Victory at Knockhill for Byrne

Victory at Knockhill for Byrne

Byrne takes second win of the season after disappointment of race 1 crash
Buchan secures valuable points with 10th and 11th finishes
Irwin sees promise of strong race 2 finish dashed by collision

A win in Race 2 for Shane Byrne was the highlight of a mixed weekend for Ducati riders at Knockhill today with Buchan content to pick up valuable points and Iwin frustrated by a race 2 collision.
The three Ducati riders, Buchan, Irwin and Byrne all made it through to Superpole qualifying session despite the ever changing conditions at the Fife circuit on Saturday. Byrne claimed his first ever pole position for the Panigale in the British Superbike Championship with Irwin and Buchan on the second and third rows respectively.

Race 1
After a poor start pole sitter Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) soon found himself back in 9th position. By the third lap he had regained a place but at Taylor’s Hairpin disaster struck as the Be Wiser rider lost the front of his bike and was unable to save it with his knee, crashing in front of Jake Dixon. Dixon collided with Byrne’s Panigale on the track before another rider struck him, fortunately Dixon didn’t suffer any serious injury. Byrne remounted but regulations concerning fallen riders meant he was not allowed to continue and was shown the black flag before returning to the garage.

Byrne’s teammate Glenn Irwin lined up for the race in 5th with Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido) a row behind him in 9th. Both riders lost places at the start of the race and at two-thirds race distance Irwin was one place ahead of Buchan in 10th. The riders swapped places throughout the race with Buchan eventually finishing in front in 10th and Irwin in 11th.

Race 2 (wet race)
Irwin starting the race 9th on the grid, with Buchan and Byrne directly behind him on the fourth row. But as the lights went out Byrne made a much better start, climbing 6 places to 5th on his first lap.

Irwin was performing well in the wet conditions but on Lap 8 disaster struck once more for the Be Wiser team at Taylor’s Hairpin when James Ellison collided with the Be Wiser rider ending his race. Irwin was unhurt in the crash but showed his displeasure to Ellison after looking so promising in the wet all weekend.

Buchan had the worst start of the three riders and by the third lap had slipped from 10th to 16th. But the Lloyds British Moto Rapido rider made steady progress climbing his way up the field and was in 11th place before half race distance.

Meanwhile Byrne had been the quickest man on track and after closing on leader Dan Linfoot had taken the lead on Lap 10 before being passed by Race 1 winner Leon Haslam a couple of laps later. By Lap 24 Byrne was momentarily back in the last podium spot but a determined ride saw him pass Haslam and Linfoot for 1st place before pulling out a gap of over a second. With the shortness of the Knockhill track Byrne found himself having to deal with backmarkers but kept out of danger, crossing the line for an ecstatic win.

Buchan finished the race in 11th position gaining valuable points and data for the team.

Shane Byrne - Be Wiser Ducati
“It’s been a bit of a tricky weekend as I’ve tipped off twice and given the whole Be Wiser Ducati Team more work than they’ve deserved. It’s not like me to crash and certainly not like me to crash twice in a weekend. The Race 1 crash is a bit off a mystery as all my telemetry showed I was riding exactly the same as the previous lap. But to turn it around with a win a Race 2 after such a battle was really good.”

Glenn Irwin - Be Wiser Ducati
“It was disappointing to crash out of Race 2. At the beginning I was thinking about a 5th or 6th. I like the wet and was chipping away, chipping away. I wasn’t rushing to pass people because I was monitoring the gap to the leading rider. I was starting to do the right thing and picked John [Hopkins] off and reeled in Hickman but then I got skittled by Ellison.”

Danny Buchan - Lloyds British Moto Rapido
“It was a good weekend overall with a 10th and 11th we left with some points. Obviously we’d have liked to have been higher up. But we finished both races and I’m happy leaving with those points, from the wet and the dry. All the ingredients are there. We just need to put them together so we can get competitive right at the front. That’s the plan to move forward at Snetterton.”

Ernesto Marinelli - Ducati Corse
“They [Be Wiser Ducati] had a touch of the Scottish weather! The crash was a shame for Race 1 but that is racing. Shakey did really well in Race 2. The team did a great job all weekend. I’m very pleased I was here to share this second victory and I hope it is the second of many more to come.”