Jonathan Rea has tipped Leon Haslam and Glenn Irwin for success in this year’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship ahead of the opening round getting underway at Donington Park this year.
The three-time World Superbike Champion and five-time BSB race winner says he feels it’s time for his Kawasaki counterpart to clinch the crown, but after working with Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin over the winter he has also tipped his fellow Ulsterman for 2018 success.
“I honestly feel like this is Leon’s year, I’ve just got a feeling!” Rea told MCN. “There’s a lot of reasons to be excited this year. There is every year, but often it is still the old guard who end up fastest in the end – Shakey, Leon and Josh Brookes. They are the class of the field, but this year I would say there’s quite a few guys who could step up to challenge them.
“I’m really excited to see how it unfolds, if I was a betting guy I’d put money on Leon but I’ve also got a huge feeling that this could be a big year for Glenn Irwin. He’s been super-fast in testing, came to do my MX camp in Spain and we trained together and he’s in a great place mentally, physically and has a good team around him. Maybe it’s his time to step up and be the guy?
“I’ll be tuning in! I’m not a big fan of the showdown as it makes everything irrelevant until the final three rounds, but this year should be interesting as yes, you’ve got Shakey, Leon and Brookes who will be in there barring disaster but then those final three places are up for grabs.”
For an extensive 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season preview, including exclusive interviews, tech features and the Bennetts BSB grid predicting their 2018 #ShowdownSix, pick up this week's MCN.