Shane Byrne says Be Wiser Ducati hasn't concerned itself with its BSB rivals' performances during pre-season testing and is ready to launch his bid for an unprecedented fifth title.
The 39-year-old, who claimed his first two BSB titles on Ducati machinery, is relishing a fresh challenge turning the latest specification Panigale R into a title fighter with long-term team Paul Bird Motorsport after losing out to Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha last year.
After a confidence-boosting initial test with the Italian manufacturer, Byrne and his crew hit a few hurdles during the first pre-season tests of the new year but having rediscovered a positive development path he is confident he's found the pace to match the headline-grabbing JG Speedfit Kawasaki and Tyco BMW riders.
“I'm not looking at the other times and I couldn't tell you where we were in the sessions,” Byrne said at the official BSB Silverstone. “We have got our programme to work through. I think we feel fairly confident that if we were to go out there on new tyres and chew the screen for a lap we would be there or there about anyway.
“We are not stressing or worrying about how is at the top of the timesheet. When we get through our programme it will stand us in a good position then it would be worrying about what other people are doing.”
Having gelled with the Ducati Byrne is keen to continue chipping away at his race pace and will look to use the Showdown format to his advantage and find strong momentum midway through the season.
“When we first rode the bike in Portugal we were really, really fast and we made some good steps chipping away,” he said. “We suffered a little bit at the Spanish track but we have found our way gain chipping away with every outing.”