Motorcycle News (UK) - - SPORT -

Com­ing off the back of four con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries, Thrux­ton should have been a dream week­end for reign­ing champ Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.

The Hamp­shire cir­cuit had been where Byrne felt the Be Wiser Du­cati was at its best in the 2016 sea­son and even his main se­ries ri­val, Leon Haslam, told MCN he be­lieved Byrne had the Thrux­ton dou­ble in the bag be­fore he’d even ar­rived. But the five-time Bri­tish Cham­pion lacked out­right pace.

The Be Wiser Du­cati team turned his Panigale up­side down, even­tu­ally swap­ping out all new-for-2017 parts with the ex­cep­tion of the ex­haust in or­der to find the feel­ing he’d en­joyed 12 months ago, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Af­ter qual­i­fy­ing fifth, he could only man­age fourth in the open­ing race and while it seemed the team had made a break­through for race two as he took the early lead, he re­tired with the same tyre-wear is­sues that ham­pered many of his ri­vals last year.

“This was sup­posed to be one of our best tracks,” ex­plained a baf­fled Byrne af­ter the race. “I do not know why it hasn’t worked. I came here think­ing I could win six on the bounce! It would have been per­fect, but some­times you ex­pect things and they don’t come.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had such a bad week­end. I’m not a quitter, it hurt to pull in from that sec­ond race. The tyre was bounc­ing up and down and I couldn’t close the throt­tle go­ing into a cor­ner as the bike was just com­ing around on me, I couldn’t risk it. I’ve seen what hap­pened to Jonathan Rea and Michael van der Mark with tyres in WSB this year. I tried to keep go­ing but I thought ‘we’re two rounds away from the Show­down, the last thing I want is a 180mph blowout’.

“That be­ing said, you have to take on the lows to en­joy the highs and with Don­ing­ton, the Brands Indy crash and now this, hope­fully that’s my share of lows out of the way this sea­son!”

With the Show­down loom­ing Skakey couldn’t risk a crash

Haslam gained ground against his main ti­tle ri­val

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