Fast Bikes - - PIT PASS -

It’s been a rather pe­cu­liar month in BSB yet again, with that seem­ingly peren­nial in­con­sis­tency virus still sweep­ing the grid – al­though it is truly mak­ing for some fas­ci­nat­ing view­ing! The rounds at both Sil­ver­stone and Oul­ton Park verged on be­ing com­pletely bonkers, Sil­ver­stone to set the Show­down seats, and Oul­ton to kick off the Show­down proper.

But, hon­estly, where to start with it all is a tricky ask! Sil­ver­stone’s triple-header was prop­erly weird, even that first race which was half wet and half dry. Those that took the risk of us­ing slicks ended up pay­ing the price, de­spite it be­ing de­clared a wet race. Many of the ti­tle con­tenders went down (Leon Haslam­wouldn’t fin­ish a sin­gle race all week­end…), in­clud­ing Shane Byrne who was apoplec­tic with race di­rec­tor Stu­art Higgs af­ter the race.

Now, we love Shakey, he’s an ex FB boy af­ter all and we to­tally un­der­stand why he had the rag­ing ar­se­hole af­ter crash­ing. But in this in­stance, and given that Higgs turned out to be right in his as­sess­ment (and that all those on wet tyres were fine through­out), he did seem a lit­tle silly. True to form, the fol­low­ing day he manned up and apol­o­gised, as a great cham­pion does, and got on with the job. Race two was a far more usual affair with Shane on the podium be­hind James El­li­son and win­ner Josh Brookes. But then came the third out­ing, and ut­ter bed­lam. It was rather wet, and only seven riders fin­ished the race, one of whomwas Jake Dixon who at the death worked his way into the Show­down at the ex­pense of Luke Mossey and Chris­tian Id­don. We also saw Dan Lin­foot win his first ever race, co­in­ci­den­tally the only thing a new Honda Fireblade has done any­where at the top level. Dan would go on to win an­other race at Oul­ton, too, but Sil­ver­stone will al­ways be re­mem­bered for the worst at­tri­tion rate, like, ever...

At Oul­ton Park, Leon Haslam won the first out­ing while Shakey was weirdly off-form in both races. We did get the plea­sure of see­ing Bradley Ray get his first ever BSB podium though, which was bril­liant work and thor­oughly de­served. Re­ally, the only one of the con­tenders to come out of Oul­ton with any­thing mean­ing­ful was Leon Haslam. Shakey, Josh Brookes, Jake Dixon, Ja­son O’Hal­lo­ran and Peter Hick­man will likely be try­ing their all at Assen and Brands Hatch to counter his early ad­van­tage, but as much as we’d love Shane to win it again, Leon hasn’t won a ti­tle since he raced scoot­ers! So per­haps it’s about time the Pocket Rocket won BSB, and as we hear he’s stay­ing in 2018, it’d be great to see him with the ‘1’ plate on a bike af­ter all these years, nay?

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