Friday, December 07, 2007

British Superbike Armchair Awards 2007

Welcome to the second annual British Superbike Armchair Awards! Last year's awards were a roaring success (in that I didn't get sued by anybody) so here's the list of people who impressed in the 2007 BSB season.

Flat Hedgehog Award
for getting run over like a champ
Winner: Gregorio Lavilla
If you had to fall off a motorcycle, most people would choose a lowside at the slowest hairpin they could find, somewhere like Croft or Knockhill. However, Spanish superhero Greg Lavilla impressed us all by falling off on lap 1 at Oulton. With visibility stretching to several feet, the other riders failed to see poor Greg and he got squished like a hedgehog in the fast lane. ¡Ay Caramba! Luckily, they make 'em strong in Catalunya, so he made a full recovery, ending the season with a double at Brands.
Runner Up: Marty Nutt
The privateer got run over at Mallory, but still managed to race in the World Supers at Brands. Hard as nails.

Russel Brand Award
for making millions of viewers want to throw up
Winner: Leon Camier
The lanky youngster, who stands between 6'3" and 6'12" depending on what Jack Burnicle washed down his lunch with, did his Evel Knievel impression on the Mountain at Cadwell. An impression of Evel Knievel landing, that is. With a gratuitous slow-mo replay of Camier's leg being tied up in a knot, most of the viewing audience must have been reaching for the sick bag. It ended his season, but he had already shown enough speed to bag a cushy Ducati ride for 2008.

Dukes of Hazzard Award

for most spectactular jump
Winner: Johnny Rea
Not everyone hurt themselves on the Cadwell Mountain. Well, just Camier and Shakey really. Anyway, the person who would have benefited most from a set of Dukes of Hazzard air horns was Johnny Rea. The ex-motocrosser caught some big air over the Mountain every time out, even managing to do a one-handed leap without leaving in an air ambulance. Nutter.

Shakey Byrne Award
for landing on his head at Paddock Hill bend
Winner: Shakey Byrne
For the second year running, Shakey managed to fall off at high speed on Paddock Hill bend at Brands. That's what I call consistency. No wonder GSE snapped him up.

The Dame Edna Award
for best impression of an Australian
Winner: Tom Sykes
"Grinner" had a fantastic debut year on the Stobart Honda, but he amazed us all by firing up the barbie at Brands. He had a bog-standard crash, but the bike then turned into an impressive barbecue. Unfortunately Sykesy didn't have any prawns to cook and it wasn't Bondi Beach, but it was a great attempt from the rookie.

Carbon Copy Award
for exactly repeating another crash
Winner: Ryuichi Kiyonari
At a damp Oulton Park, Johnny Rea managed to get on the gas too early and fling himself off the bike in race 1, letting his team-mate Kiyo grab the victory. Incredibly, Kiyonari used race 2 to demonstrate an exact carbon copy of Rea's crash, getting on the power too soon and flying off the bike at the exact same place. Brilliantly executed, although you don't actually get points for that kind of nonsense in BSB.

Colin McRae Memorial Award
for getting as sideways as hell and damn the consequences
Winner: Johnny Rea
The Melbourne loop at Donington Park might be a daft hairpin, but it's crucial to get it right. Or of course, you can do it like Johnny Rea. Showing the kind of crowd-pleasing spirit associated with Colin McRae, young Johnny went into the corner almost completely sideways and about 20mph too fast. He sailed off into the scenery, clouting Leon Haslam's Ducati on the way past, then got back on track and set off to amaze the crowd some more. That's what it's all about.


Nicebloke said...

I just love British Superbike, it's so much more entertaining than the domestic superbike "racing" we have over here in the US...

Jimmy said...

Yes, I sometimes see a bit of AMA Superbike and wonder how such an enormous, rich country can't produce decent racing. We're lucky with the BSB.