MCE British Superbike Championship News: Byrne keeps his cool on both Pirelli Slick and Rain tires to take title.
This is a press release from Pirelli…
Brands Hatch, Kent, (October 16, 2016) – Shane Byrne held his nerve in front of his loyal, local Brands Hatch fans to take an incredible fifth MCE British Superbike crown today.
Broc Parkes set the fastest ever British Superbike lap of the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Q2 qualifying as he logged a 1:24.769 time on Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike Slick tires. Rainfall before the final qualifying session meant riders then switched tires. Tommy Bridewell took his first-ever pole position, using full Rain tires while Christian Iddon was second fastest with an intermediate Wet front and Slick rear tires. Almost unbelievably the ex-Supermoto star Iddon was unaware of his rear-tire choice… until he came back into parc ferme!
Race one started with all riders on Slicks but after several restarts and falling rain, the race commenced on full Rain tires. Race two saw all riders taking to a damp circuit on Slicks which turned out to be the right decision as the track quickly dried out. The final race of the season was completely dry as most of the grid opted for the softer (SC0) rear Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike Slick with the main exception being again Leon Haslam choosing his favored harder SC1 rear tire. Haslam combined this with his usual SC2 front-tire choice. This race supplied the fastest laps of the weekend, culminating with Byrne’s lap of 1:25.516.
The three race format coupled with changeable weather plus several race stoppages put considerable pressure on the race organizers and riders themselves as the schedule was altered over the weekend.
The big news of Saturday’s qualifying session was Leon Haslam’s crash, which left him in a lowly 17th on the grid, back on row six. Saturday’s first outing started in dry conditions but several accidents and restarts meant the expected late rainfall caught up with proceedings. Having worked his way up through the pack Haslam seemed poised to take advantage in the final restart but slipped off heavily on the run down from Druids Bend. James Ellison led in tricky conditions before he also slipped off, leaving his JG Speedfit Kawasaki teammate Peter Hickman to take the win.
Race two was declared a ‘wet race’ and although the skies remained overcast, the track was quickly drying as Ellison took and then held the lead throughout the race for his first win of the year. However all eyes were on Byrne and Haslam as they stalked each other on track and in the overall points standings. Byrne managed to finish just behind his great rival to take his fifth title to the joy of his local Kent fans.
The final race was also curtailed early as oil was left on the circuit after a machine blow-up, needing a full clean up. When the action resumed it was a ten-lap dash with some fantastic racing as Ellison took his second win and John Hopkins a runner-up place, his best position of the year.
Ex-magazine road tester Byrne showed his skills to the crowd with some wheelies, burn-outs and an impressive rolling ‘stoppie’ on his Ducati Panigale before being mobbed by his team.
Pirelli UK Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “The mixed weather conditions certainly provided a challenge in terms of tire selection and we saw all the options used at some point across the weekend. The softer SC0 solution was used to win both of the dry races by James Ellison and coped well with the lower track temperatures we experienced today. Congratulations to Shane Byrne and the PBM team on their Championship win and our thanks to everyone involved in what has been an incredibly exciting BSB series.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch Results:
1. Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 2. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.010s 3. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +4.634s 4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +5.638s 5.Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +5.686s 6.Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +13.538s
1. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 2. John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +0.093s 3. Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +4.559s 4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +21.528s 5. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +24.422s 6. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +24.513s
1. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 2. John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +0.083s 3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) + 0.254 4. Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.335s 5. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.896s
6. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +2.245s
FINAL MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 669 2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 640 3. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 610 4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 602 5. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 568 6. Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) 550