Shakeyõs hot pace shocks WSB stars
Five-time MCE British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne has got his 2017 preparations underway over the last few weeks with tests at Portimao and Jerez with the Be Wiser team.
Starting his year’s testing on the Ducati Panigale R with which he won last year’s championship, Byrne put in rapid laps at both two-day tests.
While he’s won five British titles, he has never successfully defended his crown the following year. He said: “It was good to get out and blow off the cobwebs after the winter,” Byrne told MCN. “We didn’t have any new parts so we were basically working on the same bike we had at Brands, but it’s fair to say we’re in a lot better position than we were this time last year!”
Impressing among WSB riders in Jerez, Byrne was close to the pace of WSB counterpart Marco Melandri on a Panigale R with a works engine and full WSB electronics package. He then maintained his quick pace at Jerez, lapping at 1m 41.370s towards the end of the first day, just 0.4s off Tom Sykes’ quickest time and 0.5s quicker than BSB rival Leon Haslam had lapped the previous week.
“Considering I haven’t ridden at Jerez in 12 years I’m pretty chuffed with that time,” said Byrne. “I think I could have done a 1m 40s if it hadn’t rained on the second day.
“We were able to try things like the new blipper system, which didn’t quite work as well as we’d have liked and it’s much better to find that out now than in March just before the season starts.”
‘I’m chuffed with my times and I could have gone 0.5s faster’ SHANE BYRNE
The only blip on Shakey’s ominously fast test came from the autoblipper