News 4 Oct 2011

British Superbike Showdown set for this weekend at Brands Hatch

American John Hopkins is in line to win the BSB series as a rookie this weekend.

American John Hopkins is in line to win the BSB series as a rookie this weekend.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship reaches the title-deciding final round of the Showdown at Brands Hatch this weekend on 7-9 October as three races on the GP circuit will decide which of the five Title Fighter protagonists will seal the coveted crown.

As the season reaches its much anticipated climax John Hopkins leads the championship standings by just eight points as he bids to become the first American to win the BSB championship. However British hope Tommy Hill is determined to snatch the advantage at his home round.

“I can’t wait until the weekend – it can’t come soon enough,” Hopkins said. “I am going into this round like I have no points lead at all; in fact I am going into it as if I am eight points behind Tommy as it can easily turn around.

“Myself and Tommy are obviously close, but there are three races and things can change. In the past I have handled pressure quite well and from watching the previous season I think I will be able to handle it better than Tommy did last year.

“When the pressure has been on previously in my career I have been able to perform. I know I need to win and to beat Tommy, but all of us will all be going for it. To win a BSB title would mean everything to me.”

Hill has enjoyed an impressive run of podium finishes for the Swan Yamaha team and he has put the heartbreak of missing out last season to the back of his mind. Whilst his focus is on beating Hopkins, he also won’t be discounting the other Title Fighters in the three races this weekend.

“Brands Hatch is it in terms of the title,” Hill said. “Everyone is focused on the weekend and the three races. We all love the Grand Prix circuit and the Swan Yamaha team will be doing everything we can to come away as champions.

“We need to step everything up again as this is the last chance and we really want this title. We can’t underestimate any of our rivals as everyone is going to be pushing hard.

“Last year was a different scenario and I will be coming out fighting as hard as I can to win again this weekend and hopefully that will be enough to be champions at the end of the three races.”

Whilst Hopkins and Hill head the standings, with a maximum of 75 points available from the three races Australian Josh Brookes, former double champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Hill’s Swan Yamaha teammate Michael Laverty also remain in contention.

“Brands Hatch is like my back garden so performing strongly there is always important to me as I get so much support,” Byrne said. “We come into the final three races on the back foot after the first two rounds of the Showdown but that’s how it is.

“Nothing short of three race wins will be enough and myself and the HM Plant Honda team will be doing everything we can to achieve that. If we do win the races and something incredible happens then we could be champions again this weekend.”

In addition to the three BSB races, the first on Saturday and the usual two on Sunday, there will also be a triple-header title decider in the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport Championship which has seen an immense battle between title rivals Alastair Seeley and Ben Wilson all season.