Don’t miss Snetterton’s British Superbikes racing thrills
Sports writer Michael Bailey looks forward to a weekend of thrilling British Superbikes action at the newly transformed Snetterton circuit.
It is one of the marquee weekends in Norfolk motorsport – yet 2011 will see something truly special around Snetterton as the British Superbikes buzz into town.
The dust, grass – and even rubber – has finally settled down on �4m of redevelopment, including an entire extra mile of infield track, to transform Snetterton from a powerhouse loop to a fast, flowing challenge. And all in time for the circuit's 60th anniversary.
The revamp will make an impression on the spectators too. There are some new elevated viewing points that will give unrivalled sights, while Tyrrel's caf� backs onto one of the new straights.
The circuit is better than ever – and the same can be said for this weekend's arrivals.
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The MCE Insurance British Superbikes have been compelling viewing for the first five rounds –and as competitive as ever – and that will mean some explosive racing around Snetterton 300.
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne is the man to beat on his HM Plant Honda. The Londoner has failed to make the podium only twice so far in 2011 and has got to be as good a bet as any to take Snetterton by storm – and go on to make it a hat-trick of BSB championships.
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But don't rule out Lingfield's Tommy Hill and his waspy Swan Yamaha, sitting third in the championship. The 26-year-old was all-conquering at Knockhill a fortnight ago and does not look like letting go of that bit between his teeth.
Sandwiched by the two is San Diego rider John Hopkins – a man learning every track as he goes along, having stepped up from the AMA Superbikes this year. It has not held him back so far – and neither will injury. A big off at Knockhill took a lump out of Hopper's collarbone. It's painful, but the Californian will not let it stop him.
They may be further back in the championship standings, but Stuart Easton, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Michael Laverty will all have a say in Norfolk too.
And keep an eye on the support races, with the likes of Norwich's Jake Newstead and David Gowen in action on home soil.
There will be thrills. There will almost certainly be spills. And it will be worth every moment. Don't miss it.
? For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com.