British SuperbikeMotorcycles

Anybody’s Game As BSB Heads To Croft

2 Mins read

With two rounds of the 2011 British Superbike Championship gone, we are no nearer to knowing the identity of this year's champion as the series heads to Croft in North Yorkshire.

Four races have brought four different winners with Shane 'Shakey' Byrne establishing an 11 point lead at the top of the standings after winning the very first race of the year.

Just to prove how competitive this year's championship has been, Byrne's nearest challenger is Stuart Easton who hasn't won a race himself so far.

John Hopkins will arrive at Croft with momentum on his side after claiming his first BSB victory in race two at Oulton Park. The Samsung Crescent Suzuki rider's emotional reaction on the podium showed how much it meant to him, and he will surely be brimming with confidence this weekend.

Ryuichi Kiyonari got his title defence off and running by winning the earlier race, but was denied a podium by Byrne on the final lap of race two, handing the championship initiative to his HM Plant Honda teammate. The Japanese rider is expecting a challenging weekend but his target is very clear.

“For me Croft has been a difficult track, although I have won there. It is very bumpy so the setting is going to be critical to be able to win. I want to be on the podium and winning again”, he said.

Despite an undoubtedly quick package, Swan Yamaha will be disappointed with their season so far. Tommy Hill took the early championship lead with a win and a second at Brands Hatch and looked set for another strong weekend at Oulton Park when he stormed to pole position.

But a nasty accident in the pre-race warm-up left him an injured spectator and unable to prevent himself from slipping down to fifth in the standings, 25 points in arrears. His return will boost the team at their home event, as will the form of teammate Michael Laverty who picked up a pair of fifth places at Oulton to join Hill in the all important top six.

His brother John Laverty is hoping to be passed fit for a return after missing Oulton Park with an injured finger sustained at Brands Hatch. Josh Brookes will be another rider to look out for after his spectacular accident two weeks ago cost him a potential victory.

In the EVO class, Alex Lowes has a comfortable lead after winning the last three races for WFR Honda. The 20-year-old from Lincoln even mixed it with the front runners in the main class after starting race two from the front row. Teammate Glen Richards is the only rider to have beaten him this year and will be desperate to close the 50 point gap to the championship leader.

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