The 7th round of the Bennetts BSB Championship at Thruxton marks the start of the second half of the season, can you believe it? One certainty is the quality of racing will only increase from here on in as the championship challengers have just seven more races to grab the all-important top six Showdown positions.
Josh Brookes took the double win last time out at Brands Hatch and he’ll be hoping not to follow in Samson’s fabled shoes by losing his power having whipped off his hair. Yes, even before his appearance at the Classic TT the moustache has now gone having kept his promise. Well done to Josh, his fiancé Aimee and everyone who donated to the Movember charity who also benefitted from the shave.
Ominously for his title rivals, Brookes is hitting form at just the right time and comes to Thruxton having won five of his last six BSB races at the Hampshire circuit where tyre wear management is crucial and it’s the McAMS Yamaha rider holds plenty of experience cards too.
We’re also still coming to terms with the official announcement of Leon Haslam’s return to the World Superbike Championship in 2019 with KRT. Our series leader currently has an enormous 80-point lead and having finished runner-up in the championship on three previous occasions, will the Pocket Rocket leave with the title in his, er…pocket?
Bradley Ray was among the BSB representatives at last weekend’s prestigious Suzuka 8hr race and while the young Suzuki man sits in fifth place in the title race, he’s bagged just 14-points from the last six races. Mr Consistent, Danny Buchan, is just four points further back in sixth and is the only rider other than Haslam to score in every race this season.
Tarran Mackenzie enjoyed a decent showing at Brands Hatch last time out and is finding some form while the three BMW’s of Christian Iddon, Michael Laverty and Peter Hickman are also loitering just outside the top six.
And finally, how good is it to see our reigning champ, Mr Shakey Bryne, out of his halo and taking a significant step towards his recovery?
Fact Zone – Thruxton BSB
1. The last time Josh Brookes did the double at Brands Hatch in 2015 he went on to win the next four races including a double at Thruxton. Don’t bet against him repeating that this weekend.
2. Despite extending his Bennetts BSB championship lead at Brands Hatch, Leon Haslam has never won a BSB race at the Hampshire circuit.
3. Thruxton has been a part of the BSB calendar for the last 22 years.
4. Peter Hickman claimed Smiths Racing’s ever first British Superbike race victory at Thruxton last year, could he kick start his season this weekend?
5. Originally built in 1940, Thruxton was a World War II airfield and home to both the RAF and USAF. It wasn’t until 1952 that racing first commenced at the circuit.
6. Honda haven’t won at Thruxton since 2012 when Ian Lowry claimed his maiden BSB win with Padgetts.
7. Jake Dixon secured pole position last season with a lap of 1’14.052. Could we see the first 1’13 lap this weekend?
8. At the end of this round there will only be five races left for the riders to secure those all important Showdown positions. If they want to make the cut, they will need to bag some big points this weekend.
The seventh round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Thruxton Race Circuit on August 03/04/05. For more ticket information please visit: https://thruxtonracing.co.uk/racing/bsb
Photo Credit – Tim Keeton (Impact Images)