Sunday, 2 November 2014

BSB: New season speculation

The 2014 British Superbike season may have only just finished, with Shane Byrne being crowned the champion for a record fourth time, but that shouldn't stop us already looking forward to next season!

Let's start off with the riders who are already confirmed for next year: Kiyonari was the first to sign for the 2015 season, confirming he will spend another season with Buildbase BMW before the 2014 season had even ended. After speculation that Josh Brookes was heading to World Superbikes with Yamaha next season, he has decided to stay put in 2015 as he searches for that elusive first championship aboard the Milwaukee-backed and all new Yamaha R1. No news on whether Tommy Bridewell keeps his place alongside Brookes but we expect him to move on after not quite reaching the heights he was hoping for last season. James Ellison also returns to the championship, staying with GB Moto Kawasaki, while Chris Walker will move away from the team in 2015.

Recent news has also seen Honda announce their return to British Superbikes after taking a year out in 2014. Dan Linfoot steps up to a factory bike and will be joined by long term Honda employee, Jason O'Halloran.

The 2015 will see the return of 2011 champion Tommy Hill, but he won't be taking his place on the grid, instead he switches his attention to managing a two rider strong Kawasaki team backed by Be Wiser. No news on riders yet, but expect the lineup to be a mix of a more experienced rider and a younger racer coming through from Superstock 600. Could Danny Buchan be partnered with rising star and highly rated Joe Collier who competed well in last year's Superstock 600 championship?

There is much speculation that Paul Bird will be running two teams next year. Expect Shane Byrne to return to defend his championship. If Paul Bird does run two teams also expect long term PBM rider, Stuart Easton to be given one of the three other rides. With one team likely running the tried and testing Kawasaki's could this be an opportunity for Ducati or BMW to have a much bigger presence on the grid in 2015?

So what about the Tyco Suzuki team? They had a generally disappointing 2014 season with neither of Tyco Suzuki's riders making it into the top six. Has Josh Waters done enough to retain his ride in 2015 and is there a future at the team for John Hopkins after a poor showing on his return to the championship? Expect the Tyco backed TAS team to step up their efforts in 2015, most likely with an all new rider line-up.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Lowes edges ahead...

With race one of a triple header at Brands Hatch complete, it is Samsung Honda's Alex Lowes who leads Shane Byrne by three points, going into the final two races of the season tomorrow. Josh Brookes returned to the top step of the podium with Alex just behind in second place and Shane Byrne coming home in third in tricky conditions. James Ellison saw his slim championship hopes completely disappear as he pulled into the pits with a technical problem.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Nearly there...

With the second round of the British Superbike Showdown complete, there are only a final three races at Brands Hatch to decide who will be British Superbike Champion 2013. Riding injured, Shane Byrne managed to equal Lowes' results at Silverstone this weekend meaning he takes a one point lead into the final round at Brands Hatch. The championship is now really between these two riders, with Byrne having the slight advantage of racing at his home track for the deciding three races and a track at which he secured his chamipnship last year against Josh Brookes!

Over in the World Superbikes, another double win for Tom Sykes means he needs only another two fourth places from the final round in Jerez to be crowned World Superbike Champion. Congratulations to Sam Lowes who won his first World Supersport championship aboard his Yamaha R6, wrapping up the title with one round to spare.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dramatic start to the showdown

With the first meeting of the British Superbike showdown complete, Shane Byrne leads the championship but now by just 1 point from Alex Lowes with James Ellison a further 20 points back in third.

The first race of the day saw James Ellison take an early lead on his Yamaha R1 before an engine problem forced him to retire and left Alex Lowes and Shane Byrne to battle it out for the top two positions on the podium. Lowes won the battle, culminating in an excellent last lap where the lead changed hands several times before Lowes got the upper hand and beat Byrne to the line.

The second race is where it all got very interesting... Again Lowes and Byrne were closely battling at the front before Lowes went for a pass on Byrne and the two collided, sending Byrne off and leaving Lowes to eventually take the win; passing Ellison who grabbed second. However the real drama came after the race when the Race Directors deemed Lowes' move to have been the cause of an avoidable accident and therefore excluded him from the race, meaning that neither Lowes or Byrne scored any points. This meant that James Ellison was promoted to first place with rookie PJ Jacobson taking home his first podium in second and Kiyonari picking up a fortunate third place!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Showdown begins

With the first part of the season in the 2013 British Superbike Championship complete, the six riders who have a chance of taking the championship have been decided. Those are: Shane Byrne, Alex Lowes, Josh Brookes, James Ellison, Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Westmoreland. A quick check back to earlier in the year will show we got five of the six riders to make it into the showdown correct, the only incorrect choice being Westmoreland instead of Walker after his late surge at Donington Park saw him leapfrog his team mate into the top six!

So who do we think will take home the British Superbike title this year? Favourite amongst many pundits will be the three times former champion and current leader, Shane Byrne. He has the experience, a great team and the fact that his favourite round, Brands Hatch, makes up the final three races of the season. Alex Lowes is the form man, the up and coming youngster who has improved more this year than any other rider on the grid. We believe that his form will continue into the showdown and allow him to take the championship this year by a small margin, ahead of Shane Byrne in second and Josh Brookes likely to battle home to take third place.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Seasons shaping up

We are coming towards the final stages of the British and World Superbike Championship with some familiar names in the top positions.

In the British Superbike Championship, the showdown format of the series means the top three riders, Byrne, Brookes and Lowes are looking for momentum as they head towards the crucial final three rounds of the season. Ellison and Kyonari are nearly secure but there are around four riders all vying for that final spot in the showdown; the six riders who will go on to fight for the title over the final three rounds. The man who is on the best form is Bridewell and he still has a mathematical chance of getting into the showdown. His pace is recent races has seen him mix it with the usual protagonists at the front of the field and he must have great confidence going into Donington of adding to the podium he scored last time out at Cadwell Park.

Over in the World Championship, veteran rider, Sylvain Guintoli still leads the Championship ahead of the charging Tom Sykes with Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri not far behind. The eventual champion is likely to come from these four riders and Brits will be crossing their fingers that Tom Skyes can put last year's disappointment behind him and secure his first Superbike World title, as the championship heads into the final rounds of the year.

Friday, 21 June 2013

BSB: Championship predictions

With a fair part of the British Superbike and British Supersport championships completed, we thought it was about time to make some detailed predictions about where we see both championships going this year.

For a few years now the British Superbike Championship has adopted a 'Showdown' system where the top six riders in the main part of the championship go into a final shootout over the last three races to decide who will be the eventual champion. The first three spots on the Showdown are pretty much confirmed; Bryne, Brookes and Alex Lowes but the last three are a touch more difficult to predict. Ryuchi Kiyonari is recovering from a bad start and is strong favourite to take the fourth spot. James Elison is another rider who has the speed to get on the podium and for that reason we put him in the showdown in fifth place. The final spot will likely be between Chris Walker and Jon Kirkham and with Chris Walker's consistency this year, we are tipping the veteran rider to just about grab the final spot!

As for predicting the top three finishers in the British Supersport championship; that might just be an impossible task! However we are going for Easton to take the Championship with Seeley in second and his teammate at Gearlink Kawasaki, Ben Wilson taking home third place.