Whitham talks BSB 2011

"John Hopkins is a big coup for the championship. He's colourful, loud and has the biggest baseball cap in the world!" - James Whitham.
Former British Superbike champion and present British Eurosport commentator James Whitham has given his predictions ahead of the 2011 BSB season-opener at Brands Hatch on Monday.

“There's a lot of anticipation this year with riders returning to the championship, like former winner Shakey Byrne. He's going to be quick, he's tested really well and he's with one of the top teams in HM Plant Honda,” said Whitham.

“I think the fan's favourite is Tommy Hill. After a good season last year, he's swapped teams and he's very confident.

“The defending champion Ryuichi Kiyonari is going to take some beating if he gets his eye in, but we know how fragile he can be, little things can put him off his stride so he's by no means a firm favourite in the championship for me.”

Whitham - who will once again work alongside Jack Burnicle, Tony Carter and James Haydon at British Eurosport - is especially looking forward to the BSB debut of former MotoGP star John Hopkins.

Hopkins, who finished tenth in a stand-in ride for Rizla Suzuki during last Sunday's Spanish MotoGP, has signed for the Crescent Samsung BSB team.

“John Hopkins is a big coup for the championship,” said Whitham. “He's a colourful character, he's loud and he's got the biggest baseball cap in the world!

“I can't wait to see how he's going to get to grips with the best, quirky British tracks. There's no doubt the man has got the talent if he's still got the fire in his belly and he can get his head around the circuits.”

2011 will be the second year that BSB has used a two-part championship points system.

Following the first nine events, the top six riders in the standings will qualify for 'The Showdown' and become the 'Title Fighters' for the remaining three events, battling it out to become champion.

They will each be awarded 500 points, plus additional points for each podium they have achieved up to that point.

Meanwhile the remaining riders will continue to contest the 'British Superbike Riders' Cup'.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
James Whitham, WSBK Imola, 2006
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, Jason O`Halloran, BSB [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, British Moto Rapido [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, British Moto Rapido [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Risopli, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridwell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki, [Credit: BSB media]
Tommy Bridwell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki, [Credit: BSB]
Tommy Bridwell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki, [Credit: BSB]
Tommy Bridwell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki, [Credit: BSB]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: MSV Media]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Tommy Bridewell, Bennetts Suzuki, [Credit:]
Tommy Bridewell, Bennetts Suzuki, [Credit:]

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April 09, 2011 8:34 PM

@collieman In 1994 he raced full-time in the Superbike World Championship for Ducati, taking a race win at Sentul and finishing 7th overall. He returned to the British series in 1995, leading the standings and taking a podium as a World Superbike Championship wild-card at Brands Hatch, but contracted Hodgkin's Disease mid-season. He recovered in time to be British Superbike Championship runner-up in 1996 on a Yamaha, despite not scoring at the first round, he won ten races, twice the number of champion Niall Mackenzie. He raced for the Harris Suzuki team in the World Superbike Championship in 1997 and 1998, finishing 8th in the championship both seasons with a total of 3 podiums, Feel stupid now ??

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