December 22, 2004 at 3:28 pm #9265GixParticipant
British Superbike 2005 pre-entry list
John Reynolds faces a tough challenge in his efforts to retain the ‘number one’ plate in the 2005 British Superbike Championship – the three times winner of the country’s premier crown spearheads the Rizla Suzuki challenge for a fourth season in a series that has again attracted factory backed entries from five of the world’s leading manufacturers and features several former 500cc and MotoGP World Championship riders.
Reynolds, a model of consistency and professionalism, is ready for the challenges ahead in the 26 race, thirteen round championship which begins on Easter Monday, 28 March, at Brands Hatch, with Michael Rutter, aboard the HM Plant Honda Fireblade determined to avenge his defeat in last term’s closely fought encounter.
Rutter, who gave the all-new Fireblade victory on its racing debut, narrowly missed out on the crown, and buoyant after taking a record fifth victory in the recent Macau Grand Prix, he has to be in the frame to enjoy maiden title glory, though he could be hard pressed by the in-team rivalry of rising Japanese star Ruichi Kiyonari.
Reynolds also faces a similar threat as he is joined in the Suzuki team by Scott Smart who last season enjoyed the winner’s champagne on three occasions. But, far from being a Honda against Suzuki ‘shoot-out’ for supremacy, the championship has other real contenders.
Sean Emmett, revitalised and brimming with confidence after a productive test session in Spain, heads up the Virgin Mobile Yamaha team – he has come close to the title several times and now reckons that 2005 will be his year. Adding to the Yamaha drive to return to their title dominance of the late 1990s are youthful, but rapid, riders Tommy Hill and Richard Wren.
Still on the cards is the possible return of the 2003 champion Shane Byrne to Paul Bird’s team, which has switched to run Hondas in MonsterMob Stobart colours. They have already signed up Gary Mason and Michael Laverty and are keen to land a big name rider for their third bike.
Also riding Honda Fireblades will be Karl Harris, three times in four years the British Supersport Champion, along with John Laverty, Jonathan Rea and Kieran Clarke.
The returning force of the GSE Racing team, who powered both Troy Bayliss and Neil Hodgson to the domestic crown, adds to the keen front-running action. James Haydon and Leon Haslam ride their latest specification Ducatis while the Kawasaki threat centres on the Hawk team’s two Australian riders Glenn Richards and Dean Thomas and the two Dienza riders Steve Plater and Jon Kirkham. A fifth ZX-10 will be in the hands of MSS team rider Julien Da Costa, while Vivaldi Racing graduate into the top flight with similar bikes for Ben Wilson and Tristan Palmer.
Adding further depth to the action will be Yamahas in the hands of Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness aboard the AIM Racing bike while Dennis Hobbs rides in Nvidia colours and Dean Ellison races for Jentin. Nick Medd campaigns a Kawasaki.
The pre-entry list for the 2005 British Superbike Championship is (rider / team / bike):
1. John Reynolds (GB) / Rizla Suzuki /Suzuki GSX R
2. Michael Rutter (GB) / HM Plant Honda / Honda CBR RR
4. Steve Plater (GB) / Dienza Performance / Kawasaki ZX-10
5. Sean Emmett (GB) / Virgin Mobile Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1
6. Gary Mason (GB) / Monstermob-Stobart Honda / Honda CBR RR
8. Tommy Hill (GB) / Virgin Mobile Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1
9. Karl Harris (GB) / Honda Racing / Honda CBR RR
10. Jon Kirkham (GB) / Dienza Performance / Kawasaki ZX-10
11. Ben Wilson (GB) / Vivaldi Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10
12. Dean Thomas (AUS) / Hawk Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-10
14. John Laverty (IRL) / Vitrans Ten Kate Honda / Honda CBR RR
15. Dean Ellison (GB) / Jentin Racing / Yamaha YZF R1
16. Gareth Glynn (GB) / Jentin Racing / Yamaha YZF R1*
17. Tristan Palmer (GB) / Vivaldi Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10
19. Nick Medd (GB) / ARCO Medd Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10
21. Malcolm Ashley (GB) / MAR / Kawasaki ZX-10*
23. Ryuichi Kionari (JAP) / HM Plant Honda / Honda CBR RR
24. Richard Wren (GB) Virgin Mobile Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1
25. Dennis Hobbs (GB) / Nvidia GR Motorsport / Yamaha YZF R1
26. Chris Martin (GB) / Carmasters Racing / Suzuki GSX R*
33. Michael Laverty (IRL) / Monstermob-Stobart Honda / Honda CBR RR
36. James Haydon (GB) / GSE Racing / Ducati 999 F-04
37. Danny Beaumont (GB) / JJL Racing / Honda CBR RR *
43. Howie Mainwaring (GB) / Bill Smith Racing / Yamaha YZF R1*
44. John McGuiness (GB) / AIM Racing / Yamaha YZF R1
50. Steve Brogan (GB) / PR Branson Honda / Honda CBR RR*
56. James Buckingham (GB) / Quay Racing / Suzuki GSX R *
65. Jonathan Rea (IRL) / Red Bull Honda / Honda CBR RR
74. Kieran Clarke (GB) / SMR Honda / Honda CBR RR
75. Glen Richards (AUS) / Hawk Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-10
77. Marty Nutt (IRL) / Nuttravel.com Racing / Honda CBR RR *
86. Julien Da Costa (FRA) / MSS Discovery Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10
88. Scott Smart (GB) / Rizla Suzuki / Suzuki GSX R
91. Leon Haslam (GB) / GSE Racing / Ducati 999 F-04
TBA / Monstermob-Stobart Honda / Honda CBR RR
TBA / Colin Appleyard Racing / TBA
* eligible for British Superbike Cup
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