The Bennetts British Superbike Championship hits Hampshire this weekend (July 30 – August 1), as Britain’s biggest motorsport series returns to Thruxton for the first time since 2019, with VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon leading the standings.
Four different race winners and a further three riders have so far celebrated podium finishes this year, and Iddon arrives at the fourth round with a slender six-point advantage over his closest rival Jason O’Halloran. The pair have constantly swapped position at the top of the standings throughout the opening nine races of the season.
Iddon regained the lead in the standings after claiming his second win of the year in the final race at Brands Hatch, fending off race one winner Tarran Mackenzie, who elevated himself into third in the overall standings after his podium hat trick in Kent.
“I have never been to Thruxton on the Ducati, obviously we hadn’t at Knockhill either, but we had tested there. It will be a bit of an unknown for me, so I am interested to see how we get on. My philosophy is the same as always, I do my best every time I go out. it is nice to be leading the championship, I have had that for two consecutive rounds now. Certainly, the target is obviously to be leading the standings at the end of Sunday when we leave Thruxton. It’s a hard-fought championship and you never know who you are going to be up against, but at the moment there seems to be a couple of riders who stand out, who have been there every weekend. Myself and Jason have probably been the most consistent of those and it has been really, really close between us! There has been a swing in the championship and Jason is really strong and you can never count him out as he showed on Sunday morning after having a really difficult Saturday. I also think that Josh is going to be right up there, he is spectacular at Thruxton as he is at most tracks, and he had a very good end of Brands Hatch – I think we will see a good return to form for him. We have a good flow and I want to keep the ball rolling, which is much easier said than done! To maintain this consistency is no easy task in such a tight championship, but I will continue to do the best job I can.”
O’Halloran took his winning tally to four in the second race at Brands Hatch. The Australian has taken more victories than his rivals so far in 2021, only losing the lead in the standings courtesy of a crash in race two at Knockhill.
Danny Buchan came close to a podium return last weekend after his Knockhill double for SYNETIQ BMW and is just seven points adrift of Mackenzie ahead of the next three races, whilst his teammate Andrew Irwin will be wanting a repeat of 2019 when he claimed his first Bennetts BSB race win at the circuit.
Home hero Tommy Bridewell scored a pair of second places at Brands Hatch, to keep the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team in the top five ahead of their home round this weekend, just ahead of rookie wonder Rory Skinner on the leading FS-3 Racing Kawasaki.
Skinner’s teammate Lee Jackson is seventh with FHO Racing BMW’s Peter Hickman holding the final place in the all-important top eight in the standings ahead of the end of season Showdown.
Just adrift of the top eight ahead of the next three races of the season are Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW’s Bradley Ray and just two points adrift, Josh Brookes.
The defending champion scored his best result of the season last time out in fifth place, but is yet to return to the podium, and will be pushing to change that at the circuit where he was victorious in 2019.
“I definitely found an improvement in the final race at Brands Hatch. We made a step up from the Josh Brookesearlier race and if it’s confirmed that discovery is what we think it is, then that would be a positive step in the right direction. We will find out at Thruxton if it has worked so all I can do is remain positive. Thruxton is my favourite track of the year so I’m hoping it will all come together, and we can start to get the results we know we are capable of. I’d normally be saying I want wins but for now I’m hoping we can get on the podium, so that’s what I’m aiming for.”
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