SHAKEY OFF TO A FAST START

Former cham­pion brings me­thod­i­cal ap­proach to fi­first test to get the ba­sics right on his new BSB Pani­gale

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Insurance - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON BRI­TISH SU­PER­BIKE RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news. si­mon.pat­ter­son@m com

Four-time MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike cham­pion Shane Byrne has com­pleted his first test on­board the full Bsb-spec Be Wiser PBM Du­cati he will at­tempt to win a record-break­ing fifth BSB ti­tle on in 2016.

Byrne took to the Por­ti­mao track along­side team-mate Glenn Irwin, fel­low BSB Du­cati rider Danny Buchan, and World Su­per­bike duo Chaz Davies and Da­vide Gi­ugliano for two days, as the team set out to start afresh af­ter their switch from Kawasaki.

But while Shakey ad­mits that there’s still a lot of work to be done with the new bike, he was up­beat about the po­ten­tial of the Pani­gale R when he spoke ex­clu­sively to MCN af­ter the test.

“It would be re­ally easy to get ex­cited

about what we’ve al­ready achieved, but I think the fun­da­men­tal thing that ex­cites me is the po­ten­tial – where I think we can get to.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a good start, and there are lots and lots of pos­i­tives. But at the same time the good thing for me is that we’re not at the end of de­vel­op­ment – we’re back at the be­gin­ning. I’ve only done 85 laps and in that time where we’ve got to has been phe­nom­e­nal so we need to keep fo­cus­ing on where we can get to.”

Due to the in­fancy of the project this wasn’t a test for try­ing to smash the lap record, in­stead it was an ex­er­cise in team­work and dis­ci­pline as the squad be­gan work­ing through a metic­u­lous de­vel­op­ment strat­egy. The first pri­or­ity is di­alling in BSB’S con­trolled Motec elec­tron­ics and re­fin­ing the fun­da­men­tals in­clud­ing fuel map­ping, throt­tle re­sponse and en­gine brak­ing.

“We’re not miles from where we need to be, but there’s plenty still to be done be­fore we start wor­ry­ing about stuff like chas­sis set-up. But whilst we’re do­ing this work now and maybe mak­ing it a bit long-winded, by do­ing it prop­erly we can get it out of the way.

“I’d rather do all the hard work now, and then start work­ing on mak­ing it more us­able. It’s work­ing me­thod­i­cally now that’ll make the end re­sult more com­pet­i­tive than if we just cheated a bit by mak­ing it eas­ier to ride with­out fix­ing the prob­lems that would mask in the first place.”

Byrne also ad­mit­ted to MCN that the last few months have left him with many sleep­less nights, af­ter his ini­tial run on the Pani­gale back in Novem­ber.

“When I rode it in Va­len­cia, there were parts of it that were so un­be­liev­ably good that I just couldn’t get my head around them. There were oth­ers that didn’t play to my strength – but the bits I’ve strug­gled with in past sea­sons were phe­nom­e­nal!”

With two more days of test­ing sched­uled for Alme­ria be­fore the team re­turn to Eng­land to con­tinue de­vel­op­ment, the 39-year-old is up­beat that they’ll have a race-win­ning pack­age in time for the first round.

“I don’t want to talk about what we’ve done or how fast we’ve gone - I’m happy with both of those. But I’m far more fo­cused on where we can get than on what we’ve al­ready done. It’s stuff that we’re go­ing to chip away with. I’m peak­ing, but I’m keep­ing it un­der con­trol. It’s good to be this far ahead at the minute, but where we end up is go­ing to make me so much hap­pier.”

‘I’d rather do all the hard work now then make it more us­able’

SHANE BYRNE

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