Shane Byrne has admitted he is not 'the greatest fan of the Showdown' after it was revealed that he ended the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship in third position, despite scoring the highest number of points over the course of the year.
HM Plant Honda's Byrne bounced back from a difficult start to the Brands Hatch weekend, when he fell in both qualifying and warm-up, to win two of the weekend's three races, bringing his total tally for the year up to six.
It was a timely reminder that Byrne had led the BSB standings for much of the 2011 season, taking advantage of both Tommy Hill and John Hopkins missing the respective Oulton Park and Cadwell Park rounds through injury to be in front in terms of points scored over the first nine events.
However, a poor start to the title showdown, after Byrne's lead had been wiped out by the equalisation rules, essentially ruled Byrne out of the running heading into the final round, much to his frustration.
Indeed, Byrne's two wins were significant in that it brought his total points' tally to 403 points, compared to Hill on 398 points and Hopkins on 358 points. With this in mind, Byrne is disappointing to be ending the season in third knowing he would have won under the former system, which was phased out at the end of 2009.
“It's been a fantastic year with a fine ending. I'm not the greatest fan of the Showdown, having led all of the way through to the start of it, but then slipped back a bit. Winning the first race on Sunday after what we'd already been through this weekend was like winning the championship.
“I gave the guys in the team a lot of work with two crashes and because of that needed that win more than ever. I think I had more moments in that race than the rest of my career, the conditions were very tricky but it all turned out right for me.
“Winning the second race of the afternoon was a great way to finish the season at my local circuit though I didn't come to the championship to take third place, I wanted to win.”