Round 9 and the final round before the showdown the British Superbike Championship heads back to Oulton park. For an in depth look at the circuit itself you should had a read of my earlier preview ( https://tractioncontrolblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/bsb-rd-2-oulton-park/).
Unlike earlier in the season this weekend we have three races one on Saturday and the two usual races on the Sunday as I mentioned earlier this is the final chance for the riders fighting it out for the showdown to get in there, So far three riders have confirmed their places:
- The first of those being Shane Byrne the Ducati man has been on fine form as of late and looks like the title favourite he leads the way at the top of the championship standings and also sits atop the podium credits table.
- Leon Haslam is next up Haslam has shown his talent in maintaining his challenge while struggling with his Kawasaki but with the Showdown looming it seems as though the pieces are finally coming together at just the right time for him.
- Jason O’Halloran is the next man to have confirmed his place in the showdown, The Australian has shown fantastic consistency so far this year and has been at the sharp end of most meetings this year he currently sits 4th in the Podium credits table but will be hoping to add to that and close the gap on Byrne and Haslam at the top this weekend.
The men who currently occupy the other three spots in the showdown are Michael Laverty, Dan Linfoot and James Ellison all three men have had up and down seasons so far. Laverty currently sits 3rd in the podium credits table due to his fast start but recently he and his TYCO team have struggled to compete near the front they will be hoping to reclaim some of that missing pace this weekend and secure Michael’s place in the show down. Linfoot also started the season brightly he sits 5th in the podium credits table but just like Laverty has struggled with pace and mistakes in recent rounds. Ellison unlike the other two riders started the season with DNFs and lacked confidence with the new Kawasaki but recently he seems to have gelled with the bike and has clawed his way back up to contend in the top six he currently only sits 7th in the podium table and will be on a mission to improve that this weekend.
Behind these three there is a group of six riders who are all in with a shout of the top six should the three in front have terrible weekends Richard Cooper, Luke Mossey, Peter Hickman, Christian Iddon, Tommy Bridewell and Glen Irwin will all be hoping to pressurize those in front into mistakes and take advantage and make their way into the showdown.
Last time at Oulton it was Leon Haslam and Richard Cooper who split then wins Christian Iddon finished second in both races with James Ellison taking third place in race 1 and Haslam finishing third in race 2. Shane Byrne was still learning about the new Panigale at this stage of the season and only managed 8th in race 1 and and 6th in Race 2, I doubt that this will be the case this weekend unless the weather is not right.
With Byrne,Haslam and O’Halloran all secure in the showdown it will be interesting to see how hard they are willing to push if other in the races are willing to push it a bit extra in their hunt for the final six showdown this weekends races could be some of the closest races we have seen so far this year.
|LIVE QUALIFYING AND SUPERSPORT SPRINT RACE
SAT 10 SEP 11:30
SAT 10 SEP 15:30
SUN 11 SEP 12:30
3 time champion rejoins the paddock after his departure from the Halsall racing team after joining the Smiths BMW team.
Former BSB competitor Guintoli could be set to return to the series in 2017
Last years Champion may also be returning is the situation is correct for him.