2006 v 2016 When BHP isn’t everything
MCE British Superbike machines develop at a rapid rate, so it’s crazy when you realise that at some tracks the bikes were faster a decade ago than they are now.
Five-time BSB champ Shakey Byrne won the first race at Thruxton last year and set the fastest lap, but that’s over three tenths slower than former BSBchamp Lavilla went on his way to his race one win in 2006.
It’s even more impressive when you realise that in road trim, the Spanish rider’s 999R made a claimed 150bhp and Shakey’s Panigale has 205bhp.
But of course, the leading BSB machines a decade ago were a different breed. Lavilla’s 999R F06 was a full factory Ducati with over 180bhp, running full electronic rider aids with dedicated Ducati data technicians to operate them. There was also a tyre war going on and Lavilla’s special Dunlops would have only been available to the chosen few.
Although Shakey’s Panigale R is factory-supported it’s a customer bike, available to anyone. It doesn’t have traction control, wheelie or launch control and has to run the same Pirelli control tyres as everyone on the grid. If BSB rules were the same as they were then, the current crop would no doubt be faster.
It also goes to show, that at some circuits, especially around Thruxton, where a fast lap is all about momentum and bravery, there’s only so fast you can go on two wheels.
2006 Gregorio Lavilla 1m 15.422s Airwave sducati 999F06
2016 Shanebyrne 1m 15.858s Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R