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2015-07-20

BSB Update - Byrne Salvages Podium As Easton Injured At Brands Hatch

After the euphoria of the historic double one-two finish at Knockhill two weeks ago, it was back down to earth with a bang, quite literally, for the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport Team at round six of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Four-times MCE BSB champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne was hoping to continue his winning streak at his local track but he ended up crashing out of the opening race aboard the PBM Kawasaki ZX-10R when running with the leaders in race one, just after team-mate Stuart Easton had crashed heavily at the same corner sustaining a leg injury.  

The weekend had started well with pole position for Sittingbourne rider Byrne with Scotsman Easton lining up in a strong fifth place. The opening race started well with Byrne leading and Easton well placed after the first two laps. However, on the next lap, Hawick rider Easton crashed heavily at high speed at Hawthorn Bend, followed six laps later by Byrne at the same corner, as both riders were taken off to the medical centre for checks.

Unfortunately, Stuart suffered a suspected lower leg fracture and ligament damage to his knee in his frightening spill and was unable to start the second race but a battered Shakey was able to bravely take his spot from pole position. From there, a good start saw the reigning MCE BSB champion storm into an early lead although Josh Brookes relegated him to second on lap eight.

As the race wore on, Brookes pulled away to take the victory again to deny Shakey his 67th MCE BSB win but, given his earlier crash, second was a good result and saw him maintain his lead in the title race albeit by a slightly reduced margin.

Shane Byrne: "The first race crash was unlucky and all the data showed was that I'd used slightly more rear brake which was enough to unload the front tyre. I went down hard and the boys did a great job in repairing the bike so it was down to me to pay them back in the second race. I'd be lying if I said I felt brand new but I gave it my best shot although I made a few mistakes during the race allowing Josh to get away, I'll take second given where we were earlier in the day. Massive thanks to the whole PBM team for rebuilding the bike and I'm sorry I couldn't give them the win."

Stuart Easton: "I was feeling confident coming into this weekend although we had a few issues getting the bike how I wanted it. I was happy after qualifying although we had a technical problem during morning warm-up which meant we had to change engines. I was feeling good in the race then all of a sudden I was flying towards the barriers and although I've suffered an injury to my leg, all things considered I was extremely lucky. We'll see exactly what the damage is and I hope to be back and challenging again soon."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "After the highs of Knockhill two weeks ago, we've experienced the lows of racing this weekend with both riders crashing within a few laps of each other. The first race was a bit of a disaster but, fortunately, Shakey wasn't injured and he was able to come back strong in the second race to take second and score some good points and podium credits. Unfortunately, it looks like Stuart has broken some bones in his lower leg or ankle and we're just awaiting further diagnosis to find the full extent of the damage. We've checked the bike and haven't found anything untoward but it's a real shame for Stuart, especially as it wasn't his fault, as he'd been riding so well so, hopefully, he won't be out for too long and will be able to maintain his top six position."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "Not the results we came for or have been used to lately but we will take the rough with the smooth. It's a shame for Stuart and hopefully he'll be back soon and Shakey showed his class after bouncing back with a podium after his big crash. We'll have two bikes out at Thruxton as Ian Hutchinson will ride in place of Stuart and hopefully we can get back to our winning ways there."

Championship Positions (after six rounds)
1 Byrne 221pts
2 Brookes 216
3 Ellison 147
4 Easton 139
5 O'Halloran 103
6 Bridewell 99

We wish Stuart a speedy recovery and look forward to the next events in the BSB calendar.

 


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