Bennetts BSB contenders kick off 2023 with Easter hunt for Silverstone glory
The Bennetts British Superbike Championship launches back into action at Silverstone this Easter weekend (April 7/8/9).
The hunt for title glory in Britain’s biggest motorsport series begins with three races at the start of an 11-round season with 28 contenders lining up on the grid.
The battle begins with the Bennetts BikeSocial Sprint Race on Saturday, which will offer the first indication of this year’s running order. This will be followed by two feature races on Sunday, so all of the contenders will have plenty of opportunity to showcase their championship potential.
Two previous Champions will feature on the grid, including double title-winner Josh Brookes who will line-up with FHO BMW Motorrad for the first time. Leon Haslam, who conquered the series back in 2018, is back in action too following the late confirmation that he would compete for the new ROKiT BMW Motorrad Team.
They won’t be the only riders with established title credentials appearing, with no fewer than four Support Class Champions stepping up to the Superbike grid – the most in the series history. Quattro Group British Supersport and GP2 Champions Jack Kennedy and Jack Scott are the first of these, racing for Mar-Train Yamaha and Rapid CDH Racing Kawasaki respectively.
Pirelli National Superstock Champion Davey Todd is set for his first full season in the premier class as the Milenco by Padgetts Motorcycles Honda team returns to the Superbike category.
Meanwhile Max Cook, the reigning Pirelli Junior Superstock Champion, joins Lee Jackson at Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki.
The line-up will feature 12 Superbike race winners from the first round, each of whom will be aiming to add more silverware this weekend. These include last year’s title runner-up Glenn Irwin and Tommy Bridewell, who finished third, with the duo pairing up at BeerMonster Ducati for another title tilt.
There is familiarity in the McAMS Yamaha team as Jason O’Halloran returns, the Australian joined by rookie Tim Neave. Whilst at Honda Racing UK, Andrew Irwin returns to the team with which he’s previously enjoyed success alongside past Superstock Champion Tom Neave.
Reigning Champions LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha will be determined to defend the title as Kyle Ryde bids to emulate Bradley Ray’s success in 2022. Ryan Vickers, who is also a previous Junior Superstock Champion, joins Ryde in the team as he strives for strong results with Yamaha.
This season also sees the rise of the rookies into Bennetts BSB with six riders debuting, including Todd, Cook, Scott, Tim Neave and Lee Hardy Racing Kawasaki’s Bradley Perie after his success in the Supersport series. Charlie Nesbitt completes the rookie line up as he joins the new-look MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing team.
Josh Owens is also in a new look team for 2023 on the opposite side of the Hawk Racing garage, running under the Crendon Honda by Hawk Racing banner. Storm Stacey will be another to star in a new livery onboard the Starline Racing Kawasaki.
The Lovell Kent Racing Honda team will make its first race appearance since joining Bennetts BSB over the winter as previous Moto3 World Champion Danny Kent aims to add to his previous podium visit.
Honda’s presence in this year’s field may have expanded, but the BMW representation is strong too. Peter Hickman joins Brookes on the second FHO Racing BMW Motorrad M 1000 RR, whilst SYNETIQ BMW retain race winner Danny Buchan for the new season. Luke Mossey also is back with BMW power, returning with the Tactix by Lloyd & Jones BMW team.
Back for more in 2023 is roads ace Dean Harrison on the DAO Racing Kawasaki, with the Team Green line-up also including Liam Delves on the second Rapid CDH Racing Kawasaki and Luke Hopkins on the NP Motorcycles Kawasaki.
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