New 2013 spec Pirelli Superbike SC1 softer rear tyre goes the distance as fastest race lap achieved on penultimate lap
Shane Byrne controlled the action with two dominant wins at a dry Knockhill MCE British Superbike round to retake the series lead.
With rain during the practice days necessitating the use of Diablo ‘Rain’ tyres, race day stayed dry meaning all the races ran on Diablo Superbike slick rubber.
The relatively tight, short circuit layout saw all Superbike class riders use the new for 2013 SC1 Diablo Superbike rear tyre.
The vast majority of riders also used the softer SC1 front tyre with the exception of Kirkham, Westmoreland and Hickman who opted for the SC2.
Josh Brookes logged the fastest race lap of the weekend with a 48.769, on the penultimate lap (29 of 30) of race two.
Shane Byrne impressed with a 48.333 second lap for pole position but Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes was just 0.010 seconds adrift, proving his explosive TT debut hadn’t knocked the edge off his short circuit skills. Alex Lowes completed the narrow three rider front row.
The first race again highlighted these three main title protagonists (Byrne-Brookes-Lowes) but with the notable addition of a rejuvenated Ryuichi Kiyonari. Proving his speed had not diminished, Josh Brookes set off in the lead with the close attentions of Byrne throughout the 30 lap race. Lowes caught the leading duo but unfortunately crashed out on lap 15 as he exited the always tricky Real Radio hairpin.
After a race long waiting brief, Shakey finally made a lunge past Brookes into the hairpin on lap 25 but was immediately retaken by the Australian who held a tighter line. Byrne repeated the move on the next lap and made it stick, before pulling out a small but significant lead. Kiyonari took a popular third place, whilst Jon Kirkham crashed out of what would have been an impressive fourth position. Lowes set the fastest lap of the race before his accident to secure pole position for race two from Brookes and Kiyonari.
Shakey started the second outing from row two but didn’t let that him stop forging his way into an early lead from Lowes. Brookes forced his way past Lowes to try and bridge the two second gap to Byrne. The hard riding Brookes nearly succeeded as the gap came down to half a second and he logged the fastest lap of the weekend on the penultimate lap. However it was too late to stop Byrne taking an eleventh career BSB double. Kiyonari completed his rehabilitation of form by taking a second podium after he overtook his young Samsung Honda teammate Lowes.
Byrne’s perfect weekend of pole position, wins and re-taking the series lead was topped off with the Flying Haggis Award for his fastest lap, given in tribute to the late, great local hero Steve Hislop who passed away ten years ago.
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “It was certainly a weekend of contrast as far as track temperature was concerned. The 17 degrees track temp for qualifying saw a blisteringly fast lap from Shane Byrne to take pole. Race day provided a 33 degree track temp but the SC1 rears remained very consistent over race distance as Josh demonstrated by recording the fastest lap on lap 29. The SC0 Diablo Supercorsa was used by the full podium in the feature Supersport race as the riders benefitted from its increased grip level.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill
Race one result:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.069s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +5.013s
4. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +16.821s
5. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +19.033s
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +23.733s
7. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +24.080s
8. Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +24.214s
9. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +24.265s
10. Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +24.711s
Race two result:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.814s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +8.637s
4. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +12.723s
5. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +15.620s
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +19.802s
7. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +23.382s
8. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +23.867s
9. Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +24.092s
10. Howie Mainwaring (MH Kawasaki) +31.061s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 166
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 136
3. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 130
4. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 80
5. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 76
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 65
Next round: Snetterton, 6th – 7th July