Hydrex Honda chief technician happy with BSB rules

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Hydrex Honda chief technician Mick Shanley fully supports this year’s supersport-spec engine rules that have been implemented for British Superbike Championship – and says racing is cheaper with them than ever before.

Shanley said: “When the BSB rules were announced my only thought was that they should have announced same sort of equalization rule like they have in WSB.

“In WSB the twins have to be heavier and have an inlet restrictor to start with. Ducati do have a 1200cc version of what they had last year after all.

“But in BSB the fours had to take a power cut by using stock prods and pistons and the twins got their 200cc step up.

“For us I think the engine regulations are just right. Our build costs have been dramatically reduced, I don’t care what’s been said elsewhere. With the kind of deals teams like ours, Rizla, Yamaha etc get on discounted parts for racing, the whole thing is cheaper.

“We paid £2000 for titanium rods last year, which lasted 4000kms. The stock rods we use now cost £160 and we’re replacing them at 6000kms, which Honda recommend. Last year our pistons did 2000kms. This year Honda say 6,000kms for the stock pistons too.

“Last year we changed rods every 4000kms but changed pistons, bearings, valves, valve springs every 2000kms.  This year the only thing we need to do at 2000kms is fit new valves and check the crank shells. Yamaha are saying they rebuild more often but the parts still costs a tenth of what it did last year.”

Despite the lower costs and stock parts, Shanely reckons they are getting more performance from their engines.

Shanley said: “We’re revving our 2008 engines to 14,500rpm and that’s 1000rpm up on last year! So we’ve upped the rpm but we’ve also upped the service intervals.  We’re not complaining about the new rules at all.

“The Suzuki engine blow-up (Tom Sykes at Brands) was simply down to service intervals and, from what I’m hearing, they’ve admitted it and have addressed the situation.

“We’re happier with the rules than we’ve ever been. We’ve built our bike with kit parts that anyone can buy. And to get something so competitive is amazing.

“Chris Mehew builds all our engines and we’ve even got the kit electronics package that costs just £500 for the loom and dash. We’ve got a Pectel system to test and develop but we’ve not raced it yet. The control tyre is better too.

“But of all the bikes in the series, the Ducati is the fly in the ointment.  There was a meeting of all the four-cylinder teams at Donington on Sunday, (hosted by MSV boss Jonathan Palmer and BSB Race Director StuartHiggs) and it was pointed out there was one bike not within the spirit of the rules and you couldn’t buy it freely.

“But by the rules, even I will admit that Ducati have done nothing wrong. Ambiguity in the rulebook allowed it into the championship in the first place.”


Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin