2011 British Superbike Preview: Oulton Park

oulton_parkAfter a long winter break, the racing season is back in full swing. The British Superbike riders just finished up the first race of the 2011 BSB season, and will return to the track this weekend at Oulton Park. Tommy Hill leads the series, but only by four points ahead of former BSB champion Shane Shakey Byrne.

Hill, who took second place behind Byrne in the opening race of the season before winning race two, will return to the track that ended his title hopes in 2010. Hill was in the running to claim the BSB title, but crashed out twice during the Oulton Park race, leaving his bike in flames in the corner. Hill will definitely be looking for better results this time around, or at the very least, to leave with his bike intact.

“It is fantastic to be leading the championship but it is only round one,” Hill said. “The bike has been working well and we couldn’t have asked for a better start today. We are now looking forward to Oulton Park and getting the bike to work around what is a completely different track. Hopefully we can get there and come away with a very similar result.”

Byrne, who is currently second in the standings, has two BSB titles under his belt. Byrne made his return to the BSB this year, and started the season off with a race win. Byrne will be looking for title number three this year in order to tie the record set by his teammate and defending champion, Ryuichi Kiyonari.

King Kiyo enters the Oulton Park race with history on his side. Kiyo has taken three wins at Oulton Park, and is ready to add another to his tally.

“I won three times at Oulton Park last time we raced there but I know winning is going to be hard this weekend,” Kiyo said. “Everybody has shown at Brands Hatch that they are faster and so I know I need to find more from me, I have a mixture of memories from Oulton Park and some are very good, some not so much. I have won races but also it is a difficult track. Oulton Park is more technical that the Brands Hatch Indy circuit so a good setting is going to be so important. I want to race again this weekend though as we didn’t win at Brands Hatch. I need wins and podiums for the championship so I will do everything I can.”

Oulton Park will also see the introduction of Jenny Tinmouth, who will be the BSB’s first female racer.

“My ambition has always been to race in the British Superbike series and I’ve been trying to get on one for some time,” said Tinmouth.

The BSB gets underway on Saturday, with both Superbike races on Monday.

British Superbike Overall Standings

  1. T. Hill – Swan Yamaha – 45
  2. S. Byrne – HM Plant Honda – 41
  3. S. Easton – MSS Colchester Kawasaki – 23
  4. R. Kiyonari – HM Plant Honda – 20
  5. M. Rutter – Rapid Solicitors Ducati – 19
  6. T. Bridewell – Tyco Honda – 16
  7. D. Linfoot – Sorrymate.com Honda – 16
  8. M. Laverty – Swan Yamaha – 13
  9. L. Baz – Motorpoint Yamaha – 12
  10. J. Kirkham -Samsung Crescent Racing – 11

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Hill Wins Race 2 at Brands Hatch

hill_at_brands_hatchShane Byrne and Tommy Hill went at it again during the second race at Brands Hatch, but this time Hill got the advantage. Hill won the second race at Brands Hatch today, beating out Ryuichi Kiyonari and Byrne.

Shakey led for the majority of the race, but was overtaken by Hill on the 14th lap. Byrne lost another place when he went wide at the Paddock Hill Bend and was overtaken by his teammate Kiyonari.

“It has been a long four days as it has been the most I have ridden for a while,” Hill said. “Last week I was concerned about my elbow and I had so much treatment throughout the week to be ready for here and it paid off. It is fantastic to be leading the championship but it is only round one and it is early days still. The bike has been working well and we couldn’t have asked for a better start today. We are now looking forward to Oulton Park and getting the bike to work around what is a completely different track. Hopefully we can get there and come away with a very similar result.”

Hill finished in second during the opening race and earned 45 points throughout the weekend. Hill leads the series ahead of Byrne, with 41, and Stuart Easton, with 23.

British Superbike – Race 2 Results – Brands Hatch

  1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha)
  2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.142s
  3. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +0.598s
  4. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +4.463s
  5. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +10.089s
  6. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +11.984s
  7. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +13.048s
  8. Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +13.897s
  9. Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +18.431s
  10. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +18.473s

British Superbike Standings

  1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 45
  2. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 41
  3. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 23
  4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 20
  5. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) 19

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Shakey Wins Crash Filled Race at Brands Hatch

brands_hatch_podiumShane “Shakey” Byrne’s return tot he British Superbike series started off in the best possible way as Shakey won the first race of the 2011 British Superbike season. Byrne ended up winning the first race at Brands Hatch by more than a second, as many of his contenders suffered crashes throughout the race.

James Westmoreland, Ian Lowery, John Laverty, Michael Laverty, and John Hopkins each took a turn on the gravel today, thinning out the field at the front. Byrne was able to take the victory by more than a second ahead of Tommy Hill, earning his first win since his 2008 championship season.

“I didn’t have any excuses if I didn’t have a result today riding for the championship-winning team,” Byrne said. “It was a hectic race and I got a good start and then Michael’s crash happened in slow motion right in front of me and I was lucky that I managed to miss him. That incident then bunched us all up and then I had a fight with Stuart Easton but I knew I had to get past him as soon as possible. It’s fantastic to have won the first race of the season and I can’t wait for race two now.”

British Superbike – Brands Hatch – Race 1 Results

  1. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda)
  2. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +1.154s
  3. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco Honda) +2.667s
  4. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +2.764s
  5. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +3.408s
  6. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +4.310s
  7. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +4.496s
  8. Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +5.090s
  9. Martin Jessopp (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +5.100s
  10. Chris Walker (Pr1mo Racing Kawasaki) +7.728s

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Swan Yamaha Sets the Pace at Brands Hatch

tommy_hill_at_brands_hatchAt the end of the second day of practice, Tommy Hill was closing in on the Brands Hatch lap record.

Hill set a blisteringly fast 45.499 second lap during the second free practice session at Brands Hatch, but he was closely tailed by his teammate Michael Laverty, who finished just .008 seconds behind.

“The Swan Yamaha is feeling good, but we know we can still do more,” Hill said after the practice session. “We did as many laps as we could as I have done less mileage than some of the other guys when I missed the test. We are feeling happy and hopefully we can continue that tomorrow for qualifying.”

The HM Plant Honda duo of Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane Byrne were the next across the line. King Kiyo was quickest Honda during the free practice session, finishing just 03 seconds behind the Swan Yamaha duo. Shakey came in just .005 seconds behind his teammate.

To say that there is a lot of competition in the BSB is an understatement. The top four riders finished within a tenth of a second of one another, and the top 10 were all within a half second of the leader.

The BSB will have one more practice session tomorrow before the qualifying. The first race of the 2011 British Superbike series will be on Monday.

British Superbike – Second Free Practice Results – Brands Hatch

  1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 45.499s
  2. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +0.008s
  3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.032s
  4. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +0.037s
  5. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +0.229s
  6. Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +0.295s
  7. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.418s
  8. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.425s
  9. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.425s
  10. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.500s

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Swan Yamaha Set for BSB Season Opener at Brands Hatch

michael_laverty_topped_the_snetterton_testThis weekend the 2011 British Superbike season will begin at Brands Hatch, and the Swan Yamaha team is ready to fight for the championship. Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty will both be making their debuts with the Swan Yamaha team this weekend, and both riders should be toward the top of the time sheets.

Hill and Laverty both made it into the final 6 showdown last year. Hill managed to take third place behind Ryuichi Kiyonari and Josh Brookes, while Laverty took fourth in the series.

Both riders have also been extremely fast during the practice sessions. Hill set a lap record during the Cartagena test, and Laverty earned top three finishes during the final testing session at Snetterton.

Hill will have a slight disadvantage, however, as he missed the majority of the final testing session due to a crash.

“I just want to get to Brands Hatch now after what has really been six weeks off,” said Hill. “We set a new lap record at Cartagena and we felt confident after those tests. It was disappointing for me that I missed out at Snetterton with a crash, but it doesn’t take long to get back into it on the Indy circuit.

“Once we have the first day on Good Friday to blow the cobwebs away we just need to be consistent and score some good points. That was the approach I had last season and I came away with a first and second place plus the championship lead so who knows what can happen. I just need to push on at my home circuit, get the best results I can for the Swan Yamaha team and then prepare for Oulton Park the following weekend.”

Laverty was also happy with his pre-season performance, and feels that he’s ready to deliver for the Swan Yamaha team.

“The first races at Brands Hatch are going to be strange as the Indy circuit can throw a curveball you don’t expect. I think though that after the pre-season testing we are in the position to challenge for the wins and get the job done,” Laverty said. “It has been a longer build up to this season and the anticipation really has been building for these first races and everyone just wants to get out and race now.

“We have been fast in testing so I hope that people are looking at us and thinking we are going to be up there at Brands Hatch. The pressure doesn’t matter to me; myself and Tommy have proved we have the pace – we just need to make sure we don’t get complacent and translate our testing performance into strong results.”

[Photo Courtesy of Swan Yamaha]

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com