The British Superbike Championship is the premier road-racing superbike championship in the UK. Organised and regulated by MotorSport Vision, the BSB is the greatest domestic bike racing series in the world and the most dramatic as well.
The Bennetts (sponsorship reasons) British Superbike Championship involves bikes with over 180bhp that can reach over 200mph – it’s a truly explosive championship that has a huge fanbase in the UK. The championship involves some of the world’s leading superbike drivers and manufacturers including Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati, and Yamaha. BSB is now a widely recognized event around the world, with races being broadcasted live in many countries across Europe and Asia.
The championship races take place over the weekend with practice on the first day, qualifying at day 2 and two races on the third day. The championship also has two 3 “triple-header” events which take place as the last race of the main season and The Showdown. The races usually last for half an hour, with the grid being formed from qualifying results and fastest laps from the previous day. All the events during the season also feature supporting events such as the Pirelli National Superstock 1000.
The 2018 BSB is the 31st entry in the series. It started on April 1, 2018, with the Donington Park Grand Prix and will end in mid-October. Shane Byrne is the defending champion after winning a record 6th title in 2017. More than halfway through the season, however, Byrne has only won one race, with Leon Haslam dominating the championship. The English racer has won 6 races until now and is well on his way to a first title in the BSB. Experts and bookies alike are sure that Leon Haslam will win the BSB championship this year and a quick look at the Driver’s standings may convince you in the same. This, however, isn’t very exciting from a punter’s point of view.
Leon Haslam – a Clear Path to the Title
With half the races already over, Leon Haslam is the heavy favourite for the title, currently holding the top spot with more than 80 points difference between him and Jake Dixon. If he ends up winning the title, and experts and bookies think so, it will be his first, and many will say it’s been a long time coming. Haslam was a regular front-runner for the top spot in the driver’s standings in the BSB a decade ago and finished third in the super-exciting last season which went down to the last race to determine the champion.
With such a gap between Haslam and Dixon this year, it’s clear why the Kawasaki racer is such a favourite. Bookmakers such as RedZoneSports, SportNation, Fun88, SportPesa, and Letou heavily favour Haslam for the title with odds of 1/5. He may be the favourite, but these odds are certainly not appealing to punters. You won’t make a substantial profit by betting on Haslam should he end up winning the 2018 BSB, so our opinion is that you should take a look at some of the other options.
Jake Dixon – the Punter’s Choice
Youngster Jake Dixon is definitely one of the most exciting British drivers in recent times. He finished 6th in the Driver’s Standings last year, becoming the youngest driver to enter The Showdown which involves the top 6 drivers from the main season. It’s clear that Dixon has a lot of potential, and currently standing at number 2 in the standings behind Haslam, his time may come sooner than expected.
The difference between top bookie favourite Leon Haslam and Jake Dixon who’s currently the second choice is rather big (1/5 vs. 25/4 at SportNation, RedZoneSports, Letou, Fun88, SportPesa). This makes Dixon the obvious underdog, but we can all agree that he‘s a much better choice from a punter’s point of view. Considering the fact that there‘s still a lot to go till the end of the championship, placing a reasonable bet on Dixon may be the better option.
Stranger things have happened and the BSB has been known to go down to the last race often – fans can surely remember what happened last year. Thanks to Dixon’s indisputable quality, anything can happen and you may end up profiting off it.
Irwin vs. Brookes – Race for The Third Spot?
As much as unappealing the race for the first spot is, with Dixon trailing far behind Haslam, the race for the third spot is much more exciting. Currently in third place is 2015 BSB champion Josh Brookes, while trailing just 5 points behind him is Ducati’s racer Glenn Irwin. With such a small gap between them, the race for the third spot or maybe even a spot up will surely be exciting to watch until the end of the championship.
At the moment, Irwin is the third favourite at bookies with odds of 15/2 (RedZoneSports, Letou, Fun88, SportNation, SportPesa), while Brookes is breathing down his neck with odds of 31/4. Both are pretty enticing choices for punters if you believe that either one of the riders has a shot at the title. They will surely ride in The Showdown – we just need to see if Irwin or Brookes can win some of the remaining races which will give their title chances a significant boost.
Irwin hasn’t had much success in the BSB, finishing 12th in the previous two years, but he’s a great rider that can cause a lot of trouble for the favourites. On the other hand, Brookes has one title in the BSB behind his name and finished 3rd last year. He’s an experienced rider who will grab any chances with both hands, so review your options carefully before placing your bets.
Bradley Ray – A Darkhorse Favourite?
Just like Dixon, Bradley Ray is one of the most exciting English motorcycle racers in recent times. He finished 11th last year and surprised everyone this season by winning both opening races at Donington Park and getting 3 pole positions later. Standing at number 5 in the current Driver’s Standings, Ray is a longshot for the title unless a miracle happens. If, however, Bradley Ray somehow races his way to a BSB title and you place a bet on him now, you can win thousands or if you’re lucky, millions.
SportPesa, Fun88, Letou, RedZoneSports, and SportNation give Ray odds of 19/1 – imagine what you’ll win if you back the youngster up and he ends up winning the championship. You can never know in sports, so if you think Ray has chances, put him on your betting slip.