As track temperatures hit 42 degrees at a packed Brands Hatch, local hero Shane Byrne took a dominant double win to move to within three podium points from BSB series leader Tommy Hill. As part of a fantastic era for British sport (with a Tour de France victory) the iconic Kentish circuit received a visit from the Olympic torch on Friday, as it travelled on its way to London.
The control Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres did their job perfectly in the punishing conditions, with little drop off of laptimes and a fastest race one circulation two thirds of the way through the race.
As ‘Shakey’ took the wins, Josh Brookes scored two runner-up positions while Tommy had to be content with a pair of thirds, to give the trio guaranteed slots in the final ‘Showdown’; allocated to the top six riders at the end of round nine.
Although the three riders replicated their results in both races, the action was far from dull with plenty of incidents including Noriyuki Haga crashing out of a sure fire podium position on the last lap of race one. Brookes made some committed attacks on Byrne including one which resulted in the Aussie leaving a Pirelli tyre mark on Shakey’s leg!
Michael Laverty started each race strongly with a holeshot and early lead but was soon overwhelmed to finish fourth in both outings. One man who capitalised on other rider’s mishaps was Tommy Bridewell logging a solid 5-7 scorecard to sit well inside the Showdown in fifth place.
Fastest lap of race one went to Brookes on lap 11 with a 1:26.795 circulation and Byrne took the second race best time with an even faster 1:26.454 on lap 2. Byrne completed a perfect weekend with a 1:25.908 pole time in the same manner Hill had at Oulton Park two weeks previously. The Sittingbourne raised Shakey has now accumulated an impressive 37 BSB wins.
As the series takes a month long sabbatical Hill heads for the Suzuka Eight Hour, Shakey to his Spanish home and Brookes returns to Australia for a long overdue visit to his family. Podium Credits (awarded 3-2-1 for 1st-2nd-3rd) now tally at Hill : 26, Byrne: 23, Brookes:17. The top five positions in the series are now held by five different teams and manufacturers.
Tyre choice remained fairly static with most front running riders selecting the softer SC1 Pirelli Diablo Superbike slick tyres front and rear, with the notable exception of Tommy Hill using his favoured, harder SC2 front compound joined by Lowry, Walker, Seeley and the WFR Honda trio of Gowland, Lowes and Westmoreland.
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “The bumper Brands Hatch crowd saw some fantastic racing under a scorching July sun this weekend. The Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres gave good consistent, durability in 40 degree track temperatures with a fastest lap in race one achieved two-thirds of the way through.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch GP
Race one result:
- Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
- Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.469s
- Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +6.434s
- Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +7.197s
- Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +9.172s
- Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +9.738s
- Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +11.024s
- Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +12.057s
- Alastair Seeley (Tyco Suzuki) +14.335s
10. Michael Rutter (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) +20.18s
Race two result:
- Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
- Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.583s
- Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +2.265s
- Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +3.104s
- Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha +9.261s
- Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +14.644s
- Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +15.683s
- Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +15.684s
- Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +17.147s
10. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +23.695s
2012 Championship standings (after Brands Hatch):
- Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 266 – [26 Podium Credits]
- Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 256 – 
- Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 246 – 
- Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 172 – 
- Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) 124 – 
- Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) 113 – 
More information regarding Pirelli’s entire range of racing and road tyres can be found at www.pirelli.co.uk/moto