The 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship is closer than ever before, and with the Showdown drawing closer, things are hotting up.
For the first time in the history of the Championship, no riders are confirmed as one of the six title contenders as we head into the final round before the Showdown commences. This weekend’s triple-header at Silverstone will see nine riders compete for a place in the final six, before the grid rolls into Oulton Park a week later.
Leading the Championship race is Shane Byrne on the Paul Bird run Be Wiser Ducati. The reigning British Champion will be looking to return to his winning ways at Silverstone, to cement his place in the title fight.
But only ten points behind him in the standings is JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam, who won last time out at Cadwell Park. It came down to the wire between Byrne and Haslam last year, and it could well be a battle that we see again at the Brands Hatch finale.
Peter Hickman and the Smiths BMW team have had a stellar season, leaving Hickman sitting third in the overall standings. A fourth and a third place last time out at Cadwell has left him in a strong position to enter the title fight for the first time.
Jason O’Halloran didn’t have the strongest of season starts, with a new Fireblade that hadn’t been developed. But the BSB Honda Racing duo seem to be the only ones who have managed to get the SP2 working for them, and it’s showed in O’Halloran’s fourth place in the overall standings. He finished fifth overall last year, and will be pushing for a set of strong results at Silverstone to secure him a place in the final six.
Josh Brookes excited every BSB fan when he announced his comeback to the British series for 2017. The 2015 British Superbike Champion teamed up with the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team, and has so far delivered their best results. Brookes sits fifth, just eleven points behind O’Halloran and will need to improve on the twelfth and seventh place finishes from Cadwell if he wants to stay in the title fight.
Hanging onto the top six by the skin of his teeth is Luke Mossey, who sat out the last two rounds due to injury. He’s only trailing behind by six points, and with Silverstone being one of his favourite tracks he’ll be looking to make amends.
Also in with a shot for title contention is Jake Dixon, who is slowly creeping up on Mossey in the standings. Christian Iddon also looks like a strong contender for the Showdown, as well as James Ellison, who took his first win of the year at Cadwell Park.
With the Championship reaching a crucial stage, Silverstone certainly is not a round to be missed.