The British Superbike Championship heads to Snetterton this weekend for the sixth round of the 2019 season, with Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) leading both the overall and podium points standings.
Snetterton should be a good track for the Ducati, with the long pit straight, as well as the Bentley Straight out the back, playing to the main strength of the Panigale V4R: the motor. It would be incorrect, though, to say that the V4R is only good at going in a straight line, though. As evidenced by Alvaro Bautista in the World Championship, and the bike’s success in the hands of Redding, Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) and Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing) on the twisty British tracks, including Redding’s race two win at the tightest of them all, Knockhill, last time out.
Indeed, it is hard to see anything other than Ducati sweeping this weekend, with Brookes having shown strong in Snetterton in the past, including last year when he finished fourth and third on the Yamaha and contended for the win with Leon Haslam’s Kawasaki in both races. Additionally, Tommy Bridewell has been strong at almost every race track so far this season, consistency proving his key to success in 2019.
Whilst Scott Redding’s prospective success before the season was thought to be down to how he would perform in circuits like Snetterton, which is more open than other British tracks. The success of the #45 so far this season would suggest that his comfortability in tracks with close barriers and blind corners is not a problem, but nonetheless a strong weekend here would set him up well for perhaps the most particular of the British circuits, Thruxton, which is next up on the schedule after Snetterton.
Last year it was Kawasaki, in the hands of Leon Haslam, who took both victories in Snetterton. The Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki team who Haslam rode for last year has not seen the same success in 2019 so far, with Ben Currie injured since Oulton Park and Glenn Irwin yet to find his feet on the ZX-10RR in BSB form.
Danny Buchan, meanwhile, has been competitive on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki, and took his first BSB win last time out in Knockhill. Competing with the Ducati riders in the straights at Snetterton, though, will not be easy, especially for a rider of the vertical size of Buchan.
Yamaha have not won since Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) took victory in Silverstone race two, the second race of the season. In fact, Buchan is the only non-Ducati rider to win since Mackenzie’s Silverstone win. Mackenzie is still right in the championship hunt, though, sitting eleven podium points behind Redding, and fifty-two points in front of Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW Motorrad) who is seventh in the overall championship and suffering with a broken leg from his race two crash in Knockhill.
That battle for the final Showdown spots is going to start to warm up soon, with Xavi Fores (Honda Racing) holding the sixth and final spot, twenty points in front of Iddon and Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing) who is back in BSB action this weekend after a trip out on the world stage last weekend in Donington at the factory BMW squad. Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) is in the fight, too, twenty-six points behind teammate Fores.