2013 spec Pirelli Superbike softer rear tyre continues to be utilised by all riders giving good performance through race duration
Shane Byrne lost and regained the MCE British Superbike series lead at Oulton Park, as he battled in-form youngster Alex Lowes. A massive Bank Holiday crowd enjoyed spectacular action and great weather throughout the nine race programme.
A sun blessed Oulton Park meant that race day again stayed dry (as per the previous rounds), giving all riders a good run on Pirelli Superbike slick rubber. Diablo Rain tyres were however used during Saturday’s free practice morning session.
The relatively smooth Oulton surface saw no overdue tyre wear and every BSB rider utilised the softer SC1 Diablo Superbike rear tyre for optimum grip and durability.
The tyres remained remarkably consistent despite high track temperatures, as illustrated by Championship leader Byrne who logged 1:36 second laps through the entire race distance.
Pirelli Moto UK hosted several motorcycle clubs this weekend to give members an insight into the Pirelli race tyre operation and the development of new products such as the Angel GT Sport Touring tyres. Clubs enjoying a free day of action and hospitality included the Yamaha FJ Owners Club, Ducati Sporting Club and Bikesafe training.
Alex Lowes took a stunning pole position with an impressive time of 1:34.884, half a second faster than the lap record and his nearest challenger Shane Byrne.
In the first race these two protagonists and Josh Brookes gapped the rest of the field to the tune of a second a lap throughout the early stages. Brookes fell back into the clutches of James Ellison whilst Shakey hung onto the back of the ultra confident Lowes. On lap twelve disaster befell Byrne as he slipped off at Britten’s chicane, guaranteeing Lowes the win and the series lead.
The second outing was an exciting eight-wheel battle for much of its duration between Byrne, Lowes, Brookes and Ellison with regular changes of position. Lowes and Byrne swapped the lead several times before Lowes seemed to lose a bit of rhythm, sending him back to fourth on lap eleven, allowing Shakey a little breathing space.
The final lap saw some committed passes from Lowes and Brookes before the Australian took the runner-up position. Ellison was ruled out of the chase with a technical issue whilst Jon Kirkham put in two more strong rides with two fourth places to cement his fifth position in the series.
Having lost the series lead earlier in the day, Shakey now leads the young pretender Lowes by just one point, with a six week break until Knockhill.
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “Today we tested the race performance of the new SC1 rear compound with a high track temperature. Lap times remained very consistent for the duration of the races. Saturday’s Supersport race saw a new lap record set by Alastair Seeley during the first of his titanic battles with Stuart Easton.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park
Race one result:
1. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
2. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +3.348s
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +5.460s
4. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +6.655s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +6.808s
6. Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +20.568s
7. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +25.551s
8. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +28.302s
9. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +28.862s
10. Tristan Palmer (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +30.306s
Race two result:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.788s
3. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.956s
4. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +11.927s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +12.066s
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +28.214s
7. Howie Mainwaring (MH Kawasaki) +37.373s
8. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +37.443s
9. Tristan Palmer (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +37.688s
10. Josh Waters (Milwaukee Yamaha) +37.937s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:
1. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 117
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 116
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 96
4. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 71
5. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 68
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) 43
Next round: Knockhill, Scotland – 14-16th June