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Jun 13, 2018

British Superbike Championship Resumes This Coming Weekend At Snetterton

The start of a British Superbike race at Snetterton in 2017.

Haslam leads Ray as Bennetts BSB returns to play at Snetterton

The wait is finally over. The Bennetts British Superbike Championship returns this weekend (June 15/16/17) following a six-week break with Leon Haslam and JG Speedfit Kawasaki leading the pack as the series reaches Snetterton in Norfolk.

Haslam heads into the fourth round of the season with a 14-point lead following his double win last time out at Oulton Park, but the ‘Pocket Rocket’ has yet to celebrate victory at the Norfolk circuit and wants to change that this weekend.

Bradley Ray though leads the opposition ready to kick off the counterattack and after celebrating podium finishes in the opening three races of the season, including an incredible double win at round one, the 21-year-old is determined to fire the Buildbase Suzuki back to the front of the pack.

Reigning champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne currently sits third in the standings but remains side-lined through injury as he continues his recovery, leaving Glenn Irwin to head the Be Wiser Ducati team.

Irwin is one of the six podium finishers so far this season and trails Honda Racing’s Jason O'Halloran by just four points in the standings. The Australian holds fourth place in the title race ahead of this weekend at the circuit where he scored his first Superbike race win for the Honda team.

On the opposite side of the Be Wiser Ducati garage, Glenn’s younger brother Andrew lines up in place of Byrne, making his Superbike race debut following last season when he finished runner-up in the Dickies British Supersport Championship.

Jake Dixon scored his first podium finish of the season last time out in Cheshire and the local Marham-based RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki team will be heading into the home round brimming with confidence.

Dixon completes the all-important top six, but determined to close in this weekend will be 2015 champion Josh Brookes, who will be ready to strike as he bids for McAMS Yamaha’s first podium finish of the season at the circuit he celebrated a double podium finish last season.

Danny Buchan also counts Snetterton as his local round, hailing from Basildon, and he is just two points adrift of Brookes ahead of him with Michael Laverty leading the Tyco BMW charge just two further points behind.

Cambridge’s Luke Mossey though was the rider to set the pace at the official test last month at his home circuit and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider is desperate to return to the front of the field, having yet to score an elusive podium finish so far this season.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:

1.Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 115

2.Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 101

3.Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 98

4.Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) 63

5.Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 59

6.Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 55

The next round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship take place at Snetterton on June 15/16/17. For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com

Leon Haslam

(JG Speedfit Kawasaki)

Championship leader

"I am looking forward to Snetterton, it is one of two circuits that I have not won at and it is also the only circuit where I haven’t got on the podium with the Kawasaki. I really want to change that stat this year.

“As a circuit it suits some of the other manufacturers with the long straights, but I am feeling really confident this year. It is the first time we participated in the official test and going into the weekend injury free, unlike how I have the past few years, is obviously good too.

"I am really looking forward to it and the aim is obviously to win the races – it is always a good atmosphere with the fans there and we are ready.”




More, from a press release issued by Be Wiser Ducati:

Irwin Brothers Team Up For Snetterton Assault

After a six-week break, the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship resumes at Snetterton in Norfolk this weekend with Lake District-based reigning champions Be Wiser Ducati back in action.

However, a lot has happened within Paul Bird’s team since the last outing at Oulton Park in early May where six-times and defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne from Sittingbourne scored a podium and moved himself up to third in the standings.

Shakey was subsequently injured at the official test day at Snetterton a month ago which has ruled him out of action on the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R for the foreseeable future as he recovers from neck and back injuries sustained.

That means Ulsterman Glenn Irwin takes up the cudgels to lead the team whereby the 28 year old from Carrickfergus in County Antrim will be joined by his 23 year old brother Andrew who makes his BSB debut as he takes over Shakey’s ride this weekend.

Glenn, who occupies fifth in the title race after his podium finish at Brands Hatch in round two, won both Superbike races at the prestigious North West 200 since his last BSB outing, so is keen to continue that form into this weekend.

Andrew, meanwhile, who has been on World Supersport Championship duty this season, scored his best result of tenth at Donington Park aboard his CIA Landlord Insurance Honda last month so he too arrives at Snetterton in buoyant mood.

Both riders had an extensive test at Knockhill earlier this week with positive findings and whereas Glenn is expecting to be challenging for the wins at a track which Shakey has had so much success, Andrew aims to continue his transition to the Superbike following over 100 laps completed up in Scotland.

Such has been Byrne’s superiority at Snetterton in recent years, he has won eight out of the last nine races, including the last three on the Be Wiser Ducati and holding both the fastest ever laps around the ‘300’ configuration at 1:46.024 as well as the outright lap record of 1:47.143, both set last July.

Glenn Irwin: “Going into Snetterton is a different experience for me this year with my team-mate Shakey being injured. Of course, I wish Shakey all the best in his recovery, so the onus is now on me to get the results that the PBM team and Be Wiser Ducati deserve. I thrive on that level of expectation, so I’m sure I can bring another step to my performance this weekend. We had a great NW200 and a solid test at Knockhill, and with the Ducati working so well at Snetterton as we know, I’m ready for this challenge.”

Andrew Irwin: “I am really looking forward to Snetterton and I really enjoyed my first day on the bike at Knockhill on Monday. It’s going to be a steep learning curve, but I’ll chip away and learn as much as I can with working with the team to help me adjust my style to suit the Superbike. I’m under no illusion how tough it’ll be, I’ll give my best like always and enjoy the opportunity. I join Glenn in wishing Shakey a speedy recovery too and acknowledge his record around Snetterton which is awesome.”

There is live action on Eurosport and on the Eurosport player throughout the weekend with the Bennetts BSB races live on Sunday at 13.30 and 16.30. Highlights on ITV4 will be shown on Wednesday evening at 20.00.

For further information, please visit the team’s website, www.pbmuk.net and the official website of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship www.pbmuk.net

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