The Bennetts British Superbike Championship descends on Kent this weekend with the prestigious King of Brands title up for grabs coupled with the first round of the new Integro Triple Crown on the Grand Prix circuit, raising the stakes higher than ever.
Josh Brookes was last year’s winner of the King of Brands Trophy, awarded to the rider with the best cumulative results from the two races, and the Be Wiser Ducati rider returns to Brands Hatch after securing a double victory at the Kent circuit last summer.
However, it is the 2015 champion’s teammate Scott Redding who leads the standings by just six points following his triple win at Donington Park last time out, becoming the fourth different winner of the season.
Tommy Bridewell sits second in the standings and has come tantalisingly close to a win on several occasions this season, scoring four podiums from the opening three rounds. The Devizes-based contender is determined to get back on the top step at round four this weekend as he bids to secure the Oxford Racing Ducati team’s first race victory.
McAMS Yamaha were a force to be reckoned with last summer when Brookes claimed them a double victory, and Silverstone race winner Tarran Mackenzie has high hopes for a strong performance with the team this weekend. He heads into the Brands Hatch weekend just a single point adrift of Bridewell in the standings ahead of Sunday’s two races.
Brookes occupies fourth in the overall standings after a bruising weekend last time out at Donington Park, but he holds a four-point advantage over Honda Racing’s Xavi Forés, who became the seventh different rider to claim a podium finish this season.
Danny Buchan completes the current top six for FS3-Racing Kawasaki following a successful run of three podiums from the opening four races which gives him the edge over Josh Elliott, the opening race winner of the season, and Andrew Irwin on the second of the Honda Racing Fireblades.
Christian Iddon leads the BMW charge for the Tyco team after his best finishes of the season at Donington Park with the second McAMS Yamaha of Jason O’Halloran completing the top ten as the pair bid for their first podium finishes of the season.
In addition to the Bennetts Rewards King of Brands Trophy, the round also marks the start of the Bennetts BSB Integro Summer Triple Crown, comprising two races at three rounds – Brands Hatch Grand Prix (June 14/15/16), Knockhill (June 28/29/30) and Snetterton 300 (July 19/20/21), totalling six races.
If a rider reigns supreme and scores victories in all six of the races, a £50,000 prize will be paid plus a £25,000 Triple Crown bonus for completing the circuit hat trick of wins.
If a rider narrowly misses out on completing the full six race wins, a prize a £40,000 plus the £25,000 Triple Crown three circuit win bonus will be awarded for scoring victory in five of the six Integro Summer Triple Crown races.
The final chance to scoop a summer bonus is if a rider wins four of the six races; they will net £30,000, plus if they win a race at all three circuits they will also celebrate with the £25,000 Triple Crown bonus.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 115
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 109
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 108
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 74
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) 70
- Danny Buchan (FS3-Racing Kawasaki) 68
Scott Redding – Be Wiser Ducati
“Donington Park was a really good weekend for me getting the triple; I felt really good, gained a lot of confidence and feel very relaxed now. Of course I would like to carry that on to the next weekend at Brands Hatch and I would like to be minimum on the podium there – I don’t think that is asking too much from me or the team and if you are in a podium position you are always in with a chance of winning a race so we will just play it by ear and see.
“Brands Hatch is one of the cooler looking tracks and I am looking forward to it; the crowds look pretty amazing there. Everyone says it is one of the bigger rounds of the season and the fans have been great and all their support helps me a lot, so fingers crossed we can have a good weekend and do something special.
“There is always expectation to win again, especially after doing the triple at Donington but it is a different track and we will have to see; it isn’t something that fazes me to be honest. If I can fight for a win then I will and I will do the best I can on the day and not put too much pressure on myself. I just want to try and win. I feel good, the team are working really great, so there are no real excuses, I will just do the best I can and give it my all like I always do.”