BSB: Showdown battle heats up ahead of Thruxton
The MCE British Superbike Championship is never without its dramas and 2017 has been no exception.
In fact, drama had struck before the first race even got underway with reigning champion Shane Byrne knocked out in a warm-up crash that would sideline him for the remainder of the opening weekend.
Byrne’s tough start allowed the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team to make hay while he was away. Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey shared the first five victories of the year before Byrne was finally victorious in the second race at Oulton Park.
With Haslam his main early season rival, things were soon levelled out as things started to go wrong for the former WSB star. A huge crash at Oulton Park after hitting the back of James Ellison’s McAMS Yamaha, which had cut out, was the start of a downward spiral for Haslam. After the road racing break, he’d come back and complete just three laps before what he claims was the fastest high-side of his career ruled him out of action at Knockhill.
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Haslam hasn’t stood on the top step since Oulton, and Mossey has been struggling at recent rounds too, giving rise to a new title challenger in the name of Josh Brookes.
While Byrne has won the last four races, Brookes has been improving step by step and at Brands had the pace to run with him. With Haslam and Mossey sure to improve, is this now a four-way fight?
The battle for the remaining top six Showdown spots is also heating up. Jason O’Halloran and Peter Hickman join Byrne, Haslam, Mossey and Brookes in the top six at present but there are four riders snapping at sixth-placed Hickman’s heel.
Showdown Six at present
|Rider||SHANE BYRNE||LUKE MOSSEY||LEON HASLAM||JASON O'HALLORAN||JOSH BROOKES||PETER HICKMAN|
|Team||Be Wiser Ducati||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||Honda Racing||Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha||Smiths BMW|
In the Top Six hunt
|Rider||CHRISTIAN IDDON||JAKE DIXON||JAMES ELLISON||DAN LINFOOT|
|Team||Tyco BMW||RAF Kawasaki||McAMS Yamaha||Honda Racing|
|Comment||After missing two rounds, to only be 9 points off a Showdown spot shows just how strong Christian Iddon has been this season. He’ll need to continue this to break into a showdown spot at Thruxton this weekend.||While he stormed onto the scene with two victories at Knockhill, Dixon has struggled to repeat that form since. A strong weekend at Snetterton was followed by a tough weekend at Brands. He’ll need to be consistent if he wants to mount a showdown challenge.||Ellison was the second biggest points scorer at Brands, so if he can keep this form he’ll be in a good position to close down a showdown spot over the next seven races.||Linfoot found pace with the Fireblade at Brands, but he’ll need to find some consistency if he’s to secure a place in the Showdown for the fourth consecutive year. It’s a big ask…|