A closer look at our riders competing in the categories within the 2023 series.
Once again in 2023, Australia has a strong representation of talent in the British Superbike Championship (BSB), with a range of riders achieving success or standout results in this year’s series. In this latest Three Things feature, CycleOnline takes a closer look at our local representation across the categories, eight rounds into the current season.
Highly-capable Australian duo Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW) and Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) have been key contenders in the premier class of BSB for a number of years, the former achieving two championship wins to date while the ‘O’Show’ has 26 victories to his credit. After a trying 2022 campaign with MCE Ducati, Brookes made the switch to Faye Ho’s outfit onboard BMW machinery and came out guns-blazing in the opening round at Silverstone, taking the early championship lead with a 3-1-2 scorecard to commence the season. He backed that up with another win at Oulton Park, and has scored an additional three podiums in this year’s series since. Recent rounds haven’t been the easiest for the number 25 – especially with two non-scores at Thruxton – but as the series enters the showdown phase and returns to Oulton Park for its next round, Brookes can draw confidence from the fact that he stood tall at the venue earlier this year. He is currently seventh in the standings and 101 points down on leader Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati). Momentum has been building in the right direction for O’Halloran, the fifth-year McCAMS Yamaha rider becoming Yamaha’s most successful rider in terms of race wins after a perfect weekend at Thruxton. He has achieved four wins and eight podiums so far in the 2023 campaign, and enters the showdown fourth in the title-race, 51 points back from Bridewell. Additionally, the number 22 has peace of mind with his future sorted for next year, recently announcing a move to the Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki team for 2024.
The most consistent rider across the opening eight rounds, Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider Ben Currie has delivered immense form across recent races, taking four from four victories in the latest outings. After a stint in the Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) last year with Motozoo Racing, Currie returned to the BSB paddock for 2023 and has been going from strength to strength as his form continues to build as the season unfolds. With 10 podiums and four wins to his credit, the number 61 holds a commanding 44-point lead in the championship standings. Making it two Australians in the top five, double ASBK Supersport champion Tom Toparis returned to competition full-time this year after an extended time on the sidelines to correct growth arrest in his humerus bone – his right side being 76mm longer than the left. For 2023, Toparis joined the coveted Macadam Racing Yamaha team, which acquired assets and staff from four-time champions Appleyard Macadam at the end of last year. He started the season with a third-place finish and fastest lap in race two at Silverstone, and despite some ups and downs through the campaign is currently P5 in the standings, just 13 points from Luke Stapleford (Profile/ Road and Racing Performance). Toparis’ best result of the season so far was P2 in race one at Donington Park. Seth Crump is also competing in the Supersport category, with his best finish of the season also coming in race one at Donington where he was fifth.
C&L Fairburn Properties Jackson Racing’s Billy McConnell has displayed some solid form across the last two rounds of National Superstock, winning race one at both Thruxton and Cadwell Park, then backing it up with P3 in the final outing at both rounds. Unfortunately, some bad luck resulted in DNFs or zero-point scores, particularly in the earlier part of the season, but the number three is fifth in the championship standings and has momentum on his side with five podiums scored out of the last six races. After a solid 2022 campaign in the National Superstock category, Brayden Elliott remained in the class and joined DAO Racing for this year’s series onboard a Kawasaki. The number 51 was sidelined from the race at Oulton Park earlier in the year following a qualifying crash, but has notched some consistent points since the third round at Donington Park, with his strongest result in the season so far coming at Snetterton where he was P7. In the Junior Superstock category, Jacob Hatch (Completely Motorbikes Kawasaki) notched a race win at Oulton Park during the final outing, also standing on the podium in race one at the venue. Hatch scored a further rostrum result with a second-place finish recently at Cadwell Park, as the BSB paddock moves to Oulton Park for round nine of the 2023 season between 15-17 September.