The tension is building ahead of the much-anticipated opening round of the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship next weekend (March 31 – April 2) at Donington Park as some of the world’s best riders prepare for the first clash of the season.
The 2017 grid
The rivalry has never been more intense before the opening races of the season; the grid featuring 2014 World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli and five-time MCE BSB title-winner Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, who is ready to lock horns with his arch rival, returning 2015 champion Josh Brookes.
Ten riders have already celebrated MCE BSB race victories with Byrne holding the record, but home hero Leon Haslam is feeling bullish about going one better this season with JG Speedfit Kawasaki after finishing runner-up last season to the Kent ace.
Honda Racing unveiled their new Fireblade in pre-season testing and Jason O’Halloran scored a debut victory with the team last season, but Yamaha are also fighting back strong with the
McAMS Yamaha team of race winners James Ellison and Michael Laverty.
John Hopkins proved he is not going to settle for less than podiums when it comes to his return with the Moto Rapido Ducati team; the American determined to fire himself back into title contention after he missed out in 2011 against Tommy Hill in the most dramatic finale in MCE BSB history.
Luke Mossey has yet to claim an elusive first race win, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider was the man to beat at the recent Spanish test at Cartagena, smashing the lap record and proving that he is out to do more than just repeat his Showdown finish of last season.
Throw into the mix young guns Glenn Irwin, rookie Bradley Ray and Taylor Mackenzie and there is guaranteed to be fireworks at the season opener next weekend!
Global Television coverage
The MCE British Superbike Championship continues to grow its television broadcast content and reach. In the UK each round will be broadcast exclusively live on Eurosport with the traditional hour-long delayed highlights programme on ITV4 for British fans adding up to over 300 hours of coverage. Beyond traditional TV distribution methods the Eurosport Player, ITV Hub and the official BSB YouTube channel will deliver more content than ever before.
The International appeal of the Championship is underpinned by its global TV distribution. Principle broadcast partner Eurosport serves Pan-Europe whilst there is Live coverage on OSN Sports across the Middle East and North Africa, Sky NZ, Fox Africa for Sub Sahara countries, Eurosport for Asia and Pacific territories and highlights to the USA, Canada and Latin America on Discovery’s Velocity and Turbo channels respectively.