News 13 Jul 2010

BSB: Brookes leads into Snetterton round this weekend

Aussie Josh Brookes is the current BSB points leader.

Aussie Josh Brookes is the current BSB points leader.

Josh Brookes took the lead in the chase for the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown in the previous round but heading into the triple race seventh round at Snetterton the popular Aussie rider knows that he will be under severe pressure from Tommy Hill who is eager to make up lost ground.

There are just four points between them as they power into the high-speed Norfolk circuit with its renowned slip-streaming battles on the long Revett Straight and these races, the first on Saturday afternoon held over from the weather ravaged Knockhill round, come at a crucial stage of the season.

All of the riders are focussed on rich points hauls to ensure they are in the top six after the August Bank Holiday Monday Cadwell Park round to enter the championship deciding Showdown finale.

That should ensure fierce competition throughout this coming weekend with HM Plant Honda rider Brookes, now recovered from the bruising he took in a tumble during testing the previous week at Darley Moor, determined to chalk up better results than his pair of third placings in the corresponding round of last year.

Brookes is gunning for glory but Hill is keen to return to the early season dominance that put him clear in the points standings as in the first six races he took two victories and four other podium finishes before a change of fortune has seen the Worx Crescent Suzuki rider take only three points hauls, one a second place in the last five outings.

That is something that Hill is keen to rectify starting here, but, he is well aware that nothing comes easy, and apart from the obvious threat of Brookes, he will have to contend with two times former winner of the British crown Ryuichi Kiyonari.

He returns from a hectic trip back to Japan to test for Honda ahead of the Suzuka Eight Hours races and is determined to build on the recent run of form that has taken him to three victories and a second place, with them, third place in the title stakes.

Kiyonari enjoys riding Snetterton, holding the lap record that was set in his winning double of 2006, results that he replicated the following year, and the HM Plant Honda is focussed on another action replay as he battles to hold at bay the close challenges posed by both Michael Laverty and Michael Rutter in the overall standings.

Laverty, riding Relentless Suzuki, has been a top six finisher in the previous eight races, including a victory at Oulton Park while Rutter, the most experienced rider in the pack is enjoying the Ducati recording consistent results, pepped by a victory last time out in the damp of Scotland, a result that made him the sixth rider so far this season to taste the BSB victor’s champagne.

Just adrift of them, John Laverty, riding the Buildbase Ducati, currently occupies the all important sixth place in the points, but, he will need to ride hard to maintain that under threat from Alastair Seeley, aboard the second Relentless Suzuki, and the Flying Scot Stuart Easton, the Swan Honda rider, who is needs strong results to get his title challenge back on track.

Easton’s team-mate James Ellison will be striving to rekindle the form that earned him an opening round victory before the crash in practice for the Thruxton round left him with a broken thigh – this will be Cumbrian’s third round since being passed fit to ride.

He will be under pressure from MSS Colchester Kawasaki duo Simon Andrews and Gary Mason while Motorpoint Yamaha riders Dan Linfoot and Andrew Pitt are keen to impress.

South African Hudson Kennaugh, riding the MAR Kawasaki, expects to increase his lead in the chase for the BSB-EVO crown but Steve Brogan, aboard the Jentin BMW, has other ideas as he bids for victories to get back ahead, though both need to check the challenge of in form Aussie Dave Johnson aboard the Two Brothers Kawasaki.