Maiden double victory for Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and the Panigale R at Brands Hatch

Maiden double victory for Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and the Panigale R at Brands Hatch

Maiden double victory for the Panigale R
Byrne leads championship by 25 points
Irwin continues impressive form with race 2 fourth
Bad luck again follows Buchan and Lloyds British Moto Rapido team

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne provided a nail-biting finish to the day at his local circuit to secure his first double win with the Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R. Shakey had once again been dominant though out practice sessions, setting a new lap record around the Brands Hatch GP circuit on Saturday, but poor starts in both races meant he had his work cut out today to secure both his victories at the Kent track.

Race 1
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne (Be Wider Ducati) lined up 2nd on the grid but a slow start off the line saw him dropping to 7th at the start of the first lap of the Brands Hatch GP circuit. His teammate Glenn Irwin didn’t fare much better, losing 3 positions and crossing the line to start his 2nd lap in 8th.

Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido BSB) started mid-pack after his qualifying was ruined yesterday by a rider cruising on the racing line. Buchan was finding his rhythm back in 15th but his run of bad luck continued as his race ended prematurely on Lap 6 when he slid out unhurt at Druids.

Meanwhile both of the Be Wiser Ducati team riders were making steady progress climbing the field but this was put on hold as the Safety Car came out on Lap 8 after a rider fell at Clark Curve. Shakey used his racecraft to make a pass on O’Halloran as soon as the Safety Car came in and by Lap 10 had climbed up to 4th position with Irwin a couple of places behind him.

At half race distance Shakey was starting to bridge the gap to the leading trio of Bridewell, Mossey and Haslam. But disaster struck for Irwin who went down unhurt at Graham Hill Bend whilst running in 6th.

Shakey was now the sole Ducati rider on track and moved up to 3rd place after passing pole sitter Mossey at Surtees. As the riders headed down the Brabham straight Haslam ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend allowing Shakey to claim second place behind leader Bridewell. A final move around the outside of Bridewell at Hawthorn Bend earned Shakey the lead. Despite pressure from Haslam in the closing lap Shakey kept a cool head, eventually winning Race 1 by over half a second.

Race 2
Mirroring the first race, Shakey once again got off poorly from the second spot on the grid. It looked like he may have had problems as he started to go down the pack and by the start of Lap 6 was running back in 11th position. However this same lap he went on to post the fastest lap of the race as he started his move through the field.

Irwin had made good progress from his P8 grid position and had soon matched his best position to date by passing Ellison into Paddock Hill on lap 5 to claim P3. A few laps later Irwin went one position better into 2nd and was able to run closely behind the current race leader O’Halloran for several laps before being passed by Haslam. By this point Shakey had climbed back up the field behind Irwin, eventually passing his teammate for 3rd.

With a quarter of the race left there was another brief Safety Car period as fluid was cleaned from the track following Laverty’s bike failure, resulting in the race being extended from 20 to 22 laps.

On lap 19 Shakey passed O’Halloran into Graham Hill Bend for 2nd and then immediately passed Haslam at Druids for the lead. By the last lap Shakey had pulled a gap on Haslam by 0.848 seconds and crossed the line to take his first double victory onboard his Ducati Panigale R to the delight of the Be Wiser Ducati Team

Irwin managed to hold on to a well-deserved 4th place finish while Buchan crossed the line just outside the points in 16th.

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne – Be Wiser Ducati
“Believe it or not the weekend’s been a lot more difficult than it’s looked. Every session we found something to finish P1 and when you do that everyone thinks you’re having it easy.

The first race especially was quite difficult. We lost a little bit of feeling from the front tyre and made quite a few mistakes because of it. Giovanni [Crupi] made some changes for Race 2, altered the front suspension a little bit and gave me some confidence back. I think there’s lots or rumblings about how our bike is on another level compared to everyone else’s but you can see today from me having problems that it’s not like I just blasted back to the front. I had to work really really hard. There’s clearly a great package underneath me but a package that still needs refining. When you hear people complaining that we have unfair advantage but I think just watch that race, see what it took to get the two wins and then come back and tell me we’ve got an unfair advantage. It’s not the case at all. We just work really hard. We work really meticulously. We try and make sure that we never have to go over any of the work that we do. That’s why it’s taken us a while to get ourselves in a situation that we can fight for wins all the time.

I was fairly confident of a win last time out at Thruxton and unfortunately it didn’t come. I said back then that we can’t reflect on what could have been there. We need to try and make what could have happened there happen at Brands Hatch. I’m chuffed to bits for the whole team. For Ducati UK, for Ducati Corse and for everybody involved, Be Wiser, Paul Bird and all of my boys that we pulled off our first double of the season.”

Glenn Irwin – Be Wiser Ducati
“When I was in P2 it was funny, it felt like I was sitting there with more pace than Jason [O’Halloran] I felt I saved a few laps on my tyres behind him, maybe I should have pressurised him and made some moves and maybe scrape a podium that way. I had some front end and rear end slides, I did use more tyre then those guys at the beginning to pull up through and that probably went against me. I tried to make amends for that by spending a few laps with Jason and not trying to take the lead. All sorts of things were gong through my head, how I could be leading my first ever BSB race and things like that. After the off this morning I made a mistake, I wasn’t getting a positive feeling from the chassis in warmer conditions and that’s information I should’ve kept a mature approach about. To rack up some points and give the guys a lot less work to do for Race 2. Credit to them because they were working on that bike right up until we were out.”

Danny Buchan – Lloyds British Moto Rapido
“Gutting again. It was looking to be a good weekend really. We had good pace through practices. I had a coming together with a rider yesterday, he was on the racing line and I had to avoid him and crashed. I went out this morning and had a different feeling straight away and I lost the front on the gas pretty late on around Druids which was an interesting crash as I didn’t know how it happened. And in the second race we took a load of weight off the front of the bike there and it just didn’t pay dividends. I lost the front quite a few times just trying to stay on it. And you’re in P16, P15 thinking is worth crashing out of, am I going to gain anything from trying to push these extra few places and I didn’t do it so I just had to settle for 16th. Gutting for everyone.”