World Superbikes at the Lausitzring and British Superbikes at Cadwell Park – preview

Ian Marsden
Josh Brookes at Cadwell seven years ago - Getty Images

After a six week summer break, World Superbikes returns to action at the Lausitzring, Germany. The series returns to the circuit for the second year since reclaiming its place on the calendar at the expense of the Nürburgring.

Last year the spoils were shared by Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies on the Ducati. In fact the last eight races at the Eastern German circuit have yielded eight different winners. We have to go back to 2003 when eventual championship runner up Troy Bayliss claimed the one and only double win at the circuit. Bayliss remains the only rider to date to record more than one win at the Lausitzring. Between 2001 and 2007 the Australian tasted victory on four occasions.

Reigning champion Jonathan Rea continues to dominate the championship and extended his not inconsiderable lead over team mate Tom Sykes even further at the last round in America. Rea’s second and first places mean he goes to the Lausitzring ring with a commanding 59 point lead over Sykes, who in turn has a 56 point advantage over Davies.

While Rea has stamped his authority on the championship by virtue of claiming first or second place in every race he has finished in 2017 team mate Sykes is the only man on the grid to not only finish every race but to also score points in every race. Such also is Sykes’s consistency that he has only finished outside the top three twice in the sixteen races to date.

If Sykes is to hunt down Rea and prevent the Northern Irish rider claiming his third consecutive title such levels of consistency may not be enough. He needs to be consistently finishing ahead of Rea. But with 255 points up for grabs for the remainder of the season all is not lost. 

Josh Brookes of Anvil Hire Tag Racing Yamaha team rides during practice for the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch on July 21 Credit: Ker Robertson /Getty Images Europe 

Sykes, who is second in the all time pole position rankings has not only not set pole at the Lausitzring, he has never started from pole position in Germany.

Having the summer break has allowed Davies valuable recovery time after the injuries he sustained in Misano. The Welshman won all six races (this year there are eight) following the Lausitzring round. However with a 115 point gap to Rea even a repeat of that form probably won’t be enough to bring him into contention for the title.

British rider Alex Lowes on the Yamaha goes to Germany buoyed by a brilliant performance at the Suzuka Eight Hour where he was part of the winning team.

Standings

1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 341 points

2 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 282

3 Chaz Davies (Ducati) 226

4 Marco Melandri (Ducati) 189

5 Alex Lowes (Yamaha) 148

6 Xavi Forés (Ducati) 132

Lucas Mahias now has only a slender five point lead over five times World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu. With five rounds remaining and Sofuoglu having won the last four races the Turkish rider is favourite to win title number six.  Sofuoglu is the only rider on the grid to have taken victory at the Lausitzring. Worryingly, though Mahias leads the championship he has not won since round three, which was his one and only win of the season to date.

Standings

1 Lucas Mahias (Yamaha) 105 points

2 Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 100

3 Sheridan Morais (Yamaha) 76

4 Jules Cluzel (Honda) 75

5 PJ Jacobsen MV (Agusta) 68

6 Federico Caricasulo (Yamaha) 51

British Superbikes

With only two rounds remaining before the end of season showdown the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship is as usual building up to an exciting climax. With five races to go it is the familiar face of Shane Byrne at the top of the championship. Heading to Lincolnshire's Cadwell Park for round eight, dubbed the “Party in the Park” Byrne leads the championship by only 19 points from Leon Haslam.

Cadwell has been kind to Haslam over the years – the Kawasaki rider has won one race there on all of his visits. It will be a record he is keen to maintain, especially he hasn’t stood on the top step of the podium since the first race of round three at Oulton Park in May. By Contrast Byrne on his Ducati has recorded five race wins in the intervening period, including taking double wins at both Brands Hatch and Snetterton. It is Haslam who currently holds the lap record at the parkland circuit.

Josh Brookes soars over the Mountain at Cadwell Park seven years ago Credit: Bryn Lennon /Getty Images

Neither Byrne or Haslam performed as expected at the last round at Thruxton, Byrne achieved a solitary fourth place with Haslam taking seventh in race one and third in race two.  

Thanks to his strong results at Thruxton where he finished second in race one and took the victory in race two Peter Hicjman has elevated himself to third place in the overall standings. Early season leader Luke Mossey, team mate to Haslam now finds himself relegated to fourth. Mossey could find his place in the showdown under threat come Sundy evening as he will be sitting out Cadwell  as he did Thruxton due to injuries sustained in free practice at the Hampshire circuit.

Fifth place in the championship is currently taken by ex champion Josh Brookes who took his first win of the season at Thruxton. As always Brookes will be a must see as he tackles Cadwell’s famous Mountain section. The Australian achieves more air than any other rider and is never short of spectacular. Level on Points with Brookes and in sixth place is fellow Australian Jason O’Halloran.

Standings

1 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 203 points

2 Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 184

3 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 164

4 Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161

5 Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha) 154

6 Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing 154