THE LOUTH based HM Plant Honda team lead the British Superbike Championship standings as the title race reaches the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this weekend for the first of the triple-header events of the season.
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne currently is at the top of the standings and is seeking victory on his home circuit after winning the opening round at the Kent track on the Indy configuration earlier this year.
Ryuichi Kiyonari returns to the UK following his victory in the Suzuka 8 Hour race last weekend and is determined to consolidate his position in the top six in the overall standings ahead of the Showdown.
In the Superstock 1000 Championship Luke Jones continues to deputise for the injured Jason O’Halloran and is looking to build on his experience at Oulton Park.
Byrne said: “I am obviously looking forward to Brands Hatch as it is my home round and I do have such good memories from there. I desperately want to win this weekend and I know we have the Kawasaki World Superbike team also racing, but that won’t change my goal and the races are going to be ones to watch! We won on the Indy circuit at the opening round but you can’t really compare the two, all I know is that I need to concentrate solely on winning again as we haven’t in the past rounds.
“I know we have had the pace but it just hasn’t worked out, but this weekend will be so important for the championship with three races and we will be pushing hard to make sure we stay ahead at Brands Hatch.”
Kiyo said: “I am happy because there are three races at Brands Hatch and it is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. I think it will be a good weekend for the fans, because it is going to be so close, but that means harder for us riders!
“It is important to do well at Brands Hatch because it will be the same track as the final round so we need to be fast. There are many riders that can win there, but I need to be strong like I was when I won at Oulton Park earlier in the year.
“The top four riders you know are going to be fast and fighting for the win, but there are other riders too that could be there and we have the Kawasaki WSB coming too. I think we can win; we have made lots of progress with the HM Plant Honda Fireblade so we need to go out and push hard. I have the number one plate on my bike and that means I should be up the front fighting for the win and nothing less.”
Team Manager Havier Beltran concluded: “Brands Hatch is always a big round and the HM Plant Honda team have celebrated some fantastic results there in the past. Both Shakey and Kiyo have been very competitive there in the past and the three-race format should make for some fantastic racing weekend for the fans.”