The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship intensifies this weekend (3/4/5 October) at Silverstone for the penultimate round of the season and ’The War for Four’ titles continues to rage with just 12 points separating Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
The Showdown has already produced high drama in the opening round at Assen, where Kiyonari closed to within just 12 points of Byrne after his rival crashed out of the first race whilst Josh Brookes failed to score a single point at the Dutch track. Now the Title Fighters are ready to battle again in the two races at Silverstone ahead of the championship decider at Brands Hatch later this month.
Byrne ended his winning drought in the second race at Assen when he snatched the victory away from Kiyonari at the final corner and the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider is ready to carry the momentum to Silverstone.
Byrne said: “Coming off a win definitely spurs you on for more. It is great to see that the team’s hard work all season long is paying off as we get to these final rounds. The improvements we have made paid dividends at Assen and now we hope that those will also suit Silverstone.
“Last year we had some really close races there and I would like to think that the circuit will do the same again this weekend. Hopefully they will be great races for me as well as the fans and I can leave with a win or two this weekend to set us up for the final round,” added Byrne
Kiyonari has closed to within striking distance of Byrne after a pair of second place finishes at Assen and the Buildbase BMW rider is focused on revenge for missing out on the win two weeks ago in Holland.
Kiyonari said: “Last year I didn’t race at Silverstone because of the shoulder injury, so this is a track that I have less experience of than the others this season, but I don’t think this is a big problem. I want to push for wins even more at Silverstone as we didn’t win at Assen! I was disappointed with that because I had been at the front for most of the race and then Shakey took it at the end, so I want to get one back for that!”
The Milwaukee Yamaha pairing of Josh Brookes and Tommy Bridewell, currently third and fourth in the standings, are separated now by just five points and their team is hunting their first win since Cadwell Park in August. Brookes is determined to turn his fortunes around and return to the podium whilst Bridewell knows he can overhaul his team-mate with a strong performance at Silverstone.
Brookes said: “Looking at Silverstone, there has been no obvious pattern with some of the other tracks we have been to in order to gauge an idea on how we will perform. There have been events where it has gone well and some where it has not gone so well and they don’t follow an obvious order. That aside, I am looking forward to Silverstone and I hope that we can have a normal weekend with no dramas – that is what I am hoping for as that would be nice after recent rounds.
“I am still approaching this weekend like I do with any other and that is to try and do the best I can every time we are on track and I want to get back to winning again.”
Bridewell said: “I am looking forward to Silverstone because last year it was the track where I scored my first double podium finish in BSB. I know where we went wrong last year in terms of missing out on the wins as we didn’t have the pace to beat Alex (Lowes) and Shakey. We have made some really good steps this season and I feel that we are riding to 100 percent of our potential; we just need to keep pushing this weekend.
“I think Assen was a good benchmark and if we can keep that momentum then it should be good as we want to run it to Shakey and Kiyo this weekend. I want to establish myself as the next one up to be battling with them and I think potentially this could be my best shot of overhauling them for the wins. I want to be winning again so we will dig in and see what we can do on Sunday.”
The other two Title Fighters, Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Dan Linfoot and Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki’s Chris Walker, have both achieved podium finishes this season and are going to be pushing hard again this weekend.
McConnell begins to extend 12 point advantage at Silverstone
Billy McConnell holds a slender 12 point advantage in the overall standings as the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship reaches the penultimate round at Silverstone this weekend (3/4/5 October) and the Smiths Racing Triumph rider is set to come under increasing pressure from his team-mate Graeme Gowland.
Aussie McConnell won last time out at Assen after a calculated move on the final lap following an intense five-rider battle for the victory, but Gowland has finished on the podium 11 times in the last 12 races and will be pushing to overhaul his team-mate ahead of the championship decider at Brands Hatch later this month.
Alastair Seeley holds third in the standings and after returning to the top step of the podium in the Sprint race at Assen, the Martrain Yamaha rider will be settling for nothing less than a repeat performance this weekend. Hot on his heels is the chasing pack of Glenn Irwin, Luke Jones and Luke Stapleford.
Luke Mossey was back on the podium in Assen and will be chasing a repeat performance this weekend at Silverstone, whilst James Rispoli will be bidding to build on his first ever podium placing at Assen.
In the Evo class, Alex Olsen will be pushing to return to winning ways after a single second place last time out at Assen, whilst Tim Hastings, Josh Corner and Ben Field are all set to be in the mix.
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