Silverstone Up Next For World Superbike's 'Magnificent Seven' Brits
|Author: Debbie Beale||Published: 15th July 2010 11:17|
Britain's World Superbike riders are heading to Silverstone. Sitting (left to right) Jonathan Rea, Leon Camier, Tom Sykes. Standing (left to right) Cal Crutchlow, Shane Byrne, James Toseland and Leon Haslam
Following a highly-successful MotoGP weekend in June and a record-equalling crowd at last weekend’s Formula One British Grand Prix, Silverstone is now gearing up to welcome the FIM Superbike World Championship. With seven British riders regularly contesting the top spots in the series, the ‘Home of British Motor Racing’ will be expecting another big crowd on 30 July to 01 August.
‘World Superbikes’ features a full grid of 1000cc production-based race bikes and no shortage of thrillingly close racing. The ‘Magnificent Seven’ Brits will all be aiming for home glory, but it is Suzuki Alstare’s Leon Haslam and Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea who have the most at stake. The pair lie second and third in the series’ standings respectively and will be looking for home support to help them catch series-leader Max Biaggi.
With only three rounds of the season remaining after Silverstone, 27-year-old Haslam, from Derbyshire, will be looking for strong results in the weekend’s two Superbike races to try and close the 68-point gap on veteran Italian Biaggi. Aprilia rider Biaggi is a four-time 250cc World Champion and former MotoGP rider with an impressive ten race wins to his name this season.
“I am looking forward to Silverstone as it is the only time we get to race at home,” said Haslam. “With the new developments it is effectively a new circuit for everyone so there is no real track advantage, but hopefully the home advantage and the fans will give us a boost to get us onto the top step of the podium.
“My Dad and I had a couple of laps round the circuit on standard bikes when it was opened. I had a Formula One car driven by David Coulthard right behind me, so it was a bit nerve wracking, but it is an awesome layout and I can’t wait to get racing round there. Should be good racing, high speed flowing corners and some good overtaking opportunities.”
Northern Irishman Jonathan Rea sits just behind Haslam in the points table but will be feeling confident after an excellent weekend’s racing at the last round in Brno, Czech Republic. The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider won race one and took second place in race two.
“It felt so nice to win a race again,” he commented. “Our bike is difficult to take from track to track, but we definitely got the best out of it in Brno. Now I’m off to Japan for the Suzuka 8 Hour, but I’m looking forward to getting back in front of my home fans in a couple of weeks at Silverstone.”
Richard Philips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, is excited to be hosting another major international Championship so soon after MotoGP and Formula One. “We are having an incredible summer at Silverstone and now really looking forward to having the World Superbikesback,” he said. “It is a very vibrant series with seven motorcycle manufacturers involved. With our seven British riders, plus some British wildcards, there will be plenty of excitement for the fans. I think that the success of the MotoGP racing at Silverstone in June showed that the changes we have made to the track over the winter work well for bikes. We have also worked hard to improve the spectator experience here and so I expect good crowds, fantastic racing and a great atmosphere.”
In addition to the two World Superbike races, a packed weekend of action features the FIM Supersport World Championship, the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, the Superstock 600 European Championship, the Triumph ParkinGo European series and the British Superstock 600 series.
Three giant screens will keep fans up-to-speed with all the action around Silverstone’s new 3.666 mile circuit, while a host of off-track entertainment, including a free funfair, stunt displays by Craig Jones and a Red Devils parachute display, will also be on offer. Official camping will be available in Silverstone’s popular Woodlands campsite.
Tickets for Silverstone’s round of the Superbike World Championship are available at www.silverstone.co.uk, or by calling 0844 3728 260.