BikeSocial Publisher. Has been riding since before Frankie said ‘Relax’, owned more than 100 bikes and has written for, edited or published most of the UK’s best known bike magazines. Strangely attracted to riding high miles in all weathers, finds track days ‘confusing’ and describes the secret to better riding as ‘being invincible’.
What are you doing on Easter Monday? A walk around B&Q? Maybe the garden centre, half-hearted spring cleaning and join the queue for the local tip? Has it really come to this?
Surely, after three months of dismal winter misery, six months since most of us troubled the edges of our tyres and what seems like an age since we last watched a proper bike race live, it is time to start 2018 with a bang. British Superbikes returns this Monday, at Donington Park with a whole load of top flight racing and full support programme too, where the stars of the future emerge, blinking into the daylight.
You could watch something like football of course. But it’ll cost you a lot more money and there’s no support classes. In BSB there are no prima donnas, no tantrums, no writhing about on the floor in agony when the elastic band comes off your man-bun and no (well, not much) pretentious gladiatorial machismo either. BSB is the best domestic race series in the world. The rules are right, the circuits are mostly stunning both for the racers and spectators and a packed programme means nothing gives better value for money.
Many of us go to one or two rounds a year, watch a couple more on telly and some of us even understand how the shootout thing works. Actually, that’s a fib, no one understands the shootout or the podium credits or any of that nonsense. All we know is that it makes for a great showdown every year. So we get two seasons of BSB each year. The first one where all the country gets to see top flight racing close up for sensible admission prices. A bit like the Premier league, except no one wins. And then the showdown, which is a sort of Champions’ League, where the winner is crowned... I think.
When we cheer our GP heroes on telly it’s easy to get blasé about BSB. For most of us time is tight, grown-up chores dominate our weekends, leaving not much time for riding, let alone watching racing…even on telly. So we gravitate to MotoGP because it’s the pinnacle. Last year I made a point of watching more BSB and going to a few more rounds and I really enjoyed it. I’d forgotten what it’s like to be part of the show instead of fast forwarding through the adverts.
Donington Park is one of the great spectator tracks, we all deserve a day on the bike after such a long winter and Monday’s forecast is for ‘light rain’ only in the Derby area.
BikeSocial’s parent company, Bennetts has returned as title sponsor this year and they will be running competitions and features all year for tickets, money-can’t-buy prizes and much more.If you’re at the race, pop into the Bennetts unit, say hello to the team (BikeSocial will be skulking around somewhere near the coffee machine). If you’re a Bennetts policyholder there are all kinds of interesting opportunities on offer (free grid walks etc). If not, come and have a chat anyway.
Does that sound like a plug? Sorry, not meant to be. It’s just that the reasons we kept prodding Bennetts to go for BSB was simply because we love it. We want to make BSB even bigger because it’s the best UK race series on the best UK race tracks and it’ll be our young racers, coming through the ranks, snapping at the heels of the MotoGP stars in a few years time hopefully.
Just for the record, my money’s on Hickman, how about yours?