|FANTASTIC FIVE FOR ÖHLINS IN THE MCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
July 12 2011.
With the MCE British Superbike Championship nearing its critical Showdown phase, Öhlins has once again proved the choice of winners with the top five championship contenders all running the firm's suspension.
This domination will come as no surprise to fans of this prestigious series who will remember that as well as dominating both the MotoGP and World Superbike Championship in 2010, the top three in last year's BSB Championship all used Öhlins suspension. In fact an incredible 13 out of the last 15 BSB Championships have been won using the Swedish firm's high end components.
However while last year's Championship winning HM Plant Honda team and third placed Samsung Crescent Suzuki are experienced in using Öhlins suspension, 2011 has been the first year that the newly formed Swan Yamaha SMR team has raced with them. The decision to swap to Öhlins suspension has brought the team instant success with both Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty currently lying in the championship's top six and on target for the Showdown.
Swan Yamaha SMR rider Tommy Hill said "I've been with Öhlins all the way since I first sat on a Superbike in 2004 with the Virgin Yamaha team. You know you're always going to get good feedback and the stuff we've got on the Swan Yamaha is mega. "
Although not new to Öhlins, former MotoGP and current Samsung Crescent Suzuki rider John Hopkins has proved to be the sensation of the season, challenging championship leader HM Plant Honda rider Shane Byrne's domination and in the process becoming the first American rider to win a BSB race.
Samsung Crescent Suzuki Team Manager Jack Valentine said "We're now servicing the Öhlins ourselves from the race transporter and it ties up really well to promote the product with our Öhlins Service Centre back at Crescent Suzuki. The great thing about Öhlins is that it's a fantastic piece of kit straight out of the box and just needs the fine set-up for best balance for each track and rider. We have access to the Öhlins data bank and that really helps to translate the info from rider to the crew chief. When Hopper came to the team he jumped on the bike in testing and was immediately so pleased with the bike and that's a great testament to both machine and suspension. He used Öhlins in GP's and is such a class rider he can feel small changes that quality suspension can provide and capitalize on it with improved lap times."
The hot ticket in BSB for 2011 is the latest generation of Öhlins FGR 100 Superbike forks, featuring the new TTX25 cartridge design with its lighter yet more rigid outer tubes for improved rider feel. At the rear, an Öhlins TTX36 2011 spec shock with twin tube design keeps traction to a maximum while providing exemplary damping characteristics and uniform performance during race distances.
It's not just the Superbike teams that benefit from the experience of the Öhlins technicians. The BSB race paddock has three Öhlins support vehicles with Harris Performance, Kais Suspension Services and FTR Suspension all catering for different riders and teams from all BSB classes.
Dave Cherry, chief mechanic for GB Moto Racing rider Tristan Palmer in the Metzeler National Superstock series said "We're fully committed to Öhlins, Tristan has used them in Superbikes and always had a good relationship with Harris who do all our servicing. We get great feedback and the suspension is always there about as a base setting, we just needed to change settings for different track conditions. We never seem to have big problems with tyre wear and I put that down to the set-up of the bike and suspension combined with Tristan's smooth riding style. We have a plan to get into Superbikes and we'd definitely be looking at staying with Öhlins."
Chris Witter, Business Development Manager, Öhlins Racing UK commented, "Last year the top three riders in the BSB Championship all used Öhlins suspension, which was a great result and this year I hope to make it the top five, if not six. Everyone at Öhlins is totally committed to racing, something that has been proved by the success of our service centres. Every weekend our highly trained suspension experts provide on-site help to BSB teams as well as riders across all classes to help them achieve success in whatever their class of racing."
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings
1. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 201
2. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 182
3. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 140
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 120
5. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 119
Öhlins British Superbike Championship Successes
1996 - Niall Mackenzie - Cadbury's Boost YZF750- Öhlins
1997 - Niall Mackenzie - Cadbury's Boost YZF750- Öhlins
1998 - Niall Mackenzie - Cadbury's Boost YZF750- Öhlins
1999- Troy Bayliss - INS GSE Ducati 996 - Öhlins
2000- Neil Hodgson - INS GSE Ducati 996 - Öhlins
2001- John Reynolds - Reve Red Bull Ducati 996 - Öhlins
2002- Steve Hislop - MonsterMob Ducati 998 - Öhlins
2003- Shane Byrne - MonsterMob Ducati 998 - Öhlins
2004- John Reynolds - Rizla Crescent Suzuki GSXR1000 - Öhlins - Harris supported
2005- Gregorio Lavilla - GSE Airwaves Ducati 999 - Öhlins- Harris supported
2008- Shane Byrne - GSE Airwaves Ducati 1098 - Öhlins- Harris supported
2009- Leon Camier - GSE Airwaves Yamaha YZF-R1 - Öhlins- Harris supported
2010- Ryuichi Kiyonari - HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR - Öhlins- Harris supported
For more info on the full line-up of Ohlins products visit www.ohlins.com and for our new off road specific site see www.mxoffroadbyohlins.com