Byrne set for BSB Brands showdown
Byrne set for BSB Brands showdown

Local hero Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne returns to Kent’s world-famous Brands Hatch circuit next weekend (October 13/14/15) aiming to land a record sixth MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and defend his title for the first time.

Sheppey’s Byrne will line up on the grid alongside fellow Kent riders Jake Dixon and Bradley Ray, who both have points to prove at the championship-deciding weekend. Dixon is currently fourth in the standings and still in contention for the title, while 20-year-old Ray – the youngest rider in the pack – scored his first podium last month at Oulton Park and is gunning for another win.

Race ace Byrne is a veteran of BSB and a popular figure at the Kent circuit, but he’ll have to be on top of his game to make up a 33-point deficit and lift the trophy for a record-breaking sixth time.

“I have been in a position before when there has been nothing between us in the points and the pressure to beat a certain rider or finish in a certain position is immense. One thing I really want to do is to defend a title; I love Brands Hatch and I am coming to the final round to do the best job I can and we will then see what happens,” he said.

Three races across Saturday and Sunday carrying a total of 75 points will decide the 2017 championship, and 21-year-old Dixon from Dover is feeling confident despite the 54-point gap between himself and leader Leon Haslam.

The RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider, who also trails 2015 winner Josh Brookes in second and third-placed Byrne, is pushing for a strong finish to only his second season.

“I want to end the season on a high and I will be putting it all on the line to try and make it happen. I can only do what I can and everything can change so quickly; it is so close but this is the last push of the year and I love the Grand Prix circuit. I have done a double already this season (at Knockhill) so a treble would be great!” he said.

Ray, who hails from Ashford, is highly rated within the MCE BSB paddock and scored an impressive sixth place last time out in Assen.

He said: “I want to get to the final round and end the season with three good races. I never expected to get a podium in my first season, so I think my goal has to be to be in the group fighting for a top five finish and it is even better that I have three races to try and do it! I have a lot of support because it is my home round so I want to put on a good show for myself and the Buildbase Suzuki team.”

Tickets for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch are available in advance from £27; children under 13 go free. For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk to book online and save with our print-at-home ticket option.


 
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