Shane Byrne says 'the worst start in my career' bolstered by having to use the harder tyre in the cold conditions at Assen means he heads to the final round with a depleted points advantage but is still in a positive frame of mind.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider narrowly missed out on victory in race one by just 0.01s to Haslam at the chequered flag and looking to bounce back in race two Byrne bogged heavily off the line to drop to 12th at the end of lap one.
Despite struggling to carve out clean passing opportunities Byrne made it up to second with two laps remaining but couldn't find a way around Haslam and had to settle for a second runners-up trophy at Assen.
As a result, Byrne has seen his BSB championship lead trimmed to 17 points ahead of the triple-header season finale at Brands Hatch GP – where he claimed a dominant double earlier this year – but says he isn't fretting over Haslam's resurgence.
Mathematically, if Haslam wins all three races at Brands Hatch Byrne can finish second in each race and still secure a fifth BSB title but the Kent rider insists that idea remains far from his plans.
“I got the worst start I think I have ever had in my career,” Byrne said. “I let the clutch go but the bike bogged really big and I had to have another stab at the clutch and unfortunately the clutch is really sensitive on the Ducati Panigale R so it reared up and I had to roll out the throttle. It was a disastrous start which really cost us dear.
“As I said after the first race Leon has to win all the races but I have to then finish second in every one [to win the title]. I made a move on Cooper and eventually got to second but it was a lap too late as I got on the back on Leon but he was so strong at the final chicane and it was probably my weakest area.
“All said and done we got to second and I am really happy and positive for Brands. The weather here at Assen forced us to use the hard tyre for the first time. It seems now Assen has taught us a lesson and we have learnt a lot but we certainly don't want to be finishing second in every race.”