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Brilliant Byrne dedicates 50th victory to Paul Bird
12 August 2013
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne raised a glass to his milestone 50th MCE British Superbike Championship victory as the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider showed his class at Oulton Park.
Byrne won race two after finishing as the runner-up behind Milwaukee Yamaha's James Ellison in Saturday's opener during the triple-header weekend and maintained his superb run of results by taking second in the final race, won by Josh Brookes.
The 36-year-old dedicated his 50th victory to team owner Paul Bird, describing the Cumbrian entrepreneur as 'an integral part of my career'.
“It's great to have finally got the 50th career win and with a large percentage of those having come on Paul's bikes; I'd like to dedicate that to him,” he said.
“He's been such an integral part of my career and it's great to be in the position we're in this year. The races were tough all weekend as we were all so evenly matched, Saturday's being a prime example where James was quicker in the first part of the lap and I was quicker in the second half.
“He could edge away to begin with so all I could do was close the gap without actually getting close enough to make a pass.
“That was in my mind today and I wanted to hit the front as soon as possible and stay smooth, which is how it panned out in the first race even if I couldn't pull away.”
Byrne planned a similar plan of attack in the third and final race of the weekend but said a lack of grip prevented him from pushing harder when Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes hit the front.
“I tried to adopt the same strategy in the final race but I used too much of my tyre in the first part of the race so that when Josh came by, I didn't have a lot to give,” said Byrne, who became the first rider to secure his place in the Showdown following Saturday's runner-up finish.
“We've ended the weekend with a win and two seconds so it's been a good meeting for us.”
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