The Bennetts British Superbike Championship returns to Brands Hatch this weekend and, following a 644-day wait from the 2019 season finale, fans will be welcomed back to the Kent venue in unrestricted numbers to witness the incredible spectacle of the country’s leading motorsport series.
There have already been three different race winners, plus a further four podium finishers, from the opening six races of this season setting the stage for another close contest this summer weekend. There is added glory up for grabs too, as riders will fight for the Monster Energy King of Brands Trophy.
The VisionTrack Ducati team lead the standings ahead of this weekend’s triple-header after Christian Iddon moved to the top of the standings at Knockhill. His victory last time out puts him six points clear of fierce rival and Oulton Park treble winner Jason O’Halloran.
O’Halloran made one mistake at Knockhill with a crash in race two forcing him to relinquish the series lead to Iddon. The McAMS Yamaha rider was victorious at Brands Hatch last October on his way to second in the title fight, and he will be aiming to regain the position with another strong weekend.
The most successful current Bennetts BSB rider at Brands Hatch is reigning champion Josh Brookes, equal on 19 race victories with Shane Byrne on the Grand Prix circuit. The VisionTrack Ducati rider has had an uncharacteristic start to this title defence, with a best result of sixth place and is currently 11th in the standings.
However, the Australian’s previous record at Brands Hatch is unrivalled by his opponents. The double champion has stood on the podium at the iconic circuit every year he’s competed, aside from 2014, since 2011. Indeed, Brooks has won seven of the last eight races on Brands Hatch’s revered longer layout.
Danny Buchan launched into third overall at Knockhill with an impressive double win for the SYNETIQ BMW team; he holds a slight edge over the second McAMS Yamaha rider, Tarran Mackenzie ahead of the three races this weekend.
Rookie Rory Skinner delivered a sensational performance at Knockhill, celebrating a podium finish in only his fifth Bennetts BSB race, before immediately following it up with another second place in the final race of the weekend.
A single point separates Skinner and the FS-3 Kawasaki team from Tommy Bridewell. The Oxford Products Racing Ducati team raced to the rostrum at the season opener and will be hoping to add to their Podium Points tally this weekend.
Peter Hickman and the FHO Racing BMW team debuted with a podium finish at Oulton Park, and after narrowly missing out at Knockhill, will be pushing to score BMW’s first win on the Grand Prix circuit since Michael Laverty in 2015. The team are expected to return to the full line-up at Brands Hatch, with Xavi Forés targeting his debut races in 2021 following injury sustained at Oulton Park.
Lee Jackson currently holds eighth place in the standings, and the FS-3 Kawasaki rider will be pushing to move further up the order this weekend with just a single point separating him from Ryan Vickers, who is just outside the all-important top eight for the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki.
Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW’s Bradley Ray and Kyle Ryde, plus Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin and Buildbase Suzuki pairing Gino Rea and Danny Kent will all be pushing to claw their way up the order, as they currently sit outside the top eight positions, which will be critical to their title hopes ahead of the end of year Showdown.