Your guide to Superbikes at Snetterton 300
- Credit: Archant
There isn't a weekend like it at Snetterton – the weekend when some of the world's best on two wheels take on Norfolk's stellar track.
The British Superbikes coming to town is more than just another round of a supremely competitive motorsport circuit. It lives and breathes at the venue over the course of three days.
Huge crowds, fantastic racing and a lot of respect for those doing the business on their stunning machines.
There will be a cloud over Snetterton this year. Since the last meeting at Oulton Park in early May, Marham-based RAF Reserves' BSB rider Si Andrews died in an accident while racing in Northern Ireland.
And earlier this month at this year's Isle of Man TT, 12-time BSB podium finisher Karl Harris was killed after an accident in his Superstock race around the isle.
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Both men died doing what they loved. Every racer out on track at Snetterton this month will share that love. Every spectator will appreciate and respect them for it.
Despite the fierce competition, one man always looks like he's dominating – Shayne 'Shakey' Byrne.
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The three-time champion leads the competition again, no doubt fuelled by missing out on the 2013 championship at the last race to Alex Lowes – who has since departed for a World Superbikes return.
So it's Australian Josh Brookes and Kendal's James Ellison pursuing Byrne in the title standings after two rounds, with the opener at Brands Hatch Indy.
Byrne likes Norfolk – it's three podiums from his last four races in the county, with a Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team ready for more success around Snetterton 300.
And those in Norfolk like the superbikes – there will be a lot of people jumping at the prospect of catching a glimpse of the Snetterton action once again.
Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki'sJames Ellison takes us on a lap of the Snetterton circuit.
I cross the start finish line pinned in fifth gear carrying real speed then it is into Riches and down to third gear, braking really hard. On the exit you have to drive as hard out of the corner as possible down to Montreal where it is hard on the brakes to get stopped for probably the slowest corner on the track and a good place for overtaking.
As you exit Montreal it's up to second gear and rev it to the limiter on the drive up Palmer, which is a fast sweeping left hander. There is a trick to getting this corner right as you can take many different lines, but I'm not going to share that! As you exit the front wheel lifts over
a crest and you click up to fourth gear then hard on the brakes and back down to first for Agostini. This is a great place to pass as you can run in really deep on the brakes with plenty of room to run wide if you need to. This infield section is also great for the fans as there are big viewing banks and you can see a lot of the track.
I then try to get the bike stood up as fast as I can and drive hard to Hamilton which is taken in second gear. I let the bike run right out to the curb on the exit then immediately get the bike back to
the other side of the track for the heavy braking Oggies. On the exit I change up to second and drive hard and right out to the edge of the track for Williams ready for the drive onto the back straight. It's so important to get right as the Bentley Straight is really long and any time lost here will be magnified by the time we get to the end of it. I'm in sixth at 14500rpm and doing probably 175-180mph before I hit the brakes.
I go down three gears roll through Brundle and click down another gear as I change direction for Nelson, then hit third gear briefly before rolling off the throttle and stabbing the brake literally just to help turn into the infamous Bomb Hole which is a banked, cambered, second gear right hander. I love
this corner as you really can just push the limits of traction.
I then drive hard out of there, click third gear and the front wheel just hovers over the track. I scrub the brakes a little and let the bike run really deep into Coram and I
try to get back on the throttle as soon as I can and just keep it steady at about 40pc open the whole way around. This is a great place to line up a block pass into Murrays on the final lap.
I pick the bike up quick and drive right out onto the curb clicking through the gears and dabbing the rear brake to keep the front wheel just hovering a few inches off the ground. I have my head on the tank tucking in as much as possible and staying near the pit wall to stay out of any wind up to the line.
And that's a lap of the Snetterton 300 circuit!
Ellison's top places to watch at Snetterton
'Snetterton is one of the best circuits to watch the action and it is worth having a look at more than one if you haven't been before.
'There is a spectator bank at Palmer which gives you a great view of the infield section and as the Superbikes blast out onto the Bentley Straight and there are giant screens too so you can see the racing on the rest of the track.
'The last corner at Murrays is
also a good place to be on the last lap as that is the final chance to make a move before the drag to the line.'