The world's premier national bike racing championship comes to Brands Hatch this weekend (Saturday 13-Sunday 14 April) as the British Superbike Championship gears up for its second meeting of the year.

The last half-decade has seen the BSB go from strength to strength, consistently producing simply the most exciting head-to-head bike racing action to be seen anywhere. Last year saw the championship go down to the wire, with John Reynolds and Steve Hislop swapping the lead race-by-race, until the Scot's massive off at Rockingham finally handed the title to Reynolds.

This year's opening rounds at Silverstone proved fantastically competitive, with the honour of the first win going to Sean Emmett (IFC Racing Ducati) by just 0.3secs from the Monstermob Ducati of the now recovered Hislop. Steve Plater brought the Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha home third, ahead of Reynolds, having his debut ride on the Rizla Racing Suzuki.

An interrupted second race went to Hislop from a determined Reynolds, with Emmett this time having to settle for third ahead of the Renegade Ducati of Michael Rutter.

Shane Byrne, the 2001 privateer champion, got his season off to a 'shakey' start - a fifth in the first race was followed by disaster in the second race as he failed to finish. He'll be determined to produce an improvement as the championship moves on to Brands Hatch - the home circuit for the Sittingbourne rider.

There'll also be a fascinating challenge to the frontrunners as the Honda pairing of young Gary Mason and the highly successful Matt Llewellyn, John Crawford (Suzuki), Darren Barton (Yamaha), Jamie Robinson (Suzuki), Gordon Blackley (Honda) and Jason Davis (Suzuki) will all be out to make an impression on the packed grid for the strongest championship in British racing.



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