2011 World Superbike
As the manager of a team based in the UK, Paul Bird Motorsport’s Paul Risbridger now has two British World Superbike rounds to plan for in 2011, the first at Donington Park on March 27 and the next at Silverstone on July 31.
And that’s just fine by Risbridger, a man with three different nationalities of rider in the official Kawasaki superbike squad for 2011, including British star Tom Sykes.
Paul Risbridger says: “In some ways it is easier to start the European races in the UK. It does not make a huge difference but it gives us more lead time in the run up to the first event, as we will spend less traveling time to get there.”
“The first European superbike round is always different because you have your own trucks and so on with you, which you do not have at a fly-away like the season-opener Australia.”
The official KRT bikes may be stationed in the UK through the year and the PBM race workshop may be situated in Cumbria, in the north of England, but the Donington and Silverstone races will only be ‘home’ races for some of the cosmopolitan team.
Paul Risbridger says: “Nowadays half our team comes from around Europe, so we still have to fly them in to the British races. So time-wise Donington coming first is a gain, but logistically it is about the same as most other European rounds.”
The British World Superbike rounds are particularly intense for the Paul Bird Motorsport operated team anyway, mainly because it had such a strong record in the UK Superbike scene before stepping up to WSBK racing in 2008.
And for a rider like Tom Sykes, a British round must also be an understandably busy event?
Paul Risbridger says: “There is more pressure on any rider at his home round. The focus is on them, as there is simply a raised expectation for any rider on home soil. So you have to manage that side of things. There is more media activity around the team at those times as well.”
The official Kawasaki effort in 2011 features Spanish WSBK rookie Joan Lascorz and the vastly experienced Australian Chris Vermeulen, as well as Sykes, in 2011.