Shane Byrne says grinding out victory in race two at Knockhill has helped him keep up the pressure on his rivals and maintain the development momentum with his Be Wiser Ducati.
The four-time MCE British Superbike champion endured a nightmare race one when he slipped off at the hairpin after a terrible blast from pole position but duly made amends with a masterful win in the wet at the home of Scottish motorsport.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider was eager to erase his race one mistake with Ducati Superbike Project Director Ernesto Marinelli watching on at Knockhill but says he needed to measure his attack from 11th on the grid to not suffer a second slip having crashed twice over the race weekend.
“I wasn't in a mad rush to get to the front because my team said to me, 'listen, you've got 30 laps, there is plenty of time to take the opportunities', but I got to the front quite quickly,” Byrne said. “However, it didn't quite pan out as I expected because Leon Haslam came back past.
“Leon was quick into turn one but then he started having some moments which slowed him up into there and so I upped my game because I was riding like a bit of a fairy into turn one.
“Once I got it together there were plenty of places I felt quicker and with four or five laps to go out at the front. Dan [Linfoot] came past me, I got back past Dan, and I really had to push but I was more nervous in those last four laps than the rest of the race. I so badly wanted to win it after going off twice this weekend.
“To turn it all around with a win is the best I could do. I'm happy and it keeps my winning run happy at Knockhill.”
Byrne sees the second win of the year, and his 11th career victory at Knockhill, as the ideal catalyst to keep pressure on his title rivals while also matching the development of the Ducati Panigale R with strong results.
“When we came back with Ducati it was my dream to win for them in my first year after seeing them suffer a bit in recent years,” he said. “When we got to within one-tenth of a second at Silverstone to winning it was almost like my bubble being burst.
“We've been developing the bike and working hard for progress so when we won at Brands Hatch and then backed it up here that is so important. It might have been wet but we were able to keep the pressure up.
“I'm looking forward to Snetterton already because it will be the first place we go back to twice. We've got quite a good setting there and have something to start from. That will only get better as the season goes on. We should be able to start stronger and get quicker.”
Despite sharing a win apiece with Haslam at Knockhill the Londoner remains one podium credit behind the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider but slips to 13 points behind Haslam in the BSB riders' championship.