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 the World Superbike Championship 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.

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