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Eazi Grip

Our supported riders and teams get ready for the BSB Brands Hatch Finale

BeerMonster PBM Ducati

The final round of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship heads for Brands Hatch this weekend with BeerMonster Ducati riders Tommy Bridewell and Glenn Irwin first and second in the standings.

The pair arrive at the season finale separated by 7.5 points having won eight races each so far and accumulating a further 15 podiums between them for the late Paul Bird’s Lake District-based team and after a disappointing round at Donington Park, they aim to get back to winning ways and reassert their authority on proceedings.

Earlier in the season, Bridewell took a double victory at the Kent track whereas Irwin took two wins at the corresponding meeting last year meaning the pair have won four of the last six Bennetts BSB races to be held at Brands Hatch.

That means confidence is at a high as both riders look to increase the gap to third placed Kyle Ryde who is now 35 points behind Bridewell and 27.5 adrift of Irwin but with three races all scoring 35 points for a win this weekend, nothing can be taken for granted.

If either rider can box off the title, it would be an unprecedented ninth Bennetts BSB crown for the PBM team, and the first since 2020 when Josh Brookes won on the Ducati. It would also be a perfect tribute to Birdy who passed away after a short illness in September.

Tommy Bridewell: “It’s hard to believe it’s the final round already but I’m looking forward to getting the championship decider underway this weekend. I’m in the position where everyone else wants to be at the head of the table and arriving at Brands Hatch, I’m feeling very confident. We have shown earlier in the season we have good pace in both the wet and the dry so if there’s one track I’d like the title to be decided at, it’s there. Hopefully it will all work out well and if everything goes to plan, I’ll do the team, myself and of course Paul proud by lifting the champion’s trophy.”

Glenn Irwin: “The mathematics speak for themselves and although we could dwell on the previous round, that doesn’t align with my plan on where this championship is going. I’ve said all along that there is a long-term goal for this season and that’s to become British Superbike champion, and I still maintain that, and I feel it is going to happen. I plan to shape my own upwards trajectory so if I listen to my own advice, then it’s all to play for. I just want to enjoy the weekend, have some fun and the plan is to come away with the number one plate.”

John Mowatt, Team Co-Ordinator: “Although we surrendered a few points to our rivals at Donington Park, some of them didn’t maximise their opportunities and we’re still first and second in the standings with three races left. Both Tommy and Glenn have a fantastic chance of becoming British champion, but if the title is to come our way, it can only be one of them, sadly. We’ll arrive and do our job as normal; we have had great success at Brands Hatch over the years, and if we can get that ninth title for the team and especially for Paul, it would mean the world to us. May the best man win, whoever that is.”

Kyle Ryde – LAMI OMG Racing

Kyle Ryde is ready to take the fight for the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship title to the finish at Brands Hatch as he bids to make it consecutive titles for the LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha team this weekend (13/14/15 October).

Ryde arrived at Donington Park last time out with a 60.5-point deficit to Glenn Irwin at the top of the standings, but with a victory and a turbulent weekend for the BeerMonster Ducati teammates, he almost halved the advantage so arrives at Brands Hatch 35 points adrift – the value of a single race win at the season finale.

Ryde has delivered his strongest season to date, and despite a challenging round on the Grand Prix circuit earlier in the season, he is feeling confident to add to his podium tally and maintain if not move up the standings after this weekend’s three races.

Ryde said: “Obviously I am in a position that I didn’t think I would be in to be honest! Going into Donington Park 60.5 points behind, I thought it would have to be an amazing weekend, it turned out to be an average weekend with the overall points being ok, but that was just winning race two. One race I chose the wrong tyres and struggled and the other one I chose the right tyres and didn’t struggle, it just took me way too long to get going and then the last eight laps I was just as fast as anyone in third, fourth, fifth positions but I was miles behind.

“I was a little bit disappointed to not take more points out of the guys because Glenn scored absolutely nothing and Tommy only scored a few points as well. Overall, you have got to be so happy to be only one race behind, as Brands Hatch is 35 points for a win, so I am only one race behind to the championship.

“We have some great data from Brands Hatch earlier in the year, as even though we had a DNF, we had good pace. I am excited to get there, we would all love a dry race, and I think it can be one great weekend. If I can secure myself a top three position, I would be absolutely buzzing. Obviously, I want to win it, but I think some things have got to happen, which I think they quite possibly can do with them two being so close and the shenanigans that happened at Donington Park! I have got to keep my head down, have a good Friday and get to the front and see what we can do.”

Christian Iddon – MotoRapido Ducati, Oxford Products Racing

Christian Iddon and the Oxford Products Racing Ducati had a memorable weekend last time out at Donington Park with the double podium finish keeping them within mathematical contention at the final round by a single point.

A maximum of 105 points are available across the final three crucial races at Brands Hatch, and Iddon arrives at the season finale next weekend (13/14/15 October) trailing standings leader Tommy Bridewell by 104 points.

But whilst the title is almost out of reach, Iddon knows that both he and the team had strong performances on the Grand Prix circuit earlier in the season when they claimed a double podium finish and narrowly missed out in the final race. Iddon and the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team want to end the season on a high and that means they could still very much play a part in the destiny of the title.

Iddon said: “The final round of the season is coming up and I feel like it has all gone super quick this year! It was nice to get a couple of podiums at the weekend after having reasonable pace for a few rounds, but not showing it with any results, so that was cool.

“I just hope that we can carry that momentum forwards as we had a couple of podiums at Brands Hatch earlier in the season, so we are just going to try and replicate that so that we finish the season as strongly as we can. It has been a year that has been nowhere near expectation, so any kind of result at Brands Hatch can just tip the balance so we can finish the season reasonably happy.

“I have a mathematical chance of the championship, I think I am 4000/1, which is quite cool and probably worth a quid or two as for a few pound you might do alright! The realistic scenario is there is little chance, but it is pretty cool to go into the last round where we are still. We had a good round at Donington Park and we just want to carry that on now into Brands Hatch. I am not too stressed about what the weather will do – I am looking forward to it and hope we can have a good weekend to end the season.”

Josh Brookes – FHO Racing

Josh Brookes has historically been one of the strongest contenders on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit and the double champion arrives at the Bennetts British Superbike Championship season finale wanting to end his season on a high.

Whilst Brookes remains in mathematical contention, he knows his rivals would have to suffer disaster at Brands Hatch for him to celebrate a third crown. However, with a higher points’ value at the decider, he can still move up the order in the standings and cause an upset for his rivals.

Brookes said: “I am looking forward to Brands Hatch; it seems like such a surprise that we are already at the last round, it really is a shock! I guess time flies, but this year it really seems the case and it feels like we have only just started and now it’s already finishing up!

“Brands Hatch has always been a track that I have enjoyed racing at and I have great results there over the history of racing and I would love to continue making those historic stats but I can’t predict anything. This season has been more difficult that we had anticipated and the results haven’t been what the fans, myself or the team could have anticipated, so we are going race by race and see where we can finish the season.

“I feel that everyone wants to build momentum ahead of 2024, but there is loads of potential in everything that we are doing, we just need to access that potential. That is what the focus is, it is to find ways to improve through the off-season and anything we can discover at Brands Hatch will be a help with that.

“Leaving Donington Park with a podium was good, and I was more pleased with the dry race as that was the one I had, I guess, most anxiety about as we had struggled in the dry. So to actually finish in the position we did, and maintain the lap times showed some promise. Its small gains, but all of those are valuable. We are looking forward to getting this weekend started.”

Leon Haslam – ROKiT BMW BSB Team

Leon Haslam knows all too well how the tables can turn in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at the Showdown finale at Brands Hatch and the ROKiT BMW Motorrad rider is determined ahead of the decider (13/14/15 October).

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ has been on the receiving end of how precarious the final round can be, and he arrives in Kent with a 41-point deficit to Tommy Bridewell at the top of the standings, with a maximum of 105 points available from the crucial three races.

Haslam arrives at the season finale next weekend knowing that in 2017, his 32-point advantage at the top of the standings ahead of Brands Hatch was decimated and he lost the title to Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne by six points, with Josh Brookes also edging ahead by three points.

Haslam said: “I am obviously really looking forward to Brands Hatch; it is a circuit that has a lot of history for the last round of the season. Back in 2017, we went in to the last round with a 32-point lead and somehow managed to lose it with a few issues, so we know anything can happen.

“We are still disappointed from Donington Park and with the mechanical in the last one because we would have been less than 20 points off the championship lead, which with the year that we have had and five technical DNFs that we have had, I would never have expected to be in this position.

“There is everything still to play for at Brands Hatch, there are 105 points available and 41 points behind. In the wet we seem to be a lot more competitive compared to our opposition and in the dry weather we are in with a shout as well. We will wait and see and I can’t wait to get going as anything can happen.”

Honda Racing UK

This weekend (13th – 15th October) the Honda Racing UK team heads to Kent and the iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit for the season finale of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

After what has been a challenging year disrupted by injury, the team will be aiming to finish the season on a high at the 2.43-mile track. Tom Neave, who currently sits sixteenth in the championship having scored almost double his previous season’s best points tally, will be hoping to continue his return to good form and build upon his previous outing. He sets his sights firmly within the top ten finishing positions at the venue of his 2021 Superstock Championship success.

On the other side of the garage, a difficult return at Donington Park in tricky conditions didn’t yield the results Andrew Irwin hoped for, but it did provide him with valuable bike time on his journey back to the sharp end. He will be targeting three strong point-scoring finishes to head buoyantly into the off-season.

In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, the series is almost at its climax and just two Honda-mounted riders remain in contention for championship glory, Dan Linfoot – Optimum Bikes Racing and Richard Kerr – AMD Motorsport. Both will be giving their all to lift the crown in what has been a dominant year for the Honda Fireblade, tasting victory in all but one Superstock race so far this year with seven different winners.

#18 Andrew Irwin

“I am feeling good heading to Brands for the year’s final round, but it feels odd knowing it’s the end of the season because it feels like I’m only heading to round four after I’ve missed so much. The aim is to find some rhythm early on and just keep building throughout the weekend, not just for the weekend itself but to be able to show some good progress heading into the off-season. Brands has always been a track that I enjoy and that I have been fast at, I want to get three strong point-scoring finishes under my belt and you never know, maybe we might surprise some people.”

#68 Tom Neave

“I am looking forward to the final round at Brands and finishing off the season. Last time out we regained some momentum and put together a decent weekend with point-scoring finishes in each of the three races. I’d like to continue building on that and really showcase some of the potential that I know I have. I’m heading to the weekend with a smile on my face and want to just go out there and enjoy riding the bike.” 

McAMS Yamaha

There will be tears aplenty at Brands Hatch this weekend as the McAMS Yamaha team makes its final outings in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

It was announced earlier this year that team boss Steve Rodgers will scale back his involvement in racing for 2024, meaning the end for the McAMS Yamaha team which has flown the flag as the official Yamaha Motor UK British Superbike team since 2017. To date the team has won 46 BSB races, finished on the podium 110 times and of course, won the 2021 rider, manufacturer and team championships.

Riders Jason O’Halloran and Niccolo Canepa will have just three more chances to boost those stats for the team this weekend as the 2023 championship comes to its conclusion at Brands Hatch.

And with the expanded points on offer, with a huge 35 points available for a race win, Aussie O’Halloran is still in with a chance of winning the title after his Donington Park heroics. 50.5 points off series leader Tommy Bridewell, there’s everything to play for as the team look to go out on a high.

Niccolo Canepa is looking forward to being re-united with the BSB-spec R1 this weekend after being able to experience the bike in all conditions at Donington Park. A seventh place in qualifying showed his potential and the Italian is keen to leave a mark in the team’s final weekend. Heading to Brands off the back of an Italian Championship win at Imola, Canepa is full of confidence and looking forward to returning to Brands Hatch for the first time since 2008. Yamaha’s WorldSBK test rider has experienced success at the Kent circuit in the past, notching up a victory at Brands in his FIM Superstock World Cup championship-winning season.

The weekend’s action gets underway on Friday ahead of Qualifying Saturday morning with the Bike Social Sprint Race kicking race proceedings off at 16:15 Saturday afternoon with the season concluding with two feature length races on Sunday.

Jason O’Halloran
McAMS Yamaha
Championship: 5th (317.5 points)

“When you leave a team, your last race weekend is always filled with emotion but this weekend will be on another level in terms of that as it’s the team’s last ever races in BSB. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m so proud to have contributed to McAMS Yamaha’s significant success over the last five years. Donington Park was a great round for us and I’m feeling really good on the bike both in the wet or dry. There’s a lot of points on offer and we’ve got nothing to lose. My priority is to see the team go out on a high, so our aim is to win races – the rest will sort itself out!”

Niccolò Canepa
McAMS Yamaha      

“I am very much looking forward to Brands Hatch this weekend, I have ridden there before a long, long time ago but it was a circuit I really enjoyed riding so I am looking forward to trying it on the R1. After Donington, we are ready for pretty much any conditions! I learned a lot about the bike and I am looking forward to putting that into action this weekend and hopefully we can achieve some good results for the team in their final races.”

Steve Rodgers
Team Principal

“I’m not too sure what to say about this weekend, I’m not sure if I am looking forward to it or dreading it! It’s going to be emotional. The group of people that make up the McAMS Yamaha team are a great bunch and it’s going to be really sad when things come to an end on Sunday evening. Our plan for the weekend is to go out on as much of a high as possible, we still have an outside chance of the championship but the aim is to win races. We enjoyed that feeling at Donington Park so it would be nice to taste the champagne a couple more times before we call it a day!”

Posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2023 in News

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