MOST EYES ARE FIRMLY FIXED ON THE SUPERBIKE CLASS BUT THERE'S A WHOLE HOST OF TALENT SHINING BRIGHT IN THE SUPPORT CLASSES WHERE SKILLS ARE HONED AND THE BATTLES ARE FIERCE.
The support classes for the Bennetts British Superbike Championship are packed with talent at both ends of the age scale and 2021 sees the talent level rise even further with both new and more familiar names added to the rosters of each championship. The majority of the 2020 series champions are either returning to defend their hard-earned crown or looking to make waves in another series within the paddock which can only enhance the experience they've already gained.
Arguably the most entertaining support class of 2020 was the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, which for this season has been simply renamed the Pirelli National Superstock Championship while the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship becomes the Pirelli Junior Superstock Championship. The Road to MotoGP returns as the Honda British Talent Cup continues to unearth the stars of the future along with the HEL Performance Junior Supersport championship. The middleweight Quattro Plant British Supersport and GP2 championship rightly loses its champion to BSB so it's a straight fight for the competitors this season; can anyone beat the all-conquering Appleyard Macadam squad? And what of GP2? Who will come out on top in the battle of the prototypes?
Geordie maths teacher Chrissy Rouse returns to defend his National Superstock crown after an unsuccessful attempt to secure a competitive British Superbike ride. Rouse will campaign a STAUFF Fluid Power for GR Motosport against a field that boasts multiple series champions and race winners. The list of protagonists in the class for 2021 is stronger than ever as the likes of Mackenzie, Farmer, Olsen, the Neave twins, Rogers, McConnell, Rollo all line up to take the fight to the champion. Add to that list Bournemouth Kawasaki's BSB race winner Luke Mossey alongside a host of talent that includes Hutchinson, Hedger, Jeacock, and Day plus the young guns such as Luxton, Sheldon-Shaw, Toms, and Ward to name but a few all amounts to an exciting season in prospect.
In the Pirelli Junior Supersport class, it's all to play for after 2020 champion Ben Luxton moved on to National Superstock at the end of the season. Luxton's former teammate at JR Performance, Joe Talbot, will be amongst the favourites from the opening round as will Zach Corderoy who took four podiums on the way to third in the championship. Talbot's teammate, Liam Delves along with Connor Thomson, Jack Nixon and James Alderson will all be battling for the podium places. Bolstering the entry list are two of the stars of the British Talent Cup and Junior Supersport in the shape of champions Franco Bourne and Owen Jenner along with Seth Crump, Charlie Farrer, and Max Cook.
In the Quattro Plant British Supersport and GP2 championship, the series retains a host of talent despite the departure of champion Skinner and runner-up Brad Jones to the superbike class as well as the welcome addition of Dynavolt Triumph duo of Daytona 200 winner and former Motostar champion Brandon Paasch and former World Supersport campaigner Kyle Smith to take the fight to reigning GP2 champion Mason Law. Former champion Jack Kennedy returns to the fold as Brad Perie and Rhys Irwin form the new dynamic duo at Macadams Yamaha while young guns Truelove, Swann, Jones, Scott, and Nesbitt will all be in the mix. Roads starlet James Hind enters the fray and the experienced Ben Currie also returns.
The challenge for the HEL Performance Junior Supersport crown is wide open for 2021 after the departure of two of the main men from last year Jenner and Crump move on to pastures new leaving Dawson, Shelton, Davie, Osian Jones, Lewis Jones, James McManus along with a trio of lady racers in Chloe Jones, Annabel Thomas and Katie Hand to battle for honours.
The Honda British Talent Cup provided some incredible racing in 2020 and 2021 is likely to be more of the same as the roster of talent expands again with a host of names new to the class as well as continued campaigners. Evan Belford returns as do Harrison Crosby and James Cook to take on the all-comers for the chance to progress to the Junior Talent Team in the Spanish CEV championship.
Finally, the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup returns once again with champion Josh Day aiming to keep hold of the crown as Pinson, Neve and Cox look to improve on their challenge of last season. Hot on the wheel tracks of John McGuinness, another big name joins the fray for 2021 in the shape of Chris 'Stalker' Walker. The four-time BSB bridesmaid moves on from his foray into three wheels to return to two and rest assured he won't be there just to make up the numbers...
There's a fantastic season of racing ahead and we'll be there to keep you up to date with as much news as possible!