2017 British Superbikes: Brands hatch preview
Round two of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship takes place over the Easter weekend at Kent’s Brands Hatch circuit. As is the norm, the first of the Brands Hatch rounds will take place over the shorter Indy circuit. This layout may not be the favourite of many but it is guaranteed to throw up intriguing race action, with every chance that backmarkers could influence the final outcome.
For the series’ second visit to Brands Hatch, on July 21-23, the full Grand Prix circuit will be employed. Brands also hosts the last of three Showdown rounds at the very end of the season, on October 13-15, again with action on the full circuit.
The race weekend kicks off with free practice on Good Friday and will end with a packed schedule of racing across all classes on Monday.
Brands Hatch is the home round for reigning BSB champion Shane "Shakey" Byrne, and he will be hoping to kick start the defence of his title. Byrne was not allowed to take part in the racing at the season opener at Donington Park at the start of this month after he suffered concussion in a crash during the warm-up.
This opened the door for last year’s runner-up Leon Haslam to stake his claim for the number one spot in 2017. The "Pocket Rocket" did just that, taking both race wins and a maximum haul of 50 points.
Haslam arrives at Brands Hatch with a 19-point advantage at the head of the championship. His nearest rival is his Kawasaki team-mate Luke Mossey, who finished second and fifth in the opening two races to give him a total of 31 points.
Mossey is closely followed by Christian Iddon on the Tyco BMW and Josh Brookes on the Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha, both of whom have 29 points.
Glenn Irwin, Byrne’s team-mate on the second Be Wiser Ducati, is in fifth place with 26 points.