2016 Battle of the Brands winner is…

In News, Tech, Tech Talk Tuesday

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

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