The MCE British Superbike Championship ascends on the GP track at Brands Hatch this weekend for another crucial round at the Kent circuit. Series leader Shane Byrne not only arrives as the most successful racer at the GP track with seven straight wins he will have an enormous target on his back as his rivals aim to end he recent domination.
There is no doubt that Byrne is on a roll in 2013 with seven wins from the opening five rounds, putting him at the head of the standings with 207 points and 23 podium credits – seven more than his closest rival Alex Lowes..
Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider, Byrne said: “We have a record of wins at Brands Hatch but I don’t intend on resting on my laurels as the last round at Snetterton showed that we need to keep improving if we want to stay ahead. Alex, Josh, James – they all want to be scoring more points than me and then there is Kiyo too! Brands Hatch is my home round and I certainly don’t go to an event to finish second, so we will work hard and hopefully that puts us where we need to be.”
Although Byrne will head to Brands Hatch as favourite, the competition will be tough with Samsung Honda pairing Sam Lowes and a resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari also citing race wins.
Lowes said: “I am ready for Brands Hatch; Shakey is the favourite because it is his home round and he has a record of consecutive wins, but we obviously are going there to try and win. We proved at Snetterton we can beat him fair and square and I certainly want to be back at the top. Everyone will be improving at Brands Hatch but the pressure is more on him as it is his home round and he obviously wants to keep up his form. To beat him there would be a great result.”
Back from his recent test in Japan for the prestigious Suzuka 8-hour at the end of July, Josh Brookes has shown the pace to run at the front, but now needs to convert this to his elusive first win of 2013.
James Ellison is another man showing he has the pace to fightfor the win. The Milwauke Yamaha R1 man beat Byrne to win race two of the opening round of the series at Brands Hatch so has already shown he has the pace – albeit on the Indy track.
Ellison said: “We have shown that we have the podium pace at all of the circuits apart from Knockhill and it has just been bad luck that has stopped us being on the podium more frequently. I feel good on the bike and to be honest I am not too worried about what has happened so far because of the way the Showdown works; the rules play into our hands at the moment. What has happened so far has just made me hungrier for results at Brands Hatch because we know we have the pace to fight at the front. This weekend we need to score two good results and find settings that will put us in a strong position for when we come back at the end of the season for the Showdown as hopefully we will be in the top six fighting for the title.”
You can get tickets for this weekend racing on the gate with children 12 and under admitted free. For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com