Byrne leads championship after podium and race 1 win at Snetterton

Byrne leads championship after podium and race 1 win at Snetterton

Podium in race 1 and race 2 win for Byrne
Byrne leads championship by 4 points
Irwin finishes race 2 in 7th
Solid finishes of 12th and 9th for Danny Buchan

A dramatic weekend of racing saw Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) leave Snetterton with the championship lead. A battling podium and a race 2 win was enough for Byrne to lead the championship by 4 points. Teammate Glen Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) overcame technical problems in race 1 that resulted in a retirement to finish race 2 in 7th. Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido) continued his solid run of results with 12th and 9th places.

The joy of qualifying on pole was short lived for Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati Team) in Race 1, where an early tangle with championship rival Leon Haslam put back Byrne back into 22nd position. Byrne had begun the race where le left off in qualifying leading into the first corner but then ran a little deep into the Montreal hairpin, allowing Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) to gain ground. Disaster struck at the next corner at Palmer when a pass by Haslam left Byrne with no choice but to take evading action and avoid a crash for both riders. Byrne stood his Panigale R bike up, subsequently running off the circuit onto the grass around the long left-hander, eventually re-joining the race all the way back in 22nd position.

Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati Team) meanwhile was having his own dramas. Irwin was up to 5th from his starting position of 11th by the second lap, setting a fastest lap in the process. But moments later the superbike rookie had a technical issue, causing Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) to clip his rear wheel and collecting Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) directly behind him. That was the end of the race for the trio. Irwin was able to tour back to the pits but disappointed with another race retirement.

Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido) had started in 6th but was already up into 4th by the end of Lap 1. He held this position for the first third of the race but then started to lose time against the leading trio as his tyres went off.
After his first lap incident Byrne had been on an absolute charge, cutting through the field from third last and posting a new lap record at Snetterton on Lap 4 with a time of 1:47.714. Just 6 laps after being forced onto the grass he had caught and managed to pass Buchan for 4th as the 2 riders crossed the line to start Lap 8.

Byrne went on to chase down and pass championship leader Haslam for the final podium spot. But the distance to the two Honda Racing riders of eventual race winner Jason O’Halloran and Dan Linfoot proved too much to make up. With spots of rain falling in Sector 1 Byrne settled for third and valuable championship points.

Despite his tyres problems Buchan also finished in the points, crossing the line in 12th.
Byrne’s new lap record saw him start Race 2 from pole for the 2nd time of the day. Irwin’s impressive Lap 3 put him on the 2nd row in 5th with Buchan starting from the 3rd row in 9th.

Shane Byrne - Be Wiser Ducati Team – 3rd
“Bit of a sketchy race but I got my head down. Once I got past Leon I could see that the Honda guys were running away. I treated every lap like a qualifying lap and I paid the price a bit with the rear tyre and it started spinning with the rain. I thought there’s 3 seconds back behind me and I’m never going to catch the guys at the front now so just ride it home. A little bit disappointed the bike’s working well to not have a win but there’s another race today yet so we’ll try then.”

Danny Buchan - Lloyds British Moto Rapido - 12th
“The first race was really disappointing. I got a good start and there was a bit of drama in turn 2, which I managed to get away from. I got the hammer down and caught up to the top 3 relatively quickly. I’ve known all weekend that the tyres were going to be an issue here. So I knew I had to just chip away at the times. But on Lap 6 my tyre just fell apart, it was almost like riding a slick in the wet, it was that bad. I managed to bring the bike home in 12th, but that wasn’t ideal for ourselves and the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Team.”

Race 2 win for Byrne at Snetterton

After setting a new lap record in Race 1, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne once again started the Race 2 from pole. He was the first rider through Turn 1 and did not relinquish that lead throughout the race, eventually breaking away from the rest of the field with Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) close behind in 2nd.

Byrne’s rookie teammate Glenn Irwin had almost retired from the race before it had begun after electronic and quickshifter problems from Race 1 continued to plague him. But the Northern Irish racer decided to carry on regardless. He lost 6 places over the first lap while he adapted to riding without the use of his quickshifter, but had fought his way back up from 10th to 6th by Lap 8.

Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido) made another good start from 9th on the grid and was conserving his tyres following the problems he had in Race 1. The Essex rider was posting consistent times and planning to push on and make up as many positions as possible in the last third of the race.
Jenny Tinmouth (Honda Racing) had been running at the back of the field but on her 12th lap lost the front of her bike whilst braking for Nelson. Although she was unhurt her bike launched dramatically through the air before landing back on track further round the corner, spreading fluid across the racing line.

The leading duo of Byrne and Linfoot were the next riders through that section and the rear of Byrne’s bike stepped out as a result of the fluid on the circuit. The red flag was shown just seconds later due to the dangerous conditions. As two/thirds of the race distance had been completed rider’s positions at the end of lap 12 would dictate the race results, with Byrne notching up another victory onboard his Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R.

This race marked Byrne’s 3rd victory of the season and moves him to the top of the BSB championship. Irwin finished in 7th with Buchan a couple of positions behind him in 9th.

Shane Byrne - Be Wiser Ducati – 1st
“I had a much different strategy in that one. I wanted to lead from the front, I wanted to set my own pace. I wanted to see how many people would creep up behind us as I deliberately set off really slow. The about 4 or 5 laps in I increased the lap time quite a bit. I could see a couple of them had gone with me and then in the end it was just Dan [Linfoot]. I’d get a gap and then he’d get me back and then I’d get a gap. We got to the back straight and there was a yellow flag and an oil flag. I came through the chicane and literally touched, must have been oil, and spat myself sideways up out the seat. I looked back and thought somebody’s going to go down and I could see that I had quite a big gap and nobody had gone down so I thought just go. Go, go go, go, go! Just pull the pin and go as fast as you can. I got onto the start/finish straight and saw the red flag and knew we had done enough laps to declare the result. It was cool, I’m really happy. We tested here a few weeks ago so we had a great base setting to start from. I’m looking forward to Thruxton already and hopefully we can score some more podium points and a couple more wins would be nice.”

Glenn Irwin - Be Wiser Ducati – 7th
“It was a good weekend, with more progress. You have to be realistic, I’m not one of these kids who saying they’re going to win the championship in year 1. Before Race 2 the MoTeC was playing up but the boys did a really good job. With 6 minutes to go Johnny ran back to the garage to get a new quickshifter. But that didn’t fix it. It might have been the wiring harness. I wasn’t actually going to start the race with the problems with my quickshifter and electronics. I pulled in on turn 4 [on the warm-up lap] and let everybody past me. I was going to return to the pits. But the old school way of changing gear is obviously blipping the throttle, so I did that round to the start line and thought we’d give it a go. It was a good crack! And another great job by the team.”

Danny Buchan - Lloyds British Moto Rapido – 9th
“I got a good start again in Race 2 but knew I didn’t want to cook the tyre too much. I knew the position I’d find myself with 6 or 7 laps to go would be one I could move forward in. And with 6 laps to go I was happy with my times and catching the ahead. I saw Hickman, Irwin and Iddon in front and was taking massive chunks out of their time but the red flag went up so that was frustrating. I never seem to have good results here but we’re taking the positives and will just move on to Thruxton now where the Ducati works really well. It’ll be the home round for the team and I really like it there. So hopefully we can make amends, start knocking some points in and get the bike in the top 6 where it should be.”