Shane Byrne says trialling a different Pirelli front tyre enabled him to storm to lap record pace at Cadwell Park as he hunts his first win at the Lincolnshire track since 2003.
The four-time MCE British Superbike champion has laid down a tough marker to his rivals with a 1m 26.291s – almost half a second under the official lap record – to storm to the front in FP2 and on longer runs consistently lapped between high 1m 26s and low 1m 27s to produce ominous form off the back of his double victory weekend at Brands Hatch last time out.
Byrne has explained he experimented with the SC2 Pirelli front tyre for the first time this year which he found instant lap time gains from and warned of further improvements ahead of qualifying and Superpole.
“The 26.2s that I produced was with a different front tyre and it was the first time I have used it with the Ducati so I was a little cautious even though I wanted to push on and test the tyre,” Byrne told BSB radio. “At the same time I had a really good feeling with the tyre I usually use so it was a bit of a comparison.
“I think a 1m 25s could be possible tomorrow and it would be even better to do 18 of them on Monday.”
With Byrne already holding the BSB championship lead and a useful margin on the podium points tally, the Be Wiser Ducati rider currently has 37 to nearest rival Leon Haslam's 23, the Kent rider's sole target is to add to his podium points tally while ensuring his place in the top six Showdown.
“I come here with high expectations trying to win both races but I have some incredibly tough competition,” he said. “Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't but we are working hard to get as many podium points between now and the Showdown.”