BRITISH SUPERBIKES DESCEND ON CROFT2009-09-03 12:14
The 2009 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli pays its one and only visit of the season to the North East when Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire hosts rounds 20 and 21 of the 26 race series on Sunday September 13th.
Billed as Britain's most popular motorsport series, with nearly 100,000 fans attending the previous two rounds at Brands Hatch and Cadwell Park, the action is fast and furious with a truly international flavour which sees the best of the British riders take on stars from France, Australia and Japan.
The round at Croft will give tens of thousands of race-starved local fans the chance to see top class bike racing without having to travel to the next nearest circuit some two or three hours away at places like Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, Oulton Park in Cheshire or Knockhill in Scotland.
In the BSB class, Kent's Leon Camier leads the series on his Airwaves Yamaha ahead of his team-mate James Ellison, but the rider from Kendal in Cumbria will be looking to his local track to pull back some points.
Camier has been a class apart this season, winning fifteen of the nineteen races held so far and has a healthy 97.5 point lead over three-time race winner Ellison and whilst he can mathematically wrap up the title at Croft, its more likely he can take another huge step towards it with a decent showing.
There's local interest also with the riders in third and fourth place in the standings, Stuart Easton from Hawick and Yorkshireman Karl Harris, who ride for Guisborough businessman Shaun Muir's Hydrex Honda Team and both are still searching for their debut win.
Returning to the series after a two- race ban for his part in the accident at Mallory Park, Australian Josh Brookes returns aboard the HM Plant Honda, although team-mate Glen Richards is still unfit and will be replaced once again at Croft and also in action aboard the Worx Crescent Suzuki will be Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli who just last season was racing in MotoGP against the likes of Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner.
Perennial crowd favourite Chris 'The Stalker' Walker rides for Henderson Motorpoint Yamaha, as does Hexham youngster Graeme Gowland who won on his last visit to Croft so he'll be hoping for home advantage too.
In addition to the two, twenty-lap feature races, a full support race programme is included during the weekend.
Huddersfield rider James Lodge narrowly leads the Relentless 125cc class ahead of KRP team-mate Martin Glossop and in the Metzeler 1000cc Superstock Championship, Ulsterman Alastair Seeley has already wrapped up the title on his Relentless TAS Suzuki. Ballyclare's Jamie Hamilton comfortably leads the Metzeler 600cc Superstock Championship on the Gearlink Kawasaki and in the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport Championship; just two points separate HM Plant Honda's Steve Plater from Australian Billy McConnell on the MAP Raceways Yamaha.
Other local interest will see Yarm-residing South African AJ Venter hoping to score a podium in the Supersport class and Newcastle rider Joe Burns and Blyth's Jonathan Dickson will be in action in the 1000cc Superstock and National 600cc classes respectively.
Saturday's action commences at 09.30 and sees the all-important qualifying sessions, including the exciting F1-style Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole knockout qualifying session to set the grid for Sunday's two Superbike races as well as the qualifying sessions for the other classes.
Due to stringent noise restrictions and to comply with local authority regulations, the action cannot commence until after 12.00 noon on Sunday whereby the action kicks off with the warm up sessions before the first British Superbike race which is scheduled to start at 13.30. However, during the morning, as well as there being an open paddock, there will be an hour-long 'Pit Walk' for fans to meet the riders and that is scheduled for between 10.30 and 11.30.
Adult admission costs £6.00 per adult on Friday, £12.00 per adult on Saturday and £26.00 per adult on Sunday. Children aged 15 and under are admitted FREE and there is FREE paddock access and car/bike parking. For further information call Croft Circuit on 01325 721815.
The Northern Echo is running a free competition on Monday 7th September, courtesy of Croft Circuit, to offer four lucky readers the chance to win both a VIP Hospitality package and admission tickets. Up for grabs is 1 x pair of VIP passes to include race day hospitality for two in the Croft Suite, free parking, free programme and a VIP tour of the Hydrex Honda pit garage to meet Stuart Easton and Karl Harris and team owner Shaun Muir and three runner-up prizes of pairs of Sunday admission tickets.
Source: Cartersport Motorsport Media
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