What an amazing couple of days racing we witnessed at the historic Cathedral of Speed, and with JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam dishing up the ‘Double’ over Championship leader Shane Byrne, we can now head to Brands Hatch for the ‘Triple Header’ Final Round of this years series to decide who will emerge as the 2016 MCE British Superbike Champion.
We are now down to a 2 rider duel.
Ladies & Gentlemen, in the Red corner on 633 points, we have the 4 time BSB Champion, riding for Paul Bird Motorsport on the ‘Be Wiser’ Ducati Panagale, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
In the Green corner on 616 points, we have the Challenger. Riding for Mark Smith-Halverson on the ‘JG Speedfit’ Kawasaki, and looking to secure his first major Title, it’s ‘The Pocket Rocket’, Leon Haslam.
The stage is set for the ‘Showdown’. Take your pick.
In simple terms, Haslam has to win all of the three remaining races – but, even if he does, then three second places for ‘The Shakester’ would still be enough to ensure the Ducati man takes the Crown for a record fifth time.
Haslam must therefore look for some support from elsewhere to aid his cause – or, and this is not the way he would want it to pan out – a problem of some description for Shakey, in at least one of the races.
Sounds simple on paper, but as we all know, particularly in BSB, nothing is that straightforward, and you can bet that the ‘what if’s’ & ‘if only’s’ will certainly come into play at some stage during proceedings.
The mantra….’Expect the unexpected. Predict the unpredictable’, has proven to be the case so many times in the past. So surely we must again be prepared for a final twist of fate & fortune to rear it’s head and thus influence the destiny of the Crown.
Come what may, it’s going to be a nail biting weekend. So get there early to get the best vantage point, and remember if you are thinking of venturing out to some back part of the Grand Prix track, then take a radio as there are no speakers out in the country.
BSB Radio will be broadcasting live, from Friday afternoon onwards on 87.7fm. Let’s just hope that the weather behaves itself.
Assen Bits & Pieces
Couple of new names that impressed me .
3rd place in the dry opening British Supersport race, 20 year old Finnish rider, Eemeli Lahti (pronounced……Air Melli) looked very fast & stylish. Spoke with him, and he said he would very much like to race in the British series next year, IF he could raise the finances.
The other was Spanish rider Victor Rodriguez.
Sporting a pair of spectacles that would put Dame Edna Everage to shame, the diminutive 16 year old is the latest Graham Armstrong find (GA also runs Dani Saez in Motostar Moto3). Victor led the opening Motostar Standard NSF250R race before slipping off, and finished 2nd to Class Champion Dan Jones in the repeat outing.
Was also great to see Luke Jones finally get his maiden British Supersport win. Whilst in Assen the Hereford rider also signed to ride for the Robin Appleyard – Dougie Macadam Yamaha team in next years Series.
From a Commentary point of view, I must say that whilst the weekends racing witnessed some of the most exciting of the year (across all classes), the meeting was probably the least enjoyable of the year from my professional perspective.
Being an international meeting, it is of course necessary to give commentary in Dutch as well as English, which means that at regular & frequent intervals I have to stop commentary & hand over to the Dutch speaking commentator. This is so frustrating as it invariably interrupts the flow of commentary. He’s a lovely, friendly man but I’m sure it’s equally as annoying for him as well. Unfortunately there is no way around it.
Incidentally, was a bit of an eye opener as to apparently how little preparation work is done by my Dutch counterpart. Many of the Championships over the weekend were either Dutch or German, ie. Moriwaki Junior Cup, ADAC Cup, ONK Sidecar, Superbike & Supersport. So logically you would think that he would have researched all of the up to date Championship information, as well as personal rider info. Not so!!!!
Just to check my records against his, I asked if he had the up to date Championship positions for the Moriwaki Junior Cup. His reply, ’No I have no Championships!’
Thankfully I had done my homework and had all of the necessary information to hand for all classes. As a point of interest, I never go to any race meeting without doing the preparation work. This can mean spending up to at least a week or more prior to every meeting updating Championships, rider info, etc.
With no such information to hand, my Dutch counterpart simply repeated in Dutch all of the relevant facts & figures I had just related during the English commentary – which I have no problem with.
But having seen how my Dutch counterpart works, I could then not believe the esteem in which he & his co-commentators are held & treated by the Assen circuit management. He even had the Circuit MD pop in to say hello.
It did make me wonder where did I go wrong!
Finally, don’t forget to visit the Clinton Enterprises Stands….and make sure you get there early to purchase your OFFICIAL MCE BSB Event tee shirt, plus of course the vast range of MCE BSB, Team & Rider OFFICIAL merchandise. (It’s all identical clothing to that as supplied to the teams by Clinton).
See you there…..and bring your Radio!!!!