With the 2013 MCE British Superbikes season getting closer and closer a storm is brewing around two riders. Last years Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will be vying for his fourth title which will make him the most successful MCE BSB rider ever. But that's not where the story ends because the current most successful rider is set to make his return, Ryuichi 'Kiyo' Kiyonari. Also with three championships under his belt and a couple more wins than Shakey, Kiyo will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
Having taken a year out of MCE BSB to compete in the Asian Road Race Championship, which he won, Kiyo returns and is ready to fight. He said to MCE BSB, "I am very, very happy to be back because I have missed BSB so much. I miss the championship: the races, the fans, the team - all of it and that is why I have returned. I have to give more than one hundred percent and I want a fourth title to show that I can do it again. My aim is for more wins and to be champion again."
After a disappointing 2011 season where he didn't really feature let's hope Kiyo's back on form and really pushes himself and the bike to the limits. He'll be back on a Honda riding for Samsung alongside young star Alex Lowes.
Reigning Champion Shakey will not make it easy for him though. The experienced rider has got himself a great team with Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki and a motorbike he knows and loves. This really shined through last year. The bike never missed a beat and with Shakey's talent the Kawasaki team were a force to be reckoned with. Keith Farmer who was last years Superstock 1000 Champion will be joining Champ Shakey at Rapid Solicitors, he'll also be battling hard for the title.
Not quite as confident but realistic Shakey said to MCE BSB, "We are within sight of some records and so for the first time ever in my career, I am riding for the same team again but it wasn't really a difficult decision to make. We are going into 2013 even stronger and with a few improvements to the bike as well as me training harder than ever, I'm hoping I can defend the title but it won't be easy."
With both these two fighting for the fourth title it could be easy for forget who else is out there in the field. But there are a number of riders who are going to be pushing these boys. Rising star Alex Lowes will be one to watch after his fantastic finish to last season. The returning James Ellison and Australian star Josh Waters riding for Milwaukee Yamaha will also be vying for the title. Tyco Suzuki return with Josh Brookes (I think we all know how much he wants it) and the American PJ Jacobson who shone in selected National Superstock 1000 Championship rounds last year. Bournemouth Kawasaki bring the oldest and youngest riders to the grid in the shape of Chris 'stalker' Walker and Danny Buchan. This mix of experience and youth offers a strong team, watch these boys. Kirkham and Westmoreland are on the BMWs for Buildbase and Aitchison and Czech Smrz straddle the Aprilias. Dan Linfoot and Peter Hickman ride for GBmoto Racing Honda.
With more teams still to be announced, this season could literally be wide open. With so many strong riders on great bikes anything could happen. With only 92 days to go until the first round at Brands we'll have to wait and see what else is to come but we already know the fight for four is on!
Stats: Shakey VS Kiyo
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