MCE British superbikes go north of the border as championship heads to knockhill


As one of the shortest circuits on the calendar, the tight and twisty nature of the Scottish circuit will throw up a new challenge for Pirelli and the teams Pirelli UK, Burton on Trent, UK – 23rd June 2014  –  Another double victory from series leader Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne at Snetterton has seen  the Kent rider firmly cement his place at the top of the standings. With the form ofpole position and two wins here last year, the rest of the field will have to up their game to stop him at the unique Fife circuit.

Pirelli Overview

Despite  cool  temperatures  at  the  Snetterton  300  circuit,  the  new  Pirelli  17”  DIABLO™ Superbike tyres played their part in a second successive new lap record, following Oulton Park. Introduced for the 2014 British Superbike Championship, the tyres have proven to be a unanimous success amongst the riders with consistent grip levels through race distance.

As one of the shortest circuits on the calendar, Knockhill poses a unique challenge for the
Superbike  riders  as  they  wrestle  their  200bhp+  machines  around  the  tight  and  twisty Scottish circuit. As a predominantly right handed circuit, riders will have to carefully manage the  left  hand  side  of  the  tyre  during  the  opening  laps  to  ensure  heat  build-up.  In  recent years the track has also become renowned for its inclement weather, so this weekend may well see the Pirelli DIABLO™ Rain tyre or DIABLO™ Wet intermediate option utilised.

At  the  front  end  the  choice  is between  a  softer SC1 and  a harder  SC2  with  most  riders anticipated to opt for the softer choice. Rear tyrechoice gives riders a softer SC0 slick tyre which provides optimum performance in higher temperatures and the harder SC1 solution which gave lap records at rounds two and three.

Alongside  the  British  Superbike  Championship,  Pirelli  will  once  again  be  the  sole  tyre supplier for the British Supersport Championship, the National Superstock 1000 and 600 Championships, the Tristar R&G Triple Challenge andthe Ducati TriOptions Cup. All riders in  these  classes  run  the  latest  generation  Pirelli  DIABLO™  Supercorsa  tyres.  For  the Knockhill round the Triumph series will be rested.

Showing their support for this high spectator attending series, Pirelli offer customers who purchase  a  set  of  DIABLO™  Supercorsa  SP,  DIABLO  ROSSO™  Corsa,  DIABLO ROSSO™ II, DIABLO™, ANGEL™ GT,  ANGEL™ ST,  SCORPION™ Trail, the chance to claim a free BSB ticket. More details at

Race Preview

Pre-season favourite Byrne and the Rapid SolicitorsKawasaki team have certainly lived up to  expectations,  taking  five  of  the  opening  six  race  wins.  This  imperious  form  has  seen Shakey build a healthy lead at the top of the standings as he continues his bid to win a unequalled fourth MCE British Superbike crown.

Leading  the  chasing  pack  is  GBmoto  Kawasaki  star  James  Ellison,  who  has  been  the model of consistency in 2014, taking six podium finishes so far this year. Just behind the Kawasaki rider is Australian Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha who has been the only man capable of consistently challenging Byrne  so far in 2014, however two crashes have dented his Championship standings.

Always a popular event, the corresponding round last year saw a dominating display from Byrne  as  he  powered  his  Kawasaki  ZX-10R  to  pole  position  before  comfortably  taking another double victory around the 1.2 mile circuit.

Pirelli View

Pirelli UK Racing Manager Jason Griffithscommented, “We’ve enjoyed a continued run of fantastic weather recently, hopefully this will  continue for the Knockhill round. After the first two days on track at Snetterton it seemed that we would see the SC0 solution feature prominently in the races. However, temperatures dropped for race day and the SC1 came to the fore once again. Many teams made long runs with the SC0 so they have gathered information which will be helpful to them at Knockhill. The nature of the Knockhill circuit, with  the  undulating  layout  and  severe  braking  area  into  the hairpin  requires  a  positive feeling  from  the  front  tyre.  SC1  has  been  the  ‘go  to’  solution  so  far  this  year  but  more aggressive riders may look for the firmer feeling from SC2 this weekend.”

View from behind the screen

Three time British Superbike Champion and Scottish  racing legendNiall Mackenziesaid; “A fast lap time at Knockhill will come from good momentum and rhythm, rather than sheer power and aggressive riding. From  turn one to the back straight riders  must be smooth, without winding the suspension up with hard acceleration.

Shakey once again will be the full package but Easton and Ellison will undoubtedly go well. Brookes  was  rapid  last  year  but  I'm  not  sure  how  the  Yamaha  will  go  as  it  seems  to struggle to keep the front end planted under hard acceleration. The Suzuki and Ducati suit Knockhill  so  I  expect  them  to  be  in  the  mix  too.  Kiyo  has  also  had  some  great  rides  at Knockhill so let's hope both BMW teams have some better luck than they did Snetterton.

The hairpin is the most popular passing place on the brakes but there are at least two other spots where a good old block pass will do the job. If the weather holds we could see some stunning  new  lap  records  across  the classes  as  the  track  is  slightly  shorter  and  the  soft tyres are normally good for race distance.

Needless to say I love the place and never tire of  riding round all summer on Superbike schools. I hope everyone has great time at this wonderful little circuit.”


2014 MCE British Superbike Championship positions

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 145
  2. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 100
  3. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 85
  4. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 69
  5. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 51
  6. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 49

2013 Flashback (Knockhill Round 4 – June) 
Race one

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
  2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.069s
  3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +5.013s
  4. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +16.821s
  5. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +19.033s

Race two 

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
  2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.814s
  3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +8.637s
  4. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +12.723s
  5. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +15.620s

More information regarding Pirelli’s entire range of racing and road tyres can be found at

You can also follow Pirelli in British Superbikes and beyond on Facebook at ‘Pirelli Moto’ ! For more circuit and BSB information visit

Posted: 30/06/2014

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