BSB Showdown Six set for Assen
The six MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Title Fighters are gearing up for the most important event of the season so far, the crucial opening round of the Showdown at the legendary Assen circuit in Holland this weekend (19/20/21 September).
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne leads the six Title Fighters to Holland with a 26 point advantage. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider knows however, that he hasn’t won a race since Knockhill in June and that is something he needs to put right if he is going to win the ‘War for Four’ titles against Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Byrne, who topped a recent test at Assen, said: “We did the best we could during the Main Season and now our focus is on improving the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki a little bit and for me to try and find whatever it is we need to start beating Kiyo. We are there in all conditions so if we can continue that form and sneak a win, two, six, or even the seven races we have left, then that would be fantastic. Hopefully we can jump back on the top step at Assen and do some winning again because that is what we go racing for!”
Buildbase BMW’s Kiyonari kick starts the Showdown after claiming a double win last time out at Donington Park. The Japanese contender held off Byrne in both races to gain the psychological edge ahead of Assen. The triple title-winner wants nothing more than to beat Byrne to an unprecedented fourth title.
Kiyonari said: “I have no different plan for the Showdown – I just want to come out and push hard in every round and every race and I hope that is enough to win the championship. We had wins at Donington Park and it wasn’t easy but we keep improving the Buildbase BMW every time we are on track so we need to keep pushing. I want to try and win all seven races!”
The leading pair are locked in their ‘War for Four’, but currently Josh Brookes splits the pair in the standings, holding a single point advantage over Kiyonari. The Australian hasn’t won a MCE BSB title and is counting on two strong performances at Assen on Sunday to edge him closer to achieving his ambition.
Brookes said: “It is getting pretty serious now isn’t it? We were on the podium at Donington Park again, so we are looking forward to going into the Showdown with some good form. We posted some good, consistent times at the Assen test and the Milwaukee Yamaha seems to work well there. I am eager now to get there and get the Showdown started as it feels like it has been a long year to get to the crunch time. I won’t approach the Showdown any differently – as I have said before, I try as hard as I can every time I am on track.”
The chasing pack are not going to give up without a fight and race winner Tommy Bridewell is bullish about adding to his winning tally before the season ends. Milwaukee Yamaha are the only team to have both riders in the Showdown and aim to start the final three rounds with strong performances.
Chris Walker and Dan Linfoot complete the top six, the pair eager to prove that they have what it takes after securing their Title Fighter positions for the first time. The Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki and Quattro Plant Kawasaki riders have both scored podium finishes already this year and will be aiming to upstage their title rivals.
BSB Championship standings ahead of the Showdown:
- Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 562
- Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 536
- Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 535
- Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 508
- Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 505
- Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 501
- Related Link – Jed Metcher to make BSB debut
- Related Link – Kiyonari doubles Donington
- Related Link – Donington BSB Image Gallery A
- Realted Link – Donington BSB Image Gallery B
There is just a single point between Billy McConnell and Graeme Gowland as the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship fight arrives in Assen this weekend (19/20/21 September) – and the Smiths Racing Triumph team-mates are fully focused on scoring the victories this weekend at the Dutch circuit.
Australian McConnell holds the advantage by the narrowest of margins after scoring a single podium finish last time out at Donington Park, where Gowland closed in on him with third and second place finishes. Glenn Irwin and Luke Mossey took the wins at Donington. They are currently fourth and seventh in the points standings.
Alastair Seeley still holds third place in the overall standings but is 59 points adrift of McConnell following a tough weekend at Donington Park where he scored just eight points. This gave Irwin the chance to close in and the Gearlink Kawasaki rider is now just ten points behind Seeley.
Luke Jones, Luke Stapleford and Mossey are in the chasing pack and the trio will be hunting a return to the podium this weekend. Tyco Suzuki’s Taylor Mackenzie and Team Traction Control’s James Rispoli will also be aiming for their first top three finish.
In the Evo class, Alex Olsen wrapped up the title at Donington Park, but Tim Hastings and Josh Corner will be doing their best to beat him this weekend.