Four-time cham­pion gets a rude awak­en­ing on­board his Du­cati in lat­est round of BSB test­ing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - BYRNE OFF PACE By Stephen Dav­i­son MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

“I think it is fair to say we got a bit of a rude awak­en­ing when we got out on track on the first day.”

That was Shane Byrne’s frank as­sess­ment af­ter fin­ish­ing over a se­cond off the pace at the Cartagena MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike test last week with a fastest lap of 1 minute 34.8 sec­onds on his PBM/BE Wiser Du­cati.

The PBM squad ar­rived a day later than their op­po­si­tion, ex­pect­ing to be com­pet­i­tive with the new Du­catis af­ter a suc­cess­ful out­ing at Por­ti­mao last month.

“I came here brim­ming with con­fi­dence and con­vinced that the Du­cati would suit this place per­fectly,” Byrne ex­plained. “I was peak­ing, but from the first laps it was ob­vi­ous we had prob­lems. All of a sud­den, two ses­sions in, I was think­ing ‘what has gone wrong?’.”

To add in­sult to in­jury the four-time cham­pion ended up in the gravel trap two days run­ning.

“I got a bit car­ried away at the end of the first day and tipped off,” Shakey gri­maced. “Then on the se­cond day I had a pair of tyres left at the end of the day and I thought, ‘let’s go, go, go, let’s re­ally ride this thing’ and I made ex­actly the same lit­tle mis­take I had made at the end of the first day and slipped off into the gravel again. It was a sim­ple mis­take, just me want­ing to go fast.”

The 39-year-old ad­mit­ted he was sur­prised by the bike’s lack of ride­abil­ity at Cartagena.

“It has been frus­trat­ing look­ing at the guys go­ing fast. I’ve won more races than any of those guys, I’ve prob­a­bly got more ex­pe­ri­ence than 90% of them and I’ve won more cham­pi­onships than all of them. So to see my­self down the or­der was a bit­ter pill.”

Shakey de­scribed the Du­cati prob­lem in graphic de­tail on Sun­day evening.

“The big­gest prob­lem was that the bike felt as if it had 6000 horse­power all the time,” he smiled rue­fully.

“The speed of the bike was very, very good in Por­tu­gal and it felt re­ally ride­able. Here it felt like it had 300bhp more than it ac­tu­ally has so you are kind of play­ing with two or three de­grees of throt­tle and those three de­grees are try­ing to kill you.”

Byrne at­tributes the prob­lems to the dif­fi­culty in set­ting up the Du­cati with the BSB con­trol Motec ECU.

“When you buy a Du­cati you buy a bike with Mag­netti Marelli ig­ni­tion,” he ex­plained. “In BSB we ob­vi­ously

‘ The prob­lem was that the bike felt as if it had 6000bhp

all the time’

It was a bad test for Shakey but he is back on track and ready to make progress this week Shakey and crew chief Gio­vanni Crupi Byrne’s owl-faced Du­cati ran into prob­lems with the con­trol elec­tron­ics

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