John Reynolds and James Haydon are expected to be major contenders for this year's British Superbike crown and they meet in a double-race opening round 'shoot-out' at Donington Park on Sunday 1 April.

They were team-mates last year, but there was little love lost between them, as their on-track rivalry proved, but this year they are firmly in opposing camps. Reynolds, from Nottingham, the champion back in 1992, continues to spearhead the Red Bull Ducati attack on the title, while Haydon is riding for the Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha team.

Between them last year, they won seven races, taking third and fourth placings in the overall rankings, but they both want the prized 'number one' plates - they might think they are in the driving seat for a private fight, but there are six or seven other riders eyeing the crown.

Another former champion, Steve Hislop, the eleven times Isle of Man TT winner, is fully recovered from the spectacular crash that ended his efforts last season, and he is riding the MonsterMob Ducati, using incidentally the bike that took Neil Hodgson to the title last term.

Michael Rutter, another TT winner, and a rider with a winning pedigree in British Superbikes rides the works Kawasaki, alongside Steve Plater, while John Crawford is aboard the factory backed Suzuki and former five times British champion Paul Brown rides the Dienza Ducati.

For Reynolds there is also an in-team challenge from Sean Emmett, while Haydon has Jamie Robinson as his teamster - it all makes for an interesting showdown, with the added threat of the 15 or so Privateers in the races.

BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP - ENTRY LIST

No Rider Hometown Team/Sponsor Machine

2 Steve Plater Woodhall Spa Team Kawasaki Kawasaki
3 John Reynolds Kimberley Reve Red Bull Ducati Ducati
4 James Haydon Berkhampstead Virgin Mobile Aiwa powered by Yamaha
5 Sean Emmett Weybridge Reve Red Bull Ducati Ducati
6 Jamie Robinson Huddersfield Virgin Mobile Aiwa poweredby Yamaha
7 Steve Hislop Isle of Man Monster Mob Ducati Ducati
8 John Crawford Coatbridge Crescent Suzuki Racing Suzuki
9 Michael Rutter Wordley Team Kawasaki Kawasaki
11P Shane Byrne Sittingbourne Performance House Suzuki
12P Paul Jones Swansea Travel City Direct Kawasaki
14P Gordon Blackley Calne Hawk Racing Kawasaki
15P Mark Burr Darlington Hawk Racing Kawasaki
16P Peter Berwick Broomfield Team DBK Racing Honda
17P Jason Davis Nuneaton Team DBK Racing Honda
18P Nigel Nottingham Nantwich www.mandvc.com/racing Yamaha
19P Lee Jackson Lincoln macsport Yamaha
20P Dean Ellison Kendal D&B Racing Honda
23P Carl Rennie Burscongh PRF Racing Kawasaki
26P Dave Wood Aylesbury Myco Motorsport Kawasaki
34 Paul Brown Messingham DiEnza Ducati Performance Ducati
35P Dave Redgate Orpington Team Buff Kawasaki
55P Francis Williamson Petersfield T3 Racing Yamaha
68P Paul Jones Liverpool PR Racing Liverpool Honda
69P Steve Marks Godalming Clifford James Footwear Yamaha

 

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