Germany’s finest may not have not have taken superbike glory this year, but the dominance with which they stormed the ‘showroom-standard’ series was unprecedented.
By the numbers, the BMW S1000RR’s current generation, which began production in 2015, all but locked out the competition in Britain’s highest echelon dealer-ready proving ground for motorcycles – the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series.
The Munich Missile took 10 of 12 race wins (83%), with only Honda Fireblade juggernaut Keith Farmer besting the thundering Luftwaffe.
Judging by the racers in that class, however, and the age of the current-generation Fireblade, that’s not much of a claim.
Here’s what’s a bit more substantial – BMWs had 83% pole position prowess, 78% of the rostrum spots available, 92% of the fastest laps, 73% of the top 5’s, and 64% of the top 10 spots this season.
Kawasaki ZX10R racers were fed up with the S1000RR’s, so much so that 5 of the 15 riders who signed on in 2016 to bleed green for a full campaign switched to BMW power by the end of the season.
Left and right, Ninjas went up on eBay… rumours filling the paddock of throttle control issues with a new fly-by-wire system that was introduced for 2016, which seemed to be confirmed by the blue-riband teams who complained of such issues throughout the year.
Perhaps right-handed regulation was the issue, perhaps not – it certainly seemed extremely hard work for the class’s fastest Jap rider, Fraser Rogers, who fought a sea of blue and white roundels week in and week out to make his way twice to a rostrum finish.
So yes, the BMW was most certainly the bike-to-have at the National Superstock level, but what about clubs?
In Thundersport GB GP1, BMW took 27% race wins, Aprilia 8%, and Kawasaki 65%… all but one of those Kwak wins coming on the 2011-2015 bike.
BEMSEE Powerbikes tell a slightly different story – BMW had 16% wins, Kawasaki 22%, and Yamaha a whopping 63% – didn’t expect that, did you?
NG’s Powerbikes seem to follow the trend of BSB, with BMW dominating the 25-point scoring at 64%, Kawasaki at 14%, and Yamaha at 21%.
If you combine these statistics, however, you find something quite fascinating…
Between the three clubs above, BMW, Kawasaki, and Yamaha split wins at 31%, 36%, and 33% respectively.
What that says is as fast as club racing may be across Britain, you can just about win on anything, including the Fireblade and GSXR1000, which both took a number of victories across various other organisations.
So on the whole, did BMW dominate at the fastest showroom level of racing in the country this year? Beyond a shadow of a doubt… it doesn’t take half an eye to see that.
But clubs are still ruled by any and every marque, and I think you’ll agree that it’s going to remain that way for a long time to come.
*Image by Colin Port