Pirelli previews competitive BSB grid, following largest commitment to series
Pirelli says that the way the grid for the British Superbike Championship is shaping up, 2013 should be another competitive season. Reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne will go head-to-head with the returning Ryuichi Kiyonari as title contenders, and Pirelli says that the battle will decide the most successful rider in BSB history. The Italian tyre supplier now supports Superbike, Supersport, Superstock 1000, Superstock 600, Triumph Triple Challenge and the Ducati 848 Challenge classes as sole tyre supplier, making 2013 its most committed year in the prestigious championship.
With three titles each and only two wins separating them in the all-time standings, Byrne and Kiyonari are the headline story, though they will face tough competition from a field of riders eager to make the Showdown. Josh Brookes remains with the Tyco Suzuki squad and after pushing Byrne to the final race this season, he enters 2013 as a title favourite. Young New Yorker PJ Jacobson, who surprised the paddock by taking wins in both the Superstock 1000 and Supersport, categories in his first year in Britain will join Brookes in the “New World” contingent for the increasingly international field.
Silverstone double victor Alex Lowes moves to the Samsung Honda team to partner Kiyonari and will be hoping to once again make the top six Showdown, whilst Superstock 1000 champion Keith Farmer will be learning from Byrne in the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team. Shaun Muir’s SMR squad has brought in Milwaukee Power Tools as sponsor, while James Ellison is joined by two-time Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters. Veteran fan favourite Chris Walker returns with the now officially supported Quattro Kawasaki team, partnered with the youngest rider on the grid, Danny Buchan.
Having joined the Splitlath-Redmond Aprilia squad for the final three rounds, former World Superbike rider Jakub Smrz will be competing for the full season in 2013 along with Aussie Mark Aitchinson. Jon Kirkham and James Westmoreland complete the Buildbase BMW line up while Dan Linfoot and Peter Hickman have signed up to ride for the GB Moto team. Fastest lady around the Isle of Man Jenny Tinmouth will also be returning with her Two Wheel Racing Honda.
British Supersport champion Glen Richards will be returning with the Smiths Racing Triumph team to defend his 600cc crown against a strong grid, which includes Billy McConnell in the Smiths squad, Superstock 1000 race winner Jason O’Halloran with Samsung Honda, former Supersport champion Stuart Easton at Mar Train Yamaha and fellow Scot Taylor Mackenzie on the Suzuki GSXR600 for Tyco Suzuki. Road racing star William Dunlop lines up with the Milwaukee Yamaha squad too, while the in-team battle between 2011 rivals Alastair Seeley and Ben Wilson at Gearlink Kawasaki will be engaging many spectators.
With 2012 Superstock champion Keith Farmer moving up into the Superbike class and names like Jon Kirkham and Danny Buchan cutting their teeth on the litre bikes, the category is a breeding class for future champions. Ex-champion Steve Brogan will seek to teach the kids a thing or two in the series with a privately entered Kawasaki.
The British Superbike class will use the 16.5” Pirelli Diablo Superbike slick tyres again, while the British Supersport, Superstock 1000 and 600, Ducati 848 and Triumph Triple Challenge race series’ will benefit from the race proven latest generation Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V2 treaded tyres. Superstock 1000 will utilise the new Supercorsa SC 200 section rear tyre, as used in the European Superstock series. The Triumph Triple Challenge and Superstock 600 will use the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa 180/60-17 (SC2 compound) and 120/70 -17 front (SC1) as currently used in British Supersport and FIM Superstock Cup. The Ducati 848 Challenge will again utilise 180/55 rear tyre size.
2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli calendar
5/6/7 April – Brands Hatch Indy (Kent)
12/13/14 April – Thruxton (Hampshire)
4/5/6 May – Oulton Park * (Cheshire)
14/15/16 June – Knockhill (Fife)
5/6/7 July – Snetterton 300 (Norfolk)
19/20/21 July – Brands Hatch GP (Kent)
9/10/11 August – Oulton Park (triple header) (Cheshire)
24/25/26 August – Cadwell Park * (Lincolnshire)
6/7/8 September – Donington Park GP (Leicestershire)
20/21/22 September – Assen (The Netherlands)
4/5/6 October – Silverstone GP (Northamptonshire)
18/19/20 October – Brands Hatch GP (triple header) (Kent)