Test­ing, test­ing…

Motorcycle News (UK) - - BSB Preview -

Teams can do as much test­ing as they like from Jan­uary 1 up un­til the first round, and again af­ter the fi­nal round un­til De­cem­ber 31. How­ever, dur­ing the sea­son, test­ing is re­stricted to 12 days at per­ma­nent cir­cuits for reg­is­tered BSB riders and teams.

No test­ing is al­lowed at a cir­cuit host­ing a cham­pi­onship event in the seven days pre­ced­ing the first of­fi­cial prac­tice day. And teams must regis­ter test days dur­ing this pe­riod at least 72 hours be­fore any planned event to gain ap­proval.

The pre-sea­son has seen the ma­jor­ity of teams visit at least one of the Span­ish cir­cuits of Guadix, Carta­gena, Alme­ria, Mon­te­blanco and Calafat with of­fi­cial UK tests tak­ing place at Sil­ver­stone and Don­ing­ton Park last week.

Three packed days of BSB ac­tion

A typ­i­cal MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike week­end takes place over three days, with free prac­tice on day one, qual­i­fy­ing on day two and two MCE BSB races on day three. Three 50-minute prac­tice ses­sions are staged (two on Fri­day – FP1 and FP2, and one on Satur­day morn­ing, FP3) and all riders then start the three-part qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Thirty riders go into the 18-minute Q1 ses­sion with the top 18 go­ing into the 12-minute Q2. Riders can put in as many laps as they wish dur­ing each ses­sion but at the end of Q2, slower riders are elim­i­nated with the fastest nine go­ing through to Su­per­pole for the fi­nal sin­gle-lap shootout.

Packed grids

The 2016 grid will see 30 riders lin­ing up, with three riders lin­ing up on each row. Twelve rounds will be held dur­ing 2016 with two races at each with the ex­cep­tion of Oul­ton Park in Septem­ber and the fi­nal round at Brands Hatch in Oc­to­ber where three races are held. This makes a to­tal of 26 races dur­ing the sea­son.

Nine cir­cuits are cur­rently used – Oul­ton, Brands, Don­ing­ton Park, Sil­ver­stone, Snet­ter­ton, Cad­well Park, Knockhill, Assen and Thrux­ton – with Brands be­ing vis­ited three times and Oul­ton twice. All other cir­cuits are vis­ited once.

Qual­i­fy­ing de­ter­mines the grid for race one, but the fastest laps from the open­ing race de­ter­mine the start­ing or­der for the sec­ond race. Each race lasts ap­prox­i­mately 30 min­utes.

And there’s more

BSB isn’t just about the fea­ture Su­per­bike class and, in­deed, the sup­port classes have been the spring­board to suc­cess for many of the UK’S lead­ing riders.

At present, there’s a timetable of reg­u­lar sup­port races, in­clud­ing the Dick­ies Bri­tish Su­pers­port Cham­pi­onship, HEL Per­for­mance Mo­to­star Cham­pi­onship, Pirelli Na­tional Su­per­stock 1000, Pirelli Na­tional Su­per­stock 600, Du­cati Tri­op­tions Cup, San­tander Con­sumer Finance KTM Bri­tish Ju­nior Cup and Hyundai Heavy In­dus­tries Bri­tish Side­car Cham­pi­onship.

Get­ting a grip with Pirelli

BSB in­tro­duced a sin­gle-make tyre rule in 2008 with Pirelli be­com­ing the sole sup­plier. The think­ing was to level the play­ing field, pre­vent­ing any rider from hav­ing an ad­van­tage or dis­ad­van­tage at any given track, there­fore mak­ing the rac­ing even more ex­cit­ing. There are mul­ti­ple com­pounds avail­able to each rider. Some give more grip than oth­ers and some will last longer. The tem­per­a­ture of the track is also a ma­jor fac­tor in which tyre a rider will chose. The com­pounds are SC1 and SC2 front op­tions and SC0, SC1 and SC2 rear, with 0 be­ing the soft­est and 2 the hard­est.


BSB CHAM­PION 1996, 97, 98

Scots­man Mackenzie spent a ca­reer rac­ing against the very best in the 500GP world cham­pi­onship. Af­ter years battling against Amer­i­can leg­ends Wayne Rainey, Ed­die Law­son and Kevin Sch­wantz, Mackenzie re­turned to BSB where he took the se­ries to an­other level, win­ning three ti­tles in a row.


BSB CHAM­PION 2001, 2004

Softly spo­ken and mild off the bike, Reynolds was a fierce com­peti­tor the mo­ment he got on it. A match for any­one on his day, Reynolds also com­peted in GPS and stood on the podium in WSB on more than one oc­ca­sion. He re­peated his 2001 ti­tle suc­cess with an­other crown in 2004.



Hill be­came one of the youngest ever riders to com­pete in BSB. Af­ter a spell in the world cham­pi­onship he re­turned to win the ti­tle by the clos­est ever mar­gin in the fi­nal race of the year ahead of Amer­i­can John Hop­kins. He now runs his own MCE BSB team and has Hop­kins as his num­ber one rider.

How the points are awarded Laverty… what do points make?

James Tose­land Chris Walker James Whitham Leon Haslam

Jonathan Rea Tom Sykes Cal Crutchlow

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