The grid is ready to descend on Donington Park for the first two races of the season.
After a long wait, a test in Jerez in March and then another at Silverstone in July, the time has come for the Honda British Talent Cup to go into battle. The venue is Donington Park (National), and the Honda BTC will be taking it on from the 7th to the 9th of August as a new era on the Road to MotoGP™ begins.
In testing, it’s been Casey O’Gorman (Microlise Cresswell Racing) in charge. The number 72 reigned the top of the timesheets in Jerez and at Silverstone, and he must surely start the season with a target on his back. Racing, though, is a different beast to testing – with everyone now out to disrupt that pace as much as possible.
So who do we expect to see in the fight? Charlie Farrer (Victoria House Academy/Mortimer Racing) was second quickest at Silverstone and he showed some good form in the previous era of the Cup too, so he’s one to keep an eye on. The likes of Eddie O’Shea, Corey Tinker (GR Motosport Brent Gladwin), Bailey Stuart Campbell (151S S-C Racing), Evan Belford (Fab Racing) and Harvey Claridge (Nova/SP125 Racing) are other key names who have shuffled around in the upper echelons of the top ten as well, and could likely prove the riders battling it out for the podium.
A little further back, the timesheets at the Silverstone test were incredibly tight, and Donington will see if they hold true. For many in the new era of the Honda BTC the first focus will be experience and improvement – but it looks like there may be some tight fights throughout the field. James Cook (Wilson Racing) headed up a huge group of riders all split by gaps of a tenth or less in the test, ahead of Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) and Ryan Hitchcock (Rdh Racing), so it will be no mean feat to get into that coveted top ten.
Tune in for the return of the Honda BTC from the 7th to the 9th of August as the new era begins at Donington Park, with Race 1 on Saturday at 14:15 (GMT +1/BST) and lights out for Race 2 on Sunday at 14:35.