After a long winter break, the racing season is back in full swing. The British Superbike riders just finished up the first race of the 2011 BSB season, and will return to the track this weekend at Oulton Park. Tommy Hill leads the series, but only by four points ahead of former BSB champion Shane Shakey Byrne.
Hill, who took second place behind Byrne in the opening race of the season before winning race two, will return to the track that ended his title hopes in 2010. Hill was in the running to claim the BSB title, but crashed out twice during the Oulton Park race, leaving his bike in flames in the corner. Hill will definitely be looking for better results this time around, or at the very least, to leave with his bike intact.
“It is fantastic to be leading the championship but it is only round one,” Hill said. “The bike has been working well and we couldn’t have asked for a better start today. We are now looking forward to Oulton Park and getting the bike to work around what is a completely different track. Hopefully we can get there and come away with a very similar result.”
Byrne, who is currently second in the standings, has two BSB titles under his belt. Byrne made his return to the BSB this year, and started the season off with a race win. Byrne will be looking for title number three this year in order to tie the record set by his teammate and defending champion, Ryuichi Kiyonari.
King Kiyo enters the Oulton Park race with history on his side. Kiyo has taken three wins at Oulton Park, and is ready to add another to his tally.
“I won three times at Oulton Park last time we raced there but I know winning is going to be hard this weekend,” Kiyo said. “Everybody has shown at Brands Hatch that they are faster and so I know I need to find more from me, I have a mixture of memories from Oulton Park and some are very good, some not so much. I have won races but also it is a difficult track. Oulton Park is more technical that the Brands Hatch Indy circuit so a good setting is going to be so important. I want to race again this weekend though as we didn’t win at Brands Hatch. I need wins and podiums for the championship so I will do everything I can.”
Oulton Park will also see the introduction of Jenny Tinmouth, who will be the BSB’s first female racer.
“My ambition has always been to race in the British Superbike series and I’ve been trying to get on one for some time,” said Tinmouth.
The BSB gets underway on Saturday, with both Superbike races on Monday.
British Superbike Overall Standings
- T. Hill – Swan Yamaha – 45
- S. Byrne – HM Plant Honda – 41
- S. Easton – MSS Colchester Kawasaki – 23
- R. Kiyonari – HM Plant Honda – 20
- M. Rutter – Rapid Solicitors Ducati – 19
- T. Bridewell – Tyco Honda – 16
- D. Linfoot – Sorrymate.com Honda – 16
- M. Laverty – Swan Yamaha – 13
- L. Baz – Motorpoint Yamaha – 12
- J. Kirkham -Samsung Crescent Racing – 11
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com