As the 2013 season draws to a close for the five Pirelli shod British Superbike support classes, the race for each Championship remains wide open
Pirelli UK, Burton on Trent UK – 11 September, 2013 – It has been a close fought season in the five support classes of the MCE British Superbike Championships with drama, new lap records and some ‘stars of the future’ all featuring highly.
All using the latest generation Pirelli Supercorsa V2 tyres; action has been red hot in the British Supersport, Pirelli Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600, Triumph Triple Challenge and Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge Championships, and with three rounds left (two for some classes), the chase for the 2013 titles are heating up.
The British Supersport Championship saw an influx of top class riders for the 2013 season as former Champions Stuart Easton and Alastair Seeley returned to the 600cc class following stints in the blue-riband category. Joining them in the hunt for the crown is Glen Richards plus regular contenders Ben Wilson, Billy McConnell and Jason O’Halloran.
Despite amassing a healthy lead over the first half of the season, Gearlink Kawasaki rider Alastair Seeley suffered a broken rib when he crashed out of contention during the first race at Cadwell, allowing Easton to take the lead by just eight points going into the final three rounds. In the Supersport Cup Championship, 2012 Triumph Triple Challenge victor Rob Guiver enjoys a healthy lead over South African Bjorn Estement.
Speaking ahead of the Championships visit to the iconic Assen circuit, Easton said, “It was definitely a little bit of a culture shock moving back to Supersport after so many years on a Superbike, but it didn’t take long to adapt so we came out and won the first race of the season at Brands. From there we’ve had a further six wins and another six podiums and it’s good to be able to go into the final three rounds as Championship leader. I would rate both Assen and Brands Hatch Grand Prix as my favourite circuits, and the Mar-Train Yamaha R6 should go well at Silverstone, so I’m feeling confident.
Obviously the biggest difference between the Superbike and Supersport is the power, but there wasn’t as big a shock between the slicks and treaded tyres as I first imagined or remembered from last time round. They maybe move a little more than slicks, and obviously tyre wear isn’t as much of a problem but the actual grip and handling is very similar.”
The 2013 season has also seen Pirelli become the sole tyre supplier for the National Superstock 1000 and 600 Championships. In the one litre class, South African Hudson Kennaugh leads early Championship leader Adam Jenkinson by a mere 3 points, with just Silverstone and Brands Hatch remaining. With the majority of the field running Kawasaki ZX-10R machinery, the leading non-Kawasaki rider is 2012 Superstock 600 Champion Lee Jackson, who currently sits in sixth, having enjoyed a strong season after moving into the big class with the Buildbase BMW team.
Oulton Park winner Victor Cox is in third place in the Championship, and is looking forward to the final two rounds, having enjoyed back-to-back podiums at Cadwell and Silverstone, “The switch to Pirelli at the start of the year made it a fresh start for everyone and the Superstock grid is not only the biggest in the series but it’s been the closest too – the top twenty in qualifying at Donington were covered by a second, so one mistake can see you sent down the order!
We’ve had a good season so far, taking the win at Oulton we then had a bit of a tough time mid-season at Knockhill and Snetterton but we’ve been back on the podium in the last two races at Cadwell and Donington and I like both Silverstone and Brands, so hopefully we’ll be able to get back on the top step.”
In the Superstock 600 category, Jordan Simpkin enjoys a ten-point advantage over Luke Hedger while former British 125cc Champion James Lodge is a further 39 points behind.
The two single-make series’, the Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge and the Triumph Triple Challenge, continue to provide a cost effective way to go racing and with the bonus of big crowds and a TV audience.
It is has been a tale of two men in the Ducati 848 Championship. Early leader Jonathan Railton has been overtaken by the more experienced Marty Nutt, who now leads the Championship by 16 points, with just Assen and Silverstone to go.
Alan Jones, Press and Racing Manager for Ducati UK said, “This season has gone really well and the racing has been as close as ever. It has been great to see the young Jonathan Railton doing so well up against the almost veteran Marty Nutt who has used his years of experience to close the gap and take control, setting the final two rounds up for a very exciting finish!
The entire grid has upped the pace in 2013, with some of the top guys lapping a second and a half quicker at some rounds this year.”
Chrissy Rouse enjoys a dominant lead at the top of the Triumph Triple Challenge table; leading Freddy Pett by 57 points. With the Triumph Young Guns programme giving up and coming riders the chance to progress to British Supersport, the series has never looked healthier. Series organiser Tony Scott explains, “With 35 riders, this is the best grid we’ve had and there has been some great racing. I think entries have increased due to the excellent reviews of the new R model machine, value for money and Luke Jones’ progression from the class into Supersport this year. The combination of the new bike and the new Pirelli tyres have seen lap records broken at pretty much every circuit.”
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “We’re very pleased to have introduced the ‘V2’ Diablo Supercorsa this year. The new specification front tyre with its increased diameter has been well received and the increased performance appreciated by the riders. The Supersport class provides a ‘real world’ test for the tyres as the level of the riders and their machines is very high. Last weekend at Donington Park we saw another new lap record, on this occasion by Stuart Easton, further demonstrating the performance level of the current customer range of Diablo Supercorsa.
The Superstock 1000cc class has benefited from the introduction of the 200/55 size into the range, with all competitors using the size in the SC2 compound this season. We’re pleased to introduce new, improved products which add to the amazing spectacle that is the BSB series. We look forward to the final three events and further thrilling racing in all classes!”