how you win a championship.
“Other riders or teams may succumb to the idea of this round being greater than others, but to me it’s the same from the first round to the last. We’ve got the same job, the same objectives, so the pressure doesn’t change.”
JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Championship position: 6th
“The recovery has been going well. I got straight back on my feet and although we had to sit out Cadwell Park, I have been doing everything possible to come back. Missing Cadwell Park was disappointing as I think we could have had a good result there.
“I am not worried about Silverstone as we know we have pace and that the JG Speedfit Kawasaki is good. I feel like I have been on vacation so I am coming back refreshed and ready to fight for wins.
“I think there are some guys around me who have more pressure than me, but it will be an interesting one as there are six to eight guys fighting to make the last positions but I am ready for it.”
RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki
Championship position: 7th
“Silverstone can’t come soon enough! The way I have been riding in recent rounds there should be no reason why we can’t be in the top six.
“Luke Mossey is ahead of me in the standings so really I need to finish ahead of him in the races, but to be honest I am not completely focused on that; my aim is to go out and win all three races.
“I have nothing to lose because I am not currently in the top six, so my aim is to win and be fighting for podiums. I am just going to go about my business as usual, but for sure it would be great if we can be in the title fight so I can try and be the youngest ever winner!
“It was frustrating to end Cadwell Park with a crash but I am ready to come out all guns blazing at Silverstone.”
Championship position: 8th
“I was happy to narrow the margin in the points to the top six at Cadwell Park, but it still wasn’t as much as I would have liked and I did feel disappointed that we couldn’t capitalise more. Silverstone is going to have to be exceptional for us or at least very good because we desperately want to make the Showdown.
“It is going to be a real dog fight and it is a really interesting quartet in front of me; Jake has such a super raw talent, Josh who everyone will expect to be in the Showdown, Luke who comes back from injury, but it is a strong track for him and Jason is just ahead of that.
“We have to take it race by race; that’s the thing with racing you don’t know what will happen and so the best thing to do is nothing different to any other round. I’m in control of my destiny and how I ride and together with the team we can control how we set the bike up for the races. We just have to be collectively better than the guys ahead of us, because one thing we can’t control is what they all do.”
Championship position: 9th
“I am feeling really confident coming into Silverstone, we picked ourselves up after Thruxton because we knew it would still be mathematically possible to make the Showdown and we arrived at Cadwell Park with the bit between my teeth. We came out with a solid race in the first one and then we scored McAMS Yamaha’s first race win in the championship. That was a pretty big deal.
“After Cadwell Park the championship is pretty much back on track; nobody is secure in the top six, not Shakey, not Haslam, and so we come into Silverstone with three races and 75 points up for grabs and there isn’t much between us. I am coming into the decider with a heck of a lot more confidence than I had before Cadwell Park.
“I am relaxed; the last couple of races I have been pushing for the win and I was a bit more cautious because I didn’t want to lose anything, but at Silverstone I have nothing to lose now.”