WSBK – The Battle of Britain –

The battle of Britain

WSBK - The Battle of Britain -

The statistics speak for themselves: of the 24 races contested at Brands Hatch, 18 were won by Ducati and 6 by Honda. Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki and other Foggy Petronas therefore know what they have to do this Sunday !

Brands Hatch is one of the unmissable circuits of the World Superbike, present on the program since 1993 without interruption! It is a flagship event of the discipline, which this year should be very eventful…

In fact, in 24 races, only Ducati and Honda have won on these lands. This opens up a more than tantalizing challenge to the Suzuki of Corser and Kagayama, the Yamaha of Haga, Pitt and Abe, the Kawasaki of Walker and why not even the Foggy Petronas of McCoy and Martin. !

The all or nothing track !

Brands Hatch has its heads … Either we often win – like Colin Edwards who has no less than six victories – or we lose – like poor Lucio Perdicini who suffered eleven withdrawals -. It is therefore not surprising that doubles are also frequent there (seven in all). Thus, the pilots who manage to decipher the layout can hope to make very good operations at Brands Hatch, while those who do not have the owner’s manual may never shine on the English track….

The Brans Hatch circuit is very tough, both for the riders and their mounts. Dating from 1926, its layout is extremely complete, including a very wide range of turns and sequences, for a moderate length of 4221 m.

It is particularly difficult to properly adjust the chassis and the suspensions of motorcycles, as the turns are different from each other and the track keeps going up and down according to the hills on which it is located. And if the compromise is important to find on all circuits, it is vital on this track !

When braking Druids Bend, the compression of the suspensions is such that the forks come to a stop! Despite this, the riders prefer to deal with this small inconvenience and be comfortable in the other turns rather than erase this imperfection by raising the bike, but suffer from it in faster sequences such as Hawthorn bend, Westfield, Clark curve and Paddock Hill Bend.

Who says relief also says blind turns! As a result, drivers who know the circuit have a slight advantage since they already have their bearings and know in advance how quickly the curves can be negotiated….

Corser: a meaningful victory !

Troy Corser (Corona Suzuki Alstare), the undisputed leader of the championship, will look like every weekend to finish on the podium. A victory could see him rise to the rank of second most victorious rider of the World Superbike by tying the record of 31 victories of Colin Edwards. No doubt he will dedicate this first place to his little girl born on July 24! The Australian is from elsewhere "especially happy that Sam gave birth last week as it could have happened over the weekend at Brands Hatch! It may have caused a bit of dispersal on my part lately but now I don’t have to worry anymore".

Troy can therefore concentrate 100% on this new event and "don’t see why i won’t be on the podium". His only concern may lie in the fact that, being already the father of a young boy, he will be required to win the second race in order to" offer "it to him, so as not to arouse jealousy. within his descendants … Ah children !

The "Mission Impossible" team

Their mission – and they accepted it – is to steal Troy Corser, his comfortable first place in the 2005 Superbike standings. And it’s not the hundred points ahead that the Australian has over them that scares them. !

At the top of the list is Chris Vermeulen who is 94 lengths behind the leader and will have a lot to do this weekend … The young Australian will first have to get used to his CBR1000RR and the Pirelli again, Chris having brilliantly participated in the Suzuka 8h with Fujiwara – they finished second -: "I am rather winnowed and I will have to go back to the Honda Ten Kate, which is a completely different machine from the HRC-Michelin version on which I rode". But the hardest part will be to have good practice and two good races, Chris confessing that he did"never been good at Brands Hatch".

Third in the provisional with 187 points, 112 less than Corser, Regis Laconi is still far from giving up because even if "the rest of the season is going to be tough, the battle for the title is not over until the championship is over". The French are also happy that"Brands Hatch is a track where the pilot can make a big difference".

Yukio Kagayama will be keen to return to a podium that he has not climbed for eight races … The Japanese is "happy to go to Brands Hatch – a track that I know and love – after two circuits that I did not know". He is counting on this English stopover to relaunch:"I have a lot of English fans here so I am determined to do well and go back in the hunt for second place in the championship". It is true that with 158 points on the clock, the first place seems out of reach…

The last to be still considered to be in "the title race", Briton Toseland does not want to disappoint his public. All he wants now for the end of the season is "winning races, especially at Brands"."We had problems here last year, it was my worst result"admits James, before adding that"it wasn’t all my fault"… A remark that is not the most fair play when we know that the Ducatis are very efficient on this track: in 2003, eleven Ducat ‘had scored points in the first race !

The outsiders

Haga, sixth in the championship with 122 points, is not playing for the title … But that will not prevent him from winning at Brands Hatch, especially since in 2004, he had achieved the double on Ducati! The winner of the second round in Brno three weeks ago (read) risks making sparks again thanks to his spectacular driving, on a circuit that suits him well. "We still have a little lack of power but in Brno we had found the perfect set-up so if we find good set-up at Brands then we can be competitive."explains Nitro Nori.

Pitt and Abe will try to take advantage of Haga’s good results to join the leading pack … Andrew Pitt admits it: "In Brno we were more competitive than in the last two races. Noriyuki has shown the potential of the bike and I’m aiming for a podium this weekend". A podium from which Norick Abe is not far behind (fourth in the second round of Brno …).

Among the other expected drivers, we include Chris Walker, the native of the country with a wild style and who will want at all costs to mount his Kawa on the podium and why not give his ZX-10R a first victory. !


On the 600cc side, Sebastien Charpentier is delighted with the return of his teammate Katsuaki Fujiwara, with whom he will fight once again to the delight of their team manager Ronald Ten Kate who has won everything since the start of the season! These two foals are again widely favorites since Katsuaki won the race last year and Sebastien finished third in 2003 and second in 2004. !

Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes (Yamaha Germany) will try to erase the painful memory of Brno: when the first fell while fighting for victory and the second was forced to retire … Fabien Forêt who took advantage of it to move up to fourth place in the provisional classification will also be part of the game !

The weekend promises to be exciting once again, so see you on Monday for the exclusive Moto-Net report. !

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