The fastest track in the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship hosts round six of the series this weekend when MCE Ducati riders Josh Brookes and Tom Sykes resume the battle around Thruxton.
The Hampshire circuit has been a good hunting ground in the past for Paul Bird’s Lake District-based team, particularly for Aussie Brookes who set the lap record in 2019 aboard one of the Ducatis in the team at 1:14.655. And former multiple BSB champion Shane Byrne set the fastest lap ever in 2016 aboard a Ducati PBM at 1:13.843, so the omens are good.
Brookes and Yorkshireman Sykes know that a strong weekend of high points aboard the MCE Insurance-backed, factory-backed Ducati Panigale V4Rs is a must, given they are both outside the top eight who will decide which riders go on to challenge for the title in the Showdown later in the season.
Brookes has an impressive record with nine wins and five podiums to his name over the years, the last of which came in 2019, and hopes he can continue his recent improved form to mount a late bid to add to his BSB crowns from 2015 and 2020.
Former World Superbike Champion Sykes hasn’t had the best luck racing at Thruxton in the past, but the fast and flowing nature of the circuit should suit him as he sets out in search of his first silverware of the season.
There are only nine races left, including the three at Thruxton, to decide the top eight Title Fighters, so with short races both runners hope to add significantly to their points tally.
Josh Brookes: “I’m looking forward to going down to Thruxton and coming back after the two crashes at Brands Hatch, which wasn’t ideal. Despite this disappointment, we still have an upward trend in the garage and the motivation is there, so we will keep pushing. It is better to fight for the podium and crash than to languish in order. Everything is still positive, and we have some changes to make this weekend, which I’m excited about, so we’re good to go.
Tom Sykes: “We are heading to Thruxton this weekend which is a fast circuit and the racing is always great there. I am looking forward to getting back to the MCE Ducati and continuing the progress we have made recently. It is important that we keep working to achieve our goals, so hopefully we can achieve good results and keep moving forward.
Further details can be found on the Paul Bird Motorsport 2022 website – see www.pbmuk.net – and for championship information. Please visit www.britishsuperbike.com.
Attached photos courtesy of Double Red: Josh Brookes (25) and Tom Sykes (66).