SUPERBIKES ROAR INTO CROFT FOR THE BIG ONE! Britain's premier motorsport series makes a welcome return to the race-starved North East when round ten of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship rolls into Croft Circuit near Darlington this...
SUPERBIKES ROAR INTO CROFT FOR THE BIG ONE!
Britain's premier motorsport series makes a welcome return to the race-starved North East when round ten of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship rolls into Croft Circuit near Darlington this weekend (10/11/12 August).
And with the championship precariously poised and as close as it's been all season, the North Yorkshire venue is sure to play a pivotal role part in deciding the destiny of the prestigious title.
Just sixteen points separate the top two riders in the standings following a dramatic couple of rounds in recent weeks which has seen series leader and defending champion Ryuichi Kiyonari from Japan and HM Plant Honda team mate, Ulsterman Jonathan Rea, both crash out in two out of the last four races to throw the title race wide open.
Hunting them down are the Airwaves Ducati pairing of English ace Leon Haslam and early season pace setter, Spaniard Gregorio Lavilla, who are both keen to end a winless streak at Yorkshire's only permanent motorsport venue, whilst ex champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will be looking to repeat his victory of last time out at Mallory for the local Stobart Motorsport team owned by Cumbrian businessman Paul Bird along with team mate Tom Sykes from Huddersfield.
Another team with local interest involves the Hydrex Honda team run by Guisborough's Shaun Muir and with riders Karl Harris and Guy Martin on board the Fireblades; they will be looking to add more silverware to what has been a successful season to date.
Virgin Media Yamaha have local connections and their star rider Tommy Hill is another not to be discounted, as aren't the Samsung Superbike Team with Leeds-based Aussie Dean Thomas at the helm and with the Rizla Suzuki pairing of Chris Walker and Cal Crutchlow showing a turnaround in their fortunes lately, they could well be at the front.
Hoping to maintain local interest in the British Supersport Championship is Guisborough rider Dennis Hobbs aboard the Team Padgetts Honda and already this season, the 24 year old has sampled victory on three occasions and another local rider hoping for success is Middlesbrough's Paul Veazey who returns from injury in the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship aboard his 1000cc Krystal Yamaha.
Darlington's Jonathan Harrison (Superstock Cup) and Jamie Ferguson from Stockton (125cc) will be hoping for good rides at their local track in front of what is expected to be another bumper crowd.
As well as the two, twenty lap feature races, a full support race programme is included during the weekend. Hereford rider Luke Jones leads the 125cc class with Nuneaton 's Tristan Palmer looking to increase his series lead in the British Superbike Cup. Ulsterman Michael Laverty leads the British Supersport Championship on his TAS Suzuki and Australian Glen Richards comfortably leads Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship aboard his Embassy Yamaha. Scotsman Norman Brunton leads Superstock Cup by a single point and another Ulster rider in the shape of BJ Toal heads the Virgin Media Cup on his Yamaha.
Saturday's action commences at 09.30 and sees the all-important qualifying sessions, including the session to set the grid for Sunday's two superbike races (15.00) and the first of the weekend's seven races takes place with the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship race over 15 laps at 16.05.
Due to stringent noise restrictions and to comply with local authority regulations, the action cannot commence until after 12.00 noon on Sunday whereby the action kicks off with the warm up sessions before the first race is scheduled to start at 12.40. However, during the morning, as well as there being an open paddock, there will be an hour-long 'Pit Walk' for fans to meet the riders and that is scheduled for between 10.00 and 11.00am .
Admission costs £5.00 per adult on Friday, £12.00 per adult on Saturday and £25.00 per adult on Sunday and tickets are now only available on the gate and all grandstand seating has been sold. Children aged 15 and under are admitted FREE and for further information call Croft Circuit on 01325 721815.
Saturday 11th August
09.30 -- 09.55 Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Cup Qualifying 1
10.05 -- 10.40 Maxxis British Supersport Qualifying 1
10.50 -- 11.40 2007 Bennetts British Superbikes Free Practice 3
11.50 -- 12.15 Virgin Media Cup Free Practice
12.25 -- 12.50 Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Cup Qualifying 2
13.50 -- 14.15 British 125cc Qualifying 2
14.25 -- 14.50 Metzeler Racetec National S'tock C'ship Qualifying 2
15.00 -- 15.50 2007 Bennetts British Superbike Qualifying
16.05 Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Cup Race 1 -- 15 laps
16.35 -- 17.10 Maxxis British Supersport Qualifying 2
17.20 -- 17.45 Virgin Media Cup Qualifying
17.50 -- 18.00 Metzeler Racetec National S'tock C'ship Free Practice
Sunday 12th August
07.00 Gates Open
10.00 -- 11.00 Pit Lane Walkabout
12.00 -- 12.15 British Superbike Warm Up
12.30 -- 12.28 Virgin Media Cup Warm Up
12.40 Metzeler Racetec National Superstock C'ship Race 2 -- 15 laps
13.20 2007 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Race 3 -- 20 laps
14.05 Virgin Media Cup Race 4 -- 12 laps
14.35 -- 14.45 British Supersport Warm Up
14.50 -- 14.58 British 125cc Warm Up
15.20 2007 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Race 5 -- 20 laps
16.10 Maxxis British Supersport Championship Race 6 - 18 laps
17.00 British 125cc GP Championship Race 7 -- 15 laps