The British Superbike Championship may have seen six different race winners this season, but each has done it with the assistance of Öhlins race suspension.
Having dominated the MotoGP and World Superbike Championships in 2010, as well as underpin the top three riders competing in last year's BSB Championship, Öhlins is well on the way to repeating that feat in 2011 as it locks out the current top five in the series.
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.
“I've been with Öhlins all the way since I first sat on a Superbike in 2004 with the Virgin Yamaha team,” said three time race winner Hill. 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.
“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,” added Samsung Crescent Suzuki team manager Jack Valentine.
“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.
“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,” said Business Development Manager Chris Witter.
“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.”