Shane Byrne says he doesn't expect any rider to be able to break the chasing pack around Brands Hatch Indy as he hunts a first win of the year with the Be Wiser Ducati.
The four-time MCE British Superbike champion has qualified third on the grid for tomorrow's race one, with just 0.114s separating him from Luke Mossey's pole position time, and feels his best qualifying performance of the year is a fair representation of his squad's progress with the Ducati Panigale R.
The Kent-based rider, who has six race wins to his name around the Indy configuration of the Brands Hatch circuit in BSB, is quietly confident he has the race pace to maintain his position at the front but doesn't think he or any of his rivals will be in a position to gap the pack in dry conditions.
“I'd forgotten how to get here to be honest,” Byrne smiled after grabbing third on the grid. “Two rounds in and I'd been nowhere near the front row so it shows the progress we're making. To do it here as well is quite good because every thousandth counts at this place.
“Front row here is probably the most important than at any other track on the British calendar, with maybe the exception of Knockhill, because you can pass here but they have to be set up and you have to be strong in the corners before it to try to pass.
“These races here are incredibly tough and you need strong concentration because you haven't got eyes in the back of your head. Yes, you can see how close people are but you can't tell where they are faster than you when you are in front.
“I'd like to say it would be nice to lead and get some consistent laps to break away but I don't think at this stage in time anyone is going to break away.”
Having established a strong race set-up during free practice Byrne is hoping for dry racing at Brands Hatch tomorrow and feels his late race pace could be a deciding factor is it comes down to a last-lap scrap.
“It is one thing to do a run of eight or nine 45s on the bounce, which we have done, and then give your tyres a lap to cool down and go again, but it is completely different to go out and 30 of them in a row," he said. "Yesterday we did our fastest laps on 28 and 27 in each session which bodes well for the races.”