McAMS Yamaha promote Tim Neave to British Superbikes for 2023

The latest news from the British Superbike paddock sees McAMS Yamaha announce the promotion of Tim Neave from National Superstock 1000 to British Superbikes for 2023.

After an injury riddled season aboard an R1 for the team in the National Superstock 1000 category which saw a broken pelvis ruin Neave’s season, McAMS have decided they had seen enough to warrant signing Neave into their superbike squad in the vacated seat of Tarran Mackenzie.

With Mackenzie, the former British Superbike Champion of 2021 having announced he is moving on to pastures new for 2023, this leaves the Fleetwood based squad in a position to take a chance on the young BSB rookie. Neave joins the team to learn and develop alongside current Yamaha Veteran rider, Jason O’Halloran.

Steve Rogers and Tim Neave – McAMS Yamaha

Neave said: “To get the call up to ride for McAMS Yamaha is a dream come true. When I signed to ride for the team last year, in the back of my mind I was thinking if I could do a really good job on the Superstock bike and a seat became available, it would be the dream but I didn’t think it would actually happen!

“Raceways are one of, if not the best teams in the paddock – they’ve certainly won more races than anyone else in recent years so I can’t think of a better team to step up into BSB with. I loved riding the R1 Superstock bike, it really suited me as a rider and from what Jason has told me, the Superbike has similar characteristics so I’m looking forward to getting out on it for the first time. BSB is one of the toughest classes in racing, but I’ll give it my everything to make sure this opportunity isn’t wasted on me.”

Team Owner Steve Rodgers commented: “When Tim joined the team to race the Superstock bike in 2022 we were all really impressed by him. Not only was he super quick straightaway, but his attitude and the way he went about things meant that he fit in to the team immediately. There’s no doubt had the Knockhill accident, which wasn’t his fault, not occurred, he’d have continued to fight for the Superstock title.

“When he was fit, he was super-fast on the R1 and the Superstock bike has a lot of similarities to the Superbike, including the fact that we couldn’t run any traction control on the stocker, so the jump isn’t as big as it is with some other manufacturers. There’s still a lot to learn, but we are confident he’ll pick it up and look forward to seeing what he can achieve.”

Tim Neave – McAMS Yamaha

Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Racing Kawasaki confirm Max Cook to BSB for 2023

Darren Fry and Nigel Snook of FS-3 have doubled down on their commitment to bring on the youth of our sport with the announcement that Max Cook, the 2022 winning Junior Superstock Champion will ride for the team in British Superbikes in 2023.

Max Cook – Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki

The latest news from within the successful 2022 Motorcycle Live event saw the announcement of Max Cook and FS-3 Kawasaki.

The 2022 season was a dominant one for Cook. 9 wins saw him go on to wrap up the Superstock 600 title and as reward for that hard work and dedication, he will line up next to FS-3 Kawasaki stalwart, Lee Jackson on the grid next season in a move that echos the signing of Rory Skinner in 2020. A move which saw him learn, develop and ultimately move on to the Moto2 category from under the wings of FS-3 racing team.

Team owners and operators Darren Fry and Nigel Snook have made no secrets of their desire to run a team that prioritises winning the British Superbike Championship, but at the same time has an eye on bringing through the talent of tomorrow!

Max Cook said: “This is a dream come true for me. Firstly, I would like to thank Nigel and Darren for supporting me for six years and now, to finally be their rider is so surreal! Nigel has supported me throughout my years at Red Bull Rookies Cup, Moto3 Junior World Championship and most recently, winning the Junior Superstock 600 championship, so he knows what I can do on a bike.

“Of course, this is a big step for me, but I feel like I am totally ready for the challenge and looking forward to showing people what I can do. To have Lee Jackson as my teammate is amazing. We all know he is very fast, and he is someone that I have always looked up to, so I can’t wait to soak up his knowledge. I have already had a taste for the superbike in early October, and I’m very excited to give it the beans in a proper run out in winter testing!”

Darren Fry said: “We’ve been supporting Max for six years and have been really impressed with his progress. He’s served his apprenticeship winning the BSB Moto 3 championship in 2017, then progressing through the British Talent Cup, Red Bull Rookies and the Junior World Championship. His talent really shone through this year as he dominated the Junior Superstock Championship and made a very impressive Supersport debut at the final round at Brands Hatch.

“As a team, we pride ourselves on actively supporting young talented riders, so the decision to promote Max to ride alongside Lee Jackson fitted perfectly with our philosophy. As a front-running BSB team, it’s easy to overlook a long-term development plan in return for instant results.

“We believe every team in the paddock has the responsibility to nurture young talent to keep British riders at the forefront of world racing and show everyone that the British Superbike Championship is the strongest domestic championship in the world.

“Just coming up to his 20th birthday, Max will certainly have his work cut out getting used to the raw power of a superbike, but we’ve got a full testing plan in place for him over the winter, and he’s very excited to get going. Based on his previous experience, we don’t think it will be too long before he surprises a few people.’’

X44 Claim Their Maiden Extreme E Title in Uruguay

  • X44 (Courtesy of Extreme E)

    Lewis Hamilton’s team, X44, won their first Extreme E championship title in Uruguay last month.

The British team, who were 17 points behind leaders Rosberg X Racing (RXR) going into the weekend, pulled off an unlikely comeback to take the crown from their rivals.

In the first round of the season in Saudi Arabia, it was RXR who looked the strongest. The German-team continued their performance from the previous season by claiming maximum points for the weekend. X44 had a decent race, finishing third.

The next two rounds in Sardinia seemed to confirm RXR as the title favourites. Despite finishing fifth in the first Sardinian round, they won the second.  X44 continued to be slightly off the pace, ending round three fourth in the standings – one point behind Acciona Sainz in third. Chip Ganassi came first in the second round.

But round four in Chile was when X44 started to show themselves as title protagonists. Despite picking up a 10 second penalty in the Semi-Final for knocking over a waypoint marker, they made the final and went on to win it. With RXR finishing sixth overall, the gap between them was seventeen points.

Going into the final round in Uruguay, X44 still had a lot to do to overtake RXR in the standings. If the British team were hoping for a miracle, it didn’t initially seem like they would get one. During Qualifying One, X44 driver Cristina Gutierrez crashed, leaving the team too much work to fix the car in time for Qualifying Two. They were allowed to use the spare car, but had to serve a five second time penalty in the Crazy Race the next day.

In Qualifying Two, Sebastien Loeb used all of his experience to help the team get the points they desperately needed. Sensing X44 were destined for the Crazy Race regardless of where they finished, Loeb dropped back from the pack to give himself space to go quickly through the Continental Traction Challenge. His plan worked as his and Gutierrez’s time through the section combined to put them quickest and gain the five bonus points.

To win the championship, though, X44 still needed to make it to the final and then finish at least third. Making the final wasn’t made any easier when championship leaders RXR also had a poor qualifying. Only one team could progress from the Crazy Race.

With it all on the line, and with the time penalty looming over them, X44 put in a great performance to see themselves through to the final. Even better for them, RXR were disqualified from the Crazy Race when they had too many engineers in the Switch Zone trying to repair damage sustained on the opening lap. RXR would only pick up one point the entire weekend.

The final approached and X44 were still in with a chance of winning the championship. When nobody was able to beat their time in the Continental Traction Challenge, X44 knew third was enough to win.

It was a slow start for the championship hopefuls, as they entered the switch zone in fourth place. They would remain there until the very end when it was revealed that Andretti United, who were only two seconds up the road, would receive a seven second penalty for speeding in the switch zone.

The stars had aligned and X44 had won the title.  Meanwhile, ABT Cupra won their first ever race, and McLaren claimed their first podium.

Championship Standings after Round 5:

  1. X44  86 Points
  2. RXR  84 Points
  3. Acciona Sainz  66 Points
  4. Chip Ganassi  63 Points
  5. McLaren  52 Points
  6. ABT Cupra  46 Points
  7. Andretti United  45 Points
  8. Xite Energy  33 Points
  9. JBXE  27 Points
  10. Veloce  18 Points

Another crazy season of on-track action in Extreme E has come to a close. But, of course, Extreme E is about more than what happens on track.

Off-track Extreme E have been involved in a number of legacy programmes aimed at leaving a positive impact on their race locations.

This year they have supported the protection of the Green and Hawksbill turtles in Saudi Arabia, restored seagrass habitants and areas hit by wildfires in Sardinia, rebuilt habitats for the Loa Water Frog in Chile, and are working with the Organisation for Cetacean Conservation in Uruguay.

Now the teams look ahead to next season, where we will see a new race location (Scotland), and potentially some new driver line-ups too. The 11th March can’t come soon enough.

Extreme E: RXR Aim to Claim Second Title in Season Finale

Image courtesy of Extreme ERosberg X Racing (RXR) will be trying to win their second team’s title in as many seasons at this weekend’s Extreme E finale in Uruguay.

The German team, who won the first ever Extreme E championship title last year, go into the final round with a 17 point lead over second placed X44.

There are four teams still in with a chance of claiming the championship (RXR, X44, Acciona Sainz, and Chip Ganassi), showing just how tight this season has been.

To win regardless of where their rivals finish, RXR need to achieve either 3rd or higher with no bonus points for the fastest time through the Continental Traction Challenge, or at least 5th if they do get the bonus points.

X44 need to outscore RXR by 18 points to win the title, whilst Acciona Sainz need 24 more points than RXR, and six more than X44. Chip Ganassi face the toughest challenge, needing to outscore RXR by 29 points, X44 by 12, and Acciona Sainz by 6.

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR 83 Points
  2. X44 66 Points
  3. Acciona Sainz 60 Points
  4. Chip Ganassi 55 Points
  5. McLaren 34 Points
  6. Andretti United 33 Points
  7. Xite Energy 29 Points
  8. JBXE 25 Points
  9. ABT Cupra 21 Points
  10. Veloce 8 Points

 

In the midst of the championship battle, we will see some new driver line-ups for this weekend. Veloce decided they wanted two new drivers, bringing in last season’s champion Molly Taylor, and former JBXE driver Kevin Hansen. They replace Christine GZ, and Lance Woolridge. GZ is one of the championship reserve drivers for this weekend.

Filling in for Kevin Hansen at JBXE will be Jamaican racer Fraser McConnell. McConnell had previously been a reserve driver for the championship.

Timo Scheider, formerly of Xite Energy will take McConnell’s spot on the side lines as he is replaced by Extreme E newcomer Ezequiel Perez Companc.

Another new face to the grid will be RJ Anderson, who is replacing Kyle Leduc at Chip Ganassi. Klara Andersson, who filled in for an injured Jutta Kleinschmidt at ABT Cupra in the last round, will take the seat permanently.

But Extreme E is not just about the racing. Every race weekend they have a new climate-related focus, and a legacy programme, that aims to leave a positive impact on their race locations.

This week, that focus will be on marine conservation, ecotourism, and renewable energy awareness.

Uruguay are a world leader in wind energy production, alongside Denmark, Ireland, and Portugal. Renewable energy generation is at the heart of their energy sector, with 98% of electricity in Uruguay coming from renewable sources.

Extreme E’s legacy programme for this weekend will see them team up with the Organisation for Cetacean Conservation (OCC) to help educate children about marine life. They will also help fund improvements to the OCC’s whale photo-ID catalogue.

In a press release, Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said of the finale: “It has been an extremely competitive second season of Extreme E, with new winners and so many new teams securing podiums it just goes to show the strength of our field out on course.

“It is fitting that we are completing the season in Uruguay a country which shares so many of our beliefs around environmental progress, sustainability focuses, and raising awareness of the climate crisis.”

Vickers Given a Golden Opportunity to Shine with OMG Racing Yamaha in British Superbikes

In a surprise twist to the British Superbike silly season, championship winning OMG Racing Yamaha have announced former Superstock 600 Champion, Ryan Vickers will be joining them for the 2023 and 2024 seasons in a 2-year deal.

Ryan Vickers – OMG Racing Yamaha

After a frustrating season aboard FHO’s BMW M1000RR Vickers has surprised Superbike fans by bagging what many believe to be one of the best and most sought-after rides on the grid. With newly crowned BSB Champion Bradley Ray rumoured to be stepping up to the World Superbike Series next year, Ryan Vickers, his personal team and OMG Racing have pounced on the opportunity to put themselves in the spotlight again and have some big boots to fill.

Riding alongside 2022 race winner and 6th place finisher overall Kyle Ryde, I’ve no doubt the pairing will be expected to perform from the get-go after the team have become accustomed to British Superbike success. Ryde more so than Vickers as there will be an adjustment period to be taken into account, hence the 2 year deal to allow Vickers to settle in a find his feet. You also have to bear in mind the calibre of riders he will be up against next year in British Superbikes. Staying on the bike and being inside the Top 10 has to be Vickers’ first priority in year 1. If he can regain the confidence he oozed in his days with the Lee Hardy Racing team, where Ryan was a regular runner inside the top 6 during races, success, podiums and potential race wins will come at some point.

Vickers has experience on Yamaha machinery from his championship winning season aboard an R6 in 2018 before debuting in Superbikes, though personally I’m unsure as to whether data and riding styles from a stock R6 can translate to a British Superbike spec R1 with instant results. Stranger things have happened. We have seen high calibre riders struggle on BMW machinery due to the integral characteristics of the bike whereas the R1 has long been seen as the friendliest bike to ride being it’s such an allrounder, it could just be that this is the move Vickers needs to settle things down, renew his confidence and start bringing some BSB trophies, if not in 2023 then definitely in 2024.

The one thing Vickers has been universally commended on, when life became tough in the FHO Racing BMW camp, his attitude towards the team, improving himself and the bike were never in doubt. On and off the bike his character has shone through.

Good luck to him I say. Kudos on his negotiating skills and well done that man for being brave enough to go even further down the rabbit hole to find himself and chase his dream. Vickers could easily have gone back to a series he has had success on (i.e. 600’s) but it takes a brave man to dig in and crack on for another year. Congratulations to both Ryan and OMG Racing for putting together what will hopefully be a belter of a lineup for 2023.

Ryan Vickers – OMG Racing Yamaha

On the move, Vickers said: “I’m so pleased to be given the opportunity to ride what I and many others perceive to be the best bike on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship grid, with a team have that have impressed a huge number of people by winning the championship.

“My love of Yamaha stems from my Superstock 600 Championship win onboard an R6, so I’m looking forward to gelling with the R1, and being able to deliver OMG Racing the level of success they’ve become used to.

“I can’t thank Alan [Gardner] and Paul [Curran] enough for their belief in my abilities, and I’ll be working harder than ever to give them the results the team deserve. I appreciate that to step into the boots of the Championship winner is a big ask, and Brad has set the bar high, but I relish the challenge and I’m excited for what I’m hoping will be my best season yet.”

Alan Gardner, OMG Racing Team Owner said: “Ryan is a rider that OMG Racing have had their eye on for quite a while and has really impressed with both his performance on-track, and his attitude off it.

“He’s a well-known and liked character within the paddock and has proven himself to be a rider that will go above and beyond to constantly improve and better his lap times and ability, and that fits perfectly with us and our goals moving forward.

“We plan on pulling no punches in our pursuit of our second championship victory in 2023, and with both Ryan and Kyle on board our Yamaha R1s, are feeling strong as we move into our sixth BSB season.”

Paul Curran, OMG Racing Team Principal commented: “I’m really looking forward to working with Ryan, and he’s a rider that I’ve admired for quite a while. His success on the R6 in the Superstock 600 Championship back in 2018 demonstrates his comfort on Yamahas, and from experience we know this normally translates well to the R1 – you only have to look at Brad [Ray]’s results and progression to see that.

“His drive and positivity will see him slot perfectly into the team, and I’m confident he’ll be at the sharp end of the grid from the off.

“We head out to Cartagena in a few short weeks, and we’re all looking forward to giving both Ryan and Kyle the opportunity to get some track time under their belts. I have no doubt that Ryan will get his head around the bike very quickly and we’re really looking forward to seeing what he can do.

Buchan Bound for BMW Bounce-Back in BSB 2023

Synetic BMW Motorrad by TAS Racing have announced the continuation of their professional relationship with Danny Buchan.

Danny Buchan – Synetic BMW Image

Hoping third time’s a charm for Buchan after 2 frustrating years on BMW machinery, the popular Essex rider is hoping for a strong step in the right direction on board the M1000-RR motorcycle from odd wins to frequent wins.

TAS racing haven’t kept hold of the factory support of BMW for 2023, which goes the way of colleagues and competitors, FHO Racing BMW as they were recently named the officially supported team. This may not be a bad thing in the long run. Only the team themselves truly know the level of input BMW have in the day to day running, but TAS Racing have a long history of running at the front of the British Superbikes and remain fully focused on returning to winning ways and good luck to them!

Danny Buchan – Synetiq BMW Image

Speaking about the announcement, Danny Buchan said: – “If you look at the steps we made this season from the midway-point through to the end, it was positive progression. Wins at Cadwell Park yes, that was a superb weekend for everyone involved, but two podiums at Brands – which is possibly my weakest circuit on the calendar – just proves the strength and ongoing development of the TAS prepared M 1000 RR package. That’s a massive credit to the team.

“Taking that all into consideration, it was a ‘no-brainer’ for me to stay for 2023 and while we always talk about bike development, there are a few things I need to improve myself, so the hard work has already begun. It’s inspiring to have also seen the launch of the new and improved M 1000 RR, so I can’t wait to hook up with the boys and get going.”

Team Principal Philip Neill commented: – “After two strong seasons together, whilst developing the SYNETIQ BMW M 1000 RR, we are really looking forward to a third year with Danny. We have shown we can win races together and the aim will be to build on that and challenge for the championship in 2023.”

We are still awaiting announcement of their second rider but the rumour that Leon Haslam will join the team is gathering momentum. As with all rumours and silly season speculations, until they are officially announced, they are not always to be taken seriously.

 

Bradley Perie promoted to British Superbikes with Lee Hardy Racing

BSB Day at Motorcycle Live was a great time for Lee Hardy Racing to announce their plans for 2023, with the unveiling of Bradley Perie.

Bradley Perie and Lee Hardy – Lee Hardy Racing Kawasaki UK Image

A successful 2022 season in British Supersport 600 saw Appleyard Macadam Racing Yamaha’s, Perie take no less than 7 wins against a dominant Mar-Train Yamaha rider, Jack Kennedy. Kennedy went on the clinch the title by 9th round at Oulton Park then stepped up to complete the rest of the season in Superbikes to get a head start on 2023. Perie secured the runner up position in convincing style over nearest competitor and teammate, Harry Truelove.

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda could be said for the 4 DNF’s in 2022 as without those, Brad would have been well on for the championship trophy and could have challenged Kennedy to the final flag, but as they say “if my Aunt had balls, she would be my Uncle” yada yada yada.

Clearly seeing the potential in the young Lancashire based rider, Lee Hardy Racing have signed Perie to step up to the series and make his debut under the teams push for a younger rider in a so called “youth movement”.

There seems to be a push from some of the BSB teams to start the process of finding the next wave of British Superbike stars. In 2022 Lee Hardy was partnered with Leon Haslam who runs the Affinity Sports Academy, which is dedicating itself to aiding the movement, training and bringing through of new talent. However, after what can only be described as a frustrating year for the team, a new plan of attack for 2023 has been laid and Perie is at the forefront of the team’s plans.

Bradley Perie – Yamaha Racing UK Image

It looks like the team has an option for 2024 too in their contract with Perie, but that is only hinted at in the statement below from Lee Hardy. Nothing has been confirmed as to the length of the contract, but no doubt will become clear in time.

Perie said: – “I’m grateful and excited to be making my debut Superbike season with the renowned Lee Hardy Racing team, onboard the proven Kawasaki ZX-10RR along with the Team Green family. It’s a dream come true so I can’t wait to get the ball rolling with the first test in 2023.”

Lee Hardy, Team Principal said: – “I’m very excited to announce our new signing Bradley and particularly keen to secure Bradley for not only 2023, but it’s also important to retain Bradley for a second season. This opportunity will give Bradley a stable situation to learn the Kawasaki ZX-10RR Superbike without the pressure of having to try to succeed in year one.

“Bradley is a complete rookie to the Superbike championship however he has shown me great potential and certainly is a rider that has caught my eye. It is so nice to revert back to the roots of Lee Hardy Racing and give young talent an opportunity to develop and hopefully succeed within BSB.

“There are many things you need to consider as a team owner when you are looking at a new venture, one thing that definitely helped me make my decision was the opening up of the Spanish testing again. This is a great opportunity for Bradley to throw his leg over the 2023 Kawasaki ZX-10RR and complete many laps in a relaxed environment, it’s not just about learning the bike, this will also give Bradley the chance to understand his new crew and get comfortable working with a new team.”

Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK commented: – “Lee runs a great outfit that has not just lots of experience with the ZX-10RR machine but also with developing young talent, almost taking Jake Dixon to Championship glory in 2018.

“We have every faith that Bradley and the team will click from the off, and maximum effort will be put in from all sides to ensure a smooth and successful transition from Supersport to Superbike for Bradley. It’s important that teams start to give young up-and-coming riders a chance in Superbike, and with Lee doing just that, we are right behind him.”

Danny Kent joins LKR Racing for 2023

LKR Racing Honda will be a new addition to the 2023 British Superbike grid.

A partnership between Dorset based, Plant Machinery company, D & P Lovel Limited and Danny Kent will see them join the series and run their own team in the BSB paddock. The team will field the CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblade for their push on privateer ‘bragging rights’ and championship success in BSB while a Yamaha R6 beckons for younger brother, Keiron Kent on his debut in the Junior Superstock 600 category.

LKR Racing Honda – Official BSB Image

Danny Kent said: – “First of all I would like to say a big thank you to the whole Lovell family. I’m looking forward to the new project. D&P Lovell have been a personal sponsor of mine for a few years now and I know they don’t do anything halfhearted.

“I’m under no illusion that this isn’t going to be easy, but I believe we have the right people to do the job properly. I’m also excited to change manufacturer to Honda as it is a proven race-winning bike. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in LKR and I can’t wait to get started.”

Kieran Kent said: – “I am super excited to start my debut season in the Junior Superstock Championship next year. It’s definitely going to be a year of learning, but I am more than ready for the challenge ahead.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Allen and his family at D&P Lovell, my family and all my sponsors for believing in me and taking my career to the next step. I wouldn’t be in this position without them and I am very grateful. I can’t wait to get out testing on my Yamaha R6 early next year and get the season underway.”

Team Owner Allen Lovell concluded: – “D&P Lovell Ltd are thrilled to announce the launch of LKR, a newly formed Superbike and Junior Superstock team for 2023. Having been involved with motorcycles for over 30 years, providing vehicles and personal sponsorship for four years, we are well placed to support riders across the different classes. We wish our riders and sponsors a successful 2023.”

Keiron and Danny Kent – LKR Racing

British Superbike Structure Update for 2023

Bennetts British Superbike series unveil new points system and scrap the Showdown 8 positions.

Most fans would agree the biggest news coming out of “BSB Day” at Motorcycle Live was the shakeup to the championship for 2023. The Showdown element of the season is still present, albeit with a different context. The Showdown Finale has been added into the mix and podium credits are now a thing of the past. To clarify… It is not only 1st to 8th position that could win the championship.

The Traditional Top 8 Showdown is Cancelled.

Whoever scores the most points over the season, will lift the BSB title. The changes to the points hope to provide a closer season overall, with bigger gains available for success in the Showdown rounds. Effectively stopping someone going on a winning streak over the season and building a massive lead, aka Leon Camier 2009 on the Airwaves Yamaha 

A hat trick of victories in any particular round, would see a rider gain a minimum of 6 points over their rivals. Under the previous system, it would have been a minimum of 15 points advantage. The idea being when you get to the Showdown stages, the gaps are much closer than previous years but there doesn’t need to be any intervention from the series to manufacture a title battle down to the wire. Hopefully it pans out that way naturally. We have seen many a year where teams struggle at the start of the season only to dial the bike in at the Showdown point when they have unfortunately missed the cut.

As with any changes, we need to see how it will pan out and give the series credit where it’s due, they have clearly listened to the “Anti-Showdown” brigade. This is as close to a return to a traditional championship as we will see for now and I for one welcome the change. There will be no more shouts of “Don’t race the Showdown 8” or “Let them do a race on their own” as was seen after the fallout from Jason O’Halloran’s disastrous exit from Race 1 and 2 of Oulton Park during the showdown in 2022.

British Superbike Updated Points Structure

The main season is the same as previous years. From the 1st round at Silverstone, to the 8th round at Cadwell Park, the points system will be changed to: – 1st to 15th – 18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points.

The Showdown starts at Round 9, Oulton Park in September where the points system will change to: – 1st to 15th – 25-22-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 points

The Showdown Finale at Brands Hatch, for round 11 of the season: – 1st to 15th – 35-30-27-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 points.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship Series Director Stuart Higgs commented: “Following the announcement of our partnership renewal with Bennetts, we can also unveil our new Championship format for 2023.

“This represents only the third time in the series’ long history that we have adapted the Championship format, following consultation with teams and riders.

“The Showdown format from 2010-2022 has served the championship well and provided some historic and edge of the seat outcomes but we feel it’s right to evolve the format.

“The new format will recognise ‘season long performance’ and ideally create the opportunity for more teams and riders to remain in mathematical title contention and maintain the crescendo of competition that is seen many other sports disciplines.”

British Superbikes Calendar for 2023

 

Verstappen wins in Dominant Style as we Round Out 2022

Verstappen takes a dominant win in the final race of the season while his teammate misses out on vice champion by just three points to Leclerc after a split in strategies for the Red Bulls. Sebastian Vettel got driver of the day as he closed out his F1 career by finishing in the points.

Perez got away well at the race start. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media

They lined up on the grid with last-day-of-term feelings echoing throughout the fandom. At lights out Perez got away well going side by side with his teammate into turn one but backing out before turn two. Behind them, Sainz had gotten a poor start allowing Hamilton past while Russell had let Norris through into turn one.

Hamilton did set his sights on the other Ferrari but was caught by Sainz towards the chicane at turn six. Sainz dived down the inside, and Hamilton went wide, bouncing over the sausage curb before getting ahead of Sainz again. The stewards noted the incident and after what sounded like some bargaining, eventually Hamilton had to give the place back.

This wasn’t too last long as just one lap later Hamilton was all over the back of Sainz. Making a move around turn nine Hamilton made the move stick. He was expected to pull away, but it appeared that the lap one incident may have damaged the Mercedes as he began to lose a bit of power. By lap nine he had been overtaken by Sainz and his teammate.

Vettel locked in a battle with the Alpines. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media

On lap 12 Vettel found himself in an Alpine sandwich, fighting hard with Ocon in front but not quite able to make a move stick. This allowed Norris to focus on his driving and strategy to stay in the fight for P4 in the constructor’s championship.

This led to an epic three-lap-long battle between the drivers before Ocon went in for his first stop. This allowed Vettel to open up a gap to Alonso and was, at one point, in P4 on the track after others around him stopped for the first time during the race.

While these stops were happening, Russell came in but had a slow stop with an issue on the rear right. He eventually was released into the path of Norris which was immediately investigated. Russell ended up with a five-second time penalty which he had to take at his next stop.

Lap 28 is where it all unravelled for Alonso. He had pitted for a new set of hard tyres but sadly he wouldn’t make it as he retired from the race with a suspected water leak. This would mark the end of his third stint at the Enstone-based team before moving to Aston Martin for 2023.

At the front, there was lots of discussion about strategy, with the teams opting to split between cars. By lap 34, when Perez pitted for the second time. Verstappen, Leclerc and Hamilton, the top three, were on one-stop while their teammates were being kept on two-stop strategies.

So on lap 38, Leclerc in P2 was a confirmed one-stopper, and Perez was now in P6 with a 15-second gap to his rival and 20 laps to go. However, he was catching the Ferrari at a pace of about six-tenths per lap, and with four cars between them, it looked like it would be impossible.

Just as we were about to settle in to watch Perez catch Leclerc, a yellow flag was waved in sector two for Schumacher and Latifi who had both gone for a spin. Schumacher tapped the back of Latifi who appeared to be braking early into the corner. Both cars got back underway so there was no safety car needed. Schumacher got a five-second time penalty and Latifi eventually retired from the race.

Towards the closing stages of the race, Perez had made his way back up to P4 with only Hamilton between him and Leclerc. Perez, with more speed, made a good move down the inside of the Mercedes into turn six, but Hamilton had DRS going down the next straight and took the place back. It wasn’t too last long for the brit though as Perez made the move stick around turn nine. The Red Bull now had Leclerc in his sights with 10 laps to go.

In the final few laps, Perez was only three seconds behind Leclerc and it was going to be very tight. But at the same time, Hamilton’s gearbox let go and he was forced to retire on lap 56 of 58. This was Mercedes’s first and only mechanical retirement of 2022.

On the final lap, as Verstappen rounded the corner to take his 15th win of the year, Perez was not quite close enough to Leclerc meaning he had to settle for P3 while the Ferrari man celebrated taking vice champion status. This also meant that Ferrari kept their P2 place in the constructors.

In the battle for P4 between McLaren and Alpine, despite a car retiring, the French team kept ahead by 14 points. Norris did get an extra fastest lap point but sadly for them, Ocon finished P7 which was enough for Alpine.

Vettel didn’t disappoint. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media

There were the now obligatory doughnuts at the end from Verstappen, Leclerc and Perez. Ricciardo did them at turn none and Vettel came down to the main straight after everyone else had finished completing their set. There was not a dry eye in the house after his interview with Jenson Button knowing that he has now completed his F1 career… although many drivers believe he will be back.

The 2022 season is over, 22 races officially complete… Only 105 days until Bahrain.

©2017 The Pitcrewonline