SHOWDOWN IGNITES AS BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP REACHES PENULTIMATE ROUND

Silverstone, the scene of some exhilarating racing in 2012

Silverstone, the scene of some exhilarating racing in 2012

The 2013 British Superbike Championship reaches the penultimate round this weekend and with five races remaining, and following the action packed races at Assen, the chase for the 2013 crown is heating up.

Pirelli Overview
The 2012 Silverstone BBS round saw Alex Lowes take his first victory in the series and crucially his team opted for the harder compound SC2 rear tyre as he went on to make it a double.
The combination of a cold track, fast straights and abrasive track meant the harder compound gave good performance until race end. This year’s new spec SC1 tyre has a wider operating window but it will be interesting to see of Lowes or indeed any of his rivals opt for the harder rubber for longevity. No doubt machine set-up and tyre conservation will be important factors this weekend.
The series managed to uphold its 100% run of dry races at Assen, with riders being greeted with dry tarmac throughout the Superbike sessions.
Also returning to action this weekend will be the British Supersport Championship, the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and 600 classes, as well as both one make series, the Triumph Triple Challenge and Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge. Every competitor in all these classes will use the Diablo Supercorsa SC V2 control tyre.
Off the track Pirelli will be hosting the Honda Owners Club, MCE Insurance policyholders and road safety organisations for an insight into the exciting world of Pirelli and BSB.
Race Preview
The opening round of the Showdown provided fans with some of the most exciting races of the year, and proved that the British Superbike Championship is far from predictable, with four of the six Title Fighters scoring a DNF over the two races.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Shane Byrne continues to head the Championship, but his lead has been reduced to just one point over Samsung Honda rider Lowes. The pair continued to swap paint throughout the first race, before a collision in the second saw Byrne tumble out and Lowes disqualified.
Lowes exclusion gave the victory to Milwaukee Yamaha and James Ellison meaning he now sits just 21 points behind Byrne, with the Tyco Suzuki of Josh Brookes a further three points behind Ellison.
In the British Supersport Championship, Stuart Easton took a big step towards securing the 2013 crown, extending his lead over Alastair Seeley to 34 points with just four races remaining.
Pirelli View
Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, The abrasive nature of the Silverstone circuit, combined with October temperatures, will certainly make machine set up critical in order to maximise tyre life. Assen tested the front SC1 compound favoured by the leading riders and we’re likely to see the same at Silverstone this weekend. The durability of the current SC1 rear slick should negate the need for SC2 which some riders used at this event last year. Ellison won both the support races at the recent Silverstone 200 event so should start the weekend strongly. It’s sure to be an exciting weekend.”
 
View from behind the screen
With five wins from the last six races, Alex Lowes took his first ever victory at Silverstone last year to show the paddock his true form; “Silverstone is one of my favourite tracks, I really like the fast flowing layout and the way you can hold high corner speed.
The Samsung Honda is working really well and we’re on a really good run obviously but I think we need to up our game even more for these last two races. I think it’s going be difficult with six guys who are capable of getting the top slots, so you’ve got to take opportunities when you get them.
Last year I felt the harder SC2 tyre would give good grip until the end of the race which proved to be the case but this year the SC1 gives such good durability it will probably be fine. We need to hit the ground running early on and get a race simulation in practice to see the best way forward for set up and tyre choice. My pace in qualifying was really good on the SC1 so it should be interesting to see how that translates into the race situation.
With everything coming down to these last two rounds I just hope the good weather remains so we get fast, close racing.”
2012 Flashback:
 
Race one result:
1. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda)
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +5.021s
3. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +5.451s
4. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +8.437s
5. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +8.716s
6. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +9.493s
7. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +11.882s
8. Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +13.893s
9. Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +14.124s
10. Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +19.507s
Race two result:
1. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda)
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.042s
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.516s
4. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +4.125s
5. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +5.332s
6. Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +9.726s
7. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +10.638s
8. Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +11.126s
9. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +16.722s
10. Peter Hickman (Buildbase BMW) +18.791s
Championship standings after Assen:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 559
2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 558
3. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 538
4. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 535
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 522
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 519
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