SHAKEY VS KIYONARI: ‘WAR FOR FOUR’ MCE BSB TITLES KICKS OFF AT BRANDS HATCH The 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship kicks off at Brands Hatch on 5/6/7 April and the anticipation is already building as the two most successful riders in the series’ history, Kent’s Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Japan’s Ryuichi Kiyonari, prepare to commence battle in the ‘War for Four’ title victories. Byrne, from Sittingbourne, returns to his home circuit to begin his title defence for the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team and is just two race wins short of Kiyonari’s record race-winning tally of 43. The pair have shown a similar pace in pre-season testing and both riders are fully focused on becoming the undisputed king of MCE BSB at the end of this year’s 26 race-long Championship campaign. Shakey said: “Brands Hatch is my home circuit and we want to get the season off to the best possible start. My Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team have been working hard all winter to give me the best possible package and I am prepared to push it as far as it takes to win a fourth title. We would have liked to have done more laps in testing, but everyone is in the same boat so it should make it interesting! Pre-season everyone is talking about me and Kiyo but I think there is going to be a great deal more to come from the other riders too. I genuinely think this is one of the most competitive Championships in the world and I think the racing is going to be really exciting across the classes.” Kiyonari said: “I am looking forward to the first races of the season but I am also a bit nervous; I always get nervous before the start of a season! It is exciting for me to be back in the championship with Samsung Honda – testing has been good, but now all I want to do is race. I have come back to get good results again for myself, the team and the British fans. I want to show that I am not finished, that I can be faster and can win again. There are many good riders in the championship like Shakey, Alex (Lowes) and Josh (Brookes) so it won’t be easy, but I will be trying very, very hard to win again.” The 2013 grid at Brands Hatch will feature a further six MCE BSB race winners, including last season’s title contenders Josh Brookes at Tyco Suzuki and Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes, plus former runner-up James Ellison at Milwaukee Yamaha, who switches from MotoGP. The international field will also feature two domestic double champions as Italy’s Matteo Baiocco bids for success for Rapido Sport Racing Ducati and Australia’s Josh Waters makes his debut for Milwaukee Yamaha. In addition to the two MCE BSB races there will be eleven support races including the consistently thrilling Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, plus the fabulous spectator viewing offered by the Indy circuit means fans won’t miss any of the action! Adult tickets for race day cost £26 online with children aged 12 and under free. For more information and to book visit www.brandshatch.co.uk or call 0843 453 9000. For more information please visit www.britishsuperbike.com More, from a press release issued by Milwaukee Yamaha: MILWAUKEE YAMAHA GEARING UP FOR BRANDS HATCH SEASON OPENER The Milwaukee Yamaha team return to action this weekend for the opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as the season kicks off at Brands Hatch in Kent. James Ellison and Josh Waters are ready to launch their 2013 campaign, whilst William Dunlop prepares to represent the team in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship. 2011 champions SMR are determined to win back the title and the Guisborough team have high hopes for the season opener. Ellison returns to the Championship following two seasons on the world stage and is ready to challenge for the podium again and Australian double champion Waters makes his MCE BSB debut on the 1.2-mile Indy circuit and is keen to make an impression. The Milwaukee Yamaha will also feature on the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship grid this season as Dunlop combines it alongside the major road races. The Ballymoney rider is preparing for the opening races of the season following recent pre-season tests and is aiming for a solid start to his campaign. Ellison said: “I am looking forward to the first round so I can gauge how strong we are going to be and what I’m up against this year; obviously I can see it’s a strong pack from watching on TV last year but with the little amount of testing we have it’s not enough to really have an idea where we will be. I know the team and bike is strong enough to run at the front every weekend so it’s down to me to make that happen. I’m a little nervous about the first round, but I get that every year and I think if I didn’t I wouldn’t be human so it’s all good! With the Showdown rules I know there are pros and cons that I am sure will affect us all at some point during the season so I’m just going to do my best every weekend and ride the wave, then we will see what happens. Bring it on!” Waters said: “I can’t wait to get started in the Championship as I have been looking forward to the first round for weeks! It has been hard to judge where everyone is at during the recent tests because of the weather, but at the same time it gave me a chance to learn the tracks which was important. I really want to have a good start to the season and get some good results for the Milwaukee Yamaha team.” Dunlop said: “It feels good to get the season started but at the same time it was unfortunate that the weather meant we didn’t get as much testing as we would have liked. For me this is a really different start to the season and we want to build up throughout the weekend and over the opening rounds.” Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: “The whole of the team are looking forward to getting the season started this weekend and we intend to have a strong opening round both for James and Josh in the Superbike class and for William in Supersport. This will be the first weekend for the new look Milwaukee Yamaha team and we want to make an impression.” For more information visit www.milwaukeeyamaha.com More, from a press release issued by Team WD-40: TEAM WD-40 RIDERS EXCITED BY SEASON OPENER Excitement amongst the riders of the newly titled Team WD-40 race team is reaching fever pitch ahead of the opening round of the BSB at Brands Hatch on Sunday 7th April. The trio of riders, including AMA rookie of the year and Daytona Sport Bike race winner Tommy Aquino, one of the UK’s brightest prospects, Joe Francis, and one of the favourites for the Superstock 1000 title, Jon Railton. Railton will be riding number 40 – after the team title sponsors – on a GR Motosport prepared Kawasaki ZX10R in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship alongside team mate Aquino. Although the weather conditions have severely hampered rider and team preparations, everyone is fully prepared for the weekend opener and is looking forward to the battle. “This season could be great for both Tommy and I, which is great for the team and the new sponsors, WD-40 Company,” said Railton. “Brands Hatch is a favourite track for many riders and I’m sure we’ll have some superb racing. “It’s important that we get off to a strong start as a team and as individuals, so we can build a solid platform for competing in the next couple of races. “The weather has been pretty unpredictable recently, which hasn’t helped our preparations for the opening round, but hopefully it’ll be dry on race day.” Aquino brings with him the experience of running up front in one of the most competitive classes in motorcycling, 600 Daytona Sport Bike, and is looking forward the new challenge of riding the 1000cc machine. He said: “It’s going to be a great year of racing and learning with Team WD-40. They are a great group of guys so, between Jon and I, we should be very competitive this year. “I’m also looking forward to riding in the same team as Joe and helping him develop as a rider.” Joe is equally excited about racing with Tommy and Jon, and he hopes to learn enough from his more experienced team mates to make a serious claim for the Moto3 Championship and the Monster Energy Motostar British Championship. “This season is one I’ve been looking ahead to for so long. With new team mates, a brilliant new team sponsor in the WD-40 brand, I really believe I have a genuine chance to race for the championship in 2013,” commented 15-year-old Joe. “Concentration will be key at Brands Hatch, as everyone will be out to try and prove something. I need to stay clear of danger, but make a push for a podium, which is the minimum I want from each race. “It’s a long way to go for my friends and family, although I know many will travel and give me and Team WD-40 some much appreciated support.” Team WD-40’s manager, Brent Gladwin, said: “This team has been the culmination of plenty of hard work over the close season and I’m delighted that everything is now in place for us to go racing. “Tommy is a proven name in America, Joe is a fantastic young talent and Jon will prove to be an excellent signing for Team WD-40, as we aim for some silverware come the end of the season.” Team Partners Cargolink Express, L&A Reinforcements, Carrino access flooring, The Air Con Experts, F&G Commercials, Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance, Kent Holiday Cottages, RS Components, 3 Squared, Signsxtra Technical Partners Kawasaki, Scorpion Red Power, Dynojet UK, Swinton Motorcycles, R&G racing, PPG Paint, Goodridge, Pipercross, Solo Motorcycle products, Super B, MG Competition, Dellorto, Geotech.
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