The British Superbike Championship Has Some of the Best Racing Action Anywhere
These Guys Are Nutsby Harry Fisher, on
The British Superbike Championship runs to the same rules as other Superbike Championships anywhere else in the world. But that’s where the similarity ends. Many of the UK’s circuits were laid out many decades ago - when a race bike made 50bhp, if you were lucky - and haven’t changed much since. Sure, there’s now Armco lining the tracks but they remain as picturesque and quaint as they always were. The best of them is Cadwell Park and the best riders are on the ragged edge for the whole lap. And then there’s the jump...!
The Madness of Cadwell Park
Great Britain is a rinky-dink little country, isn’t it? Everything seems to be in miniature: the cars, the roads, the food portions. Even the race tracks seem tiny in comparison with the vast open spaces of Indianapolis or Daytona, or the majesty of Spa or the Nurburgring. Many English club circuits are like a throwback to the 1950s, all grass and trees and narrow strips of tarmac with bugger all run-off. Quite how racers are allowed to race on them is beyond me. I’m glad they do, but I don’t understand how.
Nowhere is this better illustrated than the bucolic Cadwell Park circuit in North-East England. Tight, twisty and narrow, but still frighteningly fast, it winds through woods and meadows of typical English countryside beauty, with the most wicked jump you’ve ever seen on a track.
You can imagine Manx Nortons and Matchless G50s trundling round there but 200+bhp superbikes? That just beggars belief. They are so fast that the best riders can jump over a meter in the air and at least 20 or 30 metres at the jump. This is a race track, remember, not an MX track. The rest of the circuit, the riders are probably on full throttle for about 10 seconds. It’s mad, but it’s brilliant and makes MotoGP look like a children’s tea party.
It also means that accidents are frequently violent and spectacular.
So, still think you can ride?