Showtime at Silverstone for the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season opener
The stage is set for the highly anticipated 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season opener at Silverstone this Easter weekend (April 15/16/17), with an all-star cast lining up to claim Britain’s most coveted motorsport title.
Reigning champion Tarran Mackenzie will watch the opening round of his title defence from the sidelines following a high-speed crash in testing last week. The McAMS Yamaha rider underwent successful surgery on a fractured left ankle on Monday, but is forced to sit out the opening three races.
There are two former champions on the grid ready to try to regain the title in 2022 led by double title-winner Josh Brookes. The Australian remains with the MCE Ducati team for the new season and will be eager to repeat the form that saw him last lift the title in 2020.
2018 champion Leon Haslam is back on home soil from the world stage and is reunited with Kawasaki in VisionTrack colours, joining the team that pushed him in his title-winning year with Jake Dixon.
The new season marks the return of 2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes as he returns to the series for the first time since 2008, joining Brookes at MCE Ducati as the team bids for an unprecedented ninth title.
Last year’s runner-up Tommy Bridewell, returning with Oxford Products Racing Ducati, will be a formidable opponent too, after setting the pace at last week’s Official Test at the circuit. Jason O’Halloran is back as well with McAMS Yamaha, as he bids to make amends for missing out on the title after his strongest season to date last year.
No fewer than 15 race winners complete the 2022 Bennetts BSB entry list and Silverstone is a circuit where Haslam, O’Halloran, Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) and Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) have celebrated victory in the past. Whilst riders including Bridewell, Christian Iddon (Buildbase Suzuki) and Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) have all previously stood on the podium.
The opening round gets underway tomorrow (Friday) with the opening two BSB SUPERPICKS Free Practice sessions.
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Tarran Mackenzie – the Champion’s view
“I think testing showed that a lot of people are in a good place heading into this first round and BSB is looking as competitive as ever. Then there are other riders who weren’t there on the times at the test, but they will be there come the races this weekend, so it is hard to pick names out of the hat to predict the Silverstone winner as there are so many potentials!
“I think Silverstone is quite an easy track where you can put a new tyre in and do a fast lap time, so it’s hard to tell who will have the pace over the race distance.
“The track has always worked well for the Yamahas in the past and also the Suzuki always seems to shine at this track. Ducati and Kawasaki are strong, but they haven’t won a race in recent years so it will be interesting.
“I think Silverstone will be a hard race as it is so easy to get ahead of yourself and get carried away and you’re pushing, but then the last five laps it gets tricky with the tyre. It is close between the manufacturers and there isn’t a real standout, but it is about the rider and bike combinations that can keep the pace until the end and the tyre preservation that makes the difference.
“There are three Yamahas this weekend and the riders on them, Jason [O’Halloran] is very strong at Silverstone, Kyle [Ryde] has won there before and Brad [Ray] has been strong there too, so I predict at least one Yamaha lock out of the podium!
“I am gutted I am not racing this weekend though as it is my most successful track! I think I have had 11 races there, and in all the races I have finished, I have always been on the podium, so I always feel happy going to Silverstone!”