Softer compound Pirelli Superbike tyres go the distance as fastest laps logged late in races
|RACE STATS- OULTON|
|Race 1||Race 2||Race 3|
|Track Temp °C||32°C||33°C||31°C|
|Air Temp °C||24°C||23°C||22°C|
|No. of Riders (start)||24||25||25|
|Most Used choice F/R||SC1/SC1||SC1/SC1||SC1/SC1|
|Gap – 1st to 10th||17.152s||31.556s||20.694s|
|Race duration- Laps||15||18||18|
|Fastest Lap||1:35.842 (Byrne, L13)||1:35.717 (Byrne, L4)||1:35.829 (Lowes, L14)|
A dramatic trio of Oulton Superbike races saw three different winners on different marques of machines, as BSB legend Shakey Byrne took a historic 50th series win. Byrne, Brookes and Lowes also booked their places in the coveted Showdown, reserved for the top six riders to battle for the title.
The seventh round of the BSB series again saw a day of dry racing meaning all riders have exclusively used Pirelli Superbike slick rubber in race conditions throughout the season.
The softer compound SC1 tyres were used front and rear by the vast majority of riders with only Peter Hickman plus the Buildbase BMW riders James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham using the harder SC2 front tyre.
Pirelli technicians were especially pleased with the durability of the Superbike slicks as the fastest laps of two of the three races were logged near full distance on laps 13 and 14.
It was heartening to see the four Japanese manufacturers all present on the podium and BMW in fifth in one race.
Pirelli Moto UK were also pleased to look after several motorcycle clubs with members of the Riders Association of Triumph (RAT), Kawasaki Riders Club and the Suzuki Owners Club all in attendance. Members were treated to hospitality in the race paddock with a unique insight into Pirelli’s involvement with BSB and the technology behind road tyres such as the renowned Angel GT Sport Touring tyres.
Race one was held on Sunday afternoon after an action packed qualifying session which saw Lowes take pole position before crashing, effectively on his warm down lap. This crash gave the Samsung Honda team plenty to think about in the gap between qualifying and Saturday’s first, short 15 lap ‘sprint’ race.
The race itself saw Ellison take the lead on the second lap and he managed to hold off the attentions of Byrne until the chequered flag. Lowes took the final podium place with Brookes slightly adrift in fourth. Byrne’s win made him the first rider to book his place in the ‘Showdown’ top six.
Race two was an epic affair which saw Byrne, Lowes, Brookes and Ellison battle throughout. Brookes made his way through from fourth to put committed moves first on Lowes then Ellison. Lowes was then involved in two pieces of drama at the end of the race as he first overtook Ellison resulting in the Cumbrian rider being forced wide to crash and Lowes himself then crashed on the final lap. Lowes was subsequently docked four grid slots by Race Control for his move.
Meanwhile Byrne controlled the race from the front to take a deserved victory and to be the first rider ever to log 50 BSB wins. Brookes runner-up place meant he also joined Shakey in the Showdown.
The third and final race of the weekend was another thriller as the usual protagonists battled it out with some breathtaking yet safe moves. Tommy Bridewell impressed as he fought the established names and sat as high as third at one point in his first ride on the Halsall Racing Kawasaki. However the battle for first was the high point as Brookes and Byrne traded places with Brookes managing to keep Shakey at bay. Lowes completed the top three and in turn booked his place in the Showdown.
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “We witnessed some fantastic racing over the weekend here at Oulton Park which produced three worthy winners. The crowd and TV viewers were certainly treated to some of the best racing I’ve seen and it was also great to again see five manufacturers in the top five at times.
From our point of view it was fantastic to see race fastest laps logged so late in the races, again proving the performance and durability of the soft compound Superbike Diablo slicks.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park
Race one (Saturday) :
1: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.186s
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +1.923s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.326s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +5.010s
6: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +9.960s
Race two :
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.173s
3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.932s
4: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +9.532s
5: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +15.772s
6: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +18.343s
Race three :
1: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.246s
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.836s
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.070s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +1.237s
6: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +18.465s
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 297 (33 podium credits)
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 268 (21 podium credits)
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 243 (21 podium credits)
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 158 (11 podium credits)
5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 142 (4 podium credits)
6: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 126 (0 podium credits)
Next round: Cadwell Park – 24-26th August
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