BSB heads to Snetterton
MCE BSB returns: Brookes has his eyes on the prize at Snetterton
The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship is back this weekend (19/20/21 June) and as the contenders head to Snetterton, Australian Josh Brookes is targeting his first win of the season after setting the fastest ever lap of Snetterton during the recent test.
Tens of thousands of fans are set to descend on the circuit and Brookes is full focused on turning his podium-finishing form into a victory with the next generation Milwaukee Yamaha. The Australian demolished the circuit record and has high hopes of holding off his rivals in Norfolk. There have already been four different race winners from the opening six races and the Milwaukee Yamaha team are determined to add Brookes to that list.
However championship leader James Ellison arrives full of confidence and with a marginal eight-point advantage over closest rival and defending Champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne. Ellison and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team have scored three of the six wins so far and are determined to carry that momentum into the fourth round.
Byrne meanwhile is ready to come out fighting to return to the top step of the podium; the record-breaking champion hasn’t scored a victory since the opening round in April and after a collision with Ryuichi Kiyonari last time out at Oulton Park, has his sights solely on victory to close the deficit to Ellison.
Kiyonari has endured a torrid start to his season and has failed to score a podium finish, but the Buildbase BMW rider has scored more victories at Snetterton than any of his rivals in previous years and knows he needs to return to the podium this weekend.
Stuart Easton and Tommy Bridewell both scored their first wins of 2015 at Oulton Park to move themselves into the top six in the standings ahead of this weekend and the pair will be pushing for more in their quest for all-important podium points ahead of the title-deciding Showdown later in the season.
Honda Racing return with their full line-up as Dan Linfoot is back on the grid alongside Jason O’Halloran and Jenny Tinmouth after recovering from a broken wrist he sustained at the second round of the season at Brands Hatch.
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) – “We have been making really good progress with the bike and I wouldn’t have expected to go so far under the lap record as we have [at Snetterton official test] but it has come together right. Should the other guys be concerned? I know that if I was in that position myself I would have some thoughts and consideration towards it but really we can’t get too complacent either. We have to keep our head down and we know Snetterton is going to be a good circuit for us as we proved at the test. Snetterton is considered to be a horse-power important track with the long back straight and the climb up the front straight and I know there are a lot of corners on the infield section so it has to come as a package.
“Kiyo, apart from a few of his crashes, has been there quite well so I would expect him to be strong, Easton was on the podium at the last round but for some reason he doesn’t particularly like Snetterton so that might put him on the cuff to be a threat. The other obvious person is Shakey – even if he had a bad test he will never be on the outer edge as he is a fighter and he will come back strong, so it is very hard to narrow it down. James Ellison is the championship leader at the moment and I don’t think I can pinpoint one person [ahead of the races] as there is such a broad number of riders who I wouldn’t be surprised to be in a battle with this weekend.”
Broc Parkes meanwhile is feeling confident that he can battle for the top five this weekend following the positive two day test at the circuit, where he closed in on his rivals and improved his pace as he aims for a sold points haul.
Broc Parkes – “I feel ready for this weekend. The test we had at the circuit was really positive and I started to feel quite comfortable and be able to use the front much better as I haven’t had the confidence in the front all year as I have had a couple of crashes. In general I feel I understand the bike a lot more now after the test. We tested the new tank and made some changes to my positioning on the bike and I feel we can move forward again this weekend at Snetterton, the top five is where I need to be and where I intend to be in the two races.”
The local contenders will also have high hopes of a strong performance this weekend and MCE BSB rookies Luke Mossey, who hails from Cambridge and Essex’s Danny Buchan will be pushing hard for the Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki and Be Wiser Kawasaki teams respectively. The home teams also want to make an impression too as Norwich’s Morello Racing line up with former podium finisher Lee Costello and Danny Johnson and the RAF Reserves BMW team from nearby RAF Marham will be pushing for results with Peter Hickman.
The event will also feature a special appearance from Grand Prix legend Giacomo Agostini. The illustrious 15-times World Champion will be supporting Italian manufacturer MV Agusta’s campaign and attending an official ceremony to formally inaugurate the corner of the track named in his honour.
Raceday (Sunday) visitors will also be treated to a display from the 6 Regiment Army Air Corps and the Apache, the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. Spectators will have the opportunity to get up close to the magnificent aircraft before it later takes to the skies.