The British Superbike Championship is nearing the halfway point in the season and returning former champion Shane Byrne holds a slender lead over nearest rival John Hopkins. The fact that Byrne leads the championship is not that surprising, after all he is a proven race winner at this level and is also riding for one of the most successful teams in recent times, HM Plant Honda. Hopkins too has proven pedigree riding motorcyles at the top level in Moto GP and it has taken him little time to learn the tight twisty circuits on the BSB calander.
Whilst Byrne and Hopkins are flying at the front other fancied riders are faring less well. Byrne's team mate and reigning champion, Ryuchi Kiyonari finds himself outside the top six and facing a battle to compete to get back onto the podium where he doubtless belongs. Another rider strongly tipped to do well at the beginning of the season, Josh Brookes, has so far failed to make an impression on the Relentless Suzuki, surprising considering how aggressive a rider he is and how well he performed last year aboard the HM Plant Honda. Tommy Hill will also be looking to improve after his near miss last season. An injury has not helped his cause but he will need to start putting strong results together quickly or he may see Byrne and Hopkins turn the championship into a two-horse race going into the final stretch..