The fight for the British Superbike crown is reaching boiling point as Steve Hislop and Sean Emmett head to Cadwell Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

The pair have been locked in a close battle throughout the season and will continue their duel at the Lincolnshire circuit, host to round ten of Britain's premier Motorcycle Championship.

At present, MonsterMob Ducati rider Hislop holds the upper hand with a 19 point advantage over Emmett, however Weybridge-based Emmett has his sights set upon his first win aboard his Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha after his strong showings last time out at Thruxton. He claimed a brace of thirds aboard the R1 after only a brief test session, having switched from the IFC Ducati aboard which he had claimed four race victories.

Emmett has adjusted well to the challenge of racing a four-cylinder bike, something he has not done in six years. He will however, have to be at the top of his game if he is to get the better of his rival Hislop, who carded a double win at the circuit last year.

Also, hot on Hislop's tail is Renegade Ducati's Michael Rutter. The Kirkby Mallory-based rider currently lies third in the Championship on 253.5 points. And this weekend - after being ruled out of the second race at Thruxton - he cannot afford anything less than a maximum points haul if he is to have any chance of taking the crown for the first time. His team-mate Shane Byrne lies fourth overall having won three races so far this term.

Virgin Mobile Aiwa's Steve Plater is a local favourite and will be determined to steal the show on his home asphalt. Woodhall Spa-based Plater, who narrowly missed his first win at Brands Hatch in June, will be eager to win on a circuit he has ridden many times while Lincoln's Lee Jackson who has experienced a lean season so far will also be hoping that his local circuit will yield a favourable result.

Reigning Champion John Reynolds is currently lying in fifth place aboard his Rizla Suzuki GSX R-1000 and will be looking to claw back some points after retiring from the second race at Thruxton with engine problems.

The busy support race programme also provides interesting confrontations. Dave Jefferies has a 30 points lead in the Performance Bikes Superstock Championship but remains under pressure from both Chris Burns and John Crockford while Stuart Easton and Scott Smart are locked in a two-way battle for the Supersport title.

In the Dunlop Junior Superstock Championship, Thomas Sykes has a slim lead of seven points over Craig Jones with James Buckingham in third. In the 125cc National Championship Chris Martin, who has only finished outside the top two once this season, will want to maintain the pressure on Christian Elkin with another consistent performance.

However, the Red Bull Rookies, Guy Farbrother and Midge Smart, could upset that game-plan as the pair have gone from strength to strength as the season has progressed. And in the Ducati S4 Monster Challenge, Juan Kinnish can take a fourth consecutive victory with Carl Ogden and Mark Cheetham expected to push him hard.

 

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