2006 v 2016 When BHP isn’t every­thing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - ROAD TEST -

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

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