Cham­pion looks to make up lost ground af­ter miss­ing first round of the year

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - OLI RUSHBY BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­

Shane Byrne will be look­ing to fight back in the sec­ond round of the 2017 MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship at Brands Hatch this week­end af­ter miss­ing the open­ing races at Don­ing­ton Park with con­cus­sion.

The five-time Bri­tish Cham­pion fell heav­ily in warm-up at the Le­ices­ter­shire cir­cuit, tak­ing a hard bang to the head as he was tossed across the track. But in true cham­pion style Byrne says it only adds to his mo­ti­va­tion to come back and win this week­end.

“The way this year has gone so far has re­ally opened my eyes,” said Byrne, who ad­mit­ted to be­ing rusty at Don­ing­ton Park af­ter lim­ited pre-sea­son test­ing.

“This win­ter I’ve spent a lot of time think­ing what I’d like to achieve in my ca­reer and I’ve fi­nally set my mind on some num­bers I’d like to reach be­fore hang­ing up my boots. One of those things is that I des­per­ately want to win back-to-back ti­tles so the most im­por­tant thing for me this year is that, we can sort the rest af­ter!”

De­spite the heavy crash, Byrne says he’ll be 100% fit as he heads back on track at Brands this week­end and is grate­ful for the ex­tra test ses­sion BSB bosses have added to the sched­ule for Good Fri­day (free prac­tice starts on Satur­day with qual­i­fy­ing on Sun­day and rac­ing on Mon­day).

“I went straight from Don­ing­ton out to my place in Spain,” he ex­plained. “I was told to take it easy for a few days so I did, but then I got straight back on it for the week to get back into shape and get rid of the aches and pains ready for Brands.

“For­tu­nately it was just the knock to the head I suf­fered in the crash so I’ll be 100% fit this week­end, if still a lit­tle green. We, more than any­one, could have done with two races un­der our belt, but I think we can take a lot of pos­i­tives. We were quick­est in the first ses­sion even though we’d had less test­ing than ev­ery­one else.

“The bike can only get bet­ter, there are things com­ing, I don’t know when but if we ride what we’ve got now it’s still there or there­abouts.”

And while he sits 50 points be­hind ti­tle ri­val Leon Haslam, Byrne is look­ing at things from a glass half-full per­spec­tive.

“We lost 50 points to Leon, but I’m only 21 points off the guy in sixth and that’s the most im­por­tant thing at the mo­ment. If we can get in the top six for The Show­down at Don­ing­ton, will have only lost ten podium points to our clos­est ri­val, so it’s not the worst sce­nario in the world. I’m sure we can chip away through­out the year and know we’re only go­ing to get stronger. It’s funny, peo­ple of­ten ask me what keeps me mo­ti­vated but they don’t un­der­stand that win­ning is all you need, but I guess now I’ve got some ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion too!”

Shane Byrne is out to make amends at Brands Hatch this week­end Short of track time, Shakey needs good results at Brands

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