Pirelli Superbike slicks tested in 40 degree track temperatures giving consistent lap times
Josh Brookes took his first win of the season at Brands Hatch British Superbikes before local hero Shane Byrne bounced back from a race one crash, to take a popular win in the second outing.
A second consecutive weekend of fine, dry weather meant the vast majority of riders utilised the softer SC1 Pirelli Superbike slick at both front and rear. Notable exceptions were the Buildbase BMW squad (Jon Kirkham and James Westmoreland) and GBmoto team (Dan Linfoot and Peter Hickman) who all used the harder SC2 front compound giving more durability.
Friday’s official test was held in searing heat on the short Indy circuit but against the local forecast both Saturday Qualifying and Sunday Race Day started overcast with light drizzle.
By Race two on Sunday track temperatures had increased dramatically with a 40 degree reading. Despite this, the final lap of race winner Shakey Byrne was just ¾ of a second slower than his fastest circulation (on lap 10).
After practice Byrne looked set to take an almost predictable double win at his local Brands Hatch circuit as he topped free practice and final qualifying sheets.
However his rivals seemed determined not to allow the Kentish rider to break away, triggering a scintillating first race battle between Shakey, Brookes and Alex Lowes. The three machines from Kawasaki, Suzuki and Honda seemed incredibly well matched and in race two the Yamaha YZF-R1 of James Ellison also showed equal performance.
As the three lead riders regularly changed position, behind them Ellison and Chris Walker crashed out on lap seven, at the always tricky Graham Hill Bend. With Brookes leading from lap four, Byrne made an assertive attempt on lap 13 which unfortunately ended with him in the gravel. Brookes went on to take his first victory of the season with a Samsung Honda 2-3 of Lowes and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Byrne bounced back in race two to stamp his authority on the event with a flag to flag lead to victory. He was however kept in close range by James Ellison who finished just 0.191 seconds back. Compared to the excitement of race one, the second outing was a more sedate affair as Lowes and Brookes remained in position until the end.
Despite his crash, Shakey now comfortably leads the series from Lowes and Brookes (232-211-210) with a similar story in the all important podium credit tally (26-19-16).
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “Brands Hatch saw a continuation of high track temperatures but the performance of the rear SC1 solution remained consistent throughout both Superbike races. Ideally these conditions would dictate the use of a softer compound rear but the versatility of the current SC1 has now been well proven.
The two Supersport races saw a variation in track temperature of nearly 20 degrees with Easton and Seeley sharing the wins. The rear SC1 Diablo Supercorsa was used to win both races although the softer SC0 solution was used by a number of riders, including Easton for his second position in the feature race.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch
Race one result:
1. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.243s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +8.268s
4. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +13.964s
5. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +18.343s
6. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +20.469s
7. Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +24.515s
8. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +25.427
9. Howie Mainwaring (MH Kawasaki) +25.528s
10. Michael Rutter (Bathams Honda) +26.176s
Race two result:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.191s
3. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.289s
4. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +2.815s
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +7.010s
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +8.044s
7. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +10.201s
8. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +11.134s
9. Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +14.902s
10. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +15.513s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings (Podium Credits)
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 232 (26)
2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 211 (19)
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 210 (16)
4. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 120 (8)
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 110 (3)
6. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 100 (0)
Next round: Oulton Park, 9-11th August