Shane Byrne has expressed his delight at securing a record-breaking fourth career MCE British Superbike Championship title in fitting circumstances with a ninth and tenth win of the year.

The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider effectively had only himself to beat over the three race Brands Hatch finale after sole title rival Ryuichi Kiyonari suffered a fractured collarbone in a free practice crash, even if an optimistic attitude that he could still make it out for a race if necessary prevented Byrne from securing the title by default.

Indeed, Byrne made things difficult for himself with a crash out of second place in the first race, but with Kiyonari going on to opt out of the second race, it meant he only needed mere fourth place finish to put the title out of his rival's reach anyway.

Related Articles

A few cautious opening laps aside, Byrne soon picked his way up the order and not content with simply riding for points, struck for the lead to complete a ninth win of the year and with it, the title.

Going on to wrap the season up with a tenth win - the 61st of his career - in the final race of the weekend, Byrne was thrilled to firm his status as the most successful BSB rider in history.

"After what happened on Saturday, I was paranoid about something going wrong on the first lap and my only plan was to get through the first couple of laps unscathed," he said. "I could see the guys leading but there was no rush and I picked them off one by one to eventually get the lead. I just concentrated on running a steady rhythm and got my head down to eventually open up a gap.

"I was really tense in the final few laps but I brought the bike home and to wrap everything up with a double later on in the day was the perfect way to end the year."

Becoming the first rider to win four BSB titles - three of which he has achieved as a Paul Bird Motorsport rider -, Byrne admits he still regretted seeing his anticipated rivalry with Kiyonari scuppered by injury.

"To take the title with a win is massive although, of course, it's a real shame Kiyo wasn't out there. Massive commiserations to him and his team as I would have loved him to have been battling with us in all three races. I'm delighted to win my fourth title so a massive thanks to everyone in the team."

Despite Kiyonari's failure to start at Brands Hatch, Byrne's statistics for a hugely impressive 2014 season see him claim 10 wins and 23 podiums from 26 races. Without the equalising Title Showdown format, he would have finished a mammoth 176 points clear of the Japanese rider in the standings.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

Says it all really - Without the equalising Title Showdown format, he would have finished a mammoth 176 points clear.
Nobody can say Shakey didn't deserve it - he has been by far and away the most consistent rider this season.