Bennetts British Superbike contenders ready to play their cards right at Snetterton
The Bennetts British Superbike Championship makes its annual visit to Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this season, this weekend (3/4/5 September).
The circuit’s two-wheeled heritage will be commemorated at the event, as the country’s leading riders battle for Snetterton’s most prestigious two-wheeled title, the ‘Pirelli Race of Aces’. The overall prize will be awarded to the highest combined points scorer across the three races.
The stakes will be high at the East Anglian circuit, as the battle to be crowned 2021 Bennetts BSB champion at the Brands Hatch season finale in October intensifies. Just six races now remain to decide which eight riders will battle for the crown in the end of season Showdown.
Championship leader Jason O’Halloran has played his cards right so far this season to become the first and only competitor so far to confirm his Title Fighter status. The McAMS Yamaha rider claimed his ninth win of the season last time out at Cadwell Park, which cemented his position. The Australian is now continuing his focus on scoring vital Podium Points at the circuit where he claimed his first Bennetts BSB race win.
Christian Iddon and Tarran Mackenzie are joint second in the standings following a challenging weekend in Lincolnshire. The pair have both been race winners so far this season, and will be eager to return to the top this weekend to close the deficit to O’Halloran.
Iddon has fond memories of Snetterton; it was the track where he celebrated his first Bennetts BSB race win last season so he will be determined to strike again this weekend. Mackenzie meanwhile, is determined to make amends after sitting out the Sunday races at Cadwell Park with a finger injury.
Tommy Bridewell had a consistent weekend at Cadwell Park with a trio of top three finishes, with race two marking his 50th in the championship. The Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider is aiming to repeat the hat trick of podium finishes he delivered at Snetterton last year, with just a narrow five-point margin currently separating him from Peter Hickman.
Hickman had a weekend to remember at his home round, becoming the sixth different race winner of 2021 and securing FHO Racing BMW their first victory in the Superbike class in the team’s debut season. He will be hunting another podium haul this weekend in his bid to give the team its first Showdown appearance.
Danny Buchan was forced to miss the Cadwell Park races after his high-speed crash at Donington Park, which dropped the SYNETIQ BMW rider to sixth in the overall standings, but he returns ready to stack up the points again this weekend.
Glenn Irwin trails him in the standings by just 11 points ahead of the next three races, and the Honda Racing rider is bidding to replicate the form that took him to a victory and the ‘Race of Aces’ title last season.
Lee Jackson meanwhile is the rider in a precarious position as the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki contender holds the final place inside the top eight of the standings and only by a narrow two-point margin from Bradley Ray with local contender Ryan Vickers also hoping to shuffle the Showdown pack.
A resurgent weekend could also yet see Knockhill podium finisher Rory Skinner, or reigning champion Josh Brookes, still make the cut in six races’ time at Silverstone if they finish the main season with a strong display.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 342
Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 223
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 223
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 205
Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 200
Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 165
Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 154
Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 133
Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) 131
Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki) 114
Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 111
Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 105
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Jason O’Halloran – McAMS Yamaha
“Cadwell Park was another really strong weekend for us. We had found a good direction, but Hicky had been doing an amazing job and he was super strong, so I pushed him as much as I could in the first two races. To win in the last one was the icing on the cake. I wanted to win there for many years so I was chuffed to bits.
“We confirmed our place in the Showdown and strengthened our position with the Podium Points, as they are what we need to build up before the final championship fight.
“I can’t wait to get back to Snetterton although it is a bit of a difficult one for me. On the Honda, I was really strong and I had my first win there, and had a lot of podium finishes.
“Since I have got on the Yamaha it has been a track that perhaps hasn’t been as strong as some other tracks for us. I am not sure why, but the last couple of years it hasn’t quite gone our way when we have been at Snetterton, but I am really confident ahead of this weekend.
“It’s a track that I love and I feel that the improvements that we have made will make the Yamaha stronger this year. I think we should be in a position to challenge for top positions. We have two rounds left now before the Showdown and we just need to keep scoring as many Podium Points as possible.”