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Double Success For Be Wiser Ducati At Thruxton

The Be Wiser Ducati British Superbike Championship Team had double reason to celebrate at Thruxton today with Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne winning the opening MCE British Superbike Championship race at the Hampshire circuit and team-mate Glenn Irwin taking his maiden podium in the class in the second race.

Irwin at Thruxton

Having qualified on pole position for the third meeting in succession after a dominant weekend on the Penrith-based team’s factory-backed Ducati Panigale R, Byrne’s dominance continued in morning warm up when he was again comfortably quickest and that form continued in the first 20-lap encounter. A perfect start gave him the lead immediately and his lead was almost five seconds as the race approached half race distance before it was red flagged due to an accident.

The race was restarted over 12 laps and once Byrne, from Sittingbourne, had disposed of Michael Laverty at the end of lap two, he served up a repeat performance to take his 72nd career BSB win, eventually taking victory by just over three seconds.

The second race around the ultra-fast track saw him make an ideal start to lead at the end of the first lap but all hopes of a second win were dashed moments later when the gear linkage broke and the 39-year-old four-times champion had no option other than to pull in to the pits and retire. Despite that, Shakey still leads the series going into his home round at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.

Carrickfergus rider Irwin had to start from 24th on the grid for the opening race after crashing in qualifying but the determined Ulsterman gave an indication of what lay in store for the day when he posted the second fastest time in morning warm up. Good progress was made in the initial part of the first race and he converted that into a result in the second part with a solid 11th although he did climb as high as sixth at one stage.

A good lap time put him eighth on the grid although he struggled off the line and had dropped back to twelfth at the completion of the first lap. By lap three, that had become 14th but from thereon in he put in a scintillating ride as he picked off the riders in front of him one by one. With two laps to go, a podium was very much in his sights and he overtook Leon Haslam to take a brilliant third place in his first year in the class.

Shane Byrne: “The stoppage in the first race didn’t really do me any favours as I’d got out front and was managing the tyres so the red flag came at the wrong time although safety’s obviously paramount. When Michael took the lead in the re-start I wasn’t too concerned but I knew I couldn’t stay behind him for too long otherwise it would be a freight train. I got by him but possibly punished my tyres trying to break away from him and the last few laps were a bit sketchy but we got the job done. The second race started well but the gear linkage breaking is just one of those things. I know how meticulous my team are, they’re almost obsessive and prepare in the same way that I do, always giving 100%. That’s why we work so well together. It was no-one’s fault although it was difficult to sit in the pit box knowing I could have been faster than what the leaders were lapping at! I really wanted to reward the whole team with a double this weekend but the positives, and there are a lot of them, far outweigh the negatives.”

Glenn Irwin: “We made a few changes in morning warm up which worked not just for one lap but for a good deal longer and that put me in a good position for the first race. We sacrificed the result in the first race to make sure we got a good starting position for the second and it definitely worked although it was certainly a strange first race with the lack of grip. The team did a really good job this weekend and I'm delighted to have got my first podium. I perhaps could have gone quicker earlier than what I did but to be standing here now in third, after being way off the pace at the beginning of the season is brilliant. The Ducati's not just an iconic motorcycle, it's a very fast one too!”

Phil Borley, Technical Director: “It’s been a very good day although, of course, we’re disappointed that Shakey couldn’t take the double win after the gear linkage broke. Glenn made up for that disappointment in the second race with his first ever podium and he put in an excellent ride. He was a bit down after his crash in qualifying but he had good pace on race day and it’s been a good weekend for him with some fine results. Shakey may have retired from the second race but I think it’s fair to say he had the measure of everyone this weekend. He was strong throughout the weekend and even when the tyres were going off and grip levels not at their best, he was able to pull away. The next round at Brands Hatch is on his favourite circuit so let’s hope the bike the works equally well there.”


MCE British Superbike Championship race one (12 laps)

1 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2 Michael Laverty (BMW)

3 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki)

4 Tommy Bridewell (Suzuki)

5 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

6 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)

11 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati)


MCE British Superbike Championship race two (18 laps)

1 Michael Laverty (BMW)

2 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)

3 Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati)

4 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki)

5 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

6 Peter Hickman (Kawasaki)

DNF Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Kawasaki)


Championship Positions (after six rounds)

1 Byrne 181pts

2 Haslam 166

3 O’Halloran 146

4 Laverty 135

5 Linfoot 118

6 Ellison 109

12 Irwin 55


The next round takes place at Brands Hatch in Kent over the weekend of 5/7 August and for further information, please visit www.pbmuk.net and www.britishsuperbike.com.

Pictures courtesy of Jon Jessop:  Glenn Irwin on the podium & #67 Shane Byrne in action.

Notes to Editors:

Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) are winners of over 165 races in British Superbike Championship, MotoGP CRT, World Superbike Championship, 125cc, 250cc, Supersport British Championships, Superstock National Championships, Isle of Man TT, North West 200, Daytona, Macau GP, and British domestic races. Points scorers in 125cc, 250cc and 500cc GPs, Points scorers in World Supersport, podium finishers in WSB, Superpole winners in World Superbike. They are based at Langwathby near Penrith in Cumbria.

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