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2017-07-24

Brands Double For Flexicon Sponsored Blistering Byrne

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne put in two superb rides on the Be Wiser Ducati at Brands Hatch today to claim an emphatic double victory and take over the lead of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship.

Riding the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R, the five-times and defending champion from nearby Sittingbourne battled against the elements in the opening 20-lap race as rain threatened the Kent track but bounced back from ninth at one point to end up taking the lead with a couple of laps to go, when out came the red flags as a shower intervened.

Irwin Brands Hatch July 2017

The result provided Byrne with his 81st career win and 16th victory around the historic Grand Prix circuit and with it, claimed the championship lead for the first time this season as the series hit the halfway point.  

Starting the second race from the front row, Shakey made a great getaway off the line and grabbed the lead on the opening lap before upping the lap record as he made his escape at the front. After early challenger Josh Brookes crashed out, Byrne never looked back, before going on to win by almost six seconds from James Ellison to make it four wins in a row after his double earlier this month at Snetterton.  Byrne also won the coveted King of Brands trophy for a second year in succession. 

Team-mate Glenn Irwin found the going tough on his comeback from injury although he was unlucky to miss out on scoring a point in race one, eventually crossing the line in 16th place. He started from the same position in the afternoon’s second race and was part of a six-rider battle for 12th place whereby the Carrickfergus rider maintained a good pace throughout and, still far from fit, he was rewarded for his sterling efforts with 14th place and two hard earned points.

Shakey Brands Hatch 2017

Shane Byrne: “The first race was a lot tougher than what I was hoping for but the safety car coming out did me a favour and I got going straightaway again. The bike had felt really good all weekend in the dry and we were able to prove that in the race so a big thank you to the team. The pace was even hotter in the second race and with a good start decided I had to get to the front as quickly as possible and go for it. Once I’d got the lead, I just tried to stay as consistent as possible and watched my pit board. I just kept my rhythm and concentration so to get the double is brilliant and we’re achieving just what we wanted to at our strong circuits.”

Glenn Irwin: “I’ve had two tough races today but don’t think we got the results we deserved to be honest. In the first race, I had a mechanical issue and the team did a great job in putting in a new engine for the second race. I was struggling with my shoulder but altered my style in some areas of the track to make up for the lack of strength and it definitely helped. I was a lot smoother and steadier on the throttle and had really good pace. I haven’t lost any of my confidence after the injury and although I’ve got a mountain to climb to get into the Showdown, I’m two points closer than what I was at the beginning of the weekend.”

Phil Borley, Technical Director: “It’s been a fantastic day for Shakey and although it wasn’t an easy first race, he fought back brilliantly after dropping back and overtaking so many riders to get back into the lead was no mean feat. It was a fantastic ride and a great win. He made a good start in the second race and as soon as he got to the front he controlled things perfectly. He maximised the potential he’d shown in the dry all weekend and a double win and ten podium credits is great from a championship perspective. For Glenn, he obviously did the best he could given his fitness levels and he rode really well in his first ride back after what was a pretty bad injury. He just missed out on the points in race one but managed a couple in the second and that will be a big lift for him. Coming back from injury is never easy but he’s got the first race out of the way now and knows what he can do so I’m confident he’ll be a lot higher up the order at Thruxton where he’ll be closer to 100% fitness.”

 

MCE British Superbike Championship race one (18 laps)

1 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2 Dan Linfoot (Honda)

3 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

4 Peter Hickman (BMW)

5 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

6 James Ellison (Yamaha)

16 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati)

 

MCE British Superbike Championship race one (20 laps)

1 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2 James Ellison (Yamaha)

3 Christian Iddon (BMW)

4 Peter Hickman (BMW)

5 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

6 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki)

14 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati)

 

Championship Positions (after six rounds)

1 Byrne 190pts

2 Mossey 161

3 Haslam 159

4 O’Halloran 133

5 Brookes 129

6 Hickman 119

11 Irwin 65


For more information, please visit www.pbmuk.net or www.britishsuperbike.com.

 

Pictures attached (courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography):  Shane Byrne on the podium and #2 Glenn Irwin in action.



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