BSB Snetterton preview
O BSB is back – but without Shakey Snetterton could be anyone’s race
The 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship bursts into life this weekend when the series heads to Snetterton. After three rounds Leon Haslam leads the championship standings from young-gun Bradley Ray, but third in the title standings is reigning champion Shane Byrne, who won’t be on the grid following his accident at the Snetterton test a month ago.
Having won eight out of the last ten races at Snetterton, Byrne would have been the clear favourite heading into the weekend but the six-time champion is likely to miss a large chunk of the season as he recovers from a range of serious injuries (see box-out).
Series leader Haslam has never won at the Snetterton 300 circuit, so he’ll be hoping to break that duck this weekend, but it won’t be easy. RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon was strong at the Norfolk venue last year and it was also a turning point in Josh Brookes’ 2017 campaign.
After his success at the North West 200, Glenn Irwin will be looking to step up to the plate in his role as lead rider in the Be Wiser Ducati team in the absence of team-mate Byrne. Joining Irwin in the PBM team will be his brother, Andrew, he is currently
competing on the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda team in World Supersport and is set to make his BSB debut at the weekend. A former BSS race winner, he will face a steep learning curve aboard the Ducati but is understood to have tested the Panigale at Knockhill earlier this week.
Honda Racing duo Dan Linfoot and Jason O’halloran will be back in action for the first time since they were both injured, Linfoot breaking his neck at Brands Hatch in May and O’halloran injuring his ankle while replacing Leon Camier in Imola.
Snetterton has been a strong track for Honda in the past, with O’halloran being the only rider to have won at Snetterton other than Shakey since 2014.
Shakey has been the dominant force at Snetterton