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British Superbike Championship gets underway at Silverstone

British Superbike Championship gets underway at Silverstone

British Superbike Championship gets underway at Silverstone

The British Superbike Championship gets underway this weekend at the Silverstone circuit in Kent, where fans are expecting to see the start of one of the most competitive seasons ever. Much of the attention will be focussed on Sean Emmett, who has joined the MonsterMob Ducati team which won the title last year with MotoGP rookie Shane Byrne. Emmett has been the 'nearly' man for several years, but now, riding for the team that has powered the champion in each of the past two seasons he has his best ever chance of winning the title for the first time.

The rider most likely to head him off is twice former champion John Reynolds who continues for a third term with Rizla Suzuki, himself under pressure from his fit-again team-mate Yukio Kagayama. HM Plant Honda's racing line-up, headed by Michael Rutter, with Japanese former MotoGP ace Ryuchi Kiyonari, will also be keen to make an early impression to underline their determination to scrap for glory in the new season.

Steve Plater has switched from them to ride for Virgin Mobile Yamaha, alongside Gary Mason and young Tommy Hill while Glen Richards and Scott Smart head up the Hawk Kawasaki challenge. Add the threat of hard riding Aussies Craig Coxhell on the Team Vitrans Honda and Dean Thomas riding Dienza Ducati, plus the return of IFC with a pair of Suzukis for John McGuinness and Paul Brown and former Supersport champion Stuart Easton riding ETI Ducati and the competition up-front for honours will be intense.

That rivalry will spread through the pack, as the series, which now has MotoGP World Championship rights holders Dorna as its commercial partner, provides a race within a race for riders aboard non-factory backed bikes. Among the privateers entries bidding for Superbike Cup glory will be Nick Medd, Sam Corke, Paul Jones, John Kirkham and Gordon Blackley on a grid that provides no less than 32 starters.

The 13 round British Superbike Championship visits ten venues throughout Great Britain plus Mondello Park in the Republic of Ireland. For the first time in the series' history there will be a round held at the popular Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire as well as the return after a one year absence of Mallory Park.

2004 British Superbike Championship Calendar

26-28 March Round 1 Silverstone, Northamptonshire
10-12 April Round 2 Brands Hatch, Kent
23-25 April Round 3 Snetterton, Norfolk
1-3 May Round 4 Oulton Park, Cheshire
21-23 May Round 5 Mondello Park, Republic of Ireland
4-6 June Round 6 Thruxton, Hampshire
18-20 June Round 7 Brands Hatch, Kent
2-4 July Round 8 Knockhill, Fife
16-18 July Round 9 Mallory Park, Leicestershire
13-15 August Round 10 Croft, North Yorkshire
28-30 August Round 11 Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire
10-12 September Round 12 Oulton Park, Cheshire
17-19 September Round 13 Donington Park, Derbyshire

MotoGP, 2004

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