BSB: All Of The Bennetts British Superbikes Riders And Teams Are Raring To Go As The Season Opener At Oulton Park Beckons.
With New Rider Line-Ups And New Racing Machinery, The 2021 Championship Looks Set To Be An Enthralling Season.
The 2020 Championship winning team VisionTrack Ducati remains the same for the 2021 season, with the reigning 2020 champion Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon. The riders shared the podium on numerous occasions last season, with Iddon finishing the season in his highest finishing position to-date in third place. Iddon will be aiming to take the championship title to his side of the Ducati garage this season. Brookes has hovered in the top ten during the testing dates and topped the time sheets once in the first session at Oulton Park. Iddon topped the time sheets twice during the testing at Snetterton.
The McAMS Yamaha Team remains the same for the 2021 season, with the 2020 season second place finisher Jason O’Halloran and his team-mate Tarran Mackenzie. Jason will be looking to go one step better this year and take the championship crown from his fellow country man, Jason had his best ever season in 2020, being no stranger to stepping on the podium for most of the rounds last year. Jason has had very strong testing results this pre-season, having topped the time sheets four times throughout the testing schedule. Tarran Mackenzie finished the 2020 season in fifth place having secured two wins and a further six podiums. This will be Tarran’s fourth consecutive season with the McAMS Yamaha Team, his last testing date at Donington Park was a successful one of which will have him geared up for round one.
The Honda UK Team have kept fourth place 2020 finisher Glenn Irwin for their 2021 season campaign, along-side the Irish rider is new Japanese rookies Ryo Mizuno and Takumi Takahashi. The newest members of the team are new to riding on British circuits, but I’m sure it won’t take them long to get to grips with the tracks, they both come with previous success in their racing careers so they will be ones to keep a look out for during the season. Glenn had a very strong start to the 2020 season and had a lot of podium success. During the 2021 testing schedule he topped the time sheets at Silverstone on day two. Having had a years experience on the Honda Fireblade Glenn is sure to be a 2021 championship contender.
Oxford Products Racing Ducati retain their rider Tommy Bridewell, it will be his third full season with the Ducati team. Bridewell really jelled with the team back in 2019 when he joined them half way through the season. For the 2020 season he claimed one victory and a further four podiums, his 2021 testing has been good and he usually finished in side the top ten, the Donington Park test saw the Ducati team having a few technical issues throughout the day, lets hope they have put them behind them so Tommy can fight for the championship title, as we all know he is capable of being a title contender.
Lee Jackson remains with FS-3 Kawasaki for his second consecutive season and has an all-new team mate for the 2021 season; reigning British Supersport champion Rory Skinner. The team are fielding new machinery this season with the new ZX 10 RR. Lee had a very promising 2020 season, finishing in eighth place and was a podium finisher. Rory is a rookie to the Superbike Class but it won’t take the young Scottish rider long to get to grips with the class, he ran away with the British Supersport Championship from the get go last season. Both riders have had a positive testing schedule and feel good on board the new Kawasaki machinery.
Buildbase Suzuki have kept rider Gino Rea for their 2021 season campaign, he joined the Buildbase Team last season as a replacement rider for the injured Keith Farmer. Gino soon got to grips with the GSXR 1000R and remained with the team for the rest of the season, finishing in 12th place. The new rider to the team is Chippenham rider Danny Kent who joins the team with a wealth of motorcycle racing experience. Danny has put in an impressive performance during pre-season testing having topped the time sheets at Donington park in the first session. Both Gino and Danny are sure to be in the mix at the sharp end this season.
RICH Energy OMG Racing BMW have an all-new rider line-up for the 2021 season. The team have picked two young riders to campaign their new racing machinery, Kyle Ryde and Bradley Ray will be aboard the new BMW M 1000 RR. Both riders have many racing years under their belts even though they are only in their early twenties. Kyle won two races on the bounce last season at Silverstone and finished his season in ninth place. Brad’s already had a years experience on the BMW machinery and finished the 2020 season in 13th place. Kyle has been confident in pre-season testing, these two young guns are definitely ones to watch out for!
There is an all-new team lining-up on the grid for 2021, FHO Racing BMW has been formed on the back of the Smiths Racing outfit. Long standing rider Peter Hickman remains with the team with new team-mates Xavi Forés and Brian McCormack. Brian will be riding under a slightly different banner of the Roadhouse Macau, under normal circumstances he would of been representing the FHO team in the International Road Racing Series, but with road racing being cancelled in 2021 he has been given the opportunity to race in the Superbike class with Peter and Xavi. Peter had a mediocre season last year and finished in 14th place. Testing has been positive for him on the all-new BMW M 1000 RR. Xavi has been in the Superbike Class before so he will know what to expect once the lights change on the grid!
SYNETIQ BMW motorrad have a new feel to the team with all-new riders Andrew Irwin and Danny Buchan. Andrew had a very successful season with Honda last year, finishing the season in sixth place, winning 3 races. Danny a previous Kawasaki rider eneded his season in tenth place, with two podium finishes. Both riders wanted a change for their 2021 season campaign and are excited to be on board the all-new BMW M 1000 RR. Testing has been positive for both riders hovering in the top ten in the timing sheets.
RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki have kept Norfolk rider Ryan Vickers for the 2021 season, this will be Ryan’s third consecutive season with the team, he finished the 2020 season in 15th place, he was quite unfortunate having had mechanical problems and being knocked off a few times during the races. Ryan will be aboard the all-new ZX 10 RR this season and his testing has been very good with him topping the time sheets in session two at Oulton Park. Ryan is sure to be at the sharp end this season battling for race wins and podiums.
PR Racing BMW have expanded their team this season running a two rider-team with 2020 rider Joe Francis and new rookie Brad Jones. The riders will fielding the all-new BMW M 1000 RR and have been getting used to the new machinery during testing. Brad will be used to the fast pace of the Superbike Class having spent previous seasons running at the sharp end in the British Supersport Championship, the Stalybridge rider has come second in the championship for the last two seasons. Both riders are sure to be in the mix once the season has got going.
Shropshire rider 18-year-old Storm Stacey remains with GR Motorsport Kawasaki for the 2021 season. The youngster will be on board the all-new ZX 10 RR, having been in the Superbike Class previously Storm will be prepared for the season ahead. Storm is a lively character around the Superbike paddock and a fan favourite, he had a small off during testing at Donington Park and still made time to sign autographs for fans whilst being at track side. Storm was the youngest ever rider to step-up from the Superstock 600 Class and go straight into the Superbike Class. He will be one to watch out for in the future.
Aintree rider Josh Owens will be on board the all-new Kawasaki ZX 10 RR riding for CDH Racing Kawasaki. Josh has been a previous British GP2 Championship winner and made the step-up to a superbike back in 2019. He was nervous at the prospect of riding a Superbike but instantly clicked with the motorcycle, having been with the team last season he feels much more confident for the up-coming season.
TAG Racing Honda have switched manufacturer for the 2021 season, they previously ran with a Yamaha motorcycle but have made the switch to Honda. North Yorkshire rider Dan Linfoot will be aboard the CBR 1000RR-R for their season campaign. The 2020 season didn’t start how they planned and decided to retire from the championship for 2020 after only competing in one round. The team have relaunched with the Honda machinery and are confident for the 2021 season, Dan is a very capable rider having been a race winner and podium finisher on numerous occasions through out his racing career.
An all-new team for the 2021 season is Powerslide/Catfoss Suzuki with Bjorn Estment representing the new team. South African rider Bjorn has been in the paddock for a few years now, enjoying success in the British Supersport Championship. He joined the team for the final round of the 2020 season at Brands Hatch and instantly jelled with the team so the deal was done quite early on for him to ride for the Powerslide/Catfoss team in 2021. The team have enjoyed a good testing schedule and Bjorn has been chipping away improving his lap times. Can the established rider get in the mix and stir things up in the Superbike Class?
Road racer Joey Thompson has switched from road racing to circuit racing for 2021 joining NP Motorcycles Lexteck BMW. With road racing being cancelled in 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic Joey was delighted to get the opportunity to go circuit racing this season. The team have taken part in the testing schedule, which has been a great learning curve for Joey to get used to the demanding circuits. Joey is confident he can do a good job for the team and is aiming to score points and to finish the races in the top 15.
Silicone Engineering Kawasaki retain their rider Bradford’s Dean Harrison. Dean would usually spread his time between International road racing and the British Superbike Championship. This year will see him concentrate on the British Circuits, the team have taken part in the testing and are all geared up in preparation for the 2021 season. Dean recently took part in the Bob Smith Spring Cup race at Oliver’s Mount and won it, that will surely give him a surge of confidence heading into round one of the Bennetts British Superbikes.
Round one at Cheshire’s Oulton Park is just a few days away on 25/26/27 June, who will be leading the pack into Old Hall bend? Will reigning champion Josh Brookes have it all his own way and keep hold of his championship crown?
Featured Images: Grid Motorsport Media, Jade Goodison Photography, Full Factory Superbike Photography.