It’s nearly time for the Showdown! Whilst it’s likely our boys unfortunately won’t feature (failing an absolutely spectacular set of results, but never say never!) that doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot to ride for. With the riders cup up for grabs and plenty of silverware on offer before the last race, we’re working hard to build ourselves back towards our early season performances! So, with that in mind – what should you be on the lookout for at Round 9? We asked our man @PaddockChatter for the scoop! See you at Oulton Park! – #OMGMedia
Because I’m currently ‘between jobs’ (not for long, I’m hoping), I have all the time in the world to fashion this epic #GetYourNealDown Oulton Park Preview in to something suitably spectacular… however what you’ll likely end up with is more of the same that you’ve come to know and love over the last five rounds or so; I mean, why change what is clearly a winning formula (that’s from your feedback, not mine, so nerrr)!
Onwards to the meat and two veg of what this column is all about, a preview for the final round of the ‘regular’ season before we head into The Showdown phase next time out in Assen. We’ve got a triple-header to enjoy this weekend, that’s one race on Saturday afternoon and the regular two on Sunday to decide the spoils of victory and Showdown ecstasy (or agony, obviously, as there will be some)
Last time at the (oh, here we go.. the lazy, over-used description of Oulton Park incoming…) picturesque, undulating circuit nestled deep in the heart of leafy Cheshire (told you so…) we saw the three B’s lock out the podium in both Superbike races as Brookes, Bridewell and Buchan started their respective marches to securing those all important Showdown positions. Brookes and Bridewell are firmly ensconced within the top six along with Scott Redding with Buchan yet to confirm his place but, barring major misfortune this weekend, he’ll be there come Sunday tea time. Yes, tea time, not dinner time, as clearly that’d be before the first race on Sunday, and that’s just not right… Breakfast, dinner, tea… it really is that easy.
One man looking over his shoulder this weekend will be Taz Mackenzie as the Scottish Englishman and his McAMS Yamaha look to bounce (possibly not the best word I could have used) back from injury at Thruxton and an understandably difficult Cadwell Park. Much will depend on how much the wrist injury has healed and how he gets to grips with one of his weakest circuits. He’s under pressure from Andrew Irwin, ‘Mr Consistent’ Peter Hickman and Andy’s teammate Xavi Fores. Christian Iddon is in the wings but needs a stellar three races and some mechanical misfortune for those ahead of him.
Andrew Irwin will start from the back of the grid for Race One regardless of his qualifying position courtesy of his huuuuuuge lunge (c’mon, he started the move almost from the Honda factory in nearby Louth) on Scott Redding, which saw both riders exit proceedings at Park Corner and ignite a social media debate that raged well in to the following week! Fores had a dismal OP last time out so he will be looking to make amends and fight for the position he lost to his teammate. Scott Redding will also be out to stamp his authority back on the series after a difficult Cadwell Park.
Am I going to make predictions? Pfffft not a chance, it’s British Superbikes after all and anything can happen. I can’t even predict a Showdown 6 (to be fair I can’t predict bugger all, as my weekend football accas regularly prove…)
Tin hats at the ready, people… and stand-by for drama!