Under Fire From ‘Young-Guns’ Bennetts British Superbike Championship 06 Oct 08
Final round – 10/11/12 October – Brands Hatch
Shane Byrne has a close affinity to Brands Hatch, having begun his racing career there, also taking his first victory, and now he plans to celebrate his success in clinching the Bennetts British Superbike title with a winning double in the final round, prior to his graduation back to the world stage.
The Airwaves Ducati rider took the country’s premier crown for the second time in five years in the penultimate round but that has not lessened his desire to add to the eight race winning pedigree that put him clear of the pack in the title stakes.
“It’s my home circuit, and I can just go out there and enjoy myself knowing that the Championship is mine,” said Byrne who knows the Indy circuit well and that it suits Ducati, as illustrated by Gregorio Lavilla’s victory aboard the Airwaves bike last year. “I really hope I can sign the season off in style and I'm going to be pushing 100% to get back onto the top step of the podium.”
That will not come easily. Five riders go into the final two 30 lap races scrapping for the runner-up spot and that promises a real high-speed ‘shoot-out’ for supremacy. Leon Haslam, riding HM Plant Honda for the last time in British action before moving into the World series, is the in form man of the moment having won five of the previous seven races.
“Winning is what it is all about and and I want to end the season with a double, ending on a real high – my aim at the start of the season was the title, but now I want to be the best of the rest. In the last four rounds I’ve been the top scorer and I am keen to continue that to make up for the bad start I had to the season,” said Haslam who takes an 18 points advantage into the action over Tom Sykes.
Riding the Rizla Suzuki, Sykes has made a big impact in only his second year of Superbike action, and particularly in the second half of the campaign he has taken the fight to the sharp-end of the pack, winning three times, something that he is keen to extend as a fitting farewell to the series prior to his move into the World series next term.
“I am going there in the mind set to win the races,” said Sykes. “I need to at least beat Leon Haslam as we want the runner-up spot in the standings rather than third.”
Cal Crutchlow, whose second victory on this season came at the Kent circuit back in May, is keen for a winning finale. He too is moving onwards and upwards next season, riding in World Supersports, but first, he feels he has unfinished business with his current HM Plant Honda team.
“I desperately want to end this year on a high and for me a win at least would be the best way to sign-off things in the UK but I will be doing everything I can to do the double,” pledged Crutchlow who like Leon Camier, aboard the second Airwaves Ducati, has an uphill struggle to take the ‘number 2’ plate.
Camier claimed his third win of the season last time out and is enjoying some of his best form and that could spell problems for his rivals, although they should all check the form of the rejuvenated Michael Rutter aboard the North West 200 Ducati.
Rutter is running sixth overall in the rankings, ahead of the impressive James Ellison, riding Hydrex Bike Animal Honda; Simon Andrews on the Lloyds British Jentin Yamaha and Relentless Suzuki rider Michael Laverty whose elder brother John is planning to underline his Daily Star Cup championship success aboard the Buildbase NW200 Ducati by signing off his season with a double victory.
For the record
Lap records: 1.1986 mile Indy CircuitSuperbikes Gregorio Lavilla, Ducati 45.460s, 94.91mph, 14/10/07Supersport Jay Vincent, Honda, 47.242s, 93.44mph, 28/03/05125GP Sam Owens, Honda, 48.993s, 90.10mph, 02/09/01Superstock Adam Jenkinson, Suzuki, 47.874s, 90.13mph, 14/10/07 600 Superstock Craig Jones, Suzuki, 49.753s, 86.72mph, 14/04/02KTM 990 Dave Wood, KTM, 51.396s, 83.95mph, 14/10/07R1 Cup To be established
Flashback: Round 13 – 13 October 2007Bennetts British Superbike ChampionshipPole: G Lavilla Ducati, 45.190sRace One - 30 laps1 G Lavilla Ducati 23:35.2082 J Rea Honda 23:37.7073 R Kiyonari Honda 23:38.598Fastest lap: Lavilla, Ducati, 45.460s, 94.91mph/152.75kphRace Two - 20 laps1 G Lavilla Ducati 15:22.8732 J Rea Honda 15:25.0553 C Crutchlow Suzuki 15:25.341Fastest lap: Lavilla, Ducati, 45.482s, 94.87mph/152.68kphBritish Superbike CupRace One1 T Palmer Honda 24:02.783Race Two1 T Palmer Honda 15:47.486
Superbikes on TrackFriday 10 October10.00-10.50 and 13.40-14.30 free practiceSaturday 11 October09.45-10.35 free practice13.30-14.34 Swan Combi 50 Roll for PoleSunday 12 October10.15-10.30 warm-up practice11.30-12.30 BSB Riders Meet and Greet Autograph Session at THINK! stand14.00 Race one – 30 laps16.45 Race two – 30 laps17.15 Championship Presentation, Champions Photoshoot, Farewell to Fans Pit Walk
Superbikes on televisionSunday 12 October12:30-16:30 - Live racedayBritish Eurosport 2Sunday 12 October19:45-21:15 - HighlightsBritish Eurosport 2Monday 13 October19:00-20:30 - HighlightsBritish Eurosport 2Tuesday 14 October21:00-22:00 - HighlightsBritish Eurosport 2Wednesday 15 October01:10-02:05 - HighlightsBritish Eurosport 2Thursday 16 October19:00-20:00 - Bennetts British Superbikes ExtraBritish Eurosport 2Saturday 18 October14:30-16:00 - HighlightsBritish Eurosport 2