23 September 2009
Preview - Silverstone.
Leon Camier has the opportunity to seal the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in the opening race of this Sunday's penultimate round at Silverstone.
The Airwaves Yamaha rider, who has amassed a 99.5 points advantage in the points standings with a string of 16 race victories, needs only to finish ahead of his nearest rival, team-mate James Ellison, in the opening 20 lap race to secure the crown.
For the GSE Racing team, it is almost a replay of the same situation they found themselves in last year (on Ducati machinery) when their lead rider Shane Byrne needed only a top ten finish to take the crown - he did just that, coming in third in a race won by his team-mate Camier.
Already assured of the team prize, Airwaves will be concentrating their efforts on Camier securing the trophy in the first race, though nothing can be taken for granted after two blips in the previous two rounds - first a smoke-induced exclusion at Cadwell Park and then an error in running wide at Croft.
Ellison equally has all to race for. His second place in the overall standings is under threat from Flying Scot Stuart Easton who celebrated a long overdue maiden race win in the top flight in the previous round at Croft.
Riding the Hydrex Honda, the Hawick rider has show both consistency and quality across the season, racking up eleven other top three finishes, and with five races remaining, he is only 32 points down on Ellison.
The duel for fourth place is also hotly contested. Relentless Suzuki rider Ian Lowry is feeling the heat from Josh Brookes, riding for HM Plant Honda, who closed to within three points of him with a brace of thirds at Croft. The 'controversial' Aussie has the stronger finishing record of the two with seven podium results, and is currently showing the speed that took him to the fore in World Supersport racing.
Brookes will be re-united in the HM Plant team with fellow Australian Glen Richards who has recovered from the serious leg injuries sustained in a fall at Knockhill back in July. Richards, who won Superstock and Supersport titles in the previous two years, is naturally keen to end this campaign on a positive note.
Simon Andrews and Julien da Costa on the MSS Colchester Kawasakis are within a handful of points of Brookes and Lowry and could move ahead in the standings, though they will be mindful of the challenges coming in from Karl Harris, riding the sorrymate.com Honda.
Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha rider Chris Walker and former MotoGP rider Sylvain Guintoli aboard the Worx Crescent Suzuki should also be threatening the front-running pack.
Meanwhile Gary Mason, already assured of the Mirror.co.uk Cup, will be aiming for another daily double aboard the Quay Garage Honda by way of celebration while Peter Hickman needs strong points if he is to take the runner-up position on his Ultimate Racing Yamaha ahead of Martin Jessop and Tom Tunstall.
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