In 2001, each British Superbike SuperPole winner was offered a cheque for ?250 with the option of banking it or accepting the PPIC Challenge. For 2002, the stakes just got higher.

Twelve months ago, Pit & Paddock Insurance Consultants [PPIC] challenged the pole winner to "tear up the cheque here and now, go on to win the next three SuperPoles and we will pay you ?10,000." Remembering that, in each of the previous four years, riders - Niall Mackenzie, Steve Hislop, Troy Bayliss and Neil Hodgson - had achieved three consecutive poles, it seemed perfectly achievable.

In fact, Hislop was only 2/100ths of a second away from the cheque for ?10,000 when, after gaining SuperPole at rounds four and five, he was pipped by the slimmest of margins by Steve Plater at Thruxton. Winning SuperPole at the next round only rubbed salt into a sore wound!

This year, PPIC is bringing the cash nearer the rider and adding a real sweetener, too!

On winning SuperPole, the rider will be offered a cheque for ?100. He can bank it, or go for a cheque for ?500 if he wins the following round. If he does, he can either take that cheque for the increased amount of ?500, or take the next challenge of increasing this to ?2,000 with a third consecutive win.

Now here is the sweetener. He can take the ?2,000 cheque from one of the Pit & Paddock girls on the grid before the first race and spend it on riotous living, but PPIC will be taking the challenge even further. Should he go on to a fourth, and then a fifth consecutive SuperPole, PPIC will pay him ?20,000 - probably one of the largest rider bonuses in British motorcycling.

PPIC hope that by lowering the initial consecutive target to only three races, riders will feel the challenge even more obtainable. The higher Pit & Paddock SuperPole Challenge amount of ?20,000 is intended, not only as a seriously big prize for the rider, but should provide a really exciting few moments in the practice sessions for the SuperPole position - a real crowd pleaser! ?20,000 riding on hundredths of a second.

There will naturally be some sponsorship commitments by the rider for the future year or so, but ?20,000 goes a long way to putting a rider at ease for the sake of a patch or two on their leathers...

 

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