It's 'Take II' for the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship this weekend as the BSB gladiators prepare to cross swords again at Oulton Park for the second round of the season.
The return to the undulating Cheshire circuit comes hot on the heels of a breathless trio of races at Silverstone, which featured three different winners in Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Yamaha), Josh Brookes (FHO BMW) and Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati).
It is the first BSB race meeting at Oulton Park since September's extraordinary Title Showdown opener filled with controversy, collisions, injuries and pivotal glory for eventual champion Bradley Ray.
With more elbow-to-elbow BSB action ready to be served t'up north, if Silverstone was the appetiser, Oulton Park - according to Bikesportnews' resident BSB connoisseur James Whitham - offers a smorgasbord of tasty tips for victory...
We had a mix of winners at Silverstone with BeerMonster Ducati and FHO BMW looking particularly strong, plus of course Kyle on the Yamaha - will it be same again at Oulton Park this weekend?
"No, I don’t, though I have to say how impressed I was with the racing at Silverstone, it was flippin' fantastic racing in every class. They were using the short circuit, about 50 seconds for the Superbikes , almost as short as Knockhill, and it gave some fantastic racing. Some impressed me, some underperformed.
But it’s never been representative of what’s going to happen for the rest of the season, I think we’ll see a very different Oulton Park.
So what are we going to see at Oulton? The Ducatis and PBM dominating again?
”If Tommy [Bridewell] can get his mojo going he will definitely be one of the men to beat. The Ducatis are probably going to look a little better, even with the win PBM had at Silverstone.
"In fact, two things pleased me at Silverstone. One was PBM going really well - no one likes to see them struggling and they have put a lot of money and effort into it.
The other was Josh Brookes back on the pace. I think he is undervalued - he's a nice lad and I am glad that he got that win
So what do you think made the difference for Josh to go from a beaten man when he left PBM to rediscovering his confidence at FHO Racing?
”You tell me. I have no idea. Clearly the bike was good enough for that place, he rode it well, not least because he'd spent so little time on it as it is a new bike. Very impressed. Whether he can continue that at Oulton, we'll see, it is a very different circuit.”
So what are your podium predictions for this weekend?
”Well he is stood in front of me right now, but I think Christian (Iddon) has got to have a better meeting at Oulton. Jason O’Halloran will also be looking for stronger results e and I really think the two PBM Ducati lads, both Tommy and Glenn, I think they will perform really well.
"Lee Jackson will be looking for a better meeting - he likes Oulton and has had good results there, so he is one to watch. And although Andy Irwin was disappointed after Silverstone, he’ll be trying hard to get back up there.
"I think Jason will be looking much stronger at Oulton. But also he will be looking at the long game, he knows how this works. He’s fallen foul of the Showdown system before but this year every point counts.