Double defending BSB champions VisionTrack Ducati will get their title defence underway at Oulton Park this weekend with Paul Bird’s team looking to make it a hat trick of back-to-back titles, with Josh Brookes carrying the #1 plate on his factory-supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Brookes added the 2020 crown to his 2015 BSB success and remains with the team for a third successive season where he’ll once again be joined by Christian Iddon. Iddon, originally from Stockport but now living on Tyneside finished third in last year’s 18-race title chase and in his debut season with the PBM team scored his first win at Snetterton.
Both riders have undertaken an extensive pre-season testing schedule in the run up to the opening round of the season and are confident they can get off to a good start. At Oulton Park last year, Brookes won a race and Iddon followed him home, as well as bagging a pair of other second places around the Cheshire venue.
“Oulton Park is going to be interesting and I’m excited to start the season there. It’s a unique track and I have some good form there and a history of good results over the years which is a positive for us. We tried a lot of things in testing but as we know, the bike is a proven winner, so it’s been difficult to make massive improvements to it. But we never stop working and there is always something to try and refine. As for me, I’m more of a race guy than a tester and it’s all about getting results from the races so hopefully we can make a good start to the season.”
This season comprises a total of 33 races over the 11 rounds between next weekend and mid-October meaning a very busy schedule for teams and riders with every round being a triple-header. Both Brookes and Iddon know the importance of making a good start to help boost their title aspirations.
“I’m really excited to get racing again although it’s very disappointing we won’t have a full Christian Iddoncontingent of spectators for this round, especially with it traditionally being my local track. But I’ll be doing my best to put on a good show for those at Oulton Park as well as those watching on television and listening on BSB Radio. I feel much more relaxed on the bike than I did last year so hopefully we can make that count and kick the season off well. A good haul of points is important at round one to give us a stable platform for the season ahead.”
Sadly, for the opening round, because of the delay in easing of government restrictions, only 4,000 fans will be allowed to attend each day but those missing out on attending can rely on live television and radio coverage until hopefully fans will be allowed back into circuits from round three at Brands Hatch in late July.
“As a team we are really looking forward to getting the season underway as it seems such a long time since we last rode competitively. Testing has gone well, and the idea was to try as many things as possible, so we know what works and what doesn’t so we achieved what we set out to do. We are now looking to get our season off to the strongest possible start at what is our local circuit and for the first time since 2019, in front of some spectators.”
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