2011 British Superbike Preview: Brands Hatch

brands_hatchAfter a long winter break, the British Superbike series returns this weekend at Brands Hatch. Ryuichi Kiyonari returns to the series this year to defend his 2010 title, but he’ll have to fend off riders like Shane Byrne, Josh Brookes, and Stuart Easton to do so.

The British Superbike riders finished up their final testing session last weekend at the new Snetterton 300 track and are now making their final preparations for the start of the race season, which begins tomorrow at Brands Hatch.

King Kiyo will be man to beat this year. Not only is Kiyo the defending champion, but he is also the most successful riders in BSB history. Kiyo has a 41 career wins in the BSB, and has won three titles. Kiyo knows that there is a target on his back this season, but he’s ready for the challenge.

“There are so many who can win so the races should be exciting for the fans,” Kiyo said. “I want to win at Brands Hatch, for myself and the team and also the people of Japan.”

One of Kiyo’s main challengers will be Josh Brookes, who finished second in 2010.

“I am just looking forward to finally getting the season started now,” Brookes said. “There is a really full grid, which is great to see, but it will make things interesting around the Indy circuit at the first round that’s for sure. A good set-up is going to be critical and you need to be good at passing as otherwise especially in qualifying, you could lose time and a good grid position is so important.”

Shakey Byrne returns to the BSB this year, and should be racing at the top. Byrne has two BSB titles to his name, and will look to equal Kiyo’s three title record this year.

“It’s been a long winter but I am really ready to race now,” Byrne said. “I have said from the outset that the HM Plant Honda team know how to make the Fireblade work; they have won titles so we know the potential we have ahead of this season. Myself and Kiyo have been working together in testing and we have been heading in a very similar direction in terms of set up, but now testing is done and it is down to business.”

The British Superbike series kicks off tomorrow at Brands Hatch, with both BSB races on Monday.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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