Shakeyõs hot pace shocks WSB stars

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

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

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