Success for Shakey at Snetterton as he does the double

Success for Shakey at Snetterton as he does the double

Pole starts, fastest laps and 2 race wins for Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne
Shakey moves up to 2nd in the British Superbike Championship
John ‘Hopper’ Hopkins gets his best result of the season with a 5th in Race 2

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne had a dominant weekend at Snetterton, with 2 pole starts and 2 wins – smashing lap records during both races in the process. His Be Wiser Ducati teammate Glenn Irwin did not race as he recuperates following an injury sustained at the previous Knockhill BSB round. John ‘Hopper’ Hopkins put bad luck behind him to score valuable points in a boost for his Moto Rapido Ducati team.

Race 1
Shakey lined up for Race 1 at Snetterton in pole having set the fastest ever two-wheeled lap around the Norfolk circuit yesterday during Superpole. Shakey lost a few positions on the start finding himself in 4th as riders exited Riches corner. But by Lap 2 the Be Wiser Ducati rider had already passed Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) to claim 3rd and by Lap 4 was pressuring Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki), going on to use the slipstream along the Senna Straight to move up into 2nd.

On Lap 5 Shakey took the lead when James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) went wide at Oggies. Shakey managed the gap at the front, posting the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 with a time of 1:47.759, going on to take a decisive victory and ensure another pole start for Race 2 in the process.

Hopper had started from Row 6 after a technical fault denied him the opportunity to post a lap time during Saturday’s Q2 session. Not to be outdone the American had a blistering first lap, claiming 7 positions to start his second lap in 11th. He went on to progress as high as 6th but in the dying laps of the race he struggled with a brake issue and tyre wear, eventually passing the chequered flag in an impressive 8th position. His best lap time of 1:48.257 gave him a much-improved starting position of 7th for Race 2.

Race 2
Shakey got a good start from pole but by the end of the first lap found himself in 3rd, behind Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) and Ellison. By half race distance Shakey had despatched Ellison and started chasing down race leader Brookes. Despite Brookes having pulled a gap out at the front, Shakey posted a new lap record around Snetterton with a 1:47.143 lap and took the lead on Lap 14 going on to claim his first double win of the year.

Hopper gained 3 positions on his opening lap and was running in 4th behind Shakey for the first half of the race. On Lap 11 Ellison crashed out of 3rd at Murrays, promoting Hopper into a podium position. But in the last quarter of the race Hopper struggled with his front tyre and dropped a couple of positions. Hopper’s 5th place finish is his highest to date this season and will be a well-deserved boost to the Moto Rapido Ducati team as they head to Brands Hatch for Round 6.

Shakey’s two wins see him move to 2nd in the Championship, just 7 points behind leader Luke Mossey (JG SPeedfit Kawasaki). Despite sitting out races at Knockhill and Snetterton due to injury, Shakey’s teammate Glenn Irwin is 9th in the Championship. Hopper’s points haul sees him move up to 12th.

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati #67) – Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st
“When you start off leading you have to maintain that. We led every single session. We won the first race with a new lap record - which was mine anyway. 2nd race was a little more tricky, I just kind of settled in. I wanted to go with 6 laps to go, 5 or 6 laps I thought I’ll make my move. But I was following James for quite a while and Josh started to put the hammer down a little bit and do some pretty fast laps mid race. But I got clear of James and then I thought right, just get your head down and chase Josh. I absolutely obliterated my own lap record and went down to a 47.1 and pretty much bridged the gap in 1 lap and thought, now we’re there let’s just chill for a minute and give it 2 or 3 laps until the end to make our move - to try and be strong and defensive. It panned out.

I think it’s important to dedicate those wins to Paul [Bird] because at Knockhill we lost Glenn, he had a bad crash and was badly injured and out for Knockhill and out for here. Obviously, I only got two 3rds [at Knockhill], which is not ideal because I like to win races. But hopefully these two wins with Glenn being away will put a smile on Paul’s face and we can go into Brands Hatch now and a run of races, in which we feel good.”

John ‘Hopper’ Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati #21) – Race 1 – 8th, Race 2 - 5th
“I am really happy because we are on the right track, this is the sort of pace that I knew that we had from the beginning of the year but for one reason or another we have not put it all together. Going into the weekend I was really confident, it is a track that I enjoy and I knew the bike would work well here. We had an issue with qualifying into Q2 which made it hard work to start race 1 from 18th. But we knew we had the pace and I just gave it everything and we made it all the way up to 6th at one point but from around half-distance I ended up losing my rear brake lever and I tend to use the rear brake everywhere especially at a track like this but we finished 8th and had a good starting position for Race 2.

Race 2 I got off the line well and from the first half to three quarters of the race distance it was a matter of hanging with the lead group but also trying to conserve the tyres. Unfortunately, Brookes and Shane just had the pace we didn’t have and then Ellison lost the front in front of me. It was at a stage that I was really starting to push the front and it made me a little bit nervous and O’Halloran got past me. From then on, I was in full attack mode trying to make the podium but for three of four corners I was losing the front and unfortunately Dixon got underneath me on the last lap. I was disappointed with that but we had a podium in our grasp and we had two solid finishes which we haven’t had all season. It was great to be in the lead group and there is a lot more to come.”