As the MCE British Superbike returns to Oulton Park for the second time, Tommy Hill looks to continue where he left off after practice for the first showing this year, where he dominated all sessions, before injuring himself in the warm up for the race.
The previous running of the event saw John ‘Hopper’ Hopkins become the first ever American to win a British Superbike event saying, “Wow, I haven’t won a race for so long, it’s been like eleven years! The bike was amazing, the feel was perfect and the tyres were ‘all good’ too.”
Hopkins has gone on to chase down series leader Shane Byrne and although the standings sit at 202-191 , it is in reality only a single point difference, as under the BSB Showdown rules, the top 6 riders have their scores zeroed at round nine with ‘Podium Credits’ coming into play. Under this system, Hill, a further forty marks behind, sits just shy of Hopper with the podium credits standing at 16-15-13 for the three riders, meaning an ultra close end to the season.
Back in May the story of the weekend had been the unbelievable pace of Championship leader (at the time) Tommy Hill who at one point was a full second ahead of the rest of the field. Hill was chronically unlucky in morning warm-up to crash on oil dropped by another rider’s machine, resulting in Tommy suffering a separated shoulder which took him several weeks to recover from.
Hopkins was one of several riders who utilised the new softer Pirelli Diablo Superbike SC1 front tyre along with first race winner and 2010 BSB Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, his HM Plant Honda teammate Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes, who has finally jumped into the Showdown group after an unlucky start to the year. Most other racers used the harder SC2 compound.
The fastest lap of Race 1 went to Kiyonari with a 1.36.041 second lap, race two to Jon Kirkham (1.36.049) while Hill set the fastest ever time around Oulton Park in practice with a 1.35.175 in qualifying using a soft Diablo Superbike SC0 rear Pirelli tyre.
Oulton sees the welcome return of fans favourite James Ellison, who takes time out from World Supersport to ride the SMT Honda.
Jason Griffiths, Pirelli Racing Manager commented, “Tommy was certainly looking the man to beat here earlier in the year and will be hoping he can pick up the pace again. We had some great racing and weather here in May and hopefully that will be the case again. All the teams have plenty of data and the track will be fresh in the minds of the riders, so we expect the pace to be fast right from the off in Friday practice.”
The new Pirelli World Superbike spec tyres are now available for all competitors and trackday customers in 2011. The new compounds of the Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres come with SC1 and SC2 front options and SC0 and SC1 rear, with ‘0’ being the softest and ‘2’ the hardest solutions. The tyres are designed for increased durability and continued high grip performance.
Furious Flashback- Oulton Park 2011 Round 2
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park race one result:
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +4.150s
3. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +4.336s
4. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +4.646s
5. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +4.684s
6. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki) +5.105s
7. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +13.582s
8. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +16.637s
9. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +19.108s
10. Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +19.452s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race two result:
1. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing)
2. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.221s
3. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +0.521s
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.633s
5. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +1.026s
6. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati ) +2.930s
7. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) + 2.949s
8. Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +7.183s
9. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +7.326s
10. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +7.293s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton:
1. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 201 (16 podium credits)
2. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 182 (15 credits)
3. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 140 (13 credits)
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 120 (8 credits)
5. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 119 (4 credits)
6. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 91 (2 credits)
More information regarding Pirelli’s entire range of racing and road tyres can be found at www.pirellimoto.co.uk
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