The championship has, since its re-launch in its current form in 1996, not only revitalised motorcycle racing in the UK with innovative promotions and television coverage but it has also played a key role in the career paths of riders, among them Troy Bayliss, Neil Hodgson and James Toseland, who subsequently graduated to World Champions, while others such as Shane Byrne moved into MotoGP.
The growth in stature and spectator appeal of the British Superbike championship is such that all of the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha enter factory supported teams into the series that as well as providing action for top British riders also attracts strong International entries.
Given the strength and quality of the racing, the championship currently enjoys the biggest level of support of any motor sport activity in the UK with the hosting circuits reporting year on year growth of attendance figures.
This year’s title will be decided over twelve double race rounds, half of which will be contested on circuits owned by the Motor Sport Vision group and their Chief Executive, Jonathan Palmer, is delighted to have taken a controlling interest in the vibrant series.
“The British Superbike Championship is Britain’s most popular motor sport attracting big crowds at the circuits and large audiences on television. On purchasing the circuits in 2004, as soon as I saw my first BSB race I was completely hooked – the racing is incredibly close and full of drama. The top riders really are heroes,” reflected the man who as a competitor raced in the elite Formula 1 Grand Prix Motor Racing World Championship.
Since taking over the circuits, including their flagship Brands Hatch, MSV has won wide praise for its caring attitude towards both competitors and spectators, investing wisely to make all round improvements on and off the race tracks.
MSV will take over the commercial rights from Dorna UK, a division of the Spanish based MotoGP World Championship rights holders. Palmer continued: “We are very appreciative of the investment Dorna has put into BSB over the last four years and look forward to continuing to expand the championship in the future.”
BSB will now be run by MSVR, MotorSport Vision’s racing division, from its Brands Hatch base. Stuart Higgs, who will continue to be the Series Director commented; “Jonathan Palmer and MotorSport Vision have already contributed greatly since the start of their involvement in 2004 in both the development and the direction of the championship.”
“This migration into the position of rights holder combines their high standards of operation, presentation and forward thinking together with the strengths and the potential that the entire British Superbike championship platform clearly has. I am tremendously excited about the new structure and the opportunities that lie ahead."
The new season begins on the famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on Sunday 6 April.