Disappointing weekend for Byrne
Disappointing weekend for Byrne

Round seven of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship proved challenging for Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team rider Shane Byrne who couldn’t muster a podium but he did at least retain the series lead following the action at Thruxton.
With Saturday’s qualifying session proving disappointing for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team, both riders were keen to make amends on race day and Shakey went into the races in a lot better frame of mind having been quickest in the morning warm-up session.

The five-times and defending champion from Sittingbourne made a good start in race one from row two of the grid aboard the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R and was soon involved in the battle for the lead. Following a safety car intervention, Byrne continued to dispute the lead with Josh Brookes, Peter Hickman and Jake Dixon but try as he might he wasn’t able to get close enough to make a pass and he had to settle for fourth at the end of the 18 laps.

Byrne started the second race from the front row and he ran comfortably inside the top three for the first half of the race, including leading for three laps. However, as the race entered the second half, it was clear he was in trouble as problems with the rear tyre saw him drop down the order and he eventually pulled in to retire on lap 15.

Speaking after the weekend, Byrne said: “I’ve been building up to this weekend ever since Knockhill and it’s probably been the meeting I’ve been looking forward to the most especially after what we achieved here in 2016. The last two meetings have gone really well and we expected more of the same here so I was obviously disappointed with fourth in race one.

“We made a big change with the bike for the second race and it was the best it had been all weekend. I felt so, so comfortable and was ready to check out but then the rear tyre went downhill rapidly and I couldn’t do anything about it. I had no option but to retire but I’m still leading the championship and have only lost the odd point to my rivals in terms of Podium Points so we’ll roll on to the next round.”