THE CON­TENDERS

This great gag­gle of rid­ers are scrap­ping it out to keep ti­tle hopes alive

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

PETER HICK­MAN Smiths BMW Wins: 0 Podiums: 0 Best Fin­ish: 4th

Hick­man’s BSB sea­son hasn’t been any­thing to shout about so far, but he has been con­sis­tent enough to sneak into the top six with the likes of Glenn Ir­win and Chris­tian Id­don on oc­ca­sion this year. The Smiths BMW rider has shown the pace to be in the Show­down be­fore, but never quite made it. He might hold a top six spot at the mo­ment but he won’t keep it for long un­less he can push for bet­ter re­sults.

GLENN IR­WIN

Be Wiser Du­cati Wins: 0 Podiums: 2 Best Fin­ish: 2nd The tim­ing of Ir­win’s Knock­hill crash couldn’t have been worse as the Be Wiser Du­cati rider looked to ride the wave of con­fi­dence he’d built from a con­sis­tent top-five start to the year. Ir­win was ready to launch a ti­tle at­tack at Knock­hill but af­ter miss­ing two rounds he’s now 30 points off the top six. But, as long as his frac­tured el­bow and shoul­der, al­low – he is very ca­pa­ble of bag­ging big points.

JAKE DIXON

RAF Reg­u­lar & Re­serves Kawasaki Wins: 2 Podiums: 2 Best Fin­ish: 1st Dixon bagged an un­ex­pected dou­ble at Knock­hill, and while he might have slipped un­der the radar with his fourth and fifth at Snet­ter­ton, he’s slowly reel­ing in the Show­down six. Just four points be­hind Hick­man, an­other week­end near the front will put Dixon in prime po­si­tion for a show­down spot as the young gun looks to build on his re­cent suc­cess.

DAN LIN­FOOT Honda Rac­ing Wins: 0 Podiums: 0 Best Fin­ish: 5th

Lin­foot hasn’t got to grips with the tricky new Fire­blade as well as team-mate O’hal­lo­ran and it doesn’t look like he’s go­ing to be strong enough to se­cure a top six spot, de­spite be­ing only 33 points be­hind Hick­man. So he needs to make a big step for­ward pretty quickly if he’s to have any chance of mak­ing it into the Show­down for the fourth con­sec­u­tive year.

CHRIS­TIAN ID­DON Tyco BMW Wins: 0 Podiums: 3 Best Fin­ish: 2nd

Go­ing off his early sea­son con­sis­tency, Id­don should cur­rently be fourth in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings but a very heavy crash in prac­tice at Knock­hill ruled him out both there and at Snet­ter­ton with a nasty arm in­jury. Now he needs to get straight back in the game and bag some good re­sults at Brands if he is to have any chance of get­ting back into the cham­pi­onship top six.

JAMES EL­LI­SON MCAMS Yamaha Wins: 0 Podiums: 1 Best Fin­ish: 2nd

Bad luck and crashes have so far blighted El­li­son’s cam­paign. There’s been no doubt­ing his speed but as the old adage goes, to fin­ish first, first you have to fin­ish and that’s not some­thing he’s been do­ing a lot of. The Cum­brian has five DNFS to his name from the 10 races in 2017 so far, and while at least half of those haven’t been his fault, he’ll need a dra­matic change in for­tunes to se­cure a top six spot.

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