Snetterton 300: Byrne manages races to maximise results

Shane Byrne has used differing race management strategies to come away with a win and a third place to grab the BSB championship lead
Shane Byrne has used differing race management strategies to come away from Snetterton with a win and a third place as well as the MCE British Superbike championship lead.

In a race weekend which could have turned into a nightmare for the four-time BSB champion after an opening lap off, Byrne used his racing mettle and experience to battle back and take top spot in the BSB riders' standings from Leon Haslam thanks to his win in race two.

After blitzing Superpole, the Be Wiser Ducati rider was forced off track on the opening lap of race one while battling for the lead with title rival Haslam which saw him drop to the back of the pack.

The four-time BSB champion used all of his race craft experience to scythe up the order to take third but accepted the gap to the Honda top two of Jason O'Halloran and Dan Linfoot was a bridge too far having used the best of his rear tyre life.

In race two, starting again from pole position thanks to his new lap record set in race one, Byrne held station at the front and opted to manage his tyre life for a late race dash.

But this was not required as the third Honda rider Jenny Tinmouth crashed on lap 13 throwing debris and oil on to the circuit which prompted a red flag and result having achieved two-thirds race distance.

As a result, Byrne's haul of a win and a third has lifted him above Haslam in the BSB championship standing by four points – while he also holds a useful five-point advantage in podium credits on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider with one eye on the Showdown.

“We had really good pace and I knew if I could get to the front I could put in good lap times and manage the tyres,” Byrne said after his race one efforts. “Leon cut up the inside and then let the brakes off. If I hadn't let off the brakes we would've both been going down.

“I got a few clear laps and got my head down. To be honest once I got back past Leon I could see the Honda guys had gone anyway and I had abused my bike having treated every lap like a qualifier lap and paid the price on my rear tyre.

“[In race two] I kept it steady and smooth and try not to use the edge of the tyre. I could see a group of four of us six laps in so I got into the 1m 48s to get a gap but Dan Linfoot got on the back of me.

“I got to the end of the back straight when the yellow flags were being waved and slippery surface flags I ran through some mud and almost flicked myself off. I turned around to see I had a small gap and went for it to pull the pin. But then there was the red flag on the start/finish straight so it saved me the effort.”

The new BSB championship leader had been running a new rear-facing Termignoni exhaust unit at Snetterton, bringing the Be Wiser Ducati in line with the factory World Superbike Ducati, and despite the top-end power gains Byrne feels sacrifices were made in the acceleration points from Snetterton's tight hairpin corners.

“The new exhaust has helped the top-end power but made a bit of a hole at the bottom end so accelerating off the slow hairpins has been a little bit tricky,” he said. “I put gains also down to the test we had here a few weeks ago and it gave us a good base to start from so we went in no messing about.”
by Haydn Cobb

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, BSB [Credit:]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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