Josh Brookes has expressed his disappointment that Shane Byrne looks set to go unchallenged for the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship title, describing his luck as 'voodoo antics'.

Speaking in the post-qualifying press conference, where both Byrne and Brookes qualified on the front row alongside pole sitter James Ellison, the Australian was referring to the crash and injury that has ruled Ryuichi Kiyonari out of action for the first race and puts Byrne into an excellent position to seal the title.

Sporting a helmet inspired by Suzuka 8 Hours team-mate Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Brookes says he is supporting his friend's Japanese counterpart Kiyonari this weekend in deference to Byrne, but went further by expressing his personal frustration that his rival never seems to suffer any poor luck.

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"I tried my hardest today and it wasn't enough to go faster but I can't help but wonder what kind of voodoo antics Shakey has going on as he never seems to get a bad string of luck ever," Brookes said. "It was devastating to see Kiyo on the floor this morning, so we want to put on a good show and do our best in the races."

A clearly irked Byrne didn't respond well to Brookes' comments, insisting he has worked hard to be consistent and dismissed the assertion he doesn't suffer poor luck

"I think it has come down to consistency to be honest and I'm really annoyed with that. To be in a position to win the championship you have to be finishing on the podium the whole time and we have had our fair share of bad luck too as I fell down and lost a lead in the championship at Assen for example. I am not so sure there is voodoo going down!

"I have objectives - they were to be on the front row and the second was to win the three races. There are a million variables coming into this weekend and it doesn't matter what you plan, we just have to try and concentrate on the job in hand."

Byrne leads Kiyonari by 12 points coming into the first race, which Kiyonari won't compete in after he fractured his collarbone in a crash during FP3. Though the Japanese rider is hoping to compete in races two and three, he faces a task to beat Byrne to a record-breaking fourth title.

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I don't know why Brookes felt constrained to make these comments.
Shakey has suffered his share of bad luck over the years, not least in last year's final Brands meeting.
Truth is, but for the showdown formula, Shakey would have had the title sealed some races ago. He has been the most consistent rider the whole season and certainly far better than Brookes has been this year.