Sunday, 29 April 2018

BSB: Strong start for Ray

The 2018 British Superbike championship is only two rounds in but already there is a new star is the making in Buildbase Suzuki's Bradley Ray. Starting the season with two victories at the weather-effected Donington Park, the impressive youngster leads the standings by 10 points and with a showdown place almost a shoe-in, has a 5 point lead the the podium credits standings. In only his second year in BSB, Ray is already a strong contender to win the championship aboard a bike in only its second full season.

The familiar figure of Shane Byrne lies second in the championship aboard his Ducati with Leon Haslam in third. Surprisingly, experienced rider and former BSB champion, Josh Brookes is only eleventh in the standings after a lack of grip in the first two rounds. However the nature of the championship means a rider can get away with a poor start so long as he ends the season strongly and it will doubtless not be long before Brookes gets his season properly underway!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

WSBK: Championship predictions

With the start of the 2018 World Superbike Championship only two weeks away, its about time to start making some predictions for the coming season.

After Rea's dominance last year and despite the rule changes for 2018, the factory Kawasaki rider starts the season as strong favourite to again lift the title this time around. Expect an even stronger challenge from team mate Tom Sykes as he strives to win back the championship he last lifted in 2013.

It is the end of season third place which is more difficult to predict. Will Chaz Davies combine his undoubted speed with better consistency or will his more experienced team mate outshine him this time around? Expect more of a challenge from the Yamahas this year with Lowes and Van der Mark likely to be pretty close to each other all season and consistently fighting for podium finishes. Leon Camier starts the season as an outside chance for podiums and a top three championship finish after impressing in pre-season testing. He will need greater support from Honda this year if he is to be in the mix with the top three established factory teams.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

WSBK: Season preview

There are significant technical rule changes for 2018 which will hopefully make the racing closer and also bring non-factory teams closer to their factory counterparts.

There have been few rider line-up changes in the top teams with only move of note being Leon Camier, who moves to the factory Honda squad after brilliant seasons aboard the ageing MV Agusta. Camier will hope for big improvements from the new Fireblade as it was surprisingly off the pace in last year's campaign.

Despite the rule changes and the fact that they will likely impact the Kawasaki factory team the most, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes still start 2018 as the most likely to lift the championship. Ducati will be hoping increased consistency from Chaz Davies and the benefit of a second season for Marco Melandri will see them close the gap to the green bikes and mount a stronger title challenge this season.

The unchanged Yamaha paring of Alex Lowes and Michael Van der Mark will also hope to be closer to the Kawasaki's and Ducati's and challenging for race wins in the coming season after solid seasons in 2017.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

BSB: As you were for 2018

With the 2018 British Superbike championship fast approaching and winter testing in full swing, we thought we'd give a quick rundown of rider line-up changes for the coming season.

In truth many of the riders are staying put in 2018 with Be Wiser Ducati, Honda Racing and JG Speedfit Kawasaki retaining their 2017 line-ups. Josh Brookes and James Ellison have swapped teams but stick with Yamaha R1's after contrasting 2017 campaigns. Joining Josh Brookes at Mcams Yamaha is the returning Tarran Mackenzie, after an unsuccessful foray into the Moto2 paddock.

Richard Cooper returns to BSB after a strong performance in the National Superstock 1000 in 2017 and will be hoping to push on aboard the new GSXR 1000 Suzuki alongside promising youngster, Bradley Ray. Taylor Mackenzie also returns, after an injury hit end to last season aboard the Moto Rapido Ducati. He replaces John Hopkins who's injuries have ruled him out of the 2018 season.

Making their debuts this season are; Sylvain Barrier who has had success in the European Superstock 1000, Kyle Ryde, stepping onto the Superbike after strong previous performances in British Supersport and Gino Rea, who moves from World Supersport to contest his first season in BSB.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

BSB: It's Byrne for six!

A dramatic end to the British Superbike Championship of 2017 saw Shane Byrne take his sixth crown in front of a packed Brands Hatch crowd. Byrne went into the final round trailing Leon Haslam in the standings but his form at Brands, combined with some bad luck for Haslam, meant he overhauled the derbyshire man's advantage and retained the title for the first time in his illustrious BSB career.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

BSB: Showdown riders confirmed

After a bordering on ridiculous round at Silverstone in which the extremely bad weather resulted in a huge number of non-finishes, the top six riders who will fight for the 2017 BSB title has finally been decided.

Shane Byrne leads the way on his showdown-elevated 532 points. Kawasaki rider, Leon Haslam is second with Josh Brookes taking the third showdown place. After scoring race wins in the regular season, Jake Dixon grabs the fourth spot with Peter Hickman and Jason O'Halloran taking the final two places.

Monday, 21 August 2017

BSB: Showdown six still not set

With only three races to go before the top six is decided for the British Superbike championship title fight, none of the riders currently occupying those places are secure!

The 2017 championship has been very closely fought, no one rider has been able to make a break or distance himself from the rest of the field. Shane Byrne currently lies at the top of the standings but after a slow start to the season, he is only 10 points ahead of second place Leon Haslam and a further 16 ahead of Peter Hickman in third. Most people would expect these three to make the final showdown six though, with the other three places being contested by Jason O'Halloran, Josh Brookes, Luke Mossey, Jake Dixon, Christian Iddon and James Ellison. Any of those six could still also make the showdown, making the triple header at Silverstone a very exciting prospect!

In other news, credit must go to Lee Jackson who despite not having a shot at the top six this season, grabbed his first BSB podium by finished second in the second race this weekend for the Smiths Racing BMW team.