Pirelli to hit Thruxton hard in BSB round two
Pirelli is recommending its hardest SC2 compound for riders tackling Thruxton at the second round of the British Superbike Championship. Bad weather meant the opening round at Brands Hatch was dominated by those best equipped to deal with damp conditions, and Pirelli suggests podium finishers, Jon Kirkham, Alistair Seeley and Michael Rutter may just be quietly hoping a repeat. Thruxton will demand different machine set-up’s and strategies for riders and teams, and if the weather stays fine, the Superbike competitors have three slick options on the rear – SC0 (softest), SC1 (medium) and SC2 (hardest) – and the SC1 and SC2 on the front;. Fully wet conditions will see riders opt for Pirelli Diablo Rain and the intermediate Diablo Wet tyres will be available for difficult in-between conditions.
The fast, abrasive ex-airfield Thruxton circuit is renowned for punishing tyres, something that may be illustrated even more clearly under the new 2012 series regulations specifying no traction control. Pirelli believes that competitors may well opt for the hardest compound Diablo Superbike SC2 tyre should conditions remain dry. Last year Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne entertained the rain-lashed crowds as he powered through from 33rd on the grid to take the win. The Kentish rider went on to extend his series lead at the time and described his Pirelli rain tyres as “perfect”.
Michael Laverty won the other race and will be keen to replicate that form after a disastrous outing at Brands last week, scoring nil points and watching his Samsung Honda team-mate Jon Kirkham take the victory in the only Superbike event of the day. Another rider seeking to improve on his performance in his local event is the Number One plate holder, Tommy Hill, who is also yet to get on the scoreboard.
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths explains: “Thruxton is a circuit that presents a formidable challenge to not only the tyres but also the riders and their machinery. This track has the highest sustained speeds we encounter combined with an abrasive surface which should point to the use of our SC2 compound Diablo Superbike rear slick. The Superbike race at Brands saw a last corner pass and three manufacturers represented on the podium. I think we’re set for some more great racing this weekend.”