Neil Hodgson is a BSB and WSBK champion and a commentator for BT Sport. He’s got his finger on the pulse in the MotoGP, WSBK, and BSB paddocks and his encyclopaedic knowledge of bike racing make him perfectly placed to preview the season ahead.
“I love BSB for the sheer enjoyment of watching close racing. There are a handful of riders who are capable of fighting for a win, and there will be five or six riders who will win at least one race, but Shakey Byrne will start as the title favourite for many. He’s experienced, the bike is quick and the PBM team is experienced and proven.
“However, BSB newcomer Leon Haslam will also be there. He won last season’s final WSB race in Qatar, he’s fit, he has a point to prove and he’s hungry for success. He’s never won a title, which for a rider with his talent is unbelievable, and I really feel this year will be his year. It may take a while for him to adjust to the bike, the team and the quirky UK circuits, but once he’s up to speed he’ll take some stopping. He’s had some horrendous luck with injuries throughout his career, but if he can stay fit then he will push Shakey all the way.
“I love the showdown format, and there will certainly be a surprise or two there. One thing I do know – Byrne and Haslam will be at the sharp end of things and it will go down to the wire again.”