After the highs of Glenn Irwin’s first MCE British Superbike Championship race win yesterday, the Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team had a challenging day at Silverstone today, the highlight of which wasfive-times and defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne finishing third in the opening race to grab another valuable Podium Point prior to the Showdown starting next weekend.
Londoner Byrne, who had already sealed his place in the all-important top six, started the first race of the day from pole position and a perfect start on the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R saw him grab the lead into the first corner from where he held sway over the field for the first half of the race before dropping to third.
Following a safety car intervention, the pack closed up but just as Byrne was planning a charge to victory in the closing laps, out came the red flag due to oil being dropped on the circuit leaving him to claim the final podium spot for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team.
Team-mate Irwin, fresh from his maiden BSB win yesterday, started the opening 14-lap encounter from the second row of the grid, completing the opening lap in sixth place. However, the Carrickfergus rider’s race was soon over as he crashed out a lap later, fortunately without injury, at Stowe corner.
Byrne started the second race, which was held in wet conditions, on the front row once more with Irwin on row four before taking over the lead on the second lap and extending it as Irwin moved up to seventh. However, it all went wrong for the team on the sixth lap as both Shakey and Irwin crashed out just prior to the red flag as conditions deteriorated.
As a result, Byrne leads the standings on 532 points ahead of Leon Haslam on 526 going into next weekend’s opening Showdown encounter at Oulton Park.
Shane Byrne: “Saturday was a very difficult day so it was nice to get today underway with a good, solid ride onto the podium in race one. I rarely use the harder SC1 tyre as it’s hard to make it work on the Be Wiser Ducati but with the cooler temperatures I felt I had little option and was ready to have a big push in the closing stages only for the red flag to end the race early. I felt comfortable at the front in race two but the weather made it really difficult and I was down before I knew it. We came here with the aim of getting three wins and 15 Podium Points but racing doesn’t always work out like that and whilst you could look at this weekend in a negative way after two crashes, the positive is how well the bike has performed on the harder SC1 tyre. With autumn and the cooler temperatures now upon us, I’ve gained a lot of confidence which should stand us in good stead. The Showdown’s now upon us and we’ve got five days before we come out fighting.”
Glenn Irwin: “It’s obviously been a mixed weekend starting out with my first ever BSB win on Saturday but suffering two crashes today. I made a mistake in the first race as everything was goingwell up until that point and the bike was working really well so hats off to the team. The last race of the weekend was a complete lottery as it was difficult out there and, like Shakey, I was down before I knew it or had any chance to try and save it. It’s a shame to end the weekend in that manner but thanks as always to the team for a great job.”
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “It’s been a very disappointing day with Shakey’s third place and additional Podium Point the only positive really. It would have been nice to have seen the race go full distance as the bike was working really well and Shakey was looking very strong but it wasn’t to be. The conditions were difficult in race two which could be seen by the number of fallers and it led to zero points for Shakey as he went down. After yesterday’s high, Glenn was brought back down to earth in both races which was obviously a shame as he could have scored some good points. Instead he ended up with none but, thankfully, both riders are injury free so we’ll pick ourselves up, repair the damage and get ready for the Showdown opener next weekend.”
MCE British Superbike Championship race two (8 laps)
1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
2 James Ellison (Yamaha)
3 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
4 Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
6 Bradley Ray (Suzuki)
DNF Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati)
MCE British Superbike Championship race three (9 laps)
1 Dan Linfoot (Honda)
2 Michael Laverty (Yamaha)
3 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki)
4 James Westmoreland (Kawasaki)
5 Jakub Smrz (BMW)
6 Bradley Ray (Suzuki)
DNF Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) DNF Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati)
Championship standings (after nine rounds)
1 Byrne 235pts
2 Brookes 212
3 Haslam 209
4 Hickman 208
5 O’Halloran 194
6 Dixon 192
11 Irwin 107