After missing the last two rounds, Shane Byrne will make his return from shoulder surgery for the start of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship Title Showdown at Assen this weekend.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider will start the Dutch event, a brand new BSB
edition for 2012, holding third in the standings and just 12 points down on series leader Tommy Hill.
Byrne tested his shoulder at Snetterton
this week and, although not expecting to be fully competitive until the following Silverstone
and Brands Hatch
events, will be hoping to add to his four wins so far this year.
"I love Assen and have plenty of experience in both MotoGP
so for me it's the ideal place to start the Showdown,” said Byrne, the BSB
champion in 2003 and 2008.
“My shoulder is getting better all the time and I had a good run out around Snetterton
so hopefully it will be OK once we get out on track.
“Assen is a very physically demanding track and it won't be easy but I'll be doing my best.
“My initial aim is to do the best job I possibly can this weekend and by Silverstone
and Brands Hatch, I should be a lot stronger in those final two rounds.
“I'm really looking forward to racing at Assen as I think it will be one of the best meetings of the year so I can't wait to get started."
Shakey has considerable past Assen experience, having taken part in two World Superbike events and two MotoGP
rounds at the track.
Team-mate Stuart Easton isn't part of the six-rider BSB
title fight, but bounced back from his mid-season injury problems with 7-4 race results at Donington
Park in the last round.
"It was good to get back to some decent results at Donington
and I'm hoping we can continue that momentum into Assen,” he said. “It's a track I've ridden at a couple of times before and I really enjoy the flowing nature so I'm looking forward to it.
“No one has lots of track time around there so it could spring a few surprises and it's good to race somewhere a bit different. I'll be doing my best to get a pair of good results for my Rider's Cup aspirations and hopefully I can take a few points off Shakey's rivals to help him in the Showdown."