Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran look towards BSB’s Cadwell Park
The fight to feature inside the top six of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings rages on with two Aussies completing the current line-up, both on 154 championship points. Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran have just five races remaining before the Showdown, with the focus now on the up-coming Cadwell Park round.
There have already been six different race winners so far this season and with a further five riders celebrating podium finishes in 2017, the battle to secure a place in the Showdown has never been closer.
Australian Josh Brookes added his name to the winners list at Thruxton and the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider heads to Cadwell Park as one of the favourites with the crowd and equal on points with fellow countryman Jason O’Halloran.
“Cadwell is a good circuit for me, I get a lot of good coverage for how high I jump the mountain, which always throws up excitement in the build up to the event. But this weekend it’s business as usual for me, I’ve got to go out there and get the results we need, which is what I’m focussing on. The track is no different to any other, the jump is what everyone focusses on but the rest of the circuit is typically British, narrow and tight with chicanes, however the jump is certainly unique. It’s the same for everyone, but we’ll be focussing hard on getting the bike setup so I can push from the off. There’s no point in looking at what everyone else is doing, it’s not going to change what I do.
“My main focus is to continue to improve the bike and focus on getting the bike setup for Cadwell Park. There are a few small issues we have to iron out with the bike, we’ve had a few front-end crashes, which are uncharacteristic so we need to get to the bottom of why that is. The results at Thruxton are independent of the Championship, we can’t use it as an example of the bike or my performance as there were variables throughout that weekend as there is each year. But this weekend we need to focus on our own progress, as everyone else will be.”
Louth-based Honda Racing’s O’Halloran has only lined up twice in the Superbike class but lives in nearby Market Rasen, and has high hopes for a repeat performance of his podium finishing double last season.
Leading the standings into the annual event at the challenging Lincolnshire circuit is Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and the Be Wiser Ducati rider has vowed to bounce back from a disappointing previous round at Thruxton when he scored a single fourth place.
“In some ways, it seems like Thruxton was months ago, I’m that keen to put what can only be described as a massive disappointment as far behind us as possible, but in other ways it feels like it was yesterday. I’m looking forward to getting to the next race now at Cadwell Park and hoping to resume some sort of normal service, and by that I mean winning. Thruxton actually taught us as a team a bit of a valuable lesson, one I’m very keen to put to good use this coming weekend. There are only two rounds left now to gain as many Podium Points as I can and I intend to grab as many as possible to put myself in the best possible position for the Showdown.”
Byrne shared the victories with arch rival Leon Haslam in 2016 and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider counts Cadwell Park as one of his strongest on the calendar, having won at least one race on each appearance at the circuit, and the existing lap record holder is eager to close the deficit to his Ducati rival.
Local contender Peter Hickman leapt up the leader board last time out at Thruxton as he claimed Smiths Racing BMW their first victory in the premier class. The Louth based contender elevated himself to third in the overall standings and is gunning to strengthen his position in the standings on Sunday.
“I am still on a bit of a high after the win at Thruxton to be honest! It was an awesome weekend for myself and the Smiths Racing BMW team – it was unbelievable to be honest and everything went right. The bike worked great and it was a fantastic weekend and I need to thank everyone for their support. We are feeling confident as a team and we have moved up to third in the championship standings now which is absolutely brilliant and now we head into my local round of Cadwell Park. I have had good results there in the past and I had my first win in the Superbike class back in 2014 so I would like to repeat that. I’m really looking forward to it because we had a good test there a few weeks’ ago and I equalled my fastest ever lap around there so I’m feeling confident and really looking forward to ‘Party in the Park 2017!”
Luke Mossey still holds fourth place after missing out at the previous round at Thruxton following a crash in free practice; the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider is pushing to return to full fitness as he bids to hold on to a place in the Showdown.
Just outside the top six, but within striking distance of firing themselves into contention include Knockhill double race winner Jake Dixon and Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon with James Ellison and Dan Linfoot also determined to move up the order this weekend.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 203
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 184
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 164
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 154
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 154