Danny Buchan secured his position as a Title Fighter in the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown in the final race at Silverstone, and the SYNETIQ BMW rider is ready to take the final battle down to the wire.
Buchan had to defend his position in the top eight after a high-speed crash at Donington Park left him sidelined from the three races at Cadwell Park, so the Essex-based contender admits that he was relieved to make the cut last weekend.
“It was such a big relief to be confirmed in the Showdown; not from the standpoint of how we are performing but because we have had so much bad luck,” said Buchan. “The crash at Donington Park meant that we missed three races at Cadwell Park and Silverstone was a bit of an uphill battle, so I was over the moon to get into the Showdown after that last race.
“We finished fourth in the last race at Silverstone, we were close to the podium again, and it showed the strength of the team and how we can battle through a bad weekend and come out stronger at the end. It felt like a huge weight off my shoulders; but I feel that I was really good at staying positive throughout that last weekend. I was quite chilled; I knew what we had to do and I just got on with it, so now we are in the Showdown we can fight.”
The fourth place in race three at Silverstone was enough to confirm his position for SYNETIQ BMW and now he heads into the Showdown holding sixth place in the overall standings and a single point adrift of Peter Hickman ahead of him. The Podium Points haul he had earlier in the season, also mean that a strong weekend in Cheshire could bring him closer to the top three.
“Having a year where we have won races and been up the sharp end, to have not been in the Showdown would have been heartbreaking for everyone involved, especially through misfortune of missing races,” added Buchan. “It would have been gutting to miss it.
“Now it is a clear fight for the championship; you can make up a lot of points but you can also lose a lot of points. For me, my target is the top three that is where we should and I think can be. We have good tracks coming up, the weather can always play a factor in the results, and my SYNETIQ BMW works well in all conditions. I am quite optimistic that we can fight for that – that is my goal.
“I don’t know what to expect from Oulton Park, you cannot think about who is going to be up there and who isn’t going to be up there. You see what happened with Jason and Tarran at Silverstone, it shows just how quickly things can change; Jason has a nice point’s buffer now but that can be reduced massively in just one weekend if you have a round of misfortune.
“I have come to look at it as anything can happen and I just have to go out there and score as many points as I can and see how everyone else finishes.
“We know Jason is going to be fast, Tarran was strong at Oulton Park last time too, Hicky was fast - you can’t count anyone out. Everyone in the top eight can produce those results, and I am optimistic in my own ability and in the team’s ability.
“I have set a goal and on a race weekend and I am going to keep on doing my own thing. That seems to work for me, I want to win races and if the opportunity is there then I am going to take it, but I need to just outscore the riders that I am up against and hopefully by the end of the season that is good enough.”