2019 British Superbike Championship breaks cover this weekend

The Bennetts British Superbike Championship returns for the hugely-anticipated season opener at Silverstone this Easter (April 19/20/21) as the 2019 protagonists line up for the first two races in the title fight.

The grid had an incredible shake-up over the winter with former MotoGP contender Scott Redding and 2018 WorldSBK Independent Riders champion Xavi Forés joining the 30-strong permanent line-up for the Be Wiser Ducati and Honda Racing teams respectively, and both with a point to prove.

The Be Wiser Ducati team also features the only former champion on the grid with 2015 title-winner Josh Brookes alongside Redding on the new Ducati V4 R.

Josh Brookes. Bennetts British Supebike Championship. Silverstone.

Josh Brookes. Bennetts British Supebike Championship. Silverstone. – www.mphotographic.co.uk

At last week’s final official pre-season test though it was McAMS Yamaha who claimed the top spot in the hands of Jason O’Halloran, and the Australian is one of nine different race winners on the Bennetts BSB grid.

Tarran Mackenzie returns on the second McAMS Yamaha, feeling confident ahead of the new season as he heads back to Silverstone; the circuit where he scored his first podium finish in the Superbike class last year.

When the season kicked off last year it was Bradley Ray who celebrated the double victory for Buildbase Suzuki and the Kent contender is back with the Leicestershire-based team and ready to build on 2018, when he qualified for the Showdown for the first time.

Glenn Irwin. Bennetts British Supebike Championship. Silverstone.

Glenn Irwin. Bennetts British Supebike Championship. Silverstone. 9.4.19 – www.mphotographic.co.uk

A further six riders have previously been Showdown contenders including Glenn Irwin, who switched to the 2018 title-winning Quattro Plant – JG Speedfit Kawasaki team. He is joined by Dickies British Supersport Championship runner-up Ben Currie; the Australian is one of six Superbike rookies to feature this year.

Fellow previous Showdown contenders are Luke Mossey who moved to OMG Racing Suzuki, Tommy Bridewell, who also lines up on Ducati V4 R machinery with the Oxford Racing Ducati team, plus Smiths Racing BMW duo Peter Hickman and James Ellison plus Dan Linfoot at the Santander Salt TAG Yamaha team.

Silverstone will also mark the rise of two 2018 champions to the Superbike grid with Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and 600 title-winners Keith Farmer and Ryan Vickers joining Tyco BMW and RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki respectively.

The Championship maintains its position as the biggest motorsport series in the UK and will continue its unrivalled live coverage on Eurosport UK throughout 2019 with over 100 hours of live coverage broadcast over the season.

In addition to Eurosport broadcasts across 54 European countries, in 20 different languages, with a potential cumulative reach of 231 million households across Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2, four rounds will be on free-to-air Quest including this weekend’s season opener at Silverstone. This will be further boosted by the hour-long highlights programme the week following the event on ITV4.

First seen on Formula 1