CADWELL Park is gearing up for the biggest event of the 2011 season as the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship returns to the circuit this August Bank Holiday (August 27-29).
The title fight will intensify this weekend with a triple-header race event as Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne arrives at his Louth-based HM Plant Honda team’s home round with the current lead in the standings.
Byrne is determined to build on the team’s previous success at the circuit; last year the team scored a win and a further three podium finishes from the two races and went on to become champions with Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari.
However they face tough opposition from riders including Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill, who won last time out at Brands Hatch, and high-flying Josh Brookes who remains a fans’ favourite for his spectacular airborne style over the challenging Mountain section of the track.
The BSB Championship is split in to two parts: the Main Season, which ends at Cadwell Park, and the Showdown.
The top six riders in the championship standings after Cadwell Park become the ‘Title Fighters’ who will challenge for the title over the last three Showdown rounds.
Three riders have already confirmed their place – Byrne, American John Hopkins and Hill. However, eight riders are still in contention for the remaining three spots, including defending champion Ryuichi Kiyonari on the HM Plant Honda and Brookes, who finished runner-up last season.
They will be under pressure to score big points finishes at the most challenging circuit on the calendar as experienced contenders including Michael Rutter, Michael Laverty and Gary Mason are all targeting a top six finish in the standings after the three races at Cadwell Park.
Podium finishes remain vital for the leading contenders as each Title Fighter starts the Showdown phase level on 500 points apart from those gained for podium finishes they have scored in the Main Season. These are known as Podium Credits (three for a win, two for a second and one for a third).
Double BSB champion Byrne, who knows how vital they will be this weekend, said: “I am definitely looking forward to getting back out again on the HM Plant Honda, especially at Cadwell Park. We had a test last week but unfortunately it didn’t go completely according to plan.
“That said though, we were able to get some laps around the circuit which is always important and it did give us some things to think about – oh and I did a 52-mile cycle ride to Skegness whilst I was there! This weekend is the team’s home round so I am keen to do a good job for them there, as they have had strong results in the past, and I want to be pulling in those Podium Credits as they will be important at the end of the weekend. Then it’s all about the Showdown!”
The first BSB race of the weekend, postponed from Oulton Park due to treacherous weather conditions, takes place on Sunday afternoon after the BSB qualifying session, with the usual two races on Bank Holiday Monday. Away from the racing on track there will also be a range of entertainment on site for fans including a mountain bike trials display, an RAF Falcon parachute jump and the Broke FMX motocross display team all performing on Bank Holiday Monday.
For more information visit www.cadwellpark.co.uk or call 0843 453 9000.