Not long till we go racing, so as is becoming tradition it’s time to collar @PaddockChatter for a preview ahead of Bennetts British Superbike Round six at Snetterton. It’s a slightly less musical edition, but he’s managed to cram in plenty of useful information – aren’t you lucky!
As always, make sure to check him out on Twitter as well as part of the motopod team. If you’re enjoying these previews, be sure to tell us on social (we love to be showered with praise, and we might even pass it along to him!) Anyway, you get enough of us on a race weekend – over to Dave!
Ah, you’ve come back? Fabulous! If you’ve been away (like me!) I hope you had a great time; if you’re still to go then I hope have a great time, too!
Welcome to the Snetterton version of Get Your Neal Down, the slightly skewed race weekend preview for OMG Racing that you fine readers seem to enjoy. After the musical interlude of Knockhill (there were 22 deliberate musical references by the way, did you get them all?) we move on to the flatlands of Norfolk for round six of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at possibly the flattest track of the season (it’s much like Silverstone except with better viewing) and not to be confused with flat-track racing, obviously, as that’s a completely different kind of flat track that bears no resemblance to this flat track other than its, erm, flat…ooh and Snetterton turns right, not left, so nerrr!!
The circuit holds fond memories for the OMG Racing team as it was there that Josh Elliott joined the team last season but it was a strange weekend for other riders as that’s where some departed their teams last year, a truly bizarre sequence of events and I’m sure (well, hoping) that this year the headlines will be about the positive stuff and not fallings out or Andrew Irwin doing his best Miley Cyrus impression and coming in like a wrecking ball at the tricky Turn 2 – seriously, now try watching the footage and NOT singing that in your head, almost impossible I tells ya! Although in his defence and in the heat of the opening lap battle it’s easy to forget that your braking markers move back a few feet with a full fuel load (isn’t that right, Jossi?!).
Snetterton, or ‘Snett’ to its mates, is an absolute cracker of a track and with the use of the National layout rather than the GP layout at Silverstone these days it’s now the longest lap on the calendar. There are loads of great places to watch from around the 2.99 mile former USAF airfield that was home to the Eight Air Force 338th Bombardment wing, like the banking at the end of the start/finish straight which gives you Turn 1, 3, 5 and 6; the infield at T4; the banking down the outside of the Bentley straight; the chicane at the end of the Bentley Straight is a popular place to watch for those last-gasp out-braking manoeuvres (or the other less controllable issues that happen occasionally, right Skywalker?!) and the same for the last corner at Richie’s after the almost never-ending Coram’s bend. A veritable feast of viewing!
Shane Byrne holds the lap record there from 2017 with a 1m 47.143s aboard the PBM Be Wiser Ducati, will that be broken this year? Probably! Only Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran in this year’s line-up have previously won in Alan Partridge’s back yard, and of the two, Jase really needs a good result this weekend to kick-start his season. There are riders in great form coming in to the weekend, Danny Buchan, Andy Irwin and Brad Ray all had their best results at the previous round at Knockhill so will all be keen to push on as will Taz Mac and new boy Scott Redding, at a track that just might suit him well…
Winners? No idea. It’s been a while since a Yamaha or Suzuki won there and BMW have never won around there so there are manufacturer scores to settle plus four of the last five seasons have seen double wins with only 2016 throwing up different winners in O’Halloran and Byrne. The weather looks iffy for Saturday’s qualifying but not too bad for race day. Incidentally, Snetterton is the only circuit I’ve never been rained on!
Enjoy the weekend if you’re going or via the medium of TV and BSB Radio (like me, sadly), fingers crossed for a fast, safe and entertaining weekend!