MCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE RIVALS READY TO SHAKE-UP HOME HERO SHAKEY AT BRANDS HATCH
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne leads the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship into Kent for his home round at Brands Hatch this weekend (18/19/20 July), but the triple title-winner is under increasing pressure from his rivals.
Byrne has won six of the eight races this season for Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki, but Australia’s Josh Brookes and Japan’s Ryuichi Kiyonari have beaten him this season and are both setting their sights on a winning performance at Brands Hatch. Milwaukee Yamaha’s Brookes has won four of the last five races on the Grand Prix circuit and, after a recent test in Japan ahead of the Suzuka Eight Hour race, is anticipating a strong weekend.
Brookes said: "At Knockhill we weren't miles off but it just didn't work out and we came away with no podium credits, so I left unsatisfied and now we want to get to Brands Hatch and go for the wins. This weekend I am focused on Shakey and trying to beat him. He is the one at the top of the standings and therefore he is the one we need to finish ahead of on track. My team-mate Tommy (Bridewell), and also James (Ellison), can throw in good races, but for me there is only one person I am focused on."
Brookes holds second place in the standings by just three points from Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki’s James Ellison. The Kendal-based rider had his run of podium finishes cut short at Knockhill in Scotland, but is aiming for the team’s first win in the Superbike class this weekend.
Ellison said: “I have written off Knockhill as bad luck and now we have to come back stronger at Brands Hatch. I think the Grand Prix circuit means we will have four or five of us fighting for the wins and you need to be on the ball from the start. I am aiming for wins and I have been from the start of the season. Perhaps it will happen at Brands Hatch – the team’s home round, which would be one of the best places to celebrate!”
All eyes will be on triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari this weekend after his stellar performances at Knockhill which saw him claim his first race win since 2011 and BMW’s first in the history of the Championship.
Kiyonari said: ““I want to show that I wasn’t just lucky at Knockhill and I can fight with the top group. The bike is getting better all the time and we know BMW and our team can win. Before people said ‘Kiyo is finished’ and now I have shown I can still win. I just need to push hard, concentrate and keep winning because we want to fight for podiums at every round.”
Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha), Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) and Stuart Easton have all scored podium finishes but are yet to score an elusive win this season, whilst American John Hopkins and Czech Jakub Smrz are pushing for their first top three finishes of 2014.
For ticket information please visit www.brandshatch.co.uk or call 0843 453 9000.
For more news please visit www.britishsuperbike.com
More, from a press release issued by Milwaukee Yamaha:
MILWAUKEE YAMAHA GUNNING FOR GLORY AT BRANDS HATCH
Milwaukee Yamaha head to Brands Hatch in Kent this weekend for the fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as both Josh Brookes and Tommy Bridewell prepare to battle for victory on the Grand Prix circuit.
Brookes arrives at Brands Hatch in second place in the standings and has shown strong form on the Grand Prix circuit in the past - the Australian has won four of the last five races on the 2.433-mile track. The Australian returns to MCE BSB action feeling confident of a return to the podium following a recent test in Japan ahead of his appearance in the Suzuka Eight Hour race.
Bridewell heads to Kent targeting a return to the top three after missing out at Knockhill last time out and is feeling bullish about his hopes for the weekend. The Devizes-based rider is yet to score a victory in the championship, but is determined to add to his podium finish from the second race at Snetterton to build on his fourth place in the overall standings.
Brookes said: “I know all of the tracks, but with each one I seem to anticipate the performance of the Yamaha, because different circuits suit different bikes. At Knockhill we came away with no podium credits, so I left there unsatisfied. That was on my mind but we want to get to Brands Hatch and go for wins. It has been good for me to go to Suzuka for the test since Knockhill, although it is a completely different motorcycle and track, it resets your mind and I think I am coming back this weekend sharper.
“This weekend I am focused on Shakey and trying to beat him. He is the one at the top of the standings and therefore he is the one we need to finish ahead of on track. My focus is to beat him in both races. My team-mate Tommy (Bridewell) and also James (Ellison) can throw in some good races, but like I say, for me there is only one person I am focused on.
Bridewell said: “I was a bit disappointed to not have been on the podium at Knockhill, so I want to come out fighting at Brands Hatch. We have shown good form over the past few rounds and we have made some big steps forward and have shown we can be consistent. The team has worked hard to turn the season around after the first two rounds where it wasn’t quite right for me and if we can make that same progress this weekend then we can be fighting for the wins – one hundred percent. I can’t wait to get started this weekend now.”
For more information visit www.milwaukeeyamaha.com
More, from a press release issued by FFX Yamaha:
FFX YAMAHA TEAM SET FOR BRANDS HATCH HOMECOMING THIS WEEKEND
The FFX Yamaha team return to Brands Hatch in Kent this weekend (18/19/20 July) for the fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship confident of further success with Ian Hutchinson and Andy Reid at the Folkstone-based FFX’s home circuit.
Multiple TT race-winner Hutchinson has been building his momentum and is fast becoming a contender for the team’s first top ten finish in their debut season. Hutchinson is eager to get the weekend underway and is ready to push hard for results in Kent on the full-length Grand Prix circuit.
In the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship Reid heads the top of the standings after celebrating his third win of the season last time out at Knockhill and is hungry to increase his 37 point advantage in the standings.
Hutchinson said: “The Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit is one of the best tracks we go to and now that we have more races under our belts, I think we can definitely fight for some good points-scoring finishes. Over the last two rounds we have been able to make some big steps and I am feeling more confident on the bike, so I am really looking forward to the weekend. I know from the last races at Knockhill that I need to be more aggressive at the start of the races, so if I can have a good qualifying session then push hard at the start, then I am hoping we can have two good races.”
Reid said: “I am looking forward to Brands Hatch, I want to get back out and try and get another win for the FFX Yamaha team. We just need to do the same as we have been doing and push on to try and build our advantage in the standings. The Grand Prix circuit gives us lots of opportunities for some overtaking and I just can’t wait to get out riding again as it feels like a long time since Knockhill!”
More, from a press release issued by Buildbase BMW Motorrad:
Kiyonari hunts another win and Lee Jackson to ride in two classes while Westmoreland recovers.
Ryuichi Kiyonari is on the hunt for more British Superbike wins at Brands Hatch following his spectacular victory at Knockhill, where he took BMW Motorrad’s first ever BSB win and his first on a BMW motorcycle.
Lee Jackson will be competing in both the Superstock 1000 class and in MCE British Superbikes, as the young rider is filling in for James Westmoreland who is recovering from a successful operation on his thumb.
Kiyonari had an incredible weekend at Knockhill, securing a pole position start and leading the first race for all 30 laps and taking an incredible victory on the Buildbase BMW Motorrad BMW S 1000 RR, followed by second place in the second race. His two podium finishes pushed him up into the Showdown spaces for the first time this season.
James Westmoreland had an unpleasant weekend at Knockhill and crashed out, fracturing his thumb. Following a successful operation to pin it, James is now recovering and looking forward to returning to racing as soon as possible.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “At Knockhill I was trying hard every lap. I knew I needed to push Shakey but I made mistakes in race two and I was disappointed not to win again. There were places where I think I was faster than Shakey so I am looking forward to Brands. It’s my favourite circuit of the year and I want to show that I wasn’t just lucky at Knockhill and that I can fight with the top group.
“The BMW is still a new bike. It’s getting better all the time and we know BMW and our team can win. Before people said ‘Kiyo is finished’ and now I have shown I can still win. I just need to push hard, concentrate and keep winning.”
Lee Jackson said: “I am really excited to be racing in British Superbikes this weekend as it has always been one of my ambitions, but I am also a little nervous at the same time! I am looking forward to the challenge of racing in both classes too and I am so happy that the team have chosen me for this opportunity.
"I wasn't expecting to have the chance to ride a Superbike so soon so I just want to do the best I can. I have some experience of the bigger bike from the Superstock class, but obviously the BSB-spec bike is a whole new animal. I have ridden it for some demo laps, but that is it so I can't wait to get started at Brands Hatch on Friday."
Stuart Hicken, team owner, said: “Kiyo is looking and feeling happier than I’ve seen him in a long time – and a happy Kiyo is a fast Kiyo. We have to keep what happened at Knockhill going. He’s excited, we’re excited – and the paddock is too. Before Knockhill I said we wanted to try and get our first podium, and we left with a win and a podium. We’ve proven that the BMW S 1000 RR is a contender and that we were right to bring Kiyo into our team.
"Lee Jackson will be filling in for James Westmoreland in BSB this weekend as well as riding in Superstock. I know I talk a lot about luck, but you do need it on your side. Sometimes you make your own, sometimes it bites you. James was very unlucky to hurt his thumb, it’s not a nice injury, but his operation went well and he’s well on the road to recovery. He’ll be there at Brands Hatch to support the team and, no doubt, itching to get back on his bike just as soon as he can. We've invested a lot in Lee’s future in the last few years and we’ll be watching how he gets on in BSB to see what his potential is. We’re not expecting him to do anything record breaking, but it’ll be a great chance for him to learn more about BSB, and for us to see what he’ll be capable of in the future.”
Weekend and camping tickets for the MCE British Superbike round at Brands Hatch on 18/19/20 July are available from just £51. Kids under 13 go free. All three days take place on the famed Grand Prix circuit with a bustling programme of support races and two MCE BSB races on the Sunday. To book tickets now visit www.brandshatch.co.uk or call 0843 453 9000.