BSB: Shakey back on top

Motorcycle News (UK) - - News - Byrne puts young guns back in their place with Snet­ter­ton dou­ble

MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bikes might have been all about the young guns in re­cent rounds, but five-time ti­tle win­ner Shane Byrne is­sued a stark warn­ing to the young­sters snap­ping at his heels with an im­mac­u­late per­for­mance at Snet­ter­ton.

The Be­wiser PBM Du­cati man topped ev­ery ses­sion be­fore go­ing on to take pole with the quick­est ever two-wheeled lap of the Nor­folk cir­cuit (1m 46.024s) and then dec­i­mat­ing his ri­vals in Sun­day’s two races as well as clinch­ing a new lap record.

“I’m chuffed to bits for the fast young rid­ers com­ing through and you have to think they’re only go­ing to get stronger,” Byrne told MCN af­ter the sec­ond race. “But at the same time that doesn’t mean the rest of us are get­ting any weaker! Just this week­end I’ve made an­other lit­tle step in some­thing I do in my prepa­ra­tion for races and I’m al­ways look­ing for im­prove­ments like that.

“Don’t ever think for one mo­ment that I’m go­ing to stand still, be­cause I’m not.”

Byrne is hop­ing his Snet­ter­ton re­sult will mark the end to what has been an up and down pe­riod for the Be Wiser Du­cati team, which started in the worst pos­si­ble way with Byrne tak­ing zero points from three of the first four races af­ter miss­ing Don­ing­ton with con­cus­sion and crash­ing out at Brands Indy.

“It feels like my sea­son has fi­nally started,” Byrne laughed. “It seems weird to be say­ing that at round five but this is only our sec­ond and

third win of the year! It’s not as though our speed hasn’t been there, it’s been there at most rounds and noth­ing has par­tic­u­larly gone wrong, but it hasn’t gone right ei­ther!

“We could have won at Don­ing­ton and Brands Indy, at Oulton we did. Knock­hill wasn’t great, I gave ev­ery­thing I could but I just wasn’t in the race for the win and I’m not very good at ac­cept­ing that. Two podi­ums so far was not enough so to come here and rec­tify that was im­por­tant.”

Snet­ter­ton, Brands GP and Thrux­ton were three rounds where Byrne made key ground on Leon Haslam last year and with nei­ther of his JG Speed­fit Kawasaki ri­vals en­joy­ing a strong week­end he now sits just seven points off Luke Mossey’s cham­pi­onship lead.

“I said be­fore we came here that the next three rounds should be good for us, but just be­cause they should be good doesn’t mean they will be. We’ve still got to work bloody hard to max­imise our po­ten­tial and this week­end I couldn’t have done any bet­ter. I’ve no doubt both Leon and Luke are go­ing to come back strong, es­pe­cially next time out at Brands where they have both been strong be­fore.”

While Byrne might not hold the se­ries lead, he has moved ahead in the podium points which will be crit­i­cal for when the three-round Show­down kicks off at Oulton Park later this year. He now sits on 20 points, one ahead of Haslam and three ahead of Mossey.

“Af­ter my start to the year, all I was both­ered about in the first four rounds was get­ting my­self into the top six and mak­ing sure we stayed there. Now we’ve done that I can start think­ing about podium cred­its for the cham­pi­onship and we couldn’t have started that in a bet­ter way this week­end.”

‘Don’t ever think for one mo­ment that I’m go­ing to stand still – I’m not’ SHANE BYRNE

The Su­pers­port race re­sult was hit by a protest from third-placed Keith Farmer’s Ap­p­le­yard Maca­dam team who al­leged An­drew Ir­win passed un­der yellow flags. With the race won by the non-points scor­ing Moto2 of Alas­tair See­ley, a hear­ing will de­cide who gets the 25 points.

Byrne’s back af­ter a shakey start to 2017

OLI RUSHBY BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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