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Byrne Scorches To Snetterton Victory
|Monday, 08 July 2013 14:25|
Reigning MCE British Superbike Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne endured the toughest weekend of the 2013 season so far at Snetterton in round five of the series but the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider still ended up victorious taking his seventh win out of the ten races held to date.
After qualifying in second place on the grid, the 36-year-old from Sittingbourne took a gamble with the front tyre in the opening 16-lap race which didn't pay dividends and whilst third place gave him another valuable podium credit, it certainly wasn't the result he'd hoped for.
The resulting discussions between the triple British Superbike Champion and his Penrith-based PBM team saw some changes made to the front end of the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix-backed Kawasaki ZX-10R including reverting back to his favoured softer compound Pirelli front tyre.
The changes clearly worked and in front of a massive crowd basking in the Norfolk sunshine, Byrne immediately grabbed the lead going into the first corner of race two and it was a lead he was never to relinquish. Despite encountering a safety car period in the early stages of the race as well as constant pressure from regular rivals Alex Lowes and Josh Brookes, he resisted all challenges to chalk up the 48th BSB win of his career.
Team-mate Keith Farmer had a disappointing weekend as a crash in the final free practice session on Saturday morning meant he was unable to take part in the two races. Although no bones were broken, the Clogher, Northern Ireland rider suffered a blood clot in his right leg and was forced to sit on the sidelines.
Shane Byrne: "The first race was absolutely dreadful and whilst I could ride round at 60%, going at 61% would have spelt disaster as the front end was awful and I just couldn't get the feel I wanted. I normally use the softer front tyre but we made a gamble which didn't pay off so it required some major changes in between the races. Fair play to the boys in the team, they gave me a bike for the second race that allowed me to do what I wanted with it and whilst I wasn't happy after the first race, they put a smile back on my face after the second."
Keith Farmer: "After a good result at Knockhill, I was really looking forward to building on that and everything was going in the right direction until I tipped off. It was a fairly innocuous crash but I got caught up with the bike and first it ran over me and then landed on me. I didn't break anything but the doctors diagnosed a blood clot in my leg and I can honestly say I've never known pain like it! There's not much they can do for it and it's just a time thing so I hope it goes sooner rather than later and I'll be back fit for Brands Hatch."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "It was disappointing that we couldn't give Shakey the bike he wanted in race one as we made a calculated gamble with the front and it didn't work out so we reverted back to the original settings for the second race and he got the victory to maintain his championship lead. Keith was unlucky as it was the sort of crash you usually get away with but now it's a case of him trying to get fit for Brands Hatch in a fortnight."
More information including bike, team and rider profiles, race calendar etc can be found at the team's website www.pbmuk.net. The official website of the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship is at www.britishsuperbike.com.
MCE British Superbike Championship Race 1 - 16 laps
1 Alex Lowes (Honda)
2 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
3 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
4 James Ellison (Yamaha)
5 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda)
6 James Westmoreland (BMW)
DNS Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
MCE British Superbike Championship Race 2 - 16 laps
1 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2 Alex Lowes (Honda)
3 Josh Brookes (Suzuki)
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda)
5 James Westmoreland (BMW)
6 Chris Walker (Kawasaki)
DNS Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
Championship Standings (after five rounds)
1 Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 207pts
2 Lowes 175
3 Brookes 172
4 Ellison 100
5 Kiyonari 83
6 Kirkham 81
10 Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 50
Article source: On behalf of Paul Bird Motorsport by Cartersport Motorsport Media