2018 BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF AT DONINGTON PARK AS PIRELLI INTRODUCE NEW FRONT COMPOUND

Pirelli set for eleventh consecutive season as the Sole Tyre Supplier to globally renowned series
Pirelli UK, Burton on Trent, UK – 28th March 2018– After a dramatic final 2017 round saw a three way battle and Shane Byrne claim his sixth British Superbike Championship title, the 2018 series looks set to be the most competitive yet with 13 different race winners and a line-up of eager young guns.

Pirelli will be supplying the massive Superbike and support class field for an eleventh consecutive season; aiming for yet more lap records combined with close results and an even playing field. Logistically speaking, 4000 slick, treaded and wet weather tyres are brought to each of the twelve events to cover all eventualities, with race meetings held throughout England plus a round in Scotland and Holland.
Riders in the Superbike class will continue to have the option of four customer range DIABLO™ Superbike Slick tyres which were originally developed in the World Superbike series. For 2018 a new front tyre option has been introduced, with a specification which sits in between the existing SC1 and SC2 options and was the most widely used option in the 2017 World Superbike series. The tyre uses the same compound as the softer SC1 but utilises a different structure to improve stability under heavy braking. Utilised in pre-season testing, it has been well received by riders.
For inclement weather the full Rain and Wet (for mixed conditions) tyres give riders a full range of options- with some races witnessing every single combination of front and rear selection, making for exciting strategies throughout the race.

Donington Park
For the ‘treaded’ tyre production classes, the renowned Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC will equip riders of British Supersport Championship, Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and 600 classes, Ducati TriOptions Cup and the exciting new Junior Supersport category. These tyres are also popular with Club and National level racers alongside trackday riders of all abilities.
In the ‘open tyre’ British Motostar (Moto3) series, Pirelli will be looking to make it three consecutive titles as the talented young riders utilise DIABLO™ Superbike Slick tyres on their lightweight, purpose built racing machines.
As the most successful rider in BSB history, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne will again start as title favourite on his Be Wiser Ducati, however he will face a fired up Leon Haslam who will be looking to make amends for 2017, on his JG Speedfit Kawasaki. Equally as competitive will be Australian Josh Brookes, who switches to the factory backed McAMS Yamaha team for 2017 after narrowly missing out on the 2018 title by just three points.
However with 27 riders lining up on the grid, and nearly 50% of whom have won BSB races, the trio will not have it easy with different names able to challenge for podiums each weekend. Alongside the established stars, the 2018 line-up see six fast rookies’ lining up on the grid; Sylvain Barrier, Carl Phillips, Gino Rea, Mason Law, Kyle Ryde and Tarran Mackenzie. Six manufacturers will also be represented, with BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha all set to challenge for honours.

Bennetts BSB Class of 2018

Pirelli UK Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, “The scene is set for what has all the ingredients to be a thrilling 2018 British Superbike Championship. The strength in depth of the riders in the Superbike class is incredible and this combined with each manufacturer being well represented, makes for an exciting season ahead. The pace of the riders at the Official Test held at Donington last week in what were far from ideal conditions was very impressive. The introduction of the additional option of front slick tyre will create extra interest for us at Pirelli to see how it performs in the UK conditions. No doubt the weather will play a part this weekend but hopefully we’ll get a dry track for the racing at what is also the beginning of the next chapter in the history of the Donington Park circuit.”

2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Schedule
31 March – 2 April Donington Park GP
13 – 15 April Brands Hatch (Indy)
5 – 7 May Oulton Park
15 – 17 June Snetterton
6 – 8 July Knockhill
20 – 22 July Brands Hatch GP
3 – 5 August Thruxton
17 – 19 August Cadwell Park
7 – 9 September Silverstone GP
14 – 16 September Oulton Park
28 – 30 September Assen
12 – 14 October Brands Hatch GP

SHARK Helmets is official sponsor of British Talent Cup
SHARK Helmets is proud to be an official sponsor of the British Talent Cup. Each of the 23 riders will race wearing a SHARK Race-R Pro helmet, as well as receive one-to-one race support at meetings from the SHARK UK Race and Technical Department.

The riders from the UK and Ireland, aged between 12 to 17 years old, have all been handpicked from aspiring hopefuls during the first ever selection event ahead of the 2017 British Grand Prix at Silverstone and returned from a test in Valencia in March – the first time they have tested their Honda NSF250R Moto3™ machinery all together on track.

The all-new British Talent Cup is part of Dorna’s Road to MotoGP™ program, designed as the perfect stepping-stone for riders from the UK and Ireland to get onto the world stage.

The first two races take place at Donington Park alongside the British Superbikes (31 March – 2 April) with five more rounds planned throughout the year – seeing the racers showcased on a world stage as it concludes at the final round of the MotoGP calendar at the iconic Circuit de Valencia. Here’s the full calendar:

Round 1 – Donington Park – 31 March – 2 April
Round 2 – Donington Park – 25 May – 27 May
Round 3 – Snetterton – 15 June – 17 June
Round 4 – Silverstone – 24 August – 26 August
Round 5 – TT Assen – 28 September – 30 September
Round 6 – Circuit de Valencia – 16 November – 18 November

Mark Eilledge, SHARK Helmets UK, said: “We’re very proud to be a partner of the British Talent Cup – the series offers an amazing opportunity for the riders taking part and I’m positive that they’re all going to make the most of the chance they have been given. It’s great to see a lot of familiar faces who SHARK Helmets have been supporting already included in the rider lineup, as well as welcoming a number of new riders into the SHARK Helmets racing team.

“The nurturing of young racing talent is something that we feel very passionately about. We wish all of the riders the best of luck for the year.”

The Race-R PRO is a high-end race helmet that reflects all of SHARK’s expertise, from design through to manufacturing. It has been developed in conjunction with the brand’s professional riders to meet the demands of top level racing competition: it is lightweight, stable, comfortable, and aerodynamic. The Race-R Pro has a five star SHARP rating.

The Race-R PRO helmet is worn by all SHARK top professional riders and has compiled an impressive record in world-level racing championships, with nearly 200 top finishes since 2011**.
Constructed from carbon aramid fibre, the Race-R PRO weighs just 1,250g* while providing outstanding shock absorbance. It comes fitted with a flat class 1 optics visor eliminating all visual distortion thanks to a variable thickness: 2.8 mm on the sides, 4.2 mm over the central part. Equipped with a double ‘D’ buckle, the model also features an enhanced visor mechanism with a quick notching and disassembly system for extreme ease of handling.

To optimise the aerodynamic profile of the helmet, the Race-R PRO was developed using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) studies. It has been built with a double rear spoiler and 11 ventilation points (four intake and seven venturis) to ensure an optimised venturi effect. The helmet features an anti-fog breath guard and nose cover.

As for comfort, the helmet offers an entirely removable and washable interior lining, specially designed for optimal acoustic insulation. Note the presence of the ‘Easy Fit’ system simplifying for riders wearing glasses the placement of temples.