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2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship is go!

Wednesday, February 14 2018

The entry list for the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship has been confirmed, with Derby's Leon Haslam ready to avenge title rival Shane 'Shakey' Byrne. This season kicks off on Easter weekend when Donington Park hosts the opening two rounds.

The announcement of the season entry list follows one of the closest seasons in recent history last year, when the title fight went down to the final race of the championship at Brands Hatch. An astounding ten different riders won the 26 races, with eight different teams celebrating victory.

The field includes 28 permanent riders and is headed by defending champion Byrne, who returns with the Be Wiser Ducati team. Leading the opposition is Haslam, who will be determined to avenge his heart-breaking title defeat, whilst Australian rival Josh Brookes, who lost out by just two points last year, has switched to the McAMS Yamaha team.

The 2018 Bennetts BSB grid features 13 different race winners, including last year's Showdown Title Fighters: Leon Haslam, Jason O'Halloran, Peter Hickman and Jake Dixon. Last year saw the emergence of new championship protagonists and 2018 is set to follow suit with six full season Bennetts BSB rookies, including Gino Rea, who joins the series after a spell in the World Moto2 Championship and Dickies British Supersport champion Tarran Mackenzie.

Joining Haslam amongst the local contingent is Nottingham's Richard Cooper, who races for Leicestershire-based team Buildbase Suzuki.

Bennetts returns as title sponsor

The complete season entry list follows the announcement earlier today of a reunited partnership between MotorSport Vision (MSV), the commercial and organisational rights holder of the British Superbike Championship (BSB), and motorcycle insurance specialist, Bennetts. The new three-year title sponsorship deal will see Bennetts, which has been insuring motorcycles for more than 85 years, utilise Britain's biggest motorsport series to engage with motorcyclists and offer unique and exciting opportunities to their customers.

Bennetts began its association with the Championship in 2005 when they first committed to title sponsorship for four years, before continuing their presence within the sport through team and rider partnerships.

The association will see the return of the familiar Bennetts image across all of the events, and the relationship will be strengthened further by a digital media partnership with Bennetts' online news channel BikeSocial, which since its launch in 2012 has become the UK's fastest growing motorcycle news and social media platform. The new association will mean increased coverage and insight into the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on BikeSocial.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship Series Director Stuart Higgs commented: "Today marks a very exciting day for Bennetts BSB. As the season rapidly approaches it is hugely exciting to reveal the new look for 2018 and beyond in association with our new title partner Bennetts but also release the official entry list of 28 permanent riders.  We are also expecting a number of 'wild-card' entries at selected rounds to boost the grid further.

"We arrive at the opening round of the season this year off the back of one of the most memorable and fiercely-fought championships in recent times.  The strength and depth of the this year's entry together with the highest-ever class newcomer intake will make for an incredible mix.  The start of the season can't come soon enough."

The 2018 championship is launched at a free official test day at Donington Park on Tuesday 20 March, before getting underway over a four-day Easter extravangaza at the Leicestershire circuit on 31 March - 2 April.

2018 BENNETTS BSB ENTRY LIST

Team/Manufacturer

Rider

Nationality

#

Be Wiser Ducati

Shane Byrne

Great Britain

67

Be Wiser Ducati

Glenn Irwin

Great Britain

2

Buildbase Suzuki

Richard Cooper

Great Britain

47

Buildbase Suzuki

Bradley Ray

Great Britain

28

CF Motorsport Yamaha

Kyle Ryde

Great Britain

77

FS3 Racing Kawasaki

Danny Buchan

Great Britain

83

Gearlink Kawasaki

Carl Phillips

Great Britain

32

Honda Racing

Dan Linfoot

Great Britain

4

Honda Racing

Jason O'Halloran

Australia

22

JG Speedfit Kawasaki

Leon Haslam

Great Britain

91

JG Speedfit Kawasaki

Luke Mossey

Great Britain

12

McAMS Yamaha

Josh Brookes

Australia

25

McAMS Yamaha

Tarran Mackenzie

Great Britain

95

Moto Rapido Racing Ducati

Taylor Mackenzie

Great Britain

24

Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki

Tommy Bridewell

Great Britain

46

OMG Racing Suzuki

Gino Rea

Great Britain

44

Platform Hire Yamaha

Aaron Zanotti

Great Britain

64

PR Racing Lloyd & Jones Bowker BMW

Jakub Smrz

Czech Republic

96

RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki

Jake Dixon

Great Britain

27

Ridersmotorcycles.com BMW

Martin Jessopp

Great Britain

40

Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki

Dean Harrison

Great Britain

5

Smiths Racing BMW

Peter Hickman

Great Britain

60

Smiths Racing BMW

Sylvain Barrier

France

20

TAG Racing Yamaha

James Ellison

Great Britain

11

TAG Racing Yamaha

Shaun Winfield

Great Britain

8

Tyco BMW

Michael Laverty

Great Britain

7

Tyco BMW

Christian Iddon

Great Britain

21

WD40 Kawasaki

Mason Law

Great Britain

55

Tickets for the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park are available in advance from £28 with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.donington-park.co.uk