Battle for the MCE British Superbike Showdown intensifies at Cadwell Park
There are just five races remaining for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship title protagonists to seal their position in the top six ahead of the all-important end of season Showdown as the title battle intensifies at Cadwell Park this weekend (21/22/23 August).
High-flier Josh Brookes carries the winning momentum of four consecutive race victories to the challenging Lincolnshire circuit and having scored more podium finishes than his rivals, he will be pushing to continue his momentum with the Milwaukee Yamaha team.
Brookes and arch rival Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne are the only two riders to have already confirmed their position in the final three round Showdown and the defending champion was unable to break his Australian rival’s run of form last time out – something he is focused on changing this weekend in his ‘strive for five’ titles.
The challenging Cadwell Park circuit produced two new MCE BSB race winners last year as Tommy Bridewell and local rider Peter Hickman celebrated victories and with a maximum of 125 points still up for grabs over the next five races, the leading 17 riders all still have a mathematical shot at the top six in the standings after Oulton Park. The Lincolnshire circuit demands precision and calculated, hard riding and can be the place where title aspirations are boosted or dented.
Brookes lapped faster than his qualifying time in 2014 at a recent test so arrives as the rider with the target on his back, but Tyco BMW pairing Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty need to consolidate their position in the standings and America’s John Hopkins will also be pushing for the podium on his return with the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team.
Home team Honda Racing were double race winners at the circuit in 2013 and the Louth based team will be hoping that Dan Linfoot can repeat his podium finish from the previous round at Thruxton.
The MCE BSB weekend kicks off on Thursday (20 August) as some of the leading contenders head into Lincoln for an hour-long meet and greet session from 1pm.
In association with Visit Lincoln, the teams and riders will descend on Lincoln High Street at St Benedicts Square with Superbikes including the championship-leading Milwaukee Yamaha of Josh Brookes, the home team Honda Racing’s Fireblade, the title-defending PBM Kawasaki and the Buildbase BMW of Lee Jackson. Peter Hickman’s RAF Reserves BMW, the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki and Gearlink Kawasaki’s Supersport contender of Ben Wilson will also be on display.
From 1pm – 2pm fans can meet top riders for autographs and photos including championship leader Josh Brookes, defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, and the Buildbase BMW local contenders Ryuichi Kiyonari and Lee Jackson. Plus Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot and Jenny Tinmouth, Peter Hickman, plus Chris Walker and Thruxton podium finisher James Westmoreland.
The MCE BSB event at Cadwell Park gets underway on Friday 21 August with free practice, followed by Datatag Qualifying and support races on Saturday 22 August. Main raceday kicks off on Sunday 23 August with a programme of two MCE BSB races plus a further six support classes, including the thrilling Motorpoint British Supersport Championship.
Josh Brookes – (Milwaukee Yamaha) – Championship leader – “It was really important for us to have the test last week at Cadwell Park and that was really promising, because without that I would have gone to the event optimistic but you can’t carry too much from circuits like Brands Hatch and Thruxton to Cadwell Park because they are so different. However the test was really positive and that is where I have gained the most confidence ahead of this weekend.
“I think having the test has to give us the upper hand on the teams that haven’t tested – it has to because you have recent knowledge and experience to bring into the weekend so that has to be an advantage.
“Am I a target as championship leader? For sure to Shakey I imagine I am certainly a target because of the recent races and to be in front in the standings at this point. I don’t think anyone else will have as much of a focus on me – they will be going for the biggest points score they can possibly get.”
Check out the gallery below of images from a recent test session at Cadwell Park
Images by Jon Jessop