Pirelli anticipating low tyre wear for BSB at Oulton Park
Tyre supplier to the MCE British Superbike Championship, Pirelli has forecast an easy weekend on its tyres as the championship visits the picturesque Oulton Park circuit. Back to back weekends at Brands Hatch and Thruxton have seen Pirelli’s slick and Diablo Rain tyres used with the changing weather. Pirelli has introduced the all new World Superbike derived Diablo Superbike SC1 compound this season, and the tyre has been the chosen option for the victor in all four races so far. Superbike riders are expected to use this option in dry conditions at Oulton Park, a challenging circuit with a good mix of elevation changes through fast sweeping corners.
Continuing as the sole tyre supplier for the support classes, the British Supersport Championship, Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 classes and the Triumph Triple Challenge riders will once again be utilising the Diablo Supercorsa SC V2 tyres. The second round of the Ducati 848 TriOptions Challenge will take place as a support race to the World Superbike round at Donington Park on 24-26 May.
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “The flowing nature of the Oulton Park circuit is relatively ‘easy’ on the wear rate of the Diablo Superbike tyres. The performance of the new SC1 rear compound has been fantastic in the cool conditions we’ve experienced so far and its durability was proven on Thruxton’s high speed and abrasive surface at Round Two. Oulton has a tendency for short, sharp rain showers that provide ‘interesting’ races with rain tyres having to cope with a drying line. Let’s see what the race weekend brings.”
With three victories from the four races so far this season, reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne is proving the man to beat as he bids to secure an unprecedented fourth British Superbike crown. However it won’t be an easy ride for Byrne as James Ellison on the Milwaukee Yamaha will be hoping he can build on his race victory from Brands Hatch while after four successive podiums, young Alex Lowes will be hoping he can take his Samsung Honda to the top spot.
This round last year saw the postponed race from Brands Hatch take place and it was Tommy Hill who proved dominant as he sliced his way through the pack from row five in an incident packed race. However it was the second race of the weekend, held in wet conditions, which proved the most memorable as fan favourite Chris Walker took a very popular victory as he utilised his Pirelli Diablo Rain tyres to take his first British Superbike victory since 2000. In an ominous sign for this weekend, it was Shane Byrne who took the third and final race victory by over two seconds.
The British Supersport category has provided some exciting racing, though former Superbike star Stuart Easton has taken three victories so far. Pirelli says that at least eight riders are capable of taking victory at Oulton Park, and predicts that Easton will not have it easy.
BSB veteran Michael Rutter will be making his 400th series appearance at Oulton Park this weekend and professes a love for the circuit: “It’s got to be one of the best circuits in the UK for both riders and spectators in my opinion. It has banked turns, fast downhill corners and changes in camber. The chicanes are very tight for Superbikes but they are a good place to outbrake people into. There’s always some last lap heroics into Lodge Corner too!
“The key to a fast lap try is to not try too hard… you have got to be smooth and stay relaxed, this is where the rhythm comes and ultimately a good result.”