Although for me, the season started at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Wednesday 20th March when the British Superbike series held day one of their testing events at the circuit. It is a great event and a good chance to catch up with friends and riders. Some of whom are new riders to the championship this year while others I’ve not seen since last season.
Unfortunately the day didn’t go as planned with on track action but catching up with riders and friends was brilliant although the conditions were very cold. Freezing in fact. However with the riders mingling around the paddock and in their pit garages it was a great chance to catch them for autographs and photos. And even a sneak peak at the new bikes for the season.
While inside the end garages riders were being snapped and videoed with their newly liveried bikes and leathers for media while the ITV cameras were capturing the latest credits for the highlights show.
The following day; the second and final chance for the riders to take to the circuit as part of their pre-season testing schedule. Luckily for the riders, teams and fans awaiting to see the newly liveried bikes the weather held out. More than 30 bikes took to the track over the day in the two sessions. Even legend road racer Bruce Anstey turned up for some laps.
The season ahead looks to be going from strength to strength. New and old teams are set to join the grid with support championships also filled to the brim with riders. The likes of Tyco Suzuki and Samsung Honda will be joined by new teams MH Kawasaki and Halsall Racing. We also have webuyanybike.com sponsored rider Karl Harris back on the grid to give it another go aboard the PR Kawasaki. The deal with Eurosport to show every race live has been signed and ITV will be showing race highlights. It pleases me as a passionate fan to say that the series definitely appears to be going places.
War For Four
With a talent stacked grid for the season we also have two triple champions returning to the grid. Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane Byrne. The War for Four is on.
Kiyonari will be returning to the championship from his disastrous 2011 season in the series while Byrne won the championship last year. There is no questioning the ability of Kiyonari as a rider but us fans definitely have seen two sides to the Japanese rider. A fantastic rider and a not so good rider. But we all know if the fantastic rider turns up there will be no stopping him. He will be fighting as much as he can for that fourth title.
We also can’t question Byrne’s ability the southerner is very smooth on a motorcycle and unstoppable at his home circuit Brands Hatch. Which is a big advantage in the championship as they visit the track three times over the season. Once on the Indy circuit and twice on the GP circuit. And with the 2012 title fresh in his mind the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider will be battling to become the most successful rider as well.
However with riders such as James Ellison, Alex Lowes and Josh Brookes yet to win a title they will be breathing down the triple champions necks for their first title. The season is on. Anyone can win it!