The Bennetts British Superbike Championship descends on Kent this weekend with the prestigious King of Brands title up for grabs coupled with the first round of the new Integro Triple Crown on the Grand Prix circuit, raising the stakes higher than ever.
Josh Brookes was last year’s winner of the King of Brands Trophy, awarded to the rider with the best cumulative results from the two races, and the Be Wiser Ducati rider returns to Brands Hatch after securing a double victory at the Kent circuit last summer.
However, it is the 2015 champion’s teammate Scott Redding who leads the standings by just six points following his triple win at Donington Park last time out, becoming the fourth different winner of the season.
Tommy Bridewell sits second in the standings and has come tantalisingly close to a win on several occasions this season, scoring four podiums from the opening three rounds. The Devizes-based contender is determined to get back on the top step at round four this weekend as he bids to secure the Oxford Racing Ducati team’s first race victory.
McAMS Yamaha were a force to be reckoned with last summer when Brookes claimed them a double victory, and Silverstone race winner Tarran Mackenzie has high hopes for a strong performance with the team this weekend. He heads into the Brands Hatch weekend just a single point adrift of Bridewell in the standings ahead of Sunday’s two races.
Brookes occupies fourth in the overall standings after a bruising weekend last time out at Donington Park, but he holds a four-point advantage over Honda Racing’s Xavi Forés, who became the seventh different rider to claim a podium finish this season.
Danny Buchan completes the current top six for FS3-Racing Kawasaki following a successful run of three podiums from the opening four races which gives him the edge over Josh Elliott, the opening race winner of the season, and Andrew Irwin on the second of the Honda Racing Fireblades.
Christian Iddon leads the BMW charge for the Tyco team after his best finishes of the season at Donington Park with the second McAMS Yamaha of Jason O’Halloran completing the top ten as the pair bid for their first podium finishes of the season.
In addition to the Bennetts Rewards King of Brands Trophy, the round also marks the start of the Bennetts BSB Integro Summer Triple Crown, comprising two races at three rounds – Brands Hatch Grand Prix (June 14/15/16), Knockhill (June 28/29/30) and Snetterton 300 (July 19/20/21), totalling six races.
If a rider reigns supreme and scores victories in all six of the races, a £50,000 prize will be paid plus a £25,000 Triple Crown bonus for completing the circuit hat trick of wins.
If a rider narrowly misses out on completing the full six race wins, a prize a £40,000 plus the £25,000 Triple Crown three circuit win bonus will be awarded for scoring victory in five of the six Integro Summer Triple Crown races.
The final chance to scoop a summer bonus is if a rider wins four of the six races; they will net £30,000, plus if they win a race at all three circuits they will also celebrate with the £25,000 Triple Crown bonus.