Shane Byrne says to notch up his first pole position with the new Be Wiser Ducati set-up during the 'work in progress' phase is a welcomed achievement at Knockhill and in front of Ducati senior management.
After Paul Bird's squad switched from Kawasaki to Ducati machinery over the winter, Byrne has been refining the Panigale R package into an MCE British Superbike title contender.
In mixed weather conditions, which saw qualifying suspended for almost an hour due to a heavy rain shower making the track unsafe, Byrne dominated in the wet by topping Q2 before controlling from the front to eventually take pole.
The Londoner was made to sweat by Honda's Jason O'Halloran who missed out by 0.001s but Byrne welcomed the first pole in 2016 as a timely gift for his team and Ducati.
“We have a completely new programme we are working with and step-by-step it is getting better and better,” Byrne said. “We needed to score as many points as we can at the start of the season to stay in the top six with some podium points to get through to the Showdown.
“By then we should have had two or three stages of development on the bike and have the tools to fight for another championship. It is a work in progress.
“The Ducati seems to do that very well in the wet. It is nice to also have Ernesto Marinelli [Ducati Superbike Project Director] from Ducati to come to see us for the weekend so pole position is well received.”