SHAKEY READY FOR OULTON RUM­BLE

P82

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling - Byrne means busi­ness as BSB gears up for Bank Hol­i­day ac­tion this week­end By Laura Stevens MCN CONTRIBUTOR

Shane Byrne be­gan his fight for an un­prece­dented fifth MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship ti­tle at the Sil­ver­stone sea­son opener three weeks ago and he’s ready to take it to the next level at Oulton Park for round two this Bank Hol­i­day week­end.

Hav­ing swapped from Kawasaki to Du­cati, Byrne and his PBM Be Wiser team en­dured a roller­coaster pre­sea­son with both im­pres­sive and dis­ap­point­ing tests. But by the time race day came they proved that re­gard­less of man­u­fac­turer their de­ter­mi­na­tion to fight is un­changed. At Sil­ver­stone, de­spite not stand­ing on the top step of the podium, Shakey took the se­ries lead hav­ing se­cured two sec­ond place fin­ishes.

“Peo­ple can’t take any­thing away from me or my team,” said Byrne. “We want to win more races than we have in any other year. I want to win the ti­tle at the end of the year and I know I am not go­ing to do that by dol­lop­ing around in fifth or sixth place!”

Oulton Park, how­ever, is a cir­cuit made up of the blind crests and un­du­la­tions and a com­plete con­trast to the open, wide ex­panse of Sil­ver­stone. To get up to speed ahead of the race, Byrne and the team con­ducted a test at the Scot­tish cir­cuit, Knock­hill.

Byrne said: “I did 113 laps and we ini­tially started with the same set­ting we used at Sil­ver­stone. It was about get­ting work done and I feel that we have made some pretty good steps.

“I would like to think that the work we have done at Knock­hill is go­ing to keep up the progress we have been mak­ing since pre-sea­son test­ing. We have stuck to our plan through­out, and OK I haven’t been head­lin­ing the timesheets, but I am get­ting closer and closer. When you have a brand new bike in its ab­so­lute in­fancy, chip­ping away and learn­ing as we go, to walk away from the first round lead­ing the cham­pi­onship is a pretty cool thing,” said a con­fi­dent Byrne.

De­spite the pos­i­tive start to the sea­son, Byrne knows that it is go­ing to take con­sis­tency and keep­ing the podi­ums rolling in which will prove cru­cial in the end of sea­son Show­down for the ti­tle.

“I’ve been around the Show­down a long time now and I know that lead­ing at this point of the year means naff all,” joked Byrne. “I just want to con­cen­trate on do­ing the best I can, im­prov­ing the bike as best I can and pulling out as many podi­ums and wins be­fore we get into the Show­down.”

The open­ing races of the sea­son threw up some new chal­lenges for Byrne to deal with. Kawasaki rider Peter Hick­man pre­vi­ously had just a sin­gle race win to his credit, but he dou­bled that at Sil­ver­stone in a stun­ning race two win. Byrne said: “Peter is a very un­der­rated rider. He al­ways had two or three stand­out rounds per year for sure and that isn’t to say he doesn’t the rest of the time, but you would look and think he can be there.” The other stand­out per­for­mance was that of the Tyco BMW team of race one win­ner Michael Laverty and dou­ble podium man Chris­tian Id­don. But de­spite the level of com­pe­ti­tion, Byrne says it’s too early to pre­dict his ti­tle ri­vals. “I al­ways fo­cus on what I am do­ing on track, but to see dif­fer­ent rid­ers bat­tling at the front is cool, it is main­tain­ing it over the sea­son which is the im­por­tant thing.”

‘I’m not go­ing to win the ti­tle by dol­lop­ing around in fifth’

stand­ings: Chaz Davies.

In MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bikes, round one sen­sa­tion Chris­tian Id­don se­cured good points af­ter his dou­ble podium, all of which was enough for Bell to take the early lead.

Bell wins a set

of Miche­lin Power Su­per­sport Evo Tyres and the over­all win­ner at the end of the sea­son will re­ceive a VIP trip to a Euro­pean round of Moto GP in 2017 cour­tesy of Ben­netts.

Hick­man (60) will be go­ing all out to take the win from Shakey

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