BSB: Opinion: First round just a test
The first round of BSB is always an interesting one as for most people on the grid it’s just another test. While pre-season testing is a thing in BSB, it’s often the late arrival of parts will mean those with new bikes or moving to different machinery are on the back foot at the opening round.
That was clearly seen this weekend with the riders to excel being those on the same machinery as the year before. The only exception to that is Josh Brookes, but it could be argued the Yamaha is a bike he knows well.
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For this reason, the opening round is in no way a reflection of how the season will pan out. Last year, both race victors at the first round at Silverstone (Michael Laverty and Peter Hickman) failed to make the top six showdown and while it’s hard to see that being the case with Haslam, it could well be the situation for some of his fellow podium men this weekend.
Byrne will undoubtedly come back strong, but there’s clearly much more to come from the McAMS Yamaha who despite promising starts saw poor end results as they continue to get to grips with the YZF-R1. Let’s also not forget that the new metal on the grid from Suzuki and Honda can only progress as the bikes are developed, so they’ll probably come into play too.